Caption for photo: The Eastern Shoshone buffalo herd grazes on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming. Credit: Ryan Dorgan / Outdoor Life
September 14, 2023
By Christine Peterson
Even as a kid, Jason Baldes wanted to hunt buffalo. That meant buffalo herds would need to be restored.
Jason Baldes leans against his dad’s red Toyota 4-Runner, two long braids draped over a T-shirt that reads “Make Buffalo Great Again.” Richard Baldes sits in the driver’s seat, silver hair poking out from under his Buffalo Bills hat. It’s a tribute to the animal, but also to former University of Wyoming and current Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
The Baldeses talk about Jason’s travel schedule (too busy, according to his dad), long-ago trips to Africa (formative for them both), and hunting buffalo (Richard doesn’t want to shoot one, Jason longs to do so on a traditional hunt).
Father and son, both members of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, stare out at a sea of green grass and buffalo berry bushes as a herd of 30 or so bison munch patches of grass, flick their tails at flies, and flop onto the ground, creating brief billows of dust.