The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on November 22, 1981 · Page 20
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 20

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 22, 1981
Page 20
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Page 20 The Salina Journal - Sunday, November 22, Ittl Spotlight The Salina Journal When the gavel drops at the Maxwell Game Preserve buffalo a uction, it causes a people... FENCE STRADDLING — People from several states converged on the Maxwell Game Preserve Wednesday to bid on buffalo from the Kansas Fish and Game Commission — and the fence surrounding the arena proved to be a popular place for the buyers. After purchase, most of the buffalo were herded to the grazing range. CLOSER LOOK — A prospective buyer affords himself a cautious, closer Jodk at the merchandise. •avail SOUVENIR - A state Fish and Game Coin- mission officer found a place for a horn that was accidently ripped from a buffalo as it ran through a chute into the arena. Photos by Tom Dorsey BUYER BEWARE - Tom Warttig, Ellsworth, watches intently as the buffalo are herded into the arena for the auction. be burly, shaggy-haired critters had Just crossed the prairie, yet their journey waft not over- Just like their ancestors, these animal* were following the hoofstepe of generations before them. But, unlike their predecessors, they made toil trip across the state, not under their own power, but in back of lumbering cattle trucks. Now, they were on the auction block. They were part of the Kansas Fish and Game Commission's annual buffalo auction at the Maxwell Game Preserve near Canton. Because of the sale, the commission'* general fund is $32,000 richer, says Verle Warner, manager of toe Maxwell game refuge. It'* all the result of the Wednesday sale of 56 surplus buffalo from the commission's Garden City, Maxwell endKingman herds The auction began at 11 a.m., ended at 12:30 p.m. and the buffalo - which are notorious for their loading problems — were gone by 3 p.m., Warner The buffalo auction has been an event at Maxwell every autumn since im. Bach November at least 200, and sometimes more than 300 people, turn out for the sale. While most of the usual crowd is composed of curious spectators, Own are serious buffalo buyers from such Plains states as South Dakota, Texas f *yf Colorado Toe popularity of the Maxwell but* falo auction parallels a new segment in the livestock industry. Quite simply, the buffalo are making a comeback. "We never realised how dasireahle and successful tbU thing could be until we held that first auction," said Steve Cape), regional supervisor for Fish and Game Commission at Newton. Last year, the cheapest calf at the Maxwell auction sold for about 1300 and the top bid for adult animals approached $1,000. The average selling price per head was $528. This year, the price was "a buffalo of a different color." Prices ranged from $375 for one yearling heifer to $1,550 for an adult cow and her calf. The average selling price was $582.14. And as far as the critters mem- selves? *"* ell, 38 buffalo were culled from the herd at Maxwell, 13 from the Garden City refuge, and the other five from Kingman, So did the buffalo want to leave their "home on the range?" Meybe not - :; /-, ;' Last week, Fish and Game Commission workers took sacks of feed out on the various ranges and dumped them, luring the animali near the trucks heullng the feed, Warner said. The buffalo were herded Into the corral, and the sorting began. Warner studied the buffalo for their age, color and siie. Buffalo that will improve the quality of the state-owned hard were kept. And now for the buyers. raising the animal. "We usually go over to butcher, but this year it Just didn't seem justified," be Mid. "Maybe we'll try'^^

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