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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#7016419 - 12/29/17 08:52 PM Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison
txtrophy85 Offline
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Registered: 08/12/05
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so i'm currently on a mission to separate fact from "fake fact" as I believe more and more the history we have been fed from gradeschool on is severely tainted with inaccuracies and downright lies to push an agenda. reading a lot about the native americans and their interactions with pioneers and settlers. The history I'm finding often is in severe contradiction with what is known to be common knowledge and accepted as fact.



One thing I'm researching is the story of the buffalo ( I know its actually a bison but we are going to call it buffalo from here on out, its my thread and i'll say what I want)

There were estimates between 30 to 60 million buffalo roaming the plains and foothills when the white man arrived in the west. its accepted as fact that the buffalo were slaughtered for their hides and to eliminate a food source for the Indians until there were only 300 buffalo remaining, mostly in Yellowstone.

If you look at the numbers you will see how ridiculous this is. I doubt seriously there were 60 million bullets in existence in the 1880's, let alone all wasted on buffalo.

Most estimates say that people killed 10 million buffalo during the huge slaughter, so even if there were only 20 million buffalo and we killed 1/2 of them, that still leaves 10 million breeding buffalo that in theory would add 3-5 million new buffalo each year. you cannot argue the fact that hide hunters killed a extreme number of buffalo with rifles but what happened to the rest of the buffalo and what actually did them in?



Discussion topic: Do you believe that hunters actually killed all but 300 of the est. 20-60 million buffalo or do you think other things, like bovine tuberculosis, did them in moreso than hunters ever could? Or, could it be that estimations were incorrect ( maybe only 5 million exist, we know 1880's animal census was nowhere near as accurate as it is today) and we did actually kill them off with gunpowder and lead








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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.

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#7016443 - 12/29/17 09:09 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: txtrophy85]
Creekrunner Online   content
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I've read other articles that point out that it had to be a massive disease that actually wiped out the buffalo.

But that doesn't fit our self-loathing, white Christian males raped and destroyed the country, agenda. I'm not saying that the hunters had a benign impact, but the numbers, even if grossly over estimated, don't add up.
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#7016447 - 12/29/17 09:16 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: Creekrunner]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Creekrunner
I've read other articles that point out that it had to be a massive disease that actually wiped out the buffalo.

But that doesn't fit our self-loathing, white Christian males raped and destroyed the country, agenda. I'm not saying that the hunters had a benign impact, but the numbers, even if grossly over estimated, don't add up.


Plausible.
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#7016460 - 12/29/17 09:28 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: txtrophy85]
redchevy Online   content
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Topic that never crossed my mind
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#7016472 - 12/29/17 09:37 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: txtrophy85]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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The extirpation of the bison in the 15 year period following the civil war is well documented.

1)You don’t have to kill them all;
2)You don’t have to kill them all with bullets and rifles.

In many species, once populations get thin enough/separated enough, they go down and, finally, away. The very survival of the bison in such numbers owed its very existence to the numbers themselves and the symbiotic relationship the great herds and their migration had with the Great Plains and the Southwest Plains.

Same thing happened with just about every other large or otherwise useful mammal (and many birds and entire fisheries) in the U.S. before protections were put in place. We almost lost them all. We did lose a few.

You can read and learn about the details of all this - it is more complex than can be easily explained or otherwise speculated about in a forum thread.

But, yes, it happened. And, yes, we did it. That’s not “white guilt” or any other speculative mess talking. It’s just historical fact. Other cultures have done the same across the globe with many other animal populations (black, yellow, brown).
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Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#7016521 - 12/29/17 10:02 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: txtrophy85]
Walkabout Offline
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Registered: 09/21/11
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No, of course not. Hunters did not decimate the population that bad. But then again, hunters didn't have to before pushing the population to near extinction. The Buffalo is relatively slow to reproduce. Once the population is no longer able to reproduce at a rate greater than its mortality, extinction is inevitable unless the pressure to the population is removed. Think about it. Every cow that was slaughtered represented a minimum of three generations. You could not select a North American mammal more susceptible to extinction by massive predation than the Buffalo; huge congregations with predictable migrations.

Preceding the decimation of the Buffalo (and not by much) was the plight of the Passenger Pigeon. Could avarian epidemic have wiped out the Pigeon, possibly. But what a coincidence. Both species congregated in massive numbers with predictable migrations exploited by hunters. Interesting topic to say the least.

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#7016541 - 12/29/17 10:18 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: txtrophy85]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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Just about every large edible mammal in the lower 48 in addition to many edible/commercial bird and fish species were in dire straits at the turn of the 20th century.

There’s no coincidence in that fact.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#7016544 - 12/29/17 10:21 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: txtrophy85]
gusick Offline
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The great auk.

