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American BisonA Natural History$
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Dale Lott, Jan van Wagtendonk, and Kevin Shaffer

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233386

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233386.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2019

Where have all the Bison Gone?

Where have all the Bison Gone?

Chapter:
(p.170) Chapter 22 Where have all the Bison Gone?
Source:
American Bison
Author(s):

Dale F. Lott

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520233386.003.0022

From tens of millions of buffalo — more than 30 billion pounds of living, breathing bison-mass — to a carpet of whitening bones and a few hundred scattered survivors. The destruction of the buffalo isn't one horrendous story — it's several horrendous stories. The buffalo vanished in different places at different times for different reasons, its slaughter the work of different people. Many of North America's buffalo were already gone by the time the notorious hide hunt started on the plains. The horse changed everything. By 1700, mounted Native Americans began to evolve a new culture transported by the horse and supplied by the buffalo — the nomadic hunting bands the world has come to think of as the American Indian lifestyle. By 1800, the blanket of buffalo that had covered the southern plains was too thin in some years, and the chill of hunger crept through.

Keywords:   buffalo hunting, bison destruction, North America, Native Americans, American Indian

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