American Buffalo: Spirit of a Nation

Buffalo were the lords of the prairie. To European settlers traveling across America’s Great Plains in the early 1800s, the prairie wind was a constant companion: a gentle whisper echoing across the vast sea of grass that carpeted the center of the North American continent. Sometimes, however, the rumbling of thunder could be heard in the distance, though no storm clouds could be seen. Then the ground would begin to tremble, and suddenly the astonished newcomers would be surrounded by a thundering herd of hulking animals that stretched further than the eye could see. The majestic welcoming committee made it clear that the settlers had, at last, arrived in the buffalo nation — a land where tens of million of American Bison held sway.

The NATURE program American Buffalo: Spirit of a Nation tells the sad story of how the buffalo nation was destroyed nearly a century ago by greed and uncontrolled hunting — and how a few visionaries are working today to rebuild the once-great bison herds. It offers a remarkable portrait of America’s last significant wild bison herd, made up of a few thousand animals living within Montana’s Yellowstone National Park. And it highlights the efforts of Native American leaders dedicated to bringing back the animal that once gave life to their tribes. “Buffalo have to be there for our culture to exist,” says Fred DuBray, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe who appears in American Buffalo. “As we bring our herds back to health, we will also bring our people back to health.”

Like people, the buffalo — known to scientists as Bison bison — came to North America long ago from Asia, crossing a land bridge that once connected Siberia to Alaska. The early bison were enormous lumbering animals, weighing up to 5,000 pounds and sporting horns that spanned more than six feet across.

Bison can weigh up to a ton.

Bison can weigh up to a ton. Over time, however, the North American stock evolved into trimmer beasts. Still, modern bison can weigh up to 2,000 pounds; they can be more than a dozen feet long and stand up to six feet tall at their massive shoulder hump, which serves as a storehouse for energy-rich fat.

By the time America’s earliest peoples had established villages about 20,000 years ago, the bison dominated the rolling grasslands and forested hillsides that stretched west from the Mississippi River west to the Rocky Mountains. Researchers estimate that prairie bison alone numbered between 30 million and 200 million, while a woodland variant existed in smaller numbers. Though killing such large, fast animals was a formidable task — bison can run for long periods at up to 35 miles per hour — ancient tribes soon perfected several effective techniques. Some would surround small herds with a human chain, giving archers a better shot at the tightly packed animals. Others learned to stampede bison over cliffs. Such “buffalo jumps” provided tribes with critical supplies of nutritious meat and warm hides that allowed them to survive the region’s harsh winters. But flesh and skin weren’t the only prizes: tribes learned to use virtually every part of the animal, from horns to tail hairs.

“The Indian was frugal in the midst of plenty,” says Luther Standing Bear, a member of the Lakota tribe. “When the buffalo roamed the plains in multitudes, he slaughtered only what he could eat and these he used to the hair and bones.” Indeed, for thousands of years the huge bison herds were able to accommodate the loss of the relatively few animals taken by Native Americans. In the 1500s, however, things began to change. First, Spanish explorers introduced horses to the region. By the 1800s, Native Americans had learned to use the speedy steeds to chase bison, dramatically expanding their hunting range and effectiveness. Next, guns made their way into the hands of buffalo hunters, making them increasingly deadly hunters. But it was that arrival of vast waves of white settlers in the 1800s — and their conflict with the Native American residents of the prairies — that spelled the end for the buffalo. Among the earliest waves of settlers were trappers and traders, people who made their living selling meat and hides. By the 1870s, they were shipping hundreds of thousands of buffalo hides eastward each year: more than 1.5 million were packed aboard trains and wagons in the winter of 1872-73 alone.

The commercial killers, however, weren’t the only ones shooting bison. Train companies offered tourists the chance to shoot buffalo from the windows of their coaches, pausing only when they ran out of ammunition or the gun’s barrel became too hot. There were even buffalo killing contests. In one, a Kansan set a record by killing 120 bison in just 40 minutes. “Buffalo” Bill Cody, hired to slaughter the animals, killed more than 4,000 buffalo in just two years.

Some U.S. government officials even promoted the destruction of the bison herds as a way to defeat their Native American enemies, who were resisting the takeover of their lands by white settlers. One Congressman, James Throckmorton of Texas, believed that “it would be a great step forward in the civilization of the Indians and the preservation of peace on the border if there was not a buffalo in existence.” Soon, military commanders were ordering their troops to kill buffalo — not for food, but to deny Native Americans their own source of food. One general believed that buffalo hunters “did more to defeat the Indian nations in a few years than soldiers did in 50.” By 1880, the slaughter was almost over. Where millions of buffalo once roamed, only a few thousand animals remained. Soon, their numbers dwindled, with the largest wild herd — just a few hundred animals — sheltered in the isolated valleys of the newly created Yellowstone National Park. As American Buffalo shows, it is from this tattered remnant that people are today trying to rebuild the once mighty buffalo nation.

