The Bison of Yellowstone National Park
NPS Scientific Monograph No. 1
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25 June 1860 crossed Low Pass from Henry's Lake to the Madison (west of Yellowstone National Park) "We have seen one band of buffalo among the hills,..."
7 Sept. 1863 eastern side of Shoshone Lake "through scrubby pines, without underbrush. There were many game trails made by the wood buffalo, whose tracks appeared numerous and fresh. We did not see any..."
(1968 pers. comm.)
1860s quotes local newspapers of the period as saying there was a herd of bison in the Snowy's (north of park, part of Absarokas).
1867 south end of Yankee Jim Canyon (north of Gardiner, Mont.) "That whole flat would be covered with buffalo."
"'all this buffalos',"
Cook, et al
3 October 1869 reference to Buffalo Pool, Lower Geyser Basin (Firehole area) "in one spring we saw the entire skeleton of a buffalo..."
21 June 1870 Buffalo Plateau (north edge of park) "thousands of buffalo quietly grazing."

27 June 1870 upper Buffalo Creek (north edge of park) "All game plenty—buffalo,..."

2 July 1870 Lake Abundance (just beyond northeast corner of park)
"Thousands of bear, elk, buffalo, and deer."

17 July 1870 N. Fork of Clark's Fork (Broadwater River, east of northeast corner of park) "several beautiful parks, full of buffalo,..."

22 July 1870 Cache Creek (Lamar area) "thro buffalo, elk & bear ... all very tame."

24 July 1870Specimen Ridge (north edge Mirror Plateau) "Buffalo ..."

8 August 1870 summit between Buffalo Cr. and Hellroaring (north edge of park) "Saw several buffalo."

9 August 1870 head of Middle Boulder River (north of Park) "Thousands of buffalo,..."
18 Sept. 1870 Old Faithful (Firehole area) "numerous fresh signs of buffalo..."
Barlow and Heap
2 August 1871 Lower Geyser Basin (Firehole area) "Across the plain to the west... mud springs in ravine... tracks of deer, elk and buffalo..."
1872 Lamar
"B.H. informs me that this valley is a favorite resort of the mountain buffalo or bison. The hills on the left were the last place that he saw the buffalo this spring followed them for nearly 30 miles and captured during his hunt 7 young calves... informs me that the M.B. congregate in bands of from 5-30 rarely more altho he has seen 50..."
(about mid-August)
"The valley of the East Fork [Lamar] extends Eastward very straight for many miles, the floor... deeply covered with grass. In this grass we saw in the distance quite a number of Buffalo."
1873 found bison bones embedded in soil at the bottom of a cave at Mammoth
1874 general locale of Yellowstone National Park. "On the little prairies, open glades, and sparsely wooded slopes, grazes the small mountain bison or buffalo, whose race has also nearly vanished from the scene;..."
1875 "The so-called 'Mountain Buffalo' was abundant in the Yellowstone Park."
Supt. Annual Report
1875 "Scores if not hundreds of moose and bison were taken out of the park in the spring of 1875,..."

