Buffalo Skull

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Years ago, I was able to tour the back room of the museum in Longmont, Colorado. The had a bison skull that had what appeared to be a flint lance point imbedded in the sinus cavity and the bone had healed around it. It would be interesting to know if the person that put it there had the same fate of survival.
 

Stykbow

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Earlier this week my wife and I were coming back from town and I look over to see several buffaloes standing in a pasture. My wife thought I was pulling her leg, so I had to turn around so she could see them. Pretty cool sight in East Tennessee!
 
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Since childhood, I've been fascinated by bison. Relatives of today's bison helped sustain our European ancestors and also lumbered across the Bering land bridge along with the people who populated the New World. Looking at a buffalo skull takes me back to the old west, the earliest frontiers, and back to the most ancient of times.

I have a buffalo skull. No, I did not kill the animal. I bought the skull from a meat-producing buffalo ranch, maybe 15-18 years ago. This old fellow may have lived out his days on a ranch instead of open range, but he was still a buffalo, and his skull still has that aura of mystery. I took a few snapshots and thought I would share them with you.

View attachment 47679

View attachment 47680

Most of the skulls and horns you see are from two to three year old bulls, and may be considered by-products of the buffalo beef producing industry. However, this old fellow was a fully mature, older bull. I think he must have been kept as a breeder, and he must have been magnificent. This is a massive skull. The mortar joints between the bricks in the picture are 12" apart horizontally and 3" vertically, to give some perspective. The maximum spread of the horns, outside of curve to outside of curve, is 25-3/4", with 23-1/2" horn tip to horn tip. These horns are mirror images of each other and remarkably symmetric, with nearly identical measurements. Both measure 16" around the outside curve, with a base circumference of 12-3/4". This was a big animal. Just in case there is any doubt, I balanced a yardstick on the skull and took one more snapshot:

View attachment 47688

I just call him "Old Bull." Not a very creative name, but it seems appropriate and respectful.

I hope you enjoyed taking a look!

Notchy Bob
Considering how many millions were slaughtered, the robes and skulls are very rare nowadays, at least here in the East! And I bet the old robes would be pretty 'rank' by now! Good post!
 
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I have noticed over multiple visits to Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, and other national chains that despite their huge mounted animal displays non have a bison head displayed. I've asked no one at the stores knows why.
The Bass Pro in Broken Arrow, OK has a full bison mount in the upstairs area by the camping supplies.
 
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One of three I found buried in the bank of stream in Montana. These are very old skulls that were natural deaths.
buffalo skull by Oliver Sudden, on Flickr
And this one I shot in Kansas with black powder ( but the wrong kind).
all 004 by Oliver Sudden, on Flickr

I really like that belt, did you make that? if not was wondering where I could get one. Mine is a plain ole canvas one similar to those carried in the Spanish American dust up.

RM
 
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Someone mentioned that they had to wait for the buff's to clear the road before they could continue their journey. Reminded me of one of my Motorcycle trips. We were riding through "Needles" and came upon a herd. Me on a big "Razorback Red" ST1300 had to stop for just a bit...while waiting there I had these visions of the what I must look like to the Buff's...possibly a red cape that bullfighters use??? Needless to say my head was on a swivel and was a bit nervous while picking my way through the herd. 😆

RM
 

Pukka Bundook

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Have a skull hanging on the bunkhouse, that looks about the same as the one you found in the river bank, Phil.

Ours was found in the muskeg north of the house. Right on the surface.
Have ploughed up buffalo parts, inc. horn cores and complete legs in that muskeggy land.
On on bunkhouse is bleached white with hanging in the sun.
 

Gunny5821

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I have a story involving myself and a Bison at Camp Pendleton, CA, in the late 1980s. It took me years to get over the embarrassment, and I would always be asked about the incident at any of our CID reunions. We have a monthly newsletter for our Marine Corps Law Enforcement Assn (MCLEA) which consist of retired and former MPs, CID Agents, and NIS/NCIS Agents. The current editor is always asking for funny stories from the membership for inclusion in the newsletter. So after being prodded for several years I submitted the story and it was published in the February newsletter. So my story is, I was actually the one being hunted and within my small circle, I will forever be known as "Buffalo Dick".

For reference, I was armed with a S&W Model 10 2" inch round-butt revolver, carried in a Desantis shoulder holster, wearing a suit, tie, and cowboy boots, baldhead exposed, with no hat for protection against the sun. The ammo we carried was the very anemic M41 .38 Special 130 gr hardball rounds, which only have a muzzle velocity of 725 f/sec from a 4" barrel. Sad part was, I had just taken the last photo of the tower, so I was out of film for my 35mm camera. My duty vehicle was a fairly new white 1989 Ford Crown Victoria.

The photos are for reference only, as to the size of the beast, but that is an actual photo of the rappelling tower, very poor quality, up in the 62 area that was most commonly used by the SOI (School of Infantry).

Anyway, hope you enjoy.

Richard


Stories: MCLEA Newsletter: February 2022

Submitted by Richard Turner:

“How I was Tree’d by a Buffalo Bison"


This is a long, but interesting story, it was an embarrassment for me at the time, but funny now. Those who were at CID/NIS/PMO never let me forget that I was the only MP/CID and probably the only Marine who was held at bay by a 2,000+ lb. Buffalo Bull Bison up in the 62 Area of Camp Pendleton. I was duty agent that day, latter part of 1989, and had just left a duty call at Recon Bn, up in the 62 area. I was on my way back to Mainside when I decided to pull off at the rappelling tower South of the 62 Area, and take some photos of the structure for the Marshals Service in San Diego. They were planning to build a rappelling tower at their training site and wanted me to take some photos the next time I was in the area of the rappelling tower. The rappelling tower was located several hundred yards off of Basilone Road, in a valley and the tower couldn't be seen from the main road. I parked about 30 yards in front of the tower and left the duty vehicle running, placing my handheld radio on the roof of the vehicle. I had just finished taking photos and was coming around from the back side of the tower when the Buffalo startled me and charged, he was now between me and the duty vehicle. Luckily, I was close to the ladder of the tower, so dressed in a suit, cowboy boots, and all, I climbed up the ladder about 10 ft., hoping the beast would turn and eventually leave me alone. He stood guard, holding me at bay. Every time I tried to climb down, he would start snorting and pawing the ground, standing at the base of the tower, the beast wasn't giving up. Tired of hanging on the ladder, I eventually had to climb to the top of the tower where I sat in a Huey shell (which was mounted on top of the tower) just so I could get some shade. That SOB stood there at the base of the tower, between me and the car for hours and would not let me leave. This all started at about 1000, and after about 30 to 40 minutes, I began hearing PMO (Provost Marshal's Office) calling me, asking for my 10-20. The call went out that there could be an officer down, most likely anywhere between the 62 area and Mainside. They must have had every available MP and area guard personnel in that sector looking for me and my vehicle. Recon had told the Desk Sgt, that I had departed their area about 0945, and they hadn't heard from me since that time. My first grave mistake was that I had not called out with my location prior to stopping to take photos, so no one had any idea where I was. Second mistake was leaving my handheld radio on the roof of the vehicle. The tower and parking area is not visible from the road, so I was screwed unless the Buffalo left, or someone stumbled upon me. About 1400, I finally saw an MP vehicle entering the training area, the two MPs were laughing their heads off. I could hear them reporting that they had found me and that I was OK. They scared the Buffalo off by bumping their siren and flashing their lights. By the time I returned to the CID Office, it seemed that everyone on base had heard about the CID Agent who was treed by a Buffalo up in the 62 Area and had to be rescued by MPs. When I returned to the CID Office, everyone was cheering and laughing. I can't remember who, but I believe it was the Chief Investigator that was calling me "Buffalo Dick". My suit was trashed with sweat and dirt, so I had to go home for a shower and change. Funny part was, weeks earlier I had been telling everyone, that I had been at Pendleton for almost two years and had only seen a Buffalo far off in the distance, and I really wanted to see one up close in the wild. Before the MPs left the tower, one MP climbed to the top of a hill in the direction the Buffalo had ran, and said, just over the hill from the tower there was a Buffalo cow giving birth to a calf, so I guess that's why he was so Pi**ed off. I had already used up all the film in the camera taking photos of the tower, so I didn't get one of the Buffalo. I was asked if the thought ever crossed my mind to shoot at it. I told them it was already Pi**ed off, and being armed with only a 2" inch .38 revolver, it would have been like shooting him with a BB gun, plus the paperwork would have been a Beitch, discharging my weapon in the line of duty and firing on a protected species. In the end, it seemed as though everyone on base knew, even the commanding general. A month or so later, I had a case that required that I brief the CG. After I finished my briefing, I was dismissed, and just as I was walking out of the General's office, the General grinned and asked, "Agent Turner, seen any Buffalo lately?"

62 Area Rappelling Tower.jpg


Bison Pendleton.jpg
 
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I am in a rural part of Lancaster county, PA. Visitors usually get a drive around tour of the area. When we pass the fenced pasture of a local guy who raises buffalo there is shock and awe.

Some years back I was driving to work after dark on a foggy night. Thank God I was going slowly. A buffalo appeared out of the fog straddling the middle stripe of the two lane. Guess that pasture fence was not adequate.
 
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. Guess that pasture fence was not adequate
When I lived in Colorado, a friend of mine helped out at a bison ranch. He would get called out often to help get them back in the pasture. They had pipe fence posts planted deep into the ground and cable for the fence. His comment was if they wanted on the other side that nothing would stop them. They would just lean against the fence until it went over.
 
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When they built the new Denver International Airport there was talk about having bison fenced outside the runways thinking people would enjoy seeing them during takeoff and landing. It didn't take long for someone to ask what would happen if they got out and onto the runway.
 
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When I ran a dredge at a Sandpit, Along the Platte river, I would frequently have bones, Skulls and Buffalo parts come up on the digger chain. I have a friend that is an archeologist w/ Univ. of Nebr. he identifies then and gives an approx. dating.
I have more than a dozen Buffalo ( 600-2000yrs.old) 1 grizzley (600-800 y/o) Elk antlers, etc. All are Calcified but not Petrified. Calcified is when minerals have replaced the bone. In our case mostly Lime stone. I have one that is Anceint from a Pre historic LONG HORNED buffalo. I'm told that some had a horn span of 6' . Mine is closer to 3' tip to tip on the horn cores. I have a big part of a femur bone from a mastadon or wooly mammoth VERY impressive. This bone was mean't to carry a load. I have No idea what this stuff is worth. but it don't matter, I'm not lookin to sell. Be Safe>>Wally
 
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they are a MAJESTIC AMERICAN ICON!! are we the only continent that has the BISON?
No, there are European bison. They can be found in the only primeval forest left in Europe where about 1000 still roam free. This is in the Bialowieza Forest in Poland. They also are in Belarus near the Polish border.
 

Eutycus

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There are several ranchers down here in South Texas that have several Buffalo on there ranches and more power to them. But I would imagine with their heavy coats Buffalo really suffer down here in the hot summers.
 
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