To order a copy of American Buffalo: Spirit of a Nation, please visit the NATURE Shop.
Online content for American Buffalo: Spirit of a Nation was originally posted November 1998.

  • Dena Riley

    I own the only white buffalo that are dna tested and are 100% pure buffalo and i am interested in selling 2 of them. I am selling a male and a female who are compadtable in breeding and the female is pregnant. Please write me!

    Thank you,
    Dena Riley

  • noon

    good and bad

  • Maria Gordon

    Where are you located?

  • Suzanne Giummarra

    Dena is just out of Flagstaff Arizona and her white buffalo are gorgeous. I went to see them from Australia last year.

  • robbie

    it is pritty bad

  • Allie

    WOW! I want a baby!

  • Lily

    SO COOL!!!!!!!

  • Jen


  • caitlin

    o.k its my moms e mail but i think buffalo are very intelligent mammels that deserve to live long healthy lives my schools project is to write an essay of the life of a bison its awsome i love it so much my teacher gave me this site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • caitlin


  • Rubystandingdeer

    Prove it. It they are real they Belong to the Native Americans. SHOW me a picture.

  • Joe

    Yo yO i eat BISSON FOR SUPPER!!!

  • Kirk

    Yo, Yo! I eat buffalo for supper!

  • Kirk

    YO JOE!

  • Joe

    OMG!! YUou should come to my tiipee and we shall roast buffalo over an open fire. But i don’t like my buffalo fully cooked we have to cook it alive!!

  • Nikki G dog

    Thanks friggn intense man!! if your reading this i have to do a this so im posting, post back!!! o. . . cuase i am the bffalo. . i am one with the buffalo. i roll with the buff’s!!!

  • Kirk

    we’ll steel the horns and prance around the fire and have a buffalo pow wow!
    YEAHH good plan! meet you at your Teepee for dinner tonight! YUH YUH!

  • Nikki G dog

    omg that was scary who ever did that . . .do it again!!!1 take me to addictinggames and start playing please!!!

  • ugly

    they are so ugly!! i hate i have to do a researcg on this!!!

  • Nikki G dog

    Ugly, your momma is ugly you go out there and save dem animals they need to be saved , they may be as stuiped as hell, but who cares!!! so are you obiously

  • seheykid

    I love their wings. i like them without the hide bad with spicy red sauce on them. I eat them by the dozen with celery and beer. The wing bones are skinny. I have only eaten the wings.

  • pam duvall

    i am interested in the pregnant white buffalo, i own a 2 yr old buffalo you can see him on under pet of the month .please get ahold of me i really am interested in buying her thanks

  • Ivan

    Buffalo rock people who eat them are total idiots!

  • Mike

    WOOT GO BUFFALO!!!!!!!

  • Mike

    Oh and the people who said that they eat buffalo s need to get a life!

  • Jillian

    I like the way Mike thinks…that just sick!!! Its like eating a dog to me. They are just so cute, I can’t see how people can eat them.

  • Jillian

    Heyy i’m doing a semester long project about Buffalos and if you or anyone you know has information that i might be able to use please write me backk. =] <3

  • michael muchnock

    Buffalo(bison)ranches exist that sell the meat for food-I think one must acquire a taste for it unless one is a vegitarian.Check out the book WHITE BUFFALO SPIRIT and the DVD WHITE BUFFALO MESSAGE-recorded at the WINNIE PALMER NATURE RESERVE(SAINT VINCENT COLLEGE,Latrobe.Pa.)for Eastern Woodland American Indian history and the spiritual significance of the birth of a white buffalo.By the way,wild buffalo roamed Pennsylvania but were extingushed by angry farmers in 1799 .Have a blessed day !!!!

  • Matthew

    ok i dont know much about buffalo but i love animals
    and buffalo are my favorite so ggggggggggggoooooooooooo

  • Bill A.

    Does anyone really get it. Us White Folk KILLED OFF most of the Buffalo in the 1800’s to get rid of the Indian and I mean all of them. All you ever hear about is all the other poor Minorities and their problems. But who Cry’s for them? I do and sometimes I’m embarrassed to be white, we’re always messing something or someones life up and it will NEVER CHANGE.

  • tanna

    there adorible there like stuffed animals :)

  • gary minshall

    the ole buffalo is a scralgley ole beast
    he’s got a hump short horns and a beard
    and millions roamed where the tall grass grows
    passin’ hours before they cleared

    my indian friends once used this beast
    for their food their house and their clothes
    and never failed to thank their god
    and were blessed with the hunt that they chose

    as time went on the long guns came
    that could reach for a good quarter mile
    and buffalo killed for just their hide
    or from trains for the sport or a smile

    literally tens of thousands would lay in waste
    and the ole buzzards would pick their bones
    while some stood wounded all glassy eyed
    with every breath a pitiful moan

    this all seems kinda strange to me
    the fate of this man and his beast
    where one would go the other to follow
    and thats just me a sayin’ the least

    i guess it’s just one way the west was won
    a lesson we shouldn’t forget
    tho’ we’ve built a great fence around these two
    we’ll get it right next time i’ll bet

    we can’t give back what’s already lost
    no more than we can raise those dead
    but we can give back or mankind love
    and start thinkin’ ’bout what lays ahead

    gary minshall

  • just a Native lady

    Bill A. …Thank you for your kind words. I’m a Native American lady and you were about the only person that posted something intelligent on here. The rest sound like a bunch of racist kids that grew up in daycare with no morals and values.