1877 refers to the triangle of land with the East Fork (Lamar) as the base, extending south 50 miles to the head of Yellowstone Lake (Mirror Plateau, Pelican) "Here is still a herd of three or four hundred of the curly, nearly black bison or mountain buffalo."
1878 Twin Buttes (Firehole area) "there are some upland parks in which there are buffalo signs (the Mountain Bison)."
1880? "whitened skeleton of a mountain buffalo..." (in a hot pool — Firehole area)
Supt. Annual Report
1880 "Bison or Mountain Buffalo" "Bison, so called, in the Park, are somewhat smaller, of lighter color, less curly, and with horns smaller and less spreading than those of the bison that formerly inhabited the great parks of Colorado. They have also smaller shoulder humps, and larger, darker brisket wattles. They differ materially from the buffalo of the Great Plains, being more hardy, fleet, and intelligent; their hides also are more valuable for robes, as they are darker, finer, and more curly; and these animals are, in all probability, a cross between the two varieties just mentioned.
"There are about three distinct or separate herds of bison within or adjacent to the Park.
[north edge of park]
"The first, numbering about two hundred, pasture in summer in the valleys of the Crevice, Hellroaring, and Slough Creeks, and the mountain spurs between them, descending, with the increasing snows, to winter in the deep, sheltered grassy valleys of the East Fork [Lamar] of the Yellowstone and Soda Butte, and as the snows melt, accompanied by their young, returning to their old haunts.
[Mirror Plateau and Upper Lamar]
"The second, numbering over one hundred, summer in the elevated and abruptly broken, little-known section of the Park, extending from the Hoodoo region to the Grand Cañon, and from Amethyst Mountain to Pelican Creek, near the foot of the Yellowstone Lake, and winter occasionally upon the East Fork [Lamar] of the Yellowstone and on Pelican Creek. Their other winter haunts are unknown.
[west side of park]
"The third herd, numbering about three hundred, roams in scattering bands. This season they were discovered upon the Madison Plateau and Little Madison River. Their winter haunts are unknown, though it is probable they are on the Pacific side of the Continental Divide, and, if so, they are not permanent occupants of the Park, and are therefore likely to be slaughtered by advancing settlers.
"most keen of scent and difficult of approach of all mountain animals."
1880 "Here I purpose wintering [junction Soda Butte Cr.-Lamar River] so as to protect the game, especially elk and bison, in their sheltered chosen winter haunts, from the Clark's Fork and other miners."
1881 [north edge of park]
"The Slough Creek and Hellroaring bands of bison did not venture near the cabin until February, nor did those of Amethyst Mountain at all;... I found... that a small band of bison wintered on Alum Creek [Hayden Valley] and another on the South Fork (Firehole River] of the Madison River;..."
Supt. Annual Report
1881 Mary Mountain area "It also greatly extended our knowledge of the fire holes in those regions, and afforded proof positive that a band of bison wintered there, at an elevation of nearly 9,000 feet."
Bozeman Avant-Courier
11 Jan. 1883 "at least one band of bison, containing four hundred..."

22 Feb. 1883 There is a reference to the employment of hunters and meat contractors by the Park Improvement Company.
refers to Lamar area
"Mammoth... Feb. 16... Hunting in the Park has been stopped... parties... contract for Eaton & Co.... out, being unable to get the meat through from Soda Butte... deep snow... brought out a fine lot of buffalo meat... hunters and meat contractors were ordered in... in hot water."
11 Sept. 1884 toward Lake Abundance from Slough Creek (north edge of park) "Five miles to the eastward they ran upon a herd of buffalos numbering about a hundred and eighty, out of which they killed seven..."
1884 "In 1884 I estimated the buffalo in the Park at 200;...
Livingston Enterprise
"the herd of bison or mountain buffalo that has long inhabited the Yellowstone

March 7 Mountain slopes and valleys was seen to number two or three hundred in the Park this winter."

12 Dec. 1885 quotes New York Sun—George Bird Grinnell
"There are, to my positive knowledge, not more than 700 bison... left... About 180 are in Yellowstone... I have heard that twenty head were killed in Yellowstone Park by a party of English tourists."

