Hundreds of Buffaloes Wallowing in Midwinter Snows of Yellowstone Nat. Park, Wyoming.
Once common, our American bison is now found only in some of the game preserves, where it is protected by the government, and in zoos. Its large size, brown, shaggy coat, very large head, and high arched shoulders readily distinguish it from any other big game. The cow has a smaller head than her mate, lighter horns, and her form is more like that of the beef breed of cattle. The hair of the bison is curly. It moults early in summer, the hair coming off in great patches. Not until late autumn is the skin in a condition to make good robes.
Once the bison were native from Great Slave Lake in Canada to Mexico, and were found east as far as the Ohio River and its tributaries. The first railroad across the continent meant their destruction. Sometimes railway trains as well as emigrant trains were forced to stop until one of the immense herds of bison had passed. Then the herds often numbered thousands. Steamboats had to stop while they swan across a river. The early engineers thought that they would show the bison who had the right of way. After a few locomotives were hopelessly ditched, they gracefully yielded to the bison. The game hunters which the railroads brought slaughtered by the thousand the noblest American game.
The Yellowstone Park now has the only herd remaining on its original ground.