Buffalo Hunter
Buffalo Hunter Buffalo Hides Bison Herds Sharps Rifle American Fur Company

Buffalo hunter

      The Plains Indians had hunted buffalo which numbered close to 60 million in the early 1800's as a food mainstay for centuries but the buffalo hunter that invaded the American Plains in the middle 1800's had the buffalo herds near extinction in less than half a century

     It has been recorded that the Indians alone sold 100,000 buffalo hides to the American Fur Company in the middle 1840's.    In addition the Indians used the  buffalo hides for their own usage also.   The building of the transcontinental railroads encouraged the slaughter of the buffalo in order to feed their enormous crews 

     In the 1870's the leather companies found a way to utilize the bull hides and were paying $3.00 a piece for them.   Many a famous person was once a buffalo hunter carrying a .55 caliber Sharps rifle, such as Wyatt Earp, Pat Garrett, Wild Bill Hickock and William F. Cody

     The buffalo hunters were tough men all trying to earn a living in a very depressed economy after the Civil War.  As early as 1872, a million buffalo were killed for their hides alone and the carcasses left to rot on the plains

     For a decade, this slaughter continued causing many a fight with the Indians as they observed the extermination of the buffalo as a death to their way of life and personal existence

     When one herd was gone the hunters simply moved on to another region. By 1884 nothing remained of the massive buffalo herds but the piles of bones by the railroad that the farmers had collected and sold to fertilizer factories

      In 1897, the mass extermination was almost complete with only a small herd of 20 wild buffalo existing in Yellowstone National Park and the rest in private hands 

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