Buffalo Guns - Butcher's Crossing Film

Chief TC

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I just saw this film yesterday and I was paying close attention to how they decided to show the shooting scenes and anything to do with rifles and cartridges. I am interested if anyone else saw the movie and what y'all thought.

What I observed - Nicolas Cage is the buffalo shooter and has what looks to be an 1874 Sharps. You can see the base for a vernier sight but he shoots it with open sights and I never saw him use the ladder sights. Also, he does use cross sticks but more often than not he is shooting off-hand or prone. I think what I found the most interesting and inaccurate is when he is building cartridges. They show Cage using a powder measure to quickly pour powder in a case and then he seems to push in an ungreased GG bullet into the case and then tap the bullet down with a small wooden hammer.

I think they had the right ideas for the most part but from what i have read, it would be an inaccurate portrayal of how they shot and how they reloaded. I'm sure some folks did not use vernier sights but would have used the ladder sight. And the pouring of powder was not accurate and I believe paper patch was the main method.
 
Well, I guess I am the only one that has seen this movie. Wasn't exactly a blockbuster.
 
Well, I guess I am the only one that has seen this movie. Wasn't exactly a blockbuster.
I started to read the book. Seems like they’re making these movies from a sort of woke perspective and to top it off, the book seems to have been written by a beatnik bent on demonizing the folks who “tamed the west”.
I don’t believe I’d watch it if it was free. Same with the new series Shogun. Made it through the first half hour before the portrait of the Dutch sailors as completely ignorant and excessively profane barbarians made it impossible to continue. Nothing in the book prepared me for this.
 
I started to read the book. Seems like they’re making these movies from a sort of woke perspective and to top it off, the book seems to have been written by a beatnik bent on demonizing the folks who “tamed the west”.

Maybe the book does this but I didn't pick up on anything overt demonizing the folks who tamed the west. Now you could make the argument that the writer demonized the irresponsible buffalo hunting that occurred during that period, but I think that is not the writer but the actions of those people who hunted them almost to extinction. I think it was more focused on a fictional story of 4 people all viewing things in very different ways and conflict ensues. Buffalo hunting is the backdrop of the story.

I meant to add that no one should ever read a novel and have some expectation of historical accuracy and neutrality. The nature of novels is fiction and is meant to be an artful depiction. Now there is a genre of historical fiction which should hold true to historical facts but the novel does not fall under this genre.
 
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Over hunting was no where near the main cause of the "near extinction" of the bison.
But many folks would rather blame hunters.

Are you sure about that? This is just one of many piles of buffalo bones waiting to be ground into fertilizer in 1870.
 

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Are you sure about that? This is just one of many piles of buffalo bones waiting to be ground into fertilizer in 1870.
Yes
There wasn't even close enough lead available to have shot them all even if there were enough hunters to do it.
The calculations have been done, but I don't have them at hand.
 
The introduction of cattle into the “West” and the associated diseases that accompanied and spread to the Bison, certainly had a factor in the death of the Bison herds.

Kevin
 
Yes
There wasn't even close enough lead available to have shot them all even if there were enough hunters to do it.
The calculations have been done, but I don't have them at hand.

I'd like to see that because I can't find it anywhere online.

The introduction of cattle into the “West” and the associated diseases that accompanied and spread to the Bison, certainly had a factor in the death of the Bison herds.

Kevin

Cattle have been in the Americas since 1493 and in the west since 1539. Brucellosis is the main disease common to both cattle and bison but there no evidence that cattle transmitted it to bison until well after the turn of the 20th century. I really can't see too many head of cattle intermingling with bison before then.
 
Sorry, all you have to do is read a little bit of history. Overhunting was the biggest factor towards the bison’s almost extinction. This is the part where people try to push their own narrative and they try to believe in some sort of fairytale rather than look at the real history to make themselves feel better than human impacts are not that significant. it is not that difficult to push a species to extinction especially when humans are involved. History is replete with humans negatively impacting the environment because they don’t consider how their actions affect the future. There is tons of evidence with humans from the middle ages negatively impacting their environment to where the water is contaminated and crops won’t grow properly. if humans can impact the environment during that time frame, imagine what humans are able to do in the modern era. And I’m not even diving in to the policy of the Army to eliminate the main resource to native Americans
 
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I'm not pushing a fairy tale that humans didn't impact the decline of the bison, but literally deliberate hunting of them was not the main cause.
There were other human induced factors, and likely natural ones. If people didn't exist, the bison very well may still be roaming the prairies in similar numbers.
Reduction of their food source and ability to migrate unencumbered at will was more of a factor than hunting.
Increases in the number of cattle and sheep eating up the grasses.
Cattle, sheep, railroads, fences, and everything else all getting in the bison's way.
Warfare between the US and the tribes was disrupting.
The practice of the tribes burning the prairies in an effort to deny the US Calvary food for their horses also affected everything else there.

Buffalo hunters didn't shoot 60 Million bison and all of their yearly offspring in just a few years.
 
Your personal opinion is antithetical to written facts and history. Everything you mention was a contributor but over hunting was the main cause. Why you ask? Because over hunting reduces the species' population at an extreme rate to where they cannot recover and significantly disturbs reproduction rates. If ethical hunting practices and conservation were employed in 19th century buffalo hunting, the species would not have been near extinction. 60 million is the high end estimate pre-migration west. Also, one major factor you didn't mention is drought which shrank their range considerably. Bottom-line, there were about 30 million when mass killing of buffalo started and almost nothing left by 1884. Even if over hunting and needless killing were not the main factors, the acts and practices themselves are abominable.
 
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drought falls under natural causes which was mentioned.
If the herd was cut in half before the blamed hunting occurred, that would pretty much prove that hunting wasn't the main factor.
Regardless, if 90% of the hunting never happened, we still would not have bison migrating back and forth across the west today like they once did, mostly because people disrupted/destroyed their rhythm and got in the way.
 
drought falls under natural causes which was mentioned.
If the herd was cut in half before the blamed hunting occurred, that would pretty much prove that hunting wasn't the main factor.
Regardless, if 90% of the hunting never happened, we still would not have bison migrating back and forth across the west today like they once did, mostly because people disrupted/destroyed their rhythm and got in the way.
The numbers are estimates by wildlife biologists, so we really don't know if 60 million was correct. It was the high estimate. Correct, with their territory and range changing, the numbers would have dropped significantly but not almost extinct by 1884 - that was due overhunting.
 
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