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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 21, 2009 1:30am-2:00am EDT

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guy, a novelist. i am sure he has no idea he said this, but he said this one time in passing. lease said, they have a huge hump, the giant head, the eyeball the size of a billiard ball. what is not to like? in the past week i have become something of a buffalo chip connoisseur part of a perfect specimen has a circumference of a baseball cap with folded layers like a sheikhs german. it is as dense as a cookie with the color and texture of a cardboard that is and what and dried out again. of course when i say buffalo chip i'm talking about buffalo or what is left of vegetation after passes to the digestive circuitry of north america's largest native land mammal also known as the american bison pick up the ships will burn with an orange colored halo of flames surrounding a black center. they put off the could he, not many sparks and a blue smoke
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this mills nothing like you would expect it to. i times they did my face into the smoke and pick up the odors of cinnamon and cloves, tri-star and pumpkins and sometimes the smell of walking into a bathroom after some months of the junk. it would take me about a half-hour to stop my way through the thickets of spurs and although this separate me from the river, a fast-growing torrent of runoff that drains a collection of 14,000 feet in the rangel mountains of south central alaska. if by tossing a stick into the river, it would stretch 3 miles of canada for dumping into the cold gray swirl of the larger copper river. from there the state would flow southward, past a couple of small villages and dozens of fish traps several recently dragnet of the banks by their honors to save them from the crushing flows of winter ice. after dodging pass mountains and winding through canyons the state would enter the gulf of alaska outside the prince william sound. as the crow flies or more likely
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in these parts the reagan, that is 80 miles from here. along the by the crow lacrosse 12 lee highway and any number of wolves, black bears, grizzlies, wolverines, mountain goats in this and perhaps a herger two of wandering buffalo. earlier in the morning there are 20 of them in this belly. one of them, a cow or female is now lining up hill within arm's reach, probably about 600 pounds of hide and innards. another 400 or five and a council made. when it fell dead after a shot at, slid down the steep slope across the wet/and crash into a snag of aspen trees. i have been working on it all day. i made scan cups at the legs and open the carcass from the tail to the chen before removing the entrails. with that slices from my naipaul the highway from the upper half of the carcass as if our slowly turning down the covers of a bit. i scandal for the brisket, ribs
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and over the shoulder all the way to the animals spine. if you touch the base of your own neck and feel the public shaves running up the center of your back bun you are feeling the neoprocesses of your thoracic vertebrae. on a buffalo this can be 20 inches long. the act as a sort of mooring pose for attendance that support the animal's head. , give the buffalo its distinctive look. its front have the bulldozer, matt shoulder the parents. i have been a rash in my food for the last few days and now i can eat all i want a guy cut slices the fat from behind, then pull the eye back in place to keep the carcass from freezing to solid. the fat has an orange color not like the white that you see on the. the oranges from a diet of wild plants that are rich in fat soluble carotene, the same substance that colors the character of the heated the fire liquefies the fat and leaves the oil in my pan like a melted hard candy in the rapper's came to the surface.
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whenever-- a pension that with the fires and blow on intelligence call on crispy. to i keep myself in a canister but sometime over the last week when i was standing in the rain or snow the salt out what. a script to chaka with my knife and chronic back between my fingers. with a bit of salt they taste like pork rinds but much better. they taste while there. so, ion begins the story, and the book, when i was writing the book i thought of it having kind of two primary threads. the first threat was about the time i spent hunting for this herd and alaska and you will see on this image up here that, as happens right where you can see the fog come down to the clear area on the left-hand side of the river. it is a peculiar story how these animals want to be in the rangel mountains and in a way it
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encapsulates the entire history of the species. it is hard to guess how many of these animals were ever run but the fashionable guess these days is that there may be about 36 million, 32 million. that number is down from 60 million, and people think that there is some kind of political reasoning for why it is less, like it once seen as that, but the 60 million figure that was the go-to member for almost a 100 years was based on this observation by a colonel dodge, who died city is named after. one day he was traveling on the arkansas river in kansas and he started counting a hard-- herd of buffalo. he heard from friends who were some miles away that they saw the same thing. he also figured they were probably traveling in a wedge shape, as they are prone to do so he made the calculation that he must have been looking at 4 million of them.
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then he looked at a map and thought, if there are 4 million here there is probably 15 of these little areas spread around north america, and 60 million buffalo. now there are 32 million on the great plains. they stunned-- by the end of the civil war that number is down to 15 million. and then, between 1872 and 1882, that final 50 million was reduced down to less than 1,000, about 75 in the united states of america. people recognize this as a problem. it was good luck that the animal was a. rangers thought it would be to-- it would be extremely valuable. they subscribe to a lot of supply and demand laws. was people decided to start
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saving them, they started these captive breeding programs. one of the most important ones was on the bison range in missoula, montana. all they were trying to do is save them to from what people refer to as genetics. they started breeding them and pretty soon they had a couple thousand. everybody declared the problem was solved and there's nothing more to do so they started slaughter in the access and selling them in canada. it made some people uneasy to see this going on after the government sanctioned slaughter that happen before that so these guys in alaska, some hunters and fairbanks thought it would be cool to hunt some around here. they inquired with a national bison granger ticket have some and iran said you could have 17 if you pay for shipping. from missoula montana they put the money train and ship them by rail to seattle and ship the 17 by barge to whittier, but the model train and took them to
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fairbanks, put them on a trip-mack truck and ship them to the delta junction. over the years they national bison range shipped 1,002 alberta and the loss 2,000 transit. they usually lost 50% and transit. nowa and knows why these may. them made it up there in 1920 and hung around for a while and still they started becoming inconvenient to farmers who were coming to the delta area and also military presence, so they put some on a c-130 cargo ship and dump them. they put some on a truck one day and took them to bethesda road and let them go. this was carried out by the fish and wildlife service. they did something they called off how are release were you pull up, open the door, everybody runs out and see what happens. now the-- leave the door open in they would hang around. from 1950 to 1960 no one knew where the animals were.
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there are rumors they been killed off by wolves or died of disease. bush pilots would report seen them and strange places like walking down the road. after ten years people realized they had showed up in the area of the rivers, and they had reproduced between 100 to 200 of them. except for longbrake when severe winters not-- they are not technically, they are not technically an indigenous animal unless you count being indigenous maybe 4,000 years ago. some people think they were in alaska and stealth ranted years ago. it seems that is based on bogus information. it comes down to one school that someone found in anchorage, and it wasn't recover backhanded archaeologists. it was radiocarbon dated at 200 and 50 years ago.
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but the problem is i have met with the geneticist in oxford at oxford university you analyze that's call on she told me what no uncertainty that bad animal had never stepped foot in alaska alive and she thought it came out of the-- that was the evidence that they were here at the time of the european contact, probably i am guessing. the year i put in for a permit, a four people killed buffalo. a lot of people don't show up once they find out there's a lot of faxes issues. kimley jump to the next picture? back up. that, right there is a have scanned buffalo. that is just kind of a gratuitous image of a leg to show. you can see the orange that. also, that animal, you can take
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certain measurements and calculate wait. usually mature female, she is about 11 or 12 years old, probably 1100 pounds. counting this call and the hide which i considered usable, maybe about 700 pounds of usable parts. all i have left right now and i will share some later, i have this box. it is the oldest recipe known to man, and what it is is, is a preservation technique where people would air dry buffalo meat, sliced very thin. then it would pulverize the me tasada estem pour the fat over it, stirred up at the ratio that one of making ensign old mill. it keeps rebar purdue in the '30's a guy in canada was tilling his field and woody pulled out was a buffalo hide that contained about 70 pounds. was still perfectly fine in edible. mine is now going on three years old and it tastes as bad as the day and made it.
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if it has not deteriorated. is not meant to taste good. adjustment to be archival, and it is proven to be that so far. i never eat more than a grain but i liked the little bit now and then. i will jump ahead an image here. this is one of my camps, when i was hunting. he will see that is my lucky coffee cup on top of that pile. that pile is a pilot buffalo chips. that right there would be enough to cook dinner, have a little bit of fire after dinner and cook breakfast. you really have to find the dry ones with perfect dance today, but i want to jump ahead and show another image. this is like a strange looking soda because the lighting is so weird and the child looks so misplaced like she has rickets or something. but it is an actual but the. >> was taken on the plains of
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colorado. she is out collecting fuel, buffalo chips for fuel. it is estimated that ed had a family is crossing the oregon trail, you can cook three added meals over buffalo chips. there's a woman across the oregon trail named fannie kelly. she refused to eat anything cooked over a buffalo chip. she later husbands than most of his money buying would. sometimes did the by fence post would or collectors would come out with wood to sell. she was traveling with a slave. she had a slave. her slave, his head was cloven open with the hatches and her husband with left for dead with some ehrlinson in. one of her children was killed and another one of her children crawled off into the bushes. she was taken prisoner. she wound up in what historians say must been sitting bull's can't. she was rescued some years later
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rants and back. she had become honored venture, a great proponent of cooking with buffalo chips and started to really like it. later when she wrote her memoirs, she was very laudatory and sort of a convert, like i was. it takes awhile to get it right but it really works. when i talk to people about buffalo, people tend to know that they saw dancing with the wolves. they know that there's something about cooking with their done. it seems to be two things that everyone knows. now i will dance to another image here. this is to hide hunters, working on the texas plains. -hunting took off, you can think of the extermination or the near extermination of the buffalo as having occurred in two phases, to .5 phases let's say. at the time of year-- european
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contact, they had a bitter bigger home range and they were maybe more of them that any time in history. a guy ran into one in present-day washington d.c., people encountered him on the coasts of north carolina, the coast of norman's. they may be war in northern california, pennsylvania had some. a guy estimated one time having seen 4,000 in nashville tennessee. most of those were killed off just by people hunting for food, by settlers moving in and doing limited amounts of hunting for sustenance. in 1871, by then we have, they only live on the great plains which have always been the core of there, the core of their range. is probably the only place that the perpetual existence. in 18718 channing company, a tannery in england developed
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footwear and belting and coincided with the industrial revolution. webber was not use in the way we use it now. of machinery is run on leather. people started putting in orders and up until the point when i was talking earlier about the phase one of hunting, when i mentioned phase one i mentioned hunting for me that 1.5 of that phase, while that meat hunting was going on native americans hunted a lot of buffalo for ropes and sullivan to white people. these robes usually had, were always taken with the hair on and so they were animals hunted in winter time. you could sell it road for about $5 had the tanned and had to have a good winter coat on it. it was good money but the demand was not that great. once you take this leather, and turned into a serviceable leather footwear with advanced scanning techniques, it did not matter when you kill the animal. that opened up punting year-round and is easier to go
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on the great plains to hunt in the summer than it was in the winter time. also rio was for coming across and a lot of weapons to cayman and allowed heights about. cod a guy named jay wright more was a big hunter. he killed 20,000 buffalo in less than six years. they sold 154 calves, three andra 54 the mature cao, two and 50 for the mature bull. it was an enormous amount of money. people it seems are so blown away by the excessesness of the slaughter that they always want to attribute it to some sort of evil or some sort of cultural vendetta but really it was a great way to make money. that seems to be the driving factor behind the buffalo hunters because they really had no idea what they were even up to. i live for a while in the city,
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and in 1882 was said that many people, hide hunters had settled in miles city and breheny and around the bars waiting for more buffalo. they were convinced there were millions more in canada. years went by, the animals never showed up in many the people are descendants of these early people. they eventually sold off their guns, bought ranches in for quite a shock that would did done. i want to jump ahead again. this is a gratuitous photo of a man who was scheldt outside of dodd city, kansas. hundreds of hide hunters were killed by native americans. they were the same time, while their hunting and trying to make money, they were absolutely complicit in destroying the way of life for people, destroying someone's commissary and they were treated like marauding enemies, kind of as they were.
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they were almost always mutilated. this guy got off lucky. he only lost his skills. usually what happens is they would take buffalo hunters and what to make it so that they are after life would be as miserable as possible, and they would often stuff their and their mouse. they would remove your digits. they would cut open your thighs. they would sever your achilles tendon. often they would also for some reason puncture your eardrum. sometimes, they would draw a drawing of a buffalo cantor depicting the places where the buffalo hunters were in injured. they would take the draft animal. buffalo hunters carried, translated-- transported their hide on the wagons. they would she talks can leave the oxygen of the card so if you would come along and find your friends dead and also their draft animals still hitched up
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but missing their legs. the comanche were particularly, that the suit probably kill this gentleman here. and away a lot of our indian warriors in the battle of big corn. the battle of big corn was in many ways a fight between buffalo hunters and sort of what were becoming their historic enemies. many people who died under custer were buffalo hunters did he recruited into the indian wars. i want to jump ahead again. this is the day that i got really interested in buffalo. i was hunting for alkyd montana's medicine mons. this is 9,000 feet above sea level. we had all of this trail mix and we put it in the river had in a dry bag in the tribe that leaked and liquefied all the chocolate. i remember we it is gone and done sifting out the chocolate and getting the nuts and raisins out and i walked up the hill and down this buffalo skull.
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adonis size piece of bone was sticking out of the ground. my brother kicked up the phone. i thought it was the eye socket but it was that actually did foramen magnum. i want to jump ahead again, just to note-- show another school. i am not standing there smiling, so you don't have a great reference point, but this goal, they with is lech-- much larger. this is an ice age version. is called bison-- there is a practice called morphology were you can take a school you find and measure horn tip to horn tip or you can get a sense of how old was. icap measuring those measurements and kept up with the fact that it might become super old so i took up the habit will of testing it. i will jump ahead and show someone here.
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this is at oxford university and this is a geneticist beth schapiro. she extracted, she took a gramma bone from a genetic line and ran a third test with a bunch of siberian yaks. she was optimistic that might be something really old. you can get the ancient dna were lively up to 80,000 years old and then gets a little sketchy. it is dead so does not have many jurassic park implications. she called me up to support it one day and said it was a modern version of the animal. look like-- i sent another graham of the bone and i had to give them $700. one day they rahm mia letter and said based on a lot of things the hard lender said that they could tell me with 99% probability that the animal died between 1660 and 1960. they knew it was thought after 1960 because it did not have been a carbon it from nuclear
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weapons testing. for us radiocarbon date it will never be applicable. we have such skewed levels, 10,000 years no one will radiocarbon date is. it will be bygones discipline. i called them up and complain. i was going to call the better business bureau. i called up and complained explain all the reasons why could not tell me how old was. one day was reading the paper about what can be learned from a buffalo skull coming from a high elevation. he said how he had the same thing, the samoset carbon data i had and he said how the animal cissus sickly there's a probability that his goal was from an animal that died within a couple of decades in 1750. i call them up and ask him how the new such a thing and he said they paid analytics job is to-- and he explained to me one sigma, to sigma and told me
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there's a 66% chance that-alive around the time of george washington. i feel like that mean something but i still have not determined what it means. when i think about the title of my book, "american buffalo," i also think about my animals be fitting that name pretty well. i want to show another image here. i am not the only guy who likes buffalo skulls of lot. this was taken in my home state of michigan and it is at a place called the detroit curve and works. michigan is one of few states that deborah had buffalo in it. they were in iowa, ohio, indiana, illinois. it does not seem any of them range in the michigan. after we extracted everything we could extract out of the buffalo and ate the meat and sold the heights, the only thing left was the bones. we began collecting the bonds to make a couple of things out of them. most commonly they would make bone meal fertilizer. they would collect the bones on
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the great plains and ship them to places like st. louis, chicago, detroit. turn them into bone meal certified-- fertilizer. bob the soils there are various said it. another thing they did was make fine china with really good buffalo bones. another thing they would do is make bone ash, burn ash and when you buy an aquarium delta, it is often bone ash inside the seltzer. they would use it to clarify sugars and wine. when the bonds began to run now they announced a bone crisis and people began picking up indian burial grounds. indians began digging at the buffalo jump swear their own people have a starkly brian hundreds of thousands of buffalo off cliffs and then they would dig down and get those funds. the johns had an amazing amount of bonds because there's a place in wyoming, where there's a bond bed hundred steeped in diameter
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and native americans over the course of a few decades kill 20,000 buffalo in that same spot. a bone carbon plant in st. louis process and estimated 70 million buffalo carcasses of a process more buffalo bonds and more buffalo than ever existed at any one single time. there was a point when a guy commented that you could not find it buffalo bones out of the union pacific rail line. guys like to pick them after rain. they sold by weight, and it drove a thriving thing. this picture was taken during the bone crisis. and, it is all stoles. i make a comment in my book that the man on top looks like an exclamation point at the end of the long sentence about destruction. this company oddly is still in business in a different form. what they do is, they make bone ash and when you watch a movie where there's a lot of oil like
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the beverly hillbillies, men in black and many tennessean oil spill your probably looking at the products of evan expert though they died vegetable oils so you have it by the critical environmentally safe thing to demonstrate oil spills. that is what they do it bone. they are still around but they moves now. i want to jump ahead. this photo is called something like the aftermath of a hide hunter's stan. it was taken in canada. hide hunters usually would try to kill maybe 48 day. you would have a high hunter who would work with to skinner said he would go up the morning at daybreak and should for a couple of hours. he was usually limited by how many scanners he had and also the weather. it was called the carcasses would freeze ended there would be hard to scan. easily killed about 40 but a guy named convicts smith was hunting outside of montana and he killed
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to london 101 day. other guys, i have never heard of anybody killing more than 210 and monday but other guys would claim 160, 170. buffalo bill cody got his name in a shooting contest where he got-- killed 108. that is what it would look like before you came and picked up bones. jump ahead. this is my favorite buffalo related place in the world. what it is coming thing called wide-- wild horse oil. it was taken outside of new mexico. folsom mexico was destroyed by a flash flood in 1908 because the guy who live nearby at a ranch called crowfoot ranch was a slave who was freed at emancipation and taxes proclaim move to new mexico to work on a ranch. he always liked to mexico because they had sided with the
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union. he got a job working at crowfoot ranch. after the flood he was in this area, the area beneath my feet, fixing washed out fences and those peculiar bones eroding out of the walls. he recognize them as buffalo bones but they were much better. he spent his whole life trying to get someone to look at them. he contacted the smithsonian institute, and no one would look. he eventually died a backlog of some. it was reported he was drinking whiskey to raise tra because he could not lift his head, but after he died, someone came out and had a look and what they found was that the buffalo were from and i say jammel which we now call bison into a quiz, and not only that but there were a lot of projectile points stuck into their spine, which between their lives. up until the point there's no tangible proof that man existed during i state. it was almost like when copernicus proposed, people were opposed the


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