Way Of Life

Scott Denny

Green Bay, United States

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Once the main means of livelihood for many Native American Tribes, Bison were hunted almost to extinction in the 19th century and were reduced to a few hundred by the mid-1880s.

The main reason they were hunted was for their skins, with the rest of the animal left behind to decay on the ground. After the animals rotted, their bones were collected and shipped back east in large quantities.

There were government initiatives at the federal and local level to starve the population of the Plains Indians by killing off their main food source, the bison. The Government promoted bison hunting for various reasons: to allow ranchers to range their cattle without competition from other bovines and to weaken the Indian population and pressure them to remain on reservations.

The herds formed the basis of the economies of local Plains tribes of Native Americans for whom the bison were a primary food source. Without bison, the Native Americans would be forced to leave or starve.

The only continuously wild bison herd in the United States resides within Yellowstone National Park. Numbering between 3,000 and 3,500, this herd is descended from a remnant population of 23 individual mountain bison that survived the mass slaughter of the 1800s by hiding out in the Pelican Valley of Yellowstone Park.

This photo was taken in Yellowstone National Park in the Summer of 2008.

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Artwork Comments

  • salsbells69
  • Scott Denny
  • Dennis Stewart
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  • Scott Denny
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