Share This Article

The Buffalo Hunters, by Charles M. Robinson III, State House Press, Austin, Texas, 1995, $29.95hardback, $19.95 softback.

Among the famous men who hunted buffalo were William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, George A. Custer and Wyatt Earp. Lots of not-so-famous men did, too–sometimes from horseback and sometimes from moving trains,but the most successful of them used the “stand” method (a hunter on foot would shoot the leader of the herd and then pick off the other buffalo as they milled around). For a while, it was the thing to do…but not for very long. The hunters were too efficient. They killed millions of buffalo most winters between 1870 and 1885,bringing the buffalo to the verge of extinction. Charles M. Robinson III dramatically tells the tragic story of the great buffalo slaughter without wasting words (also see his article on P. 22) and with the help of many vivid illustrations and photographs. Montana photographer L.A. Huffman sometimes shot buffalo as well as pictures; seven of his photographs are included. The way of life for the Plains Indian was destroyed with the disappearance of the buffalo herds, but, as Robinson points out, most Indians were not any more  conservation-minded than were the white hunters.