19 Dec. 1885 claims from a hunter "well posted" that there are 2 bands in the National Park—1 of 40 on Souce (probably Slough) Creek and 90 more or less between the forks of the Madison—supposedly some of the 40 were driven out of the park by use of explosives, and killed.
Supt. Annual Report
1885 "The game in the Park had been shot with impunity and marketed at the hotels... I succeeded in a measure in breaking up the wholesale slaughter.... There is somewhere in the neighborhood of two hundred bison in the Park,..."
Supt. Annual Report
1886 "stopped the wholesale slaughter of game..."
"From the reports... abundance of game [including buffalo]..."
Supt. Annual Report
1887 "A small number of buffalo still remain in the Park, but... I am unable to state their number with any... accuracy. My impression is that... they will not exceed one hundred in number. They are divided into three separate herds. One of these ranges between Hellroaring and Slough Creeks; in summer well up on these streams in the mountains, outside the Park limits, and in the winter lower down on small tributaries of the Yellowstone, within the Park. ... this herd... doubtful if it now exceeds some twenty or thirty in number. ... Another herd ranges on Specimen Mountain and the Waters of Pelican Creek. ... variously estimated at from forty to eighty. A traveler on the Cooke City road claimed to have counted fifty-four near the base of Specimen Ridge. A scouting party which I sent out during the month of May found but twenty-seven head of this herd, with four young calves... The third herd ranges along the continental divide and is much scattered. A band of nine or ten from this herd was seen several times this spring in the vicinity of the Upper Geyser Basin. ... It is practically certain that none have been killed within the Park limits during the past two years,..."
Supt. Annual Report
1888 "During the early... winter... desirable... to secure some accurate information concerning the winter haunts of the buffalo ....
"The herd of buffalo which had passed a portion of the previous winter along Specimen Ridge was not encountered, and the only buffalo encountered on the trip were three in Hayden Valley. ... Early in April... a band of buffalo were located in Hayden Valley and along Alum Creek. ... a herd of buffalo numbering at least one hundred had passed the winter on the divide between the waters of the Madison and Yellowstone Rivers and in the adjacent valleys. Numbers of these animals have been seen during the spring along the Fire Hole River and its tributaries, and extended investigations have shown that they range in considerable numbers from Alum Creek, in Hayden Valley, across the divide between the waters of the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers and the Continental Divide to Fall River Basin, in the southwestern part of the Park. From the numbers seen and from the quantity of 'sign' observed over an extended area, the number of these animals that range in this portion of the Park can be estimated at not less than two hundred. ... The large number of young calves and yearlings which have been seen leads to the belief that a natural increase is in progress....
"During the past two years,... but little game has been killed....
"Hunters, stimulated by the high prices offered by taxidermists for specimens, are now lying in wait beyond the borders of the Park ready to pounce upon any unfortunate animal [ref. to bison] which may stray beyond it limits."
Supt. Annual Report
March 1889 "to visit the warm-spring basins on the east side of Yellowstone Lake, for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not they were the winter resorts of the buffalo. These basins.... well-nigh unapproachable, except when the ground is frozen and covered with deep snow,... successful in locating the buffalo in their haunts of the previous winter near the hot-spring basins on the divide between the waters of the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers. Although no buffalo were seen east of the Yellowstone, it was evident from the abundant signs that they habitually frequented the hot-spring basins in this locality, some of the signs being quite fresh."
Supt. Annual Report
1890 "I have no reason to believe that a single animal has been destroyed. ... First in importance,... comes the buffalo. ... enumeration... impossible. ... In the summer season they are broken up into small bands and scattered over a wide area of timber-covered mountains. ... In the winter the deep snows drive them to the open country for food. They are then found in large herds."
Supt. Annual Report
"So long as there is no law within the Park for the prevention of hunting and trapping, it will be a most difficult matter to break them up.
"I am satisfied that both hunting and trapping are carried on... from over the western border.
"I learn of three or four buffalo heads that have been mounted in Bozeman,... I doubt not all of these were killed within the Park, or very close to the line without it. ... fine ones are held at $400 to $1,000."
May 1891 "I have abundant evidence, however, that the buffalo ... are on the increase. Some tourists who went through the Park in May saw a herd of about 30, with several small calves, near the Trout Creek lunch station."
July 1891 "In July I sent Wilson out to... the west line... found two small bands of about 30 each, one with 12 or 15 calves; in addition he saw several single ones and small bunches. I do not think it is exaggeration to say there are 200, and probably there are 400, within the Park, and that they are thriving and increasing."