  • Jane

    I’m with Native Lady in wanting to thank Bill A. for his comments. I have been involved in the plight of the Yellowstone Bison for 20 years or more, making phone calls, attending ceremony, writing letters and distributing information. I, too, notice the great lack of attention given to what the Europeans did when they came across the pond. I stand firmly on the belief that until we are willing to own responsibility for the destruction of not only the bison, but of The People also, we will not heal or grow in a good way as a nation, There is no way we can make amends except to apologize from the heart and then take some action to show, not tell, that we mean it. Thanks Bill A. for your thoughtful comments!

  • John 3 Hawks

    The slaughter of the Buffalo is a sad part of American history and indicative of social greed and quest for power over another people. Settlers came and stole land from the First People and nearly destroyed an entire species. We can regret the past, but it is important to know that even today ranchers lure Bufflao out of park boundries at Yellowstone in the winter to kill them. Their logic is that the Buffalo are a threat to the cattle industry…again…greed still alive and well. The quest for ‘the yellow metal that makes men crasy’ (a dollar) has not diminished. The way the Buffalo were treated is ongoing with the way Native people are treated on reservations such as Pine Ridge and the Rosebud. As Jane noted, a public apology would be a good thing, but words mean nothing without action for sure. Native people live ‘with’ nature…not above nature. We would be well to remember that we need the bugs, plants, trees, animals and birds to keep nature in good balance, yet not one of them needs a human to do this. We are part of nature….not apart from. The near extinction of the Buffalo should be a wake up call to human destructive ways. There is a saying, I believe it may be Cree, that goes something like this: “Only when the last tree has been cut down, only when the last river has been poisoned, only when the last fish has been caught, only then will you realize your money cannot be eaten.”

  • Jade

    I know that white people killed off a lot of buffalo for greedy purposes, but I really get annoyed when everyone talks about how the different tribes were never wasteful and were really respectful to the buffalo. If you believe this, perhaps you should “buffalo jumps.” It’s basically where some Native Americans would round up a ton of bison and run them off a cliff. One of the most famous locations is called “Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.” People need to learn that history can never be simplified down to one aspect. Yes, the white people were wrong for what they did, but that does not mean that they should be the only ones condemned for their choices.

  • Drayden Butterfield

    I did not know bison weighed a ton. Now I am wondering how much they eat a day?

  • Drayden Butterfield

    How many buffaloes are in Kansas?

  • 3Hawks

    Jade…remember the natives at that time had no horses…I would like to see you feed your family with only a bow and arrow and no way to drive to a store. Buffalo Jumps were a necessity to eat, but much ceremony and honor was given the animals..nothing wasted. How much do you waste each day? Tribes were not wasteful…that was a trait of settlers and by the way, rounding up a ton of buffalo would only be one…yes…LEARN history…and even now you will see ranchers who are so afraid of buffalo meat being better than beef that they lure them out of the parks and kill them for protection of their own money. Perhaps you could go to the Nez Perce and spend some time with them…learn our old ways and open your eyes. When over 60,000,000 buffalo were destroyed in a mere two decades something was going on…if you killed one thousand a day it would take 164 years to bring them to near nothing but this was done between 1870-1890. Yes…check your REAL history…not your history. Native kills did not diminish the herds. Hope this helps.

  • koln

    i love buffalo they are great ive seen a lot in south dakota

  • Elizabeth Lee

    Hello you guys should read El Chino there is some bullfighting And By Allen Say!Well if you are a kid read it…AKA PICTURE BOOK!!!It is from Ms.Britto’s student she read El Chino.I m not a bull fighter only student!!!!!!!!!

  • Marissa

    What did the buffalo say to her son? Bison

  • mike

    for a better understanding contact the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve to find michael muchnock’s book and music cd titled WHITE BUFFALO SPIRIT and the WHITE BUFFALO MESSAGE dvd recorded there.also contact the Senator John Heinz History Center

  • Becca

    I just love buffalo they are awsome my husband loves them.

  • bella

    buffulo are cool and they are oh so tasty

  • Kassie

    i think buffalo are very smart because they know what to catch and eat and they shed fur wich is weird.

  • Buffalo Lover!

