Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the tag “American bison”

Buffalo Bob

Not counting on television or maybe at a zoo, I saw my first buffalo on Uncle Bob’s ranch in western Nebraska.  I loved going to Bull Canyon Ranch because it was so dang big.  It was traditionally a cattle ranch, but Uncle Bob was a free thinker and he figgered he would branch out.  What he done, you probably guessed from the first sentence, was to add buffaloes to the ranch population.

At this point I better educate the more ignorant amongst us.  The critters are properly called American Bison by scientists and such.  I am not a scientist, so I call them buffalo like Buffalo Bill Cody and Buffalo Bob on Howdy Doody done.  Now this educating can only go so far.  If you don’t know who those fellas are, just quit reading now cuz you are in over your head.

The mascot for the University of Colorado is Ralphie the Buffalo and the athletic teams are the Colorado Golden Buffaloes or Buffs.  I know there are scientists at that school but, apparently, they looked the other way and did not insist on using the word bison.

Bison, aka buffaloes, are more independent creatures than are cows, bigger too.  I have rounded up and herded cows on occasion, many times on twenty mile cattle drives.  It is pretty fun.  I have worked at brandings and the unmentionable collateral process of turning baby bulls into baby steers.  (Are you keepin up or must I explain how bulls become steers?)   I consider myself a cowboy.  But that’s where I draw the line.  I ain’t a buffaloboy or bisonboy.  I don’t herd buffaloes.  I don’t rope buffaloes.  I don’t brand buffaloes.  And I don’t castrate buffaloes.

I’ll tell you why.   Buffaloes are bigger, tougher and meaner than cows.  They require stronger fencing.  They can do what one tried to do to Uncle Bob.

Bull Canyon Ranch has (guess what?) a canyon.  It is what is known as a box canyon, which means there is only one way in and out.  So Uncle Bob fenced across that one opening.  He used tall sturdy fence, which turned out to be a pretty good idea.

I wasn’t there at the time, but Cousin Tom reported to me what happened, which was that after Uncle Bob (well, Tom didn’t call his father Uncle Bob) and his help got that first group of buffaloes into their new home in the box canyon, one of the critters was ungrateful about the free rent arrangement and decided to leave.  The way he went about it was to rush the fence and crash into it while Uncle Bob was looking the other way.  Tom said the buffalo was going after his dad and the fence just happened to be in the way.  As a country lawyer, I sometimes have to deal with legal issues that involve motive.  In this case, I’m not too sure about the charging buffalo’s motive.  I’m just glad Uncle Bob could build a good fence.

These photos were taken by Miss Sugar last summer when our neighbors got a dozen two-year-old buffalo heifers.   Their fences are not as sturdy as Uncle Bob’s.  They could use a nice box canyon.

Note:  This was published previously, but new readers might enjoy it.  I don’t expect folks to look up old posts from the archives, so sometimes I re-publish ones on certain popular themes.

Buffaloed

Yesterday I wrote about our trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota last weekend.  Actually, that post was more about our misadventures with the trailer we rented.  This one will be more positive and well illustrated with American Bison, also known as Buffaloes, so if you are not enthused about such critters, back off immediately.

Buffaloes were central to the culture of Plains Indians, including the Lakota Sioux people, many of whom still live in South Dakota.  I have previously written about the Pine Ridge Reservation.  Tomorrow, I intend to write about a famous Lakota leader, Crazy Horse.

There is a large buffalo herd in Custer State Park.  Yesterday was the annual buffalo round-up there.  During the weekend prior to that event, when we were visiting, the town of Custer celebrated the importance of buffalo to the area in many ways.  On street corners throughout downtown Custer were life-size model buffaloes that had been painted creatively by artists.  On Friday evening was a reception at a bank at which the public could meet the artists and get a preview of their artwork, which was auctioned off the next day.  Not only were the full sized buffaloes auctioned, but also smaller sculptures of buffaloes and paintings of buffaloes.  Lots of buffalo art!   Since our home is decorated with western art, and since Miss Sugar is an artist and art teacher, the art auction was of great interest to us.   I’d like to say that we picked this weekend so that we could attend, but it was simply good luck that we happened to be there.

Now you are probably wondering what art we purchased.  The answer is that the bidders were out of our league.  However, we did buy a buffalo skull from a booth of such items.  It was not part of the auction but it was part of the buffalo festival. 

We’d like to go back to Custer, South Dakota next September for the buffalo weekend.

Bison Bob

Not counting on television or maybe at a zoo, I saw my first buffalo on Uncle Bob’s ranch in western Nebraska.  I loved going to Bull Canyon Ranch because it was so dang big.  It was traditionally a cattle ranch, but Uncle Bob was a free thinker and he figgered he would branch out.  What he done, you probably guessed from the first sentence, was to add buffaloes to the ranch population.

At this point I better educate the more ignorant amongst us.  The critters are properly called American Bison by scientists and such.  I am not a scientist, so I call them buffalo like Buffalo Bill Cody and Buffalo Bob on Howdy Doody done.  Now this educating can only go so far.  If you don’t know who they are, just quit reading now cuz you are in over your head.

The mascot for the University of Colorado is Ralphie the buffalo and the athletic teams are the Colorado Buffaloes or Buffs.  I know there are scientists at that school but, apparently, they looked the other way and did not call themselves bison.

Bison, aka buffaloes, are more independent creatures than are cows, bigger too.  I have rounded up and herded cows on occasion, many times on twenty mile cattle drives.  It is pretty fun.  I have worked at brandings and the unmentionable collateral process of turning baby bulls into baby steers.  (Are you keepin up or must I explain how bulls become steers?)   I consider myself a cowboy.  But that’s where I draw the line.  I ain’t a buffaloboy or bisonboy.  I don’t herd buffaloes.  I don’t rope buffaloes.  I don’t brand buffaloes.  And I don’t castrate buffaloes.

I’ll tell you why.   Buffaloes are bigger, tougher and meaner than cows.  They require stronger fencing.  They can do what one tried to do to Uncle Bob.

Bull Canyon Ranch has (guess what?) a canyon.  It is what is known as a box canyon, which means there is only one way in and out.  So Uncle Bob fenced across that one opening.  He used tall sturdy fence, which turned out to be a pretty good idea.

I wasn’t there at the time, but Cousin Tom reported to me what happened, which was that after Uncle Bob (well, Tom didn’t call his father Uncle Bob) and his help got that first group of buffaloes into their new home in the box canyon, one of the critters was ungrateful about the free rent arrangement and decided to leave.  The way he went about it was to rush the fence and crash into it while Uncle Bob was looking the other way.  Tom said the buffalo was going after his dad and the fence just happened to be in the way.  As a country lawyer, I sometimes have to deal with legal issues that involve motive.  In this case, I’m not too sure about the charging buffalo’s motive.  I’m just glad Uncle Bob could build a good fence.

These photos were taken by Miss Sugar last summer when our neighbors got a dozen two-year-old buffalo heifers.   Their fences are not as sturdy as Uncle Bob’s.  They could use a nice box canyon.

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