Gun violence takes the lives of too many New Yorkers, and it is taking more and more each year. When elected to the Assembly I will work to make our gun laws fairer and more effective. I will not take weapons away from law-abiding citizens, but will work to take them away from criminals. And I will do this with input from gun violence experts – law enforcement professionals.
In 2014, gun-related deaths in the U.S. numbered 33,508, but by 2020 that had risen to 45,055. Nearly every state has experienced an increase. New York rose 26% – almost 200 more people each year by 2020 than in 2014. Something must be done about it. Our state legislature passed several laws focused on guns in 2022. The new laws include limits on where guns can be carried, added background checks for ammunition purchases, mandated annual handgun training, and even required applicants for concealed carry permits to provide character references and social media accounts. Some of these actions were in response to the Supreme Court’s decision eliminating New York’s long-standing concealed carry permit application requirements, and others were in response to the supermarket attack in Buffalo.
Our route home to Cooperstown from Tucson took us through Tulsa, Oklahoma, last weekend, and there was no way I’d pass through town without stopping at the new Bob Dylan Center. It did not disappoint.
I love every twist and turn of Dylan’s work, have read at least a few dozen books about the guy, own all his records, the whole deal. The Center isn’t just a shrine to random artifacts (“Here’s the chair Bob sat in when he wrote ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’”). Instead, it’s a place that can interest the casual observer (my long-suffering wife) and captivate the devotee (me) with thoughtful exhibits and expositions that delve deeply into the artist’s multitudes. Not unlike our own Baseball Hall of Fame. An experience to treasure.
We spent the night in downtown Tulsa; our hotel that evening hosted a gathering of Black motorcyclists who had traveled to town to commemorate the city’s Black Wall Street Massacre of 1921. I had nearly enough college credits to earn a major in American History but first learned about the event through a New York Times article on its 100th anniversary. Homes, businesses burned, hundreds dead in riots, thousands imprisoned for more than a week for no cause other than their race; a shameful weekend that should be a part of every curriculum.
Brian Grubb is hunting his buffalo – with a tranquilizer gun.
Monday, Aug. 5, “I used a tranquilizer on a cow-calf pair and another cow from the 65-member group,” he said. “Then we – three other guys and I – used machinery to lift the cows and manpower to lift the calf onto my trailer. Four others – two cow-calf pairs – followed them onto the trailer.”
Back at his Town of Sharon ranch, Grubb and his helpers put the animals in a temporary corral and gave the three tranquilized buffalo the antidote to bring them around.
But that’s just seven of the 75 bulls, cows and calves that have been roaming in the towns of Roseboom and Cherry Valley since Saturday, July 20.
After capturing the seven Monday, Grubb ordered more tranquilizer kits and expected to continue the hunt as early as Tuesday evening.
Since a 2-ton bull jumped on a fence, trampled a gate, and led 75, give or take a few, along the Schoharie-Otsego County line, Grubb has been trying to get them back to his Engelville Road farm, about two miles south of Sharon Springs.
In the first week, the rogue buffalo wandered up to nine miles from West Creek, across the Schoharie-Otsego line into Pleasant Creek, Roseboom and Cherry Valley.
But starting Wednesday, July 31, the buffalo began heading back home after splintering into two groups, one of about 65, the other smaller. By Friday, they were within a half mile of West Creek at two separate locations.
Monday, Grubb fed the remaining escapees, and drew them closer to home. “They only needed to go over a ridge,” he said, “and if they had, they would have been home. But they circled back to where they had been hanging out.”
Grubb described the area past the ridge that the buffalo would need to walk through as “dense with shrubbery. They’re like humans or any other animal,” he said. “They’re going to take the path of least resistance – and that isn’t one.”
The afternoon this edition went to press, he said, the animals had been “very stable since they came back to where they’ve been and haven’t fragmented for the past four to five days.”
That would make the tranquilizing strategy easier, he said.
Regardless, the animals seem interested in getting home. “Buffalo tend to stay together, and I think both groups were searching for more buffalo,” Grubb explained. “They covered four miles in one night last week, which was a lot of traveling.”
Grubb got into the buffalo business in 2011, a year after he met his future wife, Susie, and took her to his father’s farm in Illinois where he kept some buffalo.
“She fell in love with the animal and wanted to raise them,” he said. “Most people get married and then become business partners. We did it in reverse.”
They bought the Sharon property and 14 buffalo, one bull and the rest cows, and now have about 200 of them. The Grubbs raise the buffalo and sell them to companies that harvest their meat.
The other benefits, Grubb said, are people’s increasing awareness of buffalo meat’s health benefits –it is low in fat and cholesterol – and that buyers pay $4.50 per pound of buffalo meat and only
$2 a pound of beef.
And until a two weeks ago, Grubb had not had any major problems with his buffalo. When asked about the fate of the 2,000 pound bull who started all the trouble, Grubb had a ready answer.
“It’s my hope that he’ll be attending a barbecue in the near future,” he said.
By JENNIFER HILL & LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
SHARON – After more than a week on the lam, the buffalo are headed home.
“I’ve spotted almost all of the animals and they’re within two miles of the farm,” owner Brian Grubb Tuesday, July 30. “They’re in two groups, one of 60, one of 15. I fed one group twice, trying to get them calm.”
Seventy-five buffalo got loose from Grubb’s West Creek Buffalo Company, Town of Seward, Schoharie County, Saturday, July 20, after a 2,000-pound bull trampled the gate. “He’s had behavior problems, and he started jumping things. He jumped the gate and crushed it, and the others followed him.”
Since their escape, the buffalo had been seen roaming in the area of the Schoharie-Otsego line – Pleasant Brook, Roseboom and Cherry Valley.