Monday, April 26, 2010

The buffalo

I’m a lucky guy and I sure don’t mean that in the gambling sense, but because I only drive four miles a day to work. I’m a creature of habit. I take my trash to the local dumpster, located right north of me, and I start my route to work and that requires me going by our buffalo herd. It’s the same route day-in, day-out. The fenced in buffalo area is only one mile south of the house where I have lived the last 33 years.

The tribe started this buffalo herd way back. The first buffalo was called Mr. Majestic. If he wanted out he got out. When the tribe started the herd, they would get out and ended up miles away. It was always an interesting time to get them back. The tribe got Mr.Majestic from the Kickapoo Tribe. They were no longer interested in having buffalo. And over the years the tribe picked up other buffalo from the Sioux tribes. I called Hardy Eteeyan early today and he said we have about 120 in our herd now. Friday, I saw two newborns and they are pretty little things.

The buffalo herd is quite the tourist attraction. Some places charge you to look at their herds, but we don’t. I see cars and a bus one time with tourist-like individuals taking pictures. The buffalo is one beautiful animal. A few years back during a harvest, I was given the chance to shoot one, but I couldn’t see doing that and I didn’t. My hunting days are pretty much over. I used to enjoy hunting squirrel , rabbit, coons and deer, but now you have to have a tribal hunting license and I can't accept that. Why? We grew up living on those animals and I couldn’t see having to get a license to hunt on our own reservation. They probably would send me to prison for the rest of my natural-borne days for shooting a rabbit today.  I'm too old to learn new habits in jail so it's easier to not hunt.

A long time ago, we hunted them for the meat and used the hide for warmth. Not one part was wasted. Potawatomis mostly hunted them during the migration years since there were none in the Great Lakes area where we lived originally. It’s great we can look at such a great animal up close and I do every day.


  1. Buying a tribal hunting license, though, would support the upkeep of the herd...

  2. I have to drive 25 miles one way to get my weekly buffalo fix, but it reminds me of when Doris took me to see them and we walked right out in among the bulls, Doris took pictures, that day which I treasure, glad to see they have been fruitfull and multiplied...