    I love Buffalo and don’t even want to think of eating these amazing creatures! i am only 12 and am trying to save the Buffalo! People who eat them (like kirt and joe) are stupid, horrible people who are complete idiots and morons! I mean jeese louise! they are soooooooooooooooooooooooo adorable and i want my grand children to be able to see them!

  • john

    ok I live in manitoba canada. Only about twentie minutes from a buffalo ranch these creatures are awsome and jaw droping when you see them up close. I have also seen buffalo in the wild and have been to head smashed in twice. So I am no stranger to these creatures im not saying that im an expert or any thing. I just have a few comments to some of the postings. First of all to Bill, buddy im white and all I have to say is that every race at one point or another sufferd because somebody who had a bigger stick then theirs was able to make them comply and yes white people also sufferd from other races and native american tribes took slaves from other tribs. So sayin that you are embarassed to be white really get’s me mad. Their is no question that the buffalo suffured great losses at the hands of greedy men but they wern’t all white, native americans got paid aswell from the rail road to hunt the buffalo and were paid to take green horns out to hunt the buffalo. To 3hawks I completly agree with you that native tribes were not wastful at all, you can’t be when you live off hunting and gathering and that there were ceramonies to honor the animal, but im not sure what you mean by the” rounding up a ton of buffalo would only be one” comment. If you mean that at buffalo jumps they would only jump one at a time. Then you are seriously wrong and need to check your history. Im not saying that buffalo jumps are the reason that buffalo are in sittuation that they are in now. \im just saying that they jumped herds of buffalo at once when they jumped them and if you meant somthing else then plz explain if you come on here again. To rubystandingbear your comment about the white buffalo “If they are real they Belong to the Native Americans.” First of all the buffalo never belonged to the native americans they belonged to nature. You might as well say that the buffalo belong to asains because they came from asia. In my oppinoion if the white buffalo are real. They should be put out to breed and hopfully more will come into this world and they can be reintoduced into the wild like at yellow stone national park or some place where they can be protected. Finally about eating buffalo i don’t believe in eating buffalo out of the wild but the ones brought up on ranches like the one by my house are like cows to me and I just think that they tast better then cows

  • cornell conroy, sr.

    The British devised a “Scorched Earth Policy” to exterminate the Savage and their beast, which meant, kill the flora and fauna of the American continent and replace everything from their lands: cows, goats, sheep, chickens, dogs, horses, cat, geese, ducks, including their Indentured Servants, slaves and freeman. The British American Government issued orders to their generals to kill every living beast on the plains and this they did. They co opt the Peasants from all of European to do the killing. What a sin! Must of the peasants were innocent and acted for fear of deportation.

    Approximately 11, 000,000,000 pounds of highly nutritional meat were left to rot on the plains. What a sin! What the lamb is to the Christian, so too is the buffalo to the Lakota. May God have mercy on them!

  • sobersteph

    Many of these comments make me sad. The killing of the buffalo was ordered by General Sherman at the end of the Civil War….by depriving The People of food, it became a control issue. Read The Wolf at Twilight by Kent Nerburn…my eyes are open.

  • Michael Muchnock-( White Buffalo Spirit

    Pennsylvania also had huge herds of woodland buffalo .They are making a small comeback on several farms now.Ask for the book White Buffalo Spirit at one called the Bison Corral ,they are good people.Or if you are at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh pick up a copy of the book, CD or the DVD the White Buffalo Message—–share the story of peace and harmony in these tough times!Lets get the word out !We are all related.

  • cj


  • B. Bell

    Desecration of the land and displacement of the native Americans stands as one of the greatest crimes ever perpetrated by man. I have read the accounts of buffalo hunters that came to see the error of their ways but the damage was already done. Greed and indifference to fellow peoples and species will forever be a scar upon the face of this nation. One only needs read about the shot out rookeries of the Ten Thousand Islands area of South Florida to know that butchery was not limited to the American West. In the early 19th century plummage of the snowy egret and other species was so highly valued by the markets in New York and Paris that by weight, the feathers were worth more than gold. The nesting areas were stripped of adult birds leaving the nestlings to die of exposure, fire ants or other scavengers.I am a white man of European descent and I recognize the damage done by my kind. I do not hate my own people nor do I oppose hunting in a responsible manner. The native Americans existed in a symbiotic relationship with nature and if modern man cannot figure out a way to do the same thing, we’re in trouble.

  • Cat

    Thank you PBS for bringing attention to this very dark chapter of American history. As suggested here, the treatment of the buffalo is fair metaphor for the genocide (intentional or via negligence) of America’s native people. I appreciate the frank presentation of historical fact in these animal videos. I hope someday to see such presentation in a series about the story of America’s tribes (specific to each group rather than one video that is supposed to cover all of them) and how they came to be who they are today. White children simply do not learn about this in our schools; our history books often gloss over the existence of native people without differentiating culture, world view, or the socio-economic & socio-ecologic systems of this country before and which laid the foundation for European settlement. As a result there remains today a world of misunderstanding about both our country’s history and existent native people.

