By Ken Zontek
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Additional info for Buffalo Nation: American Indian Efforts to Restore the Bison
Jones could not stop while he labored to catch as many calves as possible, so he left an article of clothing with each calf to deter the hungry wolves. Halfnaked and burdened by a calf under each arm, Jones rode back to aid his captives. 21 Correspondent Emerson Hough, accompanying Jones’s second expedition, provided a near magical description of one Jones capture: “Up came his hand, circling the wide coil of the rope. We could almost hear it whistle through the air . . 22 Buffalo Jones’s last two calf-napping expeditions in 1888 and 1889 proved noteworthy for two reasons.
Robert Wickliffe raised buffalo for thirty years in Kentucky beginning in 1815. He attempted cross-breeding with cattle to produce an enhanced hybrid. The bison captives’ ferocity ended his experiment. Artist George Catlin raised several calves during his time on the northern plains. Fur trapper and trader Dick Wootton took care of buffalo calves from 1840 to 1843 in southeastern Colorado. Eventually he tired of the enterprise and drove the buffalo across the plains to market in Independence, Missouri.
Standing Bear clariﬁed a Native view that the Euro-Americans failed to understand their adopted landscape: “The white man is still troubled with primitive fears; he still has in his consciousness the perils of this frontier continent. ”54 Comments such as those of Black Elk and Standing Bear note the conquering, fearful mentality of Euro-Americans as they spread onto the plains. Conﬁnement of the Natives followed by transformation of the landscape was the death knell for the buffalo culture pursued by the Plains peoples.