The Ballestero Blog

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The Lady Buffalo Hunter!

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The Lady Buffalo Hunter!

Since the 1800’s, buffalo hunters have always been a special breed, and in a class by themselves. They are independent folks, tough and capable. Such is the story of a real lady whose respectable and proper breeding did not quench her desire to hunt buffalo.

It was common knowledge that she was a better shot than anyone in her family, including her husband and her grown son. One Shot, One Kill was her hunting record.

She had already killed several deer. No one even faintly knew about her considering to hunting buffalo. She never confided that wish to her husband, her friends, her sisters or her children. They only found out about it later when officials published the news of a drawing.

This aspiring lady buffalo hunter was born on the west coast so the climate in Utah where she currently resided was much harsher. She lived in Salt Lake City and braved the winter snows like a trooper.

She was 52, when she went down to the Department of Natural Resources and placed her name in the buffalo hunt drawing. The State of Utah had authorized ten buffalo tags to be issued to control the herd, and over 1,000,000 hunters applied.

henry

The Henry Mountains, Utah. Elevation 11,522 ft.

Her name was one of the ten drawn, and she was ecstatic! She was told that the special license only permitted her to hunt for buffalo in the Henry Mountains. She was the only lady hunter to apply.

The day of the hunt found her over 10,000 feet high on the mountain in a blinding snowstorm. This was to be only a one-day hunt. It would not be canceled because of bad weather. She put on warm boots, gloves and her hunter orange coat. She was serious. She not only was going to hunt for her buffalo, she was going to eat it too. That would be her winter meat.

Forgotten now were her trademark lacy handkerchiefs, her beautiful hairdo and her dressy dresses. She allowed her ‘earthy other side’ to surface… And surface it did.

In the blinding snow at dusk, she stood on the mountainside and finally saw in her scope what made her heart pound. She saw the shadowy forms of buffalo. They were moving rapidly, she made her choice and squeezed the trigger on her Browning Automatic 300 Winchester Mag. One shot was all it took. The buffalo cow went down.

The next morning, her husband loaded her prize buffalo into the bed of their pickup and they headed home. She affectionately named her buffalo cow, “Henrietta” in honor of the Henry Mountains.

Does the lady buffalo hunter have a name? Absolutely!

Some of her close friends like Bro. Verbal Bean, Bro. Roger Evans, and Bro. Robert Cavaness Sr. referred to her as “Buffalo Hunter, Connie.” And now, you can too.

(BTW, the buffalo meat was delicious, and it lasted our whole family for a whole year!)

Lord, What A Lady!!

(Thanks Mom for the memories!)

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Content Faith (Connie) Ballestero with her Buffalo ‘Henrietta’

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 12, 2013 at 2:43 am

Posted in Life, Mother

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5 Responses

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  1. Wow what a woman! Loved the story and enjoy eating buffalo! Thanks for sharing.

    Scott Hall

    February 12, 2013 at 9:38 am

  2. I loved hearing mom tell that story! We would tease her by telling her the story got longer and longer with each telling. It was something to hear the other hunters ‘sing her praise’. As mom and dad drove back home on the interstate, drivers would pass, then slow down to look at the buffalo in the bed of the pick-up. Mom was driving, and would proudly point to herself, letting everyone know SHE shot the buffalo. 🙂

    Nila

    February 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm

  3. And what a lady she was. I cherish the moments to hear acres of diamond. I attended elder. Cavaness church for years, so looked forward to the conferences to hear your parents sing and your Father teach the bible studies. Sister. Wischmeyer

    Sarah wischmeyer

    February 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm

  4. So amazing… actually too amazing for words. I am thankful I was priviledged to know her.

    Karen Bedgood

    February 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm

  5. Awesome lady!

    Apostolic Sis

    February 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm


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