Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Floating Buffalo

Capt. William Clark noted the following on the 28th-30th of March, 200 years ago:,
"The ice has stopped running, owing to some obstacle above. Repaired the boat and pirogues, and preparing to set out. But few Indians visited us today. They are now attending on the river bank to catch the floating buffalo."

"The obstacles broke away above and the ice came in great quantities. The river rose 13 inches in the last 24 hours. I observed extaordinary dexterity of the Indians in jumping from one cake of ice to another, for the purpose of catching the buffalo as they float down. Many of the cakes are not two feet square."

[The Journals of Lewis and Clark, entries for March 29 (28) and 30 (29), 1805]
My experiences with American Bison date from visits to Yellowstone Park in the early 1960's to the present. There is a small herd of bison in north central Florida, roaming within the 21,000 acre Payne's Prairie state preserve. My big black cat's name is Buffalo, by the way.

Read a 1937 Yellowstone Park report on bison history and management
here. A brief comparison of the 3 subspecies of bison, including the mountain bison that once populated Yellowstone Park, can be found at this link.

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