  • Jacob

    ya know people should really stop hunting these beautiful creatures i mean if u were one how would u feel if we hunted you but other than that really good w3ebsite but who is the author??

  • Shane

    Buffalo are the American portrait of peace and tranquility. Protecting the buffalo because it is so cute, is not just idiotic, its a disgrace! My close friend’s uncle owns a small herd of buffalo in Texas, and he loaned them out for the scenes in ‘Dances With Wolves’. They are his prize possesion and we all admire them and love them as if they were our own. Eating or shooting a buffalo, if not for survival, is not a good thing. I am a professional hunter, and I would love to shoot a buffalo, if they were still in droves of millions. But they are not! Shooting a buffalo should be to an American, what rolling up the Mona Lisa and packing it with tobacco to smoke would be to the Italians.

  • LJ

    Honestly you guys, buffalo wings are NOT made of Buffalo meat! They are made of chicken wings covered in sauce. The name ‘Buffalo wings’ comes from the fact that the wings were first made famous in Buffalo, New York.

  • Elaine

    EEK! Eating bison yuck! Kirk and Joe are killing the most gentle creatures on earth! And I mean really what did the bison do to you?! :[

  • Hannah

    buffalos even though their dangerous and all its just wrong to kill them its just plain wrong why would they kill buffalos for just a sport thats just plain stupid to do and plus would you people who are killing them like it if the buffalos killed you for just a sport i don’ t think i would be happy

  • jack barbera

    The near extinction of the buffalo and the other threats to wildlife and wild places are the result of man kinds ignorence and greed.We as PEOPLE need to increase our awareness of the whole circle of life and understand the power we have to spoil or protect this BEAUTIFUL BLUE-GREEN PLANET.We need toprotect our pure water and air and the majourity of animals forests rivers oceans and other wild places that soon will disapear forever. Please join me in cutivating a HEART that is full of LOVE RESPECT and GRATITUDE for all of life.As this rare and precious pearl we call home spirals through a majestic,bejeweled cosmos,lets grow to be worthy caretakers of this miracle of reality.May we be strong and able for ourselves and all future generations of LIFE!

    I pray for strength and help,with love and gratitude


  • lance leslie

    I can’t wait until the prairie is swept clean of your spawn, and spiritual order is restored…
    We won’t need to waste a single bullet. You’ll do it on your own.
    Good riddance.

  • collette

    Restoring American Bison is possible. managing American Bison is possible. Contact your governor and fish and wildlife authorities. let them know that as Americans we wish to restore the last wild icon of our continent. Eat Bison, it’s far better than beef. In a strange sort of way it will bring attention to the value of this animal. All the fuss about spreading brucilosis is a myth. The truth is the Beef industry does not want the competition for the grass. First, Bison were killed to destroy the Native Americans way of life and ultimately the People themselves and now it is to protect an inferior animal which was imported from europe, not adapted to this country, cannot survive winter without care. . .our beloved american COW.

    Native Americans know how to harvest Bison in a good way, with thankfulness and honor. We need to listen to them.

  • Lunarsunrise

    People! Buffalos are GREAT!

  • tylor

    they are ugly

  • ttylor

    big butt

  • tabatha

    i pick my boogers

    lol brooklyn rocks

  • tabatha

    i pick my boogers

    lol brooklyn rocks

  • latoya

    that buffalo is my sister

  • zxa

    mad marshall

  • tylor

    ha ha

  • seth

    seth (me) is ugly

  • kayla


  • sacajaweia

    that that ugh

  • g


  • g

    brooklyn is ugly

  • water

    hi hi hi hi hi hi from water

  • brooklyn

    no im not

  • sf

    marshall said so

  • brooklyn


  • dfhfd

    brooklyn is a fat pig

  • ghrglvae dbj

    AM NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • brooklyn

    tylor is a a fat fat fat . . . fatter than that womans tushi

  • Krishna


  • cole age 11

    I read all of the comments, and I agree with all of you. you all are right.
    Thay are awsome, and cute but we need to protect them too,
    or they will go extinct. And I am white and I do feel gilty about it.
    We should, but don’t beat your self up about it.
    We did a stupid thing and now we need to fix it. =]

  • Lame Buffalo

    Thank you for this wonderful website. The spirit of the buffalo was a powerful ally and guide for the people. The people counted on the Buffalo Spirit for help & support. The idea that Buffalo’s broad shoulders could support the pain & suffering & illness & sorrow placed there with prayer made the Buffalo Spirit an important & powerful helper. My name was given to me years ago by Cree & an Ojibway elders, both pipe carriers & healers who work with the spirit of the ancestors and plant medicines for the people. It took me about a year to learn the meaning of my name and the extent that the Buffalo played in the name. At first I was more than a little taken back, thinking, “This is not a very flattering name.” and consoled myself by comparing it to Crazy Horse & Sitting Bull and thought to myself, “I guess it could be worse.” It wasn’t until I received the teaching of the Buffalo and Buffalo Spirit that I could truly appreciate the honor the name holds…

