Winter range in Buffalo Land

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
The Way West

As Theodore Davis once wrote, “... the chill, keen winds of the Plains begin their frosty song, ‘More hair, more hair.’ It is late into fall and nature is preparing for the deep freeze of winter. The animal that has become known in modern times as “bison” prepares by growing a thick coat of hair. I prefer to call them “buffalo” as they were called by the plainsmen of the Old West. After all, who has ever heard of Bison Bill?

Buffalo calves are born in the spring of the year with a coat of light brown hair. The light color remains until fall when the aforementioned chill of fall abruptly calls for a new growth of rich brown fabric for winter protection. When on the move a great herd goes as one, every head except a designated few sentinels. Any sign of danger comes from them and so the majority are content to graze with their heads so low that, according to Davis, ‘the long matted beard drags and brushes the ground.”

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