Game In The Far West
While Buffalo have almost wholly disappeared from the regions traversed by the great public thoroughfares, and other kinds of game have perceptibly diminished in some quarters, there is no immediate danger of their becoming extinct, as has been argued by some writers. There will be some hunting for several more years to come in many localities in the yet unoccupied regions of West era Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Dakota. You can leave New York, and in about a week's time reach the hunting centers where one who has a passion for the rod or gun can be fully gratified. Within ten years' time, buffalo were seen in droves from the cars of the passing railway trains in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado. Now they have disappeared from Middle and Southern Kansas, and the present range of what is known as the "southern herd" of buffalo, lies in the region of country south of the Arkansas River and extends to the Texas line. Here large numbers of buffalo have been killed during the past six or eight years. Between the scant herbage of the plains, and the merciless destruction of Remington, Winchester, and Sharpens rifles, the animals have mostly disappeared from this region.
Buffalo Hunter's Camp
The range is reached by going out on the Atchison, To-peka, and Santa Fe road as far as Lakin, and then striking due south. There are a few buffalo left in North Park, Colorado, and the country west of it They are, however, very wary and dill-cult to find. A party of us rode over 130 miles in a fruitless effort to discover this drove. There are likewise a few buffalo in Northern Nebraska in the Niobrara region. The great northern herd, however,has pushed far northward beyond the Yellowstone country. During November, 1881, we found large numbers of Buffalo between the Little Missouri River and the Yellowstone. The drove was estimated at fully eighty thousand. At Glendive, Montana, we met hunters killing them for their hides. A few years ago, passengers on the Kansas Pacific Road constantly saw Ante-lope from the windows. Now, however, they are rarely seen except in the western portion of Kansas and along the Colorado boundary. They are likewise diminishing in Colorado and Nebraska. In Wyoming, however, and Northern Colorado, there were more antelope after 1878 than there had been for several seasons, and the hunting has since been good.
I know no better locality for hunting antelope than North Park. We found countless numbers here during Nov. 1878, and so tame, that they, would occasionally run through our camp before sunrise. After the genuine sportsman has shot one or two of these beautitul creatures, he desists from their further destruction unless it be for food. There are parties, however, calling themselves sportsmen, who shoot down antelope right and left for the mere brutal gratification of being able to tell on then: return home of their achievements, and to add to the number of their horns and other trophies. Day after day I have marked the trail of these spurious sportsmen by the carcasses of animals, unnecessarily and inhumanly slaughtered. There is naturally much feeling in Wyoming and Colorado against these butchers, and the frontiersman is often so incensed as to threaten summary vengeance.
Deer and elk are to be found during the summer months in the snowy ranges of Colorado, and likewise on the southern borders of North Park. In October and November they begin to come out of the snow-covered mountains, among the foot-hills, and on the plains, where they are found in considerable numbers. One day, not long ago, while we were riding on the Utsh Northern Road, the engineer was compelled to slack up the train for fear of running over a band of deer which were crossing the track in their descent from the mountain regions to the plains.
During the winter months, the best country for hunting elk, deer, or antelope, is in Northern Wyoming, due north from Rawlins, in the Sweet Water and Wind River regions. Here appears to be a kind of winter rendezvous for wild game, and if a hunting party secures the right kind of a guide, they can have their fill of enjoyment in this country. If you can afford the time and expenditure, one of the most adventurous of western trips is to proceed to Bismarck, then to the Yellow Stone River, visit the Parks, and then, pushing down through Wyoming, reach the Union Pacific at Rawlins, Laramie, or some adjacent point.
This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.