It was during his service for the Kansas Pacific that he was rechristened Buffalo Bill, and he certainly deserved the renewal of his name, as in one season he killed the enormous number of four thousand eight hundred and twenty buffaloes, a feat never before, or since equaled.
And during this time, in the perils he met with, and his numerous hair-breadth escapes, in conflict with red-skins, horse-thieves and desperadoes, it is estimated that over a score of human beings fell before his unerring rifle and revolvers, while, he still bearing a charmed life, received only a few slight wounds.
Some time after his great feat of killing buffalo for the Kansas Pacific, Buffalo Bill was challenged by Billy Comstock, another famous buffalo-hunter, and a scout and Indian interpreter, to a match at killing the shaggy wild animals.
Those who knew Comstock and had seen him among a herd of buffalo, and had heard of Buffalo Bill’s exploits, were most desirous of making a match between the two to discover which was the best “killer.”
On the other side, those who knew Buffalo Bill and had seen him at work at the buffaloes, were willing to bet high that he would prove the champion.
As the men were not only willing, but anxious to meet, it was not difficult for them to do so, and all preliminaries were satisfactorily arranged to all parties concerned.
The men were to, of course, hunt on horse-back, and to begin at a certain hour in the morning and keep it up for eight hours, a large herd having just been found and its locality marked for the day of the sport.
The stakes were made five hundred dollars a side, and there were numbers, both ladies and gentlemen, out on horseback to see the sport.
The herd having been located early the next morning, the two hunters left for the field, and the large crowd followed at a distance.
The counters, those chosen to follow each hunter and count his killed, followed close behind Bill and Comstock, who rode side by side, chatting in a most friendly way until the herd was sighted.
Buffalo Bill was mounted upon Brigham, a noted buffalo horse, and he was armed with a breech-loading Springfield rifle, and a weapon which had sent many a red-skin to the happy hunting-grounds.
Comstock was also splendidly mounted, and carried his favorite buffalo repeating rifle, and both men felt confident of victory.
Reaching the herd, the two hunters, followed by their counters, well mounted also, dashed into a herd, and it quickly divided, giving each one an opportunity to show his skill, as though the buffaloes themselves sympathized with the match and were willing to do all in their power to forward it.
In his first run Buffalo Bill killed thirty-eight, while in the same length of time Billy Comstock dropped twenty-three, which gave the former the advantage thus far.