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Autor: anton 27 May 2011
Words: 662 | Pages: 3
Wyatt Earp's buffalo hunting approach was very different then that of "old timers". The "old timers" had a standard way of going about there hunt. The hunter would provide five four-horse wagons, and enough supplies to last several months. They would also bring along a driver, a stocktender, a camp watchmen, a cook, and four skinners. Part of the buffalo hunter's code forbade a hunter from skinning his own kill, so a top-notch buffalo hunter as well as anyone above a skinner would never do something below his level of dignity. The weapon that most hunters choose to use was a Sharp's "Fifty" rifle. The rifle had a long shooting range but had a high cost for ammunition, was heavy, and had to be cleaned every few shots to keep its accuracy correct. The hunter would go to an area where they had a good view of the heard, and start shooting one buffalo at a time, till the scent of blood sent the herd stampeding out of the area, causing the hunter to have to find conditions suitable for another stand. The best of the hunters could average around fifty kills a day, but the average was more between thirty and forty kills. The earnings from the hunt where split into two portions, one for the hunter, and one to be split by all the others.
Wyatt Earp saw flaws in the way the "old timers" went about their hunt, and decided to do things differently. Wyatt purchased one wagon, four animals for harness, and one for which he could ride. He brought along with him only one experienced skinner, who would also drive and cook, and Wyatt would participate in the skinning of the kill. Wyatt made an agreement with his skinner to split the profits of the hunt, with himself keeping the team and wagon afterwards. For his weapon he chose a shotgun which made him have to get closer to the heard than he would have to with a rifle, but allowed him to fire rapidly with no harm to the gun. He would set up an area, and shoot one buffalo at a time stopping when he shot all that he and his skinner could handle in one day, and before the heard got a scent of blood and break into a stampede. He would then work the heard away quietly by waving his coat and shouting, moving the heard in the direction that he wanted them to go. After the herd left the area, he and his skinner would work together to skin the kill for the day. Wyatt's lowest score for a single stand (he only did one stand a day) was eighteen buffalo and his highest twenty-seven, given each of them between twenty to thirty five dollars cash in hand each day. After checking tallies and the profits others ended with Wyatt's profits were much higher than the "old timers".
The key elements of business success from an operations perspective are balancing quality, speed, price and Flexibility. Wyatt was able to increase his efficiency by reducing how much he spent on his expenses. With only having five horses, one wagon, and one other person with him he was spending a lot less on expenses then the veteran hunters were. Wyatt also figured out that instead of making kills till the herd stampeded off to an unknown destination, he shot enough only for one day's work, and then gently moved the heard into the direction he wanted to go in, making it quicker for him to find the herd the next day, therefore increasing speed. Wyatt managed to balance efficiency and effectiveness.
I feel that the buffalo hunters were irresponsible for killing off the great buffalo herd as they did. By killing so many buffalo so fast they were irresponsible because the buffalo was not given time to replenish their herd.