’Kill Every Buffalo You Can! Every Buffalo Dead Is an Indian Gone’ - The Atlantic
Herds became harder to find. In some prairies, they’d completely vanished. The buffalo runners sent two men to Fort Dodge, Kansas, to ask the colonel there what the penalty was if the skinners crossed into the Texas Panhandle and onto reservation land. The Medicine Lodge Treaty said no white settlers could hunt there, but that’s where the remaining buffalo had gathered. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Dodge met with the two men, and one remembered the colonel say, “Boys, if I were a buffalo hunter I would hunt buffalo where buffalo are.” Then the colonel wished them good luck.
In the next decade, the hide hunters exterminated nearly every buffalo. Colonel Dodge would later write that “where there were myriads of buffalo the year before, there were now myriads of carcasses. The air was foul with a sickening stench, and the vast plain which only a short twelve months before teemed with animal life, was a dead, solitary desert.”