Experience the grandeur, excitement, and peril of the quest for big game in the West from 1800-1900 in this vivid interpretation with engaging narrative, direct quotations, and historic imagery.
Hunting the American West is a thoroughly illustrated, narrative history of big-game hunting in the nineteenth-century American West. The engaging narrative draws extensively on the writing of original participants and observers of the subject and - along with an abