I don’t know if I’m being stalked by tatanka or if this is just the synchronicity that we encounter so often in these parts — but we seem to be running into buffalo everywhere. My friend and colleague John Elchert, who runs the Leelanau Enterprise in Michigan and serves as COO for our newspaper group, got some great bison shots in Yellowstone when we were in Cody earlier this month.
No, he did not attempt to pet the fluffy cow.
Aaron Yetter and Monk scouted up the forthcoming release of Butcher’s Crossing, which is based on a novel I swear I must have read years ago — but I’m told I wouldn’t be vague on it if I had, so maybe it’s a false memory.
Here’s the caper:
An Ivy League drop-out travels to the Colorado wilderness, where he joins a team of buffalo hunters on a journey that puts his life and sanity at risk.
The movie has been described as an “acid Western,” and it certainly looks a little trippy.
Men heading out in search of that one last pocket full of … buffalo, beaver, elephants… is a real thing. Mountain Men at the end of the glory days of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade were certain that somewhere was a valley with untrapped streams that they could plunder for one last glorious haul. The rush of hunters into the Lado Enclave in 1909-10 to poach elephant for ivory is an excellent example of the phenomenon. There’s a dark, atavistic drive to get in on the last of the kill — especially when there is a fortune to be made. We really can’t help ourselves.
UPDATE: Chas. Clifton scouted up a piece propounding a theory that disease rather than overhunting may have been at the root of the collapse of bison populations on the northern plains in the late 19th Century. Read it here.
Then David Wrolson sent up a smoke signal to let us know that Ken Burns has a doco, The American Buffalo coming out in October.
There’s a full session of The Meat Eater Podcast with Ken Burns. Don’t know how I missed that, but I know what I’ll be listening to Tuesday night.