Mountain Men and Life in the Rocky

Subject Guide


Mountain West

Malachite’s Big Hole

Osborne Russell on His First Buffalo Hunt:

During August of 1834 Osborne Russell writes the following about his first experience hunting buffalo (Reference). 

"I now prepared myself for the first time in my life to kill meat for my supper with a Rifle.  I had an elegant one but had little experience in using it, I however approached the band of Buffaloe crawling on my hands and knees within about 80 yards of them then raised my body erect took aim and shot at a Bull: at the crack of the gun the Buffaloe all ran off excepting the Bull which I had wounded, I then reloaded and shot as fast as I could untill I had driven 25 bullets at, in and about him which was all that I had in my bullet pouch whilst the Bull still stood apparently riveted to the spot I watched him anxiously for half an hour in hopes of seeing him fall, but to no purpose, I was obliged to give it up as a bad job and retreat to our encampment without meat: but the Mullattoe had better luck he had killed a fat cow whilst shooting 15 bullets at the band."

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