Howard, and others - Before Agent Orange laid waste to my spinal cord, spine bones, hip joints, etc ad infinitum, I made my livelihood as an Environmental Scientist, kind of specializing in wetlands and wildlife. Worked from Virginia south to Argentina, west in the USA to Texas, etc.To all that answered me, thank you and I hope you get a chance to read the article, I did print the whole thing on this site. I think I figured out how to change it into a P DF format, and I should be happy to send it to somebody that can't read the darn thing.
I had several excellent teachers in college, which I started in 1970, when I was 29. Thank you, GI Bill!
These teachers taught me to always look beyond things that were stated as "real", and to think of what might possibly be a bit more true. People, especially journalists who are paid by the word, tend to exaggerate everything, to be more spectacular than others.
One of the best teachers was Steven B., who helped me with my Masters while I was still an undergrad. He touched on the paradigm of the buffalo when we were studying bait fish in another area - why were they plentiful one year, and almost gone the next? Then several years would pass, and the numbers would be up again. I pointed out to him the rabbits and quail - some years they are all over the place, a year later, none to be found. We are almost experiencing this with whitetail deer, and Chronic Wasting Disease, but fortunately being a bit wiser and are attempting to limit the spread.
So, Steven and I looked at the buffalo numbers, and came to the same conclusions that Koucky and others have - disease, NOT the white man, nor the red man, was the ultimate slayer of the millions of buffalo.
I love these majestic creatures! During my 10 years in Oklahoma when I was first sidelined, I would sometimes spend hours watching the (domestic) herds here and there in Oklahoma. And thankful to those who tried, and succeeded, in breeding for an excess each year until the numbers started to become sustainable.
It IS possible, BTW, to use your favorite muzzle loader to go on a buffalo "hunt". Do a bit of research, and you will find quite a few ranches who are willing and able to satisfy your dream. And some of the hunts ARE hunts - you may or may not find a suitable animal. Best of luck to you - I will be on the sidelines watching - and waiting for another of those 2" thick steaks! Smoked tongue is great as well, even from a whitetailed deer.