winter 1891-92 "the grazing-ground in Hayden Valley was visited by a snowshoe party, who counted the scattered bands,... groups were generally small, and each contained a goodly number of calves. They numbered by actual count nearly 300, but there is no means of knowing what proportion of the Park buffalo were then gathered here."
Supt. Annual Report
1892 "I was informed that one Pendleton, a butcher and poacher from Cooke City, had captured two buffalo calves on specimen range, and had taken them across the north end of the Park,...
"there are certainly not less than four hundred here; of these about 20 percent were calves last year. This year, also, the calves seem numerous and prosperous. The great value placed upon them by sportsmen and taxidermists makes their protection difficult,..."
1893 "That buffalo were among the animals inhabiting the Yellowstone Park was known in the early days of its history; ...The Park buffalo may all be classed under the head of mountain buffalo, and even in this elevated region they live for the greater part of the year in the timber. ... their habits are quite different from... the buffalo of the plain, and it is most unusual, save in midwinter, to find them in open valley or on the treeless mountain slope. They haunt the most inaccessible and out-of-the-way places,... living in open glades and pastures, the oases of the dense forest, often only to be reached by climbing over a tangle of fallen timber. ... the rapidity of their disappearance on being alarmed. ... It is surprising how few buffalo have been seen in midsummer, even by those most familiar with their haunts and habits. They wander about in small bands in such unfrequented country as the southern end of the Madison plateau, the Mirror plateau, and the head of Pelican Creek, and on the borders of that elevated tableland known as Elephant Back. In winter, leaving the forest, they feed over the slopes of Specimen Ridge, and in the open Hayden Valley.
"It is not likely that there ever were many buffalo in the Park. ... If they ever roamed over this country in large herds, evidence of the fact should be apparent by well-trodden buffalo trails, which nowhere form a feature of the Park plateau. ... They occasionally wander beyond the Park Borders into Idaho and Montana with the first fall of snow, returning to their mountain homes with the approach of spring."
Supt. Annual Report
1893 "As the game diminishes in the adjacent States, professional hunters and trappers become more bold and more active. Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming all have stringent game laws, but in spite of them the game grows rapaidly less. ... A stringent law, with severe penalties, is one of the most urgent needs of the Park. ... Confiscation of the outfit, under existing regulations, has but little effect, as the outfit is generally worthless. "I have pretty reliable information that about a dozen buffalo were killed last winter, and it is not improbable that even more shared that fate. The heads of these were mounted. ...
"The buffalo have been seen often during the year, and they appear to be doing well. In all the herds a fair proportion of calves is found. Those killed have been mostly bulls, so the capacity of the herd for increase has not been diminished. Late in June a herd of fifty to sixty crossed the road from west to east near the Riverside Geyser. Thirteen calves were counted. They were... very tame, and not the least scared by the soldiers who went among them. The estimate of four hundred placed on their number last year is surely not too high."
spring 1894 "We counted 75 to 85 head of buffalo in Hayden this trip. ... Sergt. Parker makes the Hayden and Nez Perce district buffalo 81 head. Capt. Scott counted 103 head in Hayden Valley one day three weeks ago. One band of 6 and another of 7 head were seen in the Pelican country,... We saw three head in Nez Perce Valley."
Hough states that Howell was killing cows and calves, and probably killed, during the winter, more than the 11 known killed at his capture in March, as he had been in Pelican since September. Also Hough states 19 were killed SW of the Park by Indians, fall '93; that 7 other heads were offered to a Bozeman taxidermist; that 6 or 8 dead bison were found in Hayden Valley, "John Folsom discovered ten head more of dead buffalo in that same part of the country;" and that "I have track of several other heads."
"I think forty buffalo have been killed this fall and winter, and no one knows how many more."
"The buffalo do sometimes cross the divide about where we did, and work between the hot country of Mary's Mountain and this sheltered little valley. They have not wintered on the west side of the divide in any numbers for a considerable time.
"wild wall of mountains which we saw to the north of the Yellowstone—so desolate and forbidding that even now... there may be a few head of bison left over beyond the Bison Peak—....
"I do not personally believe there are over 150 buffalo left alive in the Park."
Supt. Annual Report
1894 "not able to report any diminution of poaching..." (describes Howell poaching case, with Howell caught killing 5 bison in Pelican, and his cache of 6 additional heads).
"The dead bodies of 13 bison have been discovered in their winter range. ... convinced they perished from natural causes."