    Lame Buffalo – Blues Harmonica – Carleton Place Ontario – Occupied Kanada

  • trex

    “The Indian was frugal in the midst of plenty,” says Luther Standing Bear, a member of the Lakota tribe. “When the buffalo roamed the plains in multitudes, he slaughtered only what he could eat and these he used to the hair and bones.” Indeed, for thousands of years the huge bison herds were able to accommodate the loss of the relatively few animals taken by Native Americans. In the 1500s, however, things began to change. First, Spanish explorers introduced horses to the region. By the 1800s, Native Americans had learned to use the speedy steeds to chase bison, dramatically expanding their hunting range and effectiveness. Next, guns made their way into the hands of buffalo hunters, making them increasingly deadly hunters. But it was that arrival of vast waves of white settlers in the 1800s — and their conflict with the Native American residents of the prairies — that spelled the end for the buffalo. Among the earliest waves of settlers were trappers and traders, people who made their living selling meat and hides. By the 1870s, they were shipping hundreds of thousands of buffalo hides eastward each year: more than 1.5 million were packed aboard trains and wagons in the winter of 1872-73 alone.

    The commercial killers, however, weren’t the only ones shooting bison. Train companies offered tourists the chance to shoot buffalo from the windows of their coaches, pausing only when they ran out of ammunition or the gun’s barrel became too hot. There were even buffalo killing contests. In one, a Kansan set a record by killing 120 bison in just 40 minutes. “Buffalo” Bill Cody, hired to slaughter the animals, killed more than 4,000 buffalo in just two years.

  • t rex

    kitcat is dumb

  • braunboy

    dont call people names

  • kit

    were does trex live

  • mahto hogue

    i am wanting good photos that i can paint..a very good read,thank you.

  • Kristen Bieger


  • Brittany Krauth

    (Kristen B’s sister) Dena, that sounds awesome!!!

  • cody

    Hello peoples you are suppose to say what you think about the website! I think this website is useless, but has awesome pix and breath taking videos. Oh, and if Brittany and Kristen are sisters, then why do they have different last names???

  • Kristen Bieger

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do u have any fox videos? I can’t seem to find any =(

  • devon


  • austin

    howdy…ill share the buffalo with yall

  • devon

    lIUYSdglitf sdf

  • devon



  • austin

    that some good eatin there

  • Buffalo Nommer

    Buffalos are best served with a side of dead baby.

  • Pat

    There is a herd of 14 white buffalo in Bend, Oregon. They are taken care of by the Sacred World Peace Alliance. SWPA has memberships and sales of a special blanket made by Pendleton made from the shed of the white buffalo. Only SWPA has the buffalo shed blankets. Pendleton makes another blanket without the shed available on their website. To find out how you can help grow the herd with SWPA by becoming a members or buying white buffalo shed blankets from SWPA visit their website at

  • daniela

    How can people kill innocent animals just to get what they want. All the Indians wanted to do was to be able to live the way they wanted. A peacefull and harmless way of living,was that wrong, especially living in the land of freedom?

  • Scott

    a great article and show’s how man killed for the sake of killing…did they not learn anything from the discovery of the Dodo in 1581!! we killed off everything that is easy to kill, and if this wasn’t the case we would have another food source today and native to the area’s of which they come from…yet we don’t because we kill everything..i’m surprised there are any Moose left. which i’m glad their are as they are perfect steaks. and what with native Indian’s i would have loved to see how the nation would have evolved without us Europeans invading there country it may have been a better place than it is today with more wise people not of which president bush was! if we could turn back time would we really do this? i think if many of us could we would go back and tell the native’s to fight from day one not allowing any of us on there land’s

  • Ed

    The White Buffalo was rare to find, why? They were easy targets for wolfs. These Buffalos would catch the eye of the wolfs more than the others in the herd, because of their color. It would be a mistake to let any go free in Yellowstone, now that there are wolf packs there. They should be shared among the Indian tribes as a whole. For breeding purposes, because the gene pool is getting smaller & cattle genes have been found in some herds. While are not the blood of bisons from Asia, Russia being mixed in to keep the gene pool pure as possible? Of course the ones that have the closest DNA to the original American Bison. Is it not better to have the American Bison mixed with other Bisons that from were they came from than risk the gene pool get smaller & more cattle blood mixed in?

  • ron neff

    I think it is sad what we as white men did to the American Indian. First we give them the gifts of blankets laced with small pox. Then we try to starve them out by killing the buffalo.then shoot them. it’s a shame that they trusted us to begin with. their should have been at least 200 Little big horns if not more.It makes me sick .Look at Arizona we use about 15% of. Why did we have to send the Apache to Fla.There was no need to kill the Indian or the Buffalo. I rest my case

  • Tim

    Buffalo are God’s creatures and even if we have to kill them, we should do it as kindly and as humanely as possible.

