In September of 2008, interested persons from the area and from outside the area were invited to become part of a dream to honor the American bison by donating to the Dakota Buttes Museum’s Buffalo Heritage Project.
Spearheaded by a committee from the county and the trade area, the goal of this project was to have on display in the museum, a full-sized buffalo bull mount. This mount represents the legendary creatures of the Northern Great Plains who once roamed the area in numberless herds. Through direct donations and through the “Trophy Hunt of a Lifetime” won by a Grafton, ND, hunter, by December of 2008 the financial goal set by the committee was surpassed.
Local buffalo ranchers Jim Strand and Don Archibald were instrumental in locating and donating the 2,000 lb animal.
After the hunt in early January, Dakota Packing Company of Hettinger salted and cured the hide. Later, with the help of local national award winning taxidermist Randy Holler and others, it was packed and shipped to the tanner. Randy purchased the necessary forms, cast the hooves completed the mount which is displayed on a movable, naturalized base.
Unveiling of the mount took place on Saturday July 3, 2010. A contest was held to choose a name with the winning name being “Prairie Thunder”. Photos of various steps of the project
will be archived at the museum and displayed here following the unveiling.
The committee is also working on historical display boards to complement the mount and on the presentation of the donor list. To all who have helped so far on any of the steps of this project, thank you. To any who would still like to donate, please send your earmarked donations to Dakota Buttes Historical Society, Betty Svihovec, Treasurer, PO Box 565, Hettinger, ND 58639. Let’s keep the dream alive.