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#7016546 - 12/29/17 10:22 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: txtrophy85]
Grizz Online   content
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Registered: 02/28/08
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Loc: Granbury, TX
I've often wondered about this myself. I know white hunters killed an awful lot of buffalo, but the sheer numbers are hard to wrap my head around. I've also read over the years that the native Americans killed many more buffalo than we were led to believe many years ago. The popular narrative was always that the native Americans only killed enough to satisfy their immediate needs, but many sources since then challenge that theory and claim they actually killed a lot of buffalo that were wasted. I do believe the white buffalo hunters at least heavily contributed to the buffalo's demise, but I'm not so sure they had the impact I thought they did when I was a kid.
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#7016548 - 12/29/17 10:25 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: txtrophy85]
rifleman Offline
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Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 44388
Loc: Kingwood
Probably a little of everything. Hunting, disease, bad population estimate.

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#7016549 - 12/29/17 10:26 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: txtrophy85]
dogcatcher Online   content
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There was no refrigeration, a lot of fresh meat went to waste, they did not set up camo and make a ton of dried jerky. There was also a lot of hide hunting, most of that meat was wasted.
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#7016563 - 12/29/17 10:35 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: txtrophy85]
dogcatcher Online   content
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Here us a good read about Texas and the buffalo. https://allaboutbison.com/bison-in-history/texas-history/

It is long, but a lot of good information is in the link.
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#7016587 - 12/29/17 10:51 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: Walkabout]
therancher Offline
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Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 6622
Loc: Mountain Home, Uvalde, and Big...
Originally Posted By: Walkabout
No, of course not. Hunters did not decimate the population that bad. But then again, hunters didn't have to before pushing the population to near extinction. The Buffalo is relatively slow to reproduce. Once the population is no longer able to reproduce at a rate greater than its mortality, extinction is inevitable unless the pressure to the population is removed. Think about it. Every cow that was slaughtered represented a minimum of three generations. You could not select a North American mammal more susceptible to extinction by massive predation than the Buffalo; huge congregations with predictable migrations.

Preceding the decimation of the Buffalo (and not by much) was the plight of the Passenger Pigeon. Could avarian epidemic have wiped out the Pigeon, possibly. But what a coincidence. Both species congregated in massive numbers with predictable migrations exploited by hunters. Interesting topic to say the least.


Bison are not slow to reproduce. In normal range conditions they have a calf every year. The original post stated that there weren't 60 million bullets. They made their bullets in the field.

Indian's killed many more bison than they could use by running them over bluffs. I live on "Boneyard Draw". One of the thousands of bison jumps. I raise bison so I know their reproductive capabilities.

It might not be comfortable to believe, but bison hunters who only used the tongues and hides did in fact kill the majority of bison in north America. Regardless of what that number was.
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#7016593 - 12/29/17 10:59 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: txtrophy85]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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Registered: 11/22/10
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The arc of historical and scientific research has been bending towards more factual and detailed accuracy over the last century.

If you desire to separate “fact” from “fake fact”, the way to do that is to educate oneself on whatever the subject at hand is - by immersing oneself in the writings of those respected in the fields that touch on the questions. In this case, men like Grinnell, Leopold, Roosevelt, and any number of naturalists, historians, etc. who have written on the subject. They are all in general accord on the immense impacts of commercial hunting, habitat loss, competition/disease from domestic animals, and the negative consequences of industrialization on native wildlife from, say, 1870 through the mid-20th century.

The way not to do that is to assume “agendas” behind every curtain, assign your own “facts” or accept others’ “facts” with agendas of their own (promoting a certain worldview perhaps) , and then speculate about what happened without factual basis to do so.

Assuming “agendas” behinds every curtain is, in and of itself, an “agenda”. And it often leads to uneducated, unsupported, and un-factual speculative conclusions. In fact, as we may find out, this may be the most harmful “agenda” of all - because it allows folks to disbelieve whatever they want to and then believe whatever they want to - facts be d*mned.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#7017061 - 12/30/17 11:15 AM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-the Great American Bison [Re: Nogalus Prairie]
txtrophy85 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie

Assuming “agendas” behinds every curtain is, in and of itself, an “agenda”. And it often leads to uneducated, unsupported, and un-factual speculative conclusions. In fact, as we may find out, this may be the most harmful “agenda” of all - because it allows folks to disbelieve whatever they want to and then believe whatever they want to - facts be d*mned.



Agreed. But we cannot deny that certain facts have been "left out" when historical events were documented.

Point in fact, its commonly touted that Indians only took what they could use and never wasted anything, everything was taken when an animal was killed. This has been drilled into the minds of every kid when studying American history.

Well if you do some research, you will find that Indians killed great numbers of buffalo (as the rancher had mentioned, sometimes by running them off cliffs) and did not utilize all of the meat. A lot of Indians needed the skins for tipi's, clothing, etc. and a lot of buffalo were killed by Indians for their hide and tongues and the rest left on the prairie. not that there is anything wrong with that, but that is a story that is never told, thus facts were "left out" when it pertains to history.


My questions is not whether the hunter killed off all the buffalo....no denying that they killed millions. but did they really do it all single handedly or did disease, range conditions, etc. play as great a role in reducing their numbers as bullets did?
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.

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