    In Thailand it is a common sight to see Buffalos crying when they are about to be slaughtered- they seem to know that they are going to be killed. That in itself brings tears to my eyes- call me ’stupid’ or whatever but we must never forget they are God’s creatures and we should be respected as such. He gave them to us as food and we shhould show our gratitude by doing what we have to do with as much kindess ad gentleness as we can.-.That is one way we can show our gratitude.

    I find this very sad and can only hope and pray that they do not suffer in the process,

  • Ione

    Whoa, this is really entertaining to read. As well as deemed marketing along with posts to be able to periodicals?

  • Jerry Loggins

    Hello people. I have been sitting here reading your thoughts and ideals and some inspire me and others show just how much people have not changed and it saddens my heart. I have know all my life that I have Native American ancestry, but I never thought much about learning about that part of my family until I went to prison for 16 years. I became involved in the Native American ceremonials and way(s) of life of my ancestors. Their ways were closer to the Christian God and His Son Jesus Christ than most Christians live. When a Tribe went on a hunt, there was first a great ceremony, deeply religious in nature, then the hunt ensued and before the first cut was made a prayer was offered up thanking Creator for His blessing the families and the tribe, but also thanking the Buffalo and wishing a great journey into the next life.

    I could go on and on, but I wont. Read a book, Black Elk Speaks to learn about the Spirituality of the Indigent Peoples of the Plains, I promise it will amaze you. The Bison did much more than just feed and cloth a people, the fertilization of the plains was made by these great Spirit Brothers, now without the fertilizer the plains have died, thus the great “Dust Bowl” of Oklahoma in the early 1900’s. We could learn so much from our Brothers and Sisters whom we have placed on Reservations, about life and Spirituality. I love to hunt and I do not see a problem with hunting for sustainence but mass murder of animals and other Human beings is wrong in any age or time.

    For the purposes of school and the classes I am taking I would love to share ideas and I can be reached at

  • Camren Raenae

    if ya wanna know more about bison, y’all should go on << had to make it for a history project and its awesome! so yaya. come join :D

  • Brett




  • steve earwyn

    i want a pretty buffawo to carry me through the licorish forest

  • Wacks


  • eyreg

    shut up and eat the sammich






  • fare

    helllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 0.o q3

  • Brett

    I am a buphalo phan
    YOU should be one 2

  • was

    i luv ze le buffaw-rip off thier horrrrnsss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pie

  • ben dover

    these animals are amazing, i keep the head of a buffalo in my lounge room and worship it, because i really love these animals !!!!!!!! im also making my husband to wear a buffalo suit at our wedding because i wont marry him human………

  • Philomena Peters

    Hello Ben Dover. I have a question for. If you love the buffalo, Why did he have to die so you can enjoy him in your home?. If the tables were turned, would you have wanted the buffalo to put your head upon his wall. I don’t think that is love when you have to kill an animal or a person to keep as a wall piece.

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  • clover castronova

    love the bison i hane to do a report about them i here that they are killed and i dnot like that

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  • stickndn

    save the buffalo and eat puppy!

  • Mariela Curren

    Wish I had seen that parrot quilt! I’ve seen a few pictures of this and it looks spectacular like a giant-sized version of my birdie.

  • Souvenir Scenic Studios

    hi, I enjoy reading your site. I have recently wrote my own site feel free to visit it. %NAMES%

  • Lil’ Wanye

    I love eating buffalos they tatse so good im me tommy. Dont hate i just like eatin them. :)) =]

  • Lil’ Wanye

    when holoween come ima get freddy to eat buffalos.rofl. Peace out

  • Lil’ Wanye

    when holween come ima get freddy to eat buffalos.rofl. Peace out

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  • winter parkas

    WOW – very usefull, especially for me THX :)

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  • wierdo1998

    Alot of you people do NOT know how to spell correctly.

  • Goun Jeong

    I will help with buffalos since there is buffalo in
    Closter New Jersey

  • wierdo1998

    That is good. I do think that people need to respect that these animals are endangered and that we should do all we can to help them. People need to realize that once an animal is gone, it can’t come back. We need to take care of them while we still can.

  • Darell Busitzky

    You gotta put ice in it as well so its super cold like a
    shake…other than that i make these a lot with penute
    butter/choc muscle milk powder…good stuff

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  • what?

    weirdo1998…. while you are bashing people for spelling incorrectly, please realize that “alot” is not one word. It’s two. A lot.

  • Marlon

    Wow! This post about buffalos is really interesting. Thanks to the author for this imformative and really interesting. :)

  • New Orleans Fence

    very cool

  • Boyish Girl

    Bison are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joss Klevins

    OK.. I understand most of what you are saying but it is a lot to digest. I know it will sink in later on. Your writing is concise and to the point. By the way, 301 Moved Permanently was a great choice for a title.