"Buffalo have been more carefully watched and more accurately counted than ever before. After deducting the losses from all causes, I feel disposed to reduce my estimate... to 200,... A few were seen in their winter range as late as the middle of June, and these had calves with them."

NOTE: Garretson (1938) states that during the winter of 1893-94 most of the buffalo were on the Madison Plateau, that 76 head were killed on the west side, and 40 head in the Gallatin valley. He states that no more than 20 could be counted thereafter. He cites no source for his statements, and while the poaching was undoubtedly heavy that year, neither the losses nor the population figure afterwards were stated as fact by any of the recorders of the time.

no date mentions Dick Rock (of Henry's Lake, west of the park) catching 5 calves.
no date reference to Dick Rock getting his buffalo calves in the Bechler Meadows in early spring, known to have gotten a pair.
approx. 1894 or 1895 "Hunters from the West Side were getting calves in the early spring and heads in the winter. From near Gardiner three young fellows killed a number in the basin. These were the ones we found when I was with E. Hough..." (some of those presumed dead of natural causes).
Supt. Annual Report
1895 "The act of May 7, 1894, seems to have had... effect upon the poachers... those of the north, the east, and the south sides have nearly... ceased.... I can not say as much for the Idaho border. ... So long as the only herd of wild bison now existing in the United States is on the border of this State. ... inquiry into various rumors of the killing of bison, either in the Park near the Idaho line or across it... convinced me that this last remaining herd is in danger of extinction by these people. ... I have good evidence of the killing of at least ten less than two years ago... prior to the passage of the protection act,... I have undoubted evidence of the capture of three calves this spring by a resident of Henry's Lake. ... There are rumors of a herd of nearly one hundred having been seen in Idaho outside the Park within the last two or three months.
[Comments that there was less snow than before known, that the large game could pass at will.]
"the bison that have heretofore wintered in the Hayden Valley were not massed there this year. The most seen there in a single bunch... was about thirty. Small herds of from three to four to ten were seen in widely separated localities where they have not usually wintered. I feel sure that many of them did not leave their summer range along the Idaho line. [undetermined losses]... but I fear that their number has not increased. ... estimate... two hundred still remain."
Supt. Annual Report
1896 "I... organized three parties for operations against the merciless freebooters of the Henry's Lake country. ... The ground covered by the buffalo in their summer range was most thoroughly gone over. Carcasses,... of about ten buffaloes were found. ... One party of poachers was encountered. ... I obtained information... buffalo scalps for sale in the city of Butte.
"For some reason the main herd did not winter in Hayden Valley as usual, and on the extensive scouts made by my order during the winter months only about a dozen in all were seen. They were scattered singly and in small bunches over a large portion of the Park. Within the last month [July] one party reported a small bunch of 3 in one place, and of 12 in another. A second party reported a bunch of 3 in a valley in a distant part of the park, and tracks of a herd of 8 or 9 more, but this herd was not seen. From reports received, I feel confident that the majority wintered in the extreme southwest corner of park, in the Falls River [Bechler] meadows; and I also feel sure that there are now a considerable number east of the Yellowstone River. ... fair certainty of the existence of 25 or 30, and possibly of 50."
Snake River Monthly report21 Aug. 1897 "By way of Summit Lake. Saw sign of about 20 buffalo..." (Madison Plateau)
14 Nov. 1897 sign of 5, Mary Mountain area (Hayden Valley)

