The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 44
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The most successful hunting party consisted of one hunter and
about six strippers,40 although there were many outfits with fewer
men. The time usually selected for taking the animals was just
after they had been grazing in the morning, after they had gone
to water and had returned to the high ground, lying down to rest
in herds of twenty to one hundred. The hunter would ride a horse,
and, bringing up the rear, would come the "strippers" in a wagon.
When the hunter arrived at a point where he deemed it as close
as he could go in this manner, he would dismount and stealthily
approach in a crouching position or on "all fours" until he was
within shooting distance of the herd. Then, hiding behind tall
grass or a clump of bushes, he would begin his deadly work by so
firing as to cause the herd to mill about; then, with his long-range
"Sharps" rifle, or "big fifty," as it was called, raised on a tripod,
he would carry out his work of destruction. When a sufficient
number of animals had been killed to employ the skinners for the
remainder of the day, the hunter would cease firing.41 Concerning
the destruction thus wrought on one of these great hunts, an old
buffalo hunter writes:
"We had good hunting at this camp until the last of February,
when all at once the buffaloes were not to be seen. .... 'Oh, well,
said Charley, 'we need a little rest and diversion anyhow, for we
made hay while the sun shone.' I thought so, too, for we then had
stacked up and drying 2000 hides; 982 of them I had skinned, and
was so credited. This was an average of twenty-two buffaloes a
day for forty-one days."42
For a while the life of the hunter was thrilling indeed, but in
time the romance and adventure of the enterprise disappeared and
his experiences became quite monotonous.
In buying the equipment for a party the hardware and grocery
stores of frontier towns were patronized liberally. The articles
usually carried in the wagon of the hunting party consisted of a
"Nelson A. Miles, Personal Recollections, 134.
"John R. Cook's The Border and the Buffalo, 116 and following, gives an
interesting account of buffalo hunts; and J. A. Allen, History of the Ameri-
can Bison, 579-582, also has an authoritative account.
"Since the hunter only names four men in the party, the gigantic pro-
portions of this industry are seen, since there were hundreds of such
hunters on the Great Plains. See John R. Cook, The Border and the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/52/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.