Colorado Buffalo hunting
A bull bison looked at me from the diorama at the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, Kansas, when I began to hear a rumble. As the sound in the room grew louder, a herd (pun intended) of elementary school students came rushing into the small room where I stood. The kids tumbled onto the floor as the rumble became louder and louder.
“It’s a massage, ” the kids yelled as they lay on the floor that had begun to shake along with the rumble. On a series of four small monitors above the bison mount, Buck Taylor (you might remember him as Newly on Gunsmoke) and Dodge City spokesman Brett Harris shared stories of the bison that once roamed by the hundreds of thousands across the plains. When images from the film Dances with Wolves showing a bison hunt by American Indian hunters swept across the screens, the rumble of pounding hooves became louder and louder, the floor shook harder, and the school students yelled in delight.
These youngsters may or may not have learned anything about the historic Great Plains bison herds, but they almost certainly went home talking about the experience they had at the museum. But Boot Hill Museum has more to represent the era of the buffalo hunters, including a display of buffalo hunter guns.
Dodge City was a center of the buffalo trade in the 1870s when Josiah Wright Mooar arrived. Born in Pownal, Vermont, Wright left home at age 19 and after spending some time attending school in Michigan, and then working in Illinois, he went west to Hays City, Kansas, where he found work cutting firewood for use at Fort Hays.
He saved enough money to buy a buffalo hunting outfit, and with three wagons and four hired hunter/skinners set out in search of the Great Plains herd along the Smoky Hill River. Wright worked his way south to Fort Dodge, and caught a break in 1871-’72 when Charles Rath, a freighter and hunter, received an order for 500 buffalo hides for an English tannery. Rath enlisted the aid of Wright Mooar in providing the requisite number of hides.
When the hides to fill the English order were shipped to New York City some left over were hauled through town in an open wagon. A Pennsylvania tanner saw them, and at the urging of Wright’s older brother, John Wesley Mooar, who worked in New York City, the tanner bought the excess hides. After processing, he liked the leather so much that he placed a new order for 2, 000 more hides. This kind of enterprise required serious commitment, so John Wesley Mooar quit his job and joined Wright to handle the business end of buffalo hunting, arriving in Dodge City in November 1872.
You might also like
Where can I see bighorn sheep in Southern Colorado?
Sheep and goat hunts are Colorado's premier high country hunting experience, you can find them through the outfitters of CO
Why does madec want to hunt bighorn sheep in the book death watch | ChaCha
Apparently Madec is trying to get a bighorn sheep head for his office. Thanks foring and do it again soon!