18 Nov. 1897 sign of 2, Astringent Creek (Pelican Valley)
Supt. Annual Report
1897 "game, buffalo excepted, is increasing." The number of buffalo is estimated at 24.
"the buffalo remaining in the park are now scattered in very small herds at a number of points far remote from each other. They are mostly in rough rugged regions,...
"But very few buffalo have been reported this season. The scouts, however, seldom see much sign in the summer, and now the few remaining buffalo are scattered and range in the most remote and inaccessible parts of the park in summer. I am confident of finding 25 this winter, when the snowshoe season sets in, and hope there are nearly double this number in the park. Since Idaho has forbidden the killing of buffalo... I have strong hopes.. protect them from further slaughter by poachers."
The section containing instructions to stations recognizes known buffalo haunts as: Mirror and Lamar, Hayden Valley, and the Firehole area.
Soda Butte State Record19 Feb. 1898 reports wild buffalo
Feb. 1898 refers to Mirror Plateau "across to Broad Cr up it to hot springs near Fern Lake... Ponuntpa Springs to look for buffalo. Found numerous signs of buffalo all around the spring and on both sides of Sour Cr. after followed them down Sour Cr. to where a hot creek came down from a hot mountain on the north which they went up, and a close examination of the trail. ... [the trail was not made in single file but band was spread out] I estimate the band as follows 4 calfs, 8 bulls, about 8 to 9 cows, but think some of the signs which I took for cow signs may have been 2 yr. old bulls. In all 21 head. Ponuntpa Springs is an ideal wintering place for the band which is there as there is no snow to speak of on the flat which is about a mile long and 3/4 wide and is covered with hot springs and hot creeks. ...
11 April 1898 sign, estimate of 3, 4 miles north of the Upper Basin, Firehole area
Lake Station Record21 June 1898 old sign—hot formations on Mary Mt.
July 1898 "head of Pelican Cr went west to a small creek that flows in to Broad Cr. ... down Broad Cr about 2 miles thence NE. to hot springs on Shallow Cr up Shallow Cr to Wapiti Lake thence east to camp. Saw signs of 3 buffalo fresh 2 on the small creek that flows into Broad creek and one at Wapiti Lake."

7 July 1898 "left... head of Pelican Cr went down it 5 miles made camp... went over to Fern Lake around it to head of Sour Cr down it then followed buffalo trail fresh over ridge to Broad Cr, up it to Fern Lake and on to Tern Lake... to camp. Saw one buffalo jumped 5 buffalo near ford of Broad Cr followed them to Fern Lake where we saw the one was on one of the heads of Sour Cr. an old bull. Around Ponuntpa Springs there were fresh signs of the band I saw there last winter."

8 July 1898 5-6 buffalo wintered near forks of Pelican Cr., fresh signs
Lake Station Record27 July 1898 one bull buffalo on top of Mary Mt.

14 Aug. 1898 buffalo signs near headwaters of Raven Cr. (Pelican area) supposed to have been made within the last 20 days—quite a bunch of buffalo hair was found at outlet of White Lake
12 Sept. 1898 signs 1 bull 6 mi from W boundary

13 Sept. 1898 West Boundary headed for Summit Lake "3 m. east of bound. near a little spring saw where 5 buffalo had bedded over night, probably 2 bull a yearling and 2 cows."
30 Sept. 1898 a trip was made up the Lamar to Cold Cr. and Mist Cr., over the divide to the head of Willow Cr. (Mirror Plateau area) and down Raven Cr., up to Pelican, to Broad Cr. and return to Pelican "will make special report on buffalo"
10 Oct. 1898 Mirror Plateau area
"fresh trail of 2 buffalo at head of Willow Cr. they came down Mist Cr. to the mouth... evidently a cow and a yearling from the tracks. ..."
12 Oct. 1898 refers to Mirror Plateau area "but after riding around the entire summer range i could not find any sign of them met Scout Morrison... presume they have all left their summer range on Flint and moved to either the head of Pelican Creek or Willow Creek where i saw some sign of them on my last trip... " (see date of 30 September 1898)
18 Oct. 1898 Bechler area one, track

19 Oct. 1898 "went to [Bechler] River saw 2 year old buffalo tracks..."
"tracks of about 6 B They had been made 6 or 7 days ago."

