Stewart may have had many motives for coming to the United States, but probably foremost among them was a desire to experience what seems to have been the finest of all sports on this continent, perhaps the finest sport hunters have enjoyed anywhere. Every variety of big game, from elephants to grizzlies, has its own devotees, but everyone who ever hunted buffalo on horseback in the West (except the skeptical Richard Dodge) found it the consummation of the sportsman’s life. This was not because the buffalo was cunning or crafty, for it was the stupidest of mammals, nor because it was hard to come by, for it existed in far greater masses than any other large animal on earth, nor because it was dangerous in itself. What gave the hunt an emotion equivalent to ecstasy was the excitement, the speed, the thundering noise, the awe-inspiring bulk of the huge animal in motion, the fury of its death, and the implicit danger of the chase. Since for forty years this was a notable and unique American experience, we may pause to describe the sportsman’s way of hunting buffalo.
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