Buffalo Herds Increase: Bison Grow in Numbers since 1889 by 5,432 Animals, Daily Racing Form, 1919-01-07


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BUFFALO HERDS INCREASE Bison Grow in Numbers Since 1889 by 5,432 Animals. Story of Hmr the Great and Typical American Bijc Game was Saved from Extinction. The annual report of the American Bison Society just issued tells that the herds of buffalo under the United States government supervision not only show :i satisfactory increase, but a noticeable improvement in quantity and appearance over the original stock. Among theso herds will be found some of the largest anil most magnificent siecimens of this noble and historical animal. Col. Charles Goodnight, the well-known breeder of buftalo and catalo. after a recent inspection of the Wichita herd, proclaimed them to be the largest and fbiest buffalo he had ever seen. It might be remarked, incidentally, that Col. Goodnight was brought up in the buffalo eountrv. laid out the Goodnight trail in 1800, and is known as the "Father of the Panhandle of Texas." The society exacts shortly to establish two more herds, one in the Pisgah National Forest and Game Preserve in North Carolina and the other in Sully Hill Park. North Dakota. Edmund Seymour, president, and Martin S. Gar-retson, secretary, report that during the year the society has received some valuable donations of old buffalo guns, bows, arrows and other implements and weapons used in the extermination of the great herds of bison; also donations of clippings, "old prints, photographs and other interesting matter relating to the buffalo. The societv is collecting for its permanent records all historical data that can be obtained, so that hereafter any student of American bison history mav find everything at hand in the society records that he may wish relating to the species. Bison are in parks in twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia. The United States government maintains six herds, containing 75S animals, as follows: Montana National Bison Range, 200; National Zoological Park, Washington. D. C, eighteen: Niobrara. Reservation, Nebraska, fourteen; Wichita National Forest and Game Preserve, Okla-homc, ninety-two; Wind Cave National Game Preserve, South Dakota, thirty-four, and Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 400. Bison have increased in numbers since 1SS9 by 5,432 animals. The herd in 1SS9 totaled 1,091; today it numbers 0,523. "BUFFALO" JONES GRAPHIC STORY. The American Bison Society and all those who love the buffalo are indebted for all time to C. J. "Buffalo" Jones for his early work as a practical conservationist. A large number of the living pure-blooded buffaloes alive today came from calves "Buffalo" Jones captured. How lie roped them alone and protected them until aid could come he told briefly in a letter to Mr. .Seymour. Jones writes: "I will tell vou the story of how the great American bison was saved. I roped eight calves and saved them, although the wolves and coyotes were there by hundreds. As soon as I caught one. I tied my hat to it. as I know the brutes never touched aiivthing tainted with the fresh scent of man. The next mv coat, then my vest, then my boots, and last my socks, thus protecting seven. "The eighth I picked up in my arms and rode back to the seventh, as it was surrounded by wolves and coyotes. When I arrived where it was bound down, I saw the vicious brutes snapping at the sixth one, so I reached down and drew Up the seventh one and galloped back to the sixth to protect it. I let the two calves down, one with legs tied and the lasso around the eighth calfs neck, the other end of the rope around my horses neck. The strain was so great I fainted, but revived when my boys came up and gave me some whisky we had for snake bites." . Theodore Roosevelt, who is the honorary president of the societv, the object of which is the permanent preservation and increase of the American bison and the orotcction of North American big game, calls the buffalo the most distinctive animal on this continent. lie says of tin: buffalo: "The biggest of the American big game, probably, on the whole, the most distinctive game animal on tills continent, the animal which played the greatest part in the lives or the Indians, and which most deeply impressed the imaginations of all the old hunters and early settlers." , , At one time buffalo were so thick on the plains that it would take a herd of bison twenty-live days to pass a given point. When the American Bison Society was formed a census showed only 1,071 animals of pure blood in the United States. These were owned mostly by private individuals. Thoughtless people inquired: "Why should the buffalo be preserved? He has had his day. served his purpose, and must make way for civilization. Like the Indian, he must go. SEYMOURS APPEAL FOR BISON. I A properlv qualified conservationist and sportsman to answer such a question is Mr. Seymour. Savs.Mr. Seymours "There are two views as to why the buffalo should lie preserved one sentimental or ideal, the other practical or commercial. The former is the one that appeals, I think, to most Americans who have a pride and love of their country. We stand for the ideal and spend our monev for sentiment. The bison society appealed to Congress on the ideal ground, and it was sufficient. "The buffalo is the most conspicuous and the largest of all native American game animals, hardy, strong and of impressive majesty. The artists of the government have reproduced his head or figure for our bills and coins. Take a five cent piece from jour pocket and look at the buffalo. It stands for something! It is identical with the sentiment of our country. "It is not generally known that in the early colonial days buffalo inhabited practically all the eastern states as well as the great plains in the west. The earlv pioneers, the men of 49, often deimnded upon the buffalo for their existence. Jo commemorate their early struggles and dangers is a sufficient reason why this animal should lie preserved to the descendants of those early settlers. The mothers of those days some of them are still alive mav remember when they were given in their courting davs good, thick buffalo robes to keep them warm," and I think the ladies will vote to preserve the buffalo. "How about the real American the Indian? His tribal life is fast breaking up and he is being absorbed in the melting pot for the future great American type. His descendants have a right to insist that his history shall be preserved anil that this animal, which was a part of his daily life and furnished his food, clothing, shelter and fuel, shall not become extinct. "Before the white man came and taught him to drink whisky, the Indian was a good citizen; he was kind, brave, a good father and husband, a true friend ami generous without limit. In the early days you could always trust an Indian, but the old saying of the Indian about the white man was: White man mighty uncertain. "For centuries the Indian was largely dependent on the buffalo and only killed what he needed. ATter the hunter had taken his part the rest went to the tribe and was used. He was a game protector and conservationist of the first order. I have stood at Medicine Rocks in South Dakota and counted without moving over 100 skeletons of buffalo killed by white men merely for their hides and tongues; all the rest was left to the wolves. "On my ranch in Montana a few years before I nut in my cattle, one outfit of white hunters killed 3.700 head of buffalo. Good roads were afterward made in that country to haul out the buffalo bones. It is a wontfr.r. alio is left. The white man loing largely responsible for the extermination of the buffalo, it is his duty to preserve the soecies. Should not our children and their childrens children see and know this wonderful animal, so distinctive and closely related to our ancestors?"

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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800