20 Oct. 1898 Firehold to Fountain "saw the Buffalos had been going along the river to the L[one] Star Geyser."

10 Nov. 1898 Trout Cr. to head of Nez Perce Cr.
"I found two Buffalo tracks one Bull and cow"

13 Nov. 1898 "Then to East Fork of Pellican, where I saw the tracks of one buffalo."

23 Nov. 1898 east side of Hayden Valley "Went East to Forest Springs. found old signs of Buffallos... to worm formation at head of Moss Creek. found some fresh Buffallo tracks going South... and down in sour creek where there is quite an opening there I found where 4 Buffalos had beded the night before, from there I went to... Cotton grass and Sour Creek I saw 2 old Bulls one laying down they were very wild, and ran back toward sour creek."
Supt. Annual Report
1898 estimates 50 yet in the park
"This is about the only wild herd in the United States, and steps should be taken to prevent the extermination of this herd from the evils of inbreeding..."
10 Jan. 1899 refers to Mirror Plateau area
"up East forks of Estringent [Astringent Creek] to Head of Bluff Creek. Then to White Lake. I saw two Buffalos and a Great Many tracks, then went to Tern Lakes on the East side of the lake saw four Buffalos Then we went to Fern Lake. Saw 3 Buffaloes on the northwest End of Lake."

11 Jan. 1899 "went up middle Estringent, over White Lake to head of Sour Creek, on this Creek I saw 15 Buffalos 12 old one and 3 calfs. went down sour creek. ... On this same trip, no sign was found in Hayden Valley.

6 March 1899 "... 2 Buffalo... wintering on snake river."

9 April 1899 "went to Estringent Cabin"

10 April 1899 "I looked for the Buffalos, saw 20"

14 April 1899 "went to Trout Creek one buffalo on Crater Hill"

15 April 1899 "went to Fountain 5 Buffalos on Central Plateau"
12 May 1899 "saw one Buffalo near the Base of Hell-Roaring Mountain about a 4 year old...."
Lake Station Record1 June 1899 buffalo sign at Mary Mt.
15 Aug. 1899 "to the headwaters of Deep Creek and flint creek on the mirror plateau to look for the Buffalo. could not see any but found numerous sign..."
23 Sept. 1899 Snake River to Lake
"fresh signs of two buffalo..."

8 Oct. 1899 "Buffalo passed within sight of camp..." (Thorofare area)

26 Nov. 1899 Ponuntpa area, Mirror Plateau
"no fresh signs of Buffalo. found skeleton of calf."
Supt. Annual Report
1899 "it is not known how many there are left or whether or not they are increasing. I shall try and find out this winter as to their number. One of the scouts saw twenty-six last spring, and signs were seen of others. It is probable that there are fifty or more."
Supt. Annual Report
1900 "Twenty-nine head of buffalo were counted by scouts last winter, and there were possibly 10 more in the park that were not seen. Unless stations are located near the two southern corners of the reservation and the force of scouts increased the buffalo will be exterminated in a few years. With that addition to the facilities for protection they can be preserved and will increase."
Supt. Annual Report
1901 "it has been impossible... to ascertain accurately the number of buffalo... but... as soon as the snow falls,... The buffalo are now protected by the laws of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, and it is now possible that the small herd remaining in the park may increase, though it may be necessary to introduce some new blood in this herd, and possibly it may be well to start an entirely new one and to keep it under fence, turning the animals loose gradually as the herd increases. From what I can hear I do not believe that there are more than 25 buffalo left in the park." (One bull was killed in Jackson Hole.)
Lake Station Record8 Dec 1902 patrolled to Pelican Country, 1 buffalo
Supt. Annual Report
1902 "In addition to the large corral that has been constructed near the Mammoth Hot Springs, a small corral... on Pelican... to capture therein the few remaining buffalo... During the past Winter... 22 of these animals on the head of Pelican Creek, and there are probably a few more that we were unable to find. This herd is exceedingly wild, and will probably never increase in size, and may possibly die out completely. It is thought that we can catch up some of the young. ...
"It is our intention to feed and handle the new herd of buffalo in the same manner as domestic cattle. ...

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Last Updated: 24-Jan-2005