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First commercial buffalo hunt in Texas


On this day in 1874, Joseph McComb led a party out from Fort Griffin on the first commercial buffalo hunt in Texas. The party consisted of McComb; two assistants, John Jacobs and John W. Poe; and teamsters, skinners, and an ox-drawn wagon. The season's kill brought 2,000 hides, which were marketed at Fort Griffin at $1.50 and $2.00 each. Other hunting trips headed by McComb followed in 1875, 1876, 1877, and 1878. McComb estimated that he killed no fewer than 12,000 buffalo during his five hunting seasons. The completion of the transcontinental railroad was a catalyst for the slaughter of buffalo in the 1870s and 1880s, since the railroad made possible the profitable shipment of hides from the Great Plains to eastern markets. Thousands of hunters and skinners participated in the hunts. By 1884 the great herds had been exterminated.

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