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BUFFALO HUNTING.
Harper's Weekly—December 14, 1867
Shooting Buffalo from the Trains of the Kansas Pacific Railroad
Sketched by Theodore R. Davis

Our engraving represents a sport that is peculiarly American. At this season of the year the herds of buffalo are moving southward, to reach the canyons which contain the grass they exist upon during the winter. Nearly every railroad train which leaves or arrives at Fort Hays on the Kansas Pacific Railroad has its race with these herds of buffalo; and a most interesting and exciting scene is the result. The train is "slowed" to a rate of speed about equal to that of the herd; the passengers get out fire-arms which are provided for the defense of the train against the Indians, and open from the windows and platforms of the cars a fire that resembles a brisk skirmish. Frequently a young bull will turn at bay for a moment. His exhibition of courage is generally his death-warrant, for the whole fire of the train is turned upon him, either killing him or some member of the herd in his immediate vicinity.

When the "hunt" is over the buffaloes which have been killed are secured, and the choice parts placed in the baggage-car, which is at once crowded by passengers, each of whom feels convinced and is ready to assert that his was the shot that brought down the game. Ladies who are passengers on the trains frequently enjoy the sport, and invariably claim all the game as the result of their prowess with the rifle. This solution of the case is, of course, accepted by all gentlemen, and a more excited party of Dianas it would be impossible to imagine.


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