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According to "Wagon Wheel Kitchens: Food on the Oregon Trail" (1993),
pioneers felt that "there was no beef in the world equal to a fine buffalo cow --- such flavor so rich, so juicy, it makes the mouth water to think of it." They even liked "an intestinal vessel commonly called by hunters the 'marrow-gut', anatomically speaking the chylo-poetic duct. This vessel contains an unctuous matter resembling marrow, and no delicacy of the flesh can surpass this when properly prepared."
Stewart Udall, LBJ's Secretary of the Interior and one of the true environmentalist Good Guys of the 20th century, also praised bison meat, saying that it is "more succulent by far than the steak of a Longhorn steer."
Bison were brought back from the brink of extinction through wanton hunting by European settlers in the 19th century through the combined efforts of Teddy Roosevelt (who established a buffalo reservation near Wichita with twelve animals donated to the New York Zoological Society); Pend Oreille Walking Coyote (who captured four young bison in 1873); and Flathead Michel Pablo, who bought Walking Coyote's herd and increased it to a population of 709. While bison only give birth to one calf per year, they remain fertile for 40 years.
Bison is lower in fat than beef, and the animals are far more disease-resistant than cows. Bison cannot be comfined in feedlots (fighting and disease result), so they are a natural fit for family ranchers, as opposed to commerical agribusinesses.