In the blink of an eye…

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“In May of 1871, the Army’s Col. Richard Dodge, who escorted Russian Crown Prince Alexi’s grand western hunt, could wade through an ocean of buffaloes. In September 1874, while he chaperones the Adair’s safari, only one old bull is sighted.”

In May of 1871 Colonel Dodge drove in a buggy from Fort Zara to For Larned, thirty-four miles along the Arknansas River. At least twenty-five miles of that journey was through one immense herd. From a distance it appeared one solid black mass moving slowly northward, and it was only when Colonel Dodge was actually among them that he could recognize that the apparently solid mass was made up of countless small herds of from fifty to two hundred animals in each. As long as he was in the broad river valley, the herds sullenly got out of his way, and turned, within thirty or fifty yards, to stare. When, however, he approached the low line of hills that culminates in Pawnee Rock, the buffaloes at the crest of the herd took alarm at the unusual object in their rear, and stampeded at full speed toward the traveler.

E. Douglas Branch
The Hunting of the Buffalo