  • Tyra Brakebill

    Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you However I am experiencing issue with ur rss . Don?t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting identical rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  • Grace is awesome!

    I think Buffale are so cool!!!!!! God is so amazing! I can not believe God made these BEAUTIFUL creature!
    GOD IS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Colton the person

    buffalo are really cool. if u wanna talk to me my SKYPE name is: coltonthemanlyest and my XBOX LIVE name is: GaMiNg DuDe 159 bye

  • Eli

    I do have Native American in my blood stream. I am a very spiritual person and have believed that we as humans are one with not nature…but Mother Earth, Mother Earth has provided this place for our feet to stand on, this place for us to sow our seeds and grow our food, mother earth and the sun also nourish us and our gardens with vitamins and minerals that we need to keep our Souls healthy and in tact. I to feel ashamed to have white blood in my veins. I feel as if the white christians did this b/c they did not understand the truth of spirituality and how we are one with earth, we breath with her and we eat of her. The bible was all something to control us, something that people came up with to control our minds, they do not want us to know how much power the human race really has…There should be NO “race”, we are all the same race…it is called human, we are part of this beautiful living being we call earth. You must open your eyes and see, then you must open your heart and feel. This would be a wonderful place if the 4 of us came together and sit down and shared what we taught by the great spirits. White christians pushed the Natives down and battered and beat them, trying to hide the truth from all to realize. When the keepers of water, wind, fire, and earth all come together and share our knowledge, we will be able to live with Mother Earth in harmony.

  • Martin Cervatez


  • Grace is awesome

    Umm… Eli you got it all wrong!!! it is not mother Earth It is God who did it God is the one who made all things he made the earth he made everything!!! Mother Earth has not provided this place for our feet to stand on God did :) Us christens do not push down the Natives and battered and beat them why do you believe that, you are going to hell if do not turn around and believe in God!!!
    Who do you thing made the earth? Umm… GOD DID!!! I proudly read my Bible all the time! I am proud to say that I am a CHRISTEN and will stand up to those who say that he is fake for I know that he is real!!!

  • kfhgi nqermhi

    y48cugrf24ufnc2uf buffalo are f—in cool

  • Gwyn Machia

    I really wish I could’ve made this show…it sounds really great!

  • Sesa

    Respectfull question. Further up a ‘white’ person claimed that we ‘whites’ should feel guilty about the destruction of the buffalo and what was done to the natives. I do not argue with history and that what was done back then was wrong, but why should I feel guilty for something that happened 150 years ago to people that aren’t currently alive, done by people that I have nothing to do with?

  • Cherry D

    Early white men were so stupid. Buffalo are low in fat and very tasty. And what did they do, tried to kill off a healthy food source and IMPORTED fat laden herefords from Europe. We are still paying the price of their stupidity!

    Wiah all you buffalo ranches the best of luck, love buffalo meat.

  • Rev. Neal Davis

    Grace… I agree with both you and Ely. I am a Christian and a Choctaw Indian. I know both worlds. Native Americans believe that the earth was made by the Creator… our God as you call Him. Christians give thanks and ask a blessing over their food at meal time.. Indians ask a blessing over their crops ((food) when they plant, offer thanks for the rain as it grows give thanks in dance for the abundance at harvest.. My Christian Bible say’s, ‘ make a joyfull noise unto the Lord’ which we do to the Great Spirit… The Creator. As a Choctaw we have no word for GOD but The Great Spirit or Creator. Again we have no word for Angels that watch over Christians but we ask the Spirits to watch over our loved ones and believe the Spirits are with us as is your Holy Goast. We put no Gods before the Creator (is that not God?) and accredit the creation of all things, Earth, water, trees,…all living things. If you look up Creator in the Webster it is defined as God. God Bless and may the Spirits watch over and inlighten you…

  • kasandra

    why do you all have to fight about god if you think about it mother earth is part of god ,he made mother earth so if you want you can like both of them they might be almost the same yes god did make the earth and ever so more but you have to understand mother earth is real as well you cant see her just like god but they are both there, more so a saying called “i can do all things with CRIST who strengthins me ” that says much to show ok you dont have to like both but if you like one is all that matters with the heart and soul god is the leader and yes eli is right this world would be better if someone would change and help out the needed but god gave us a mind and he left us to choose now its up to the people who dont like any to start beleveing him or shall not get what shall always wants. GOD BLESS EVERY ONE

  • Frances

    I have a huge interest and love for Buffalo’s. I so want tor raise one as a baby til full grown as a pet. I love animals and I believe animals scent my kind heart… I hear so much controversy on how Buffalo’s cannot be tamed, but I know I can. Can someone tell me where I can adopt/and or buy one… I cannot stop thinking oft his huge animal. I love them! Wish I could stop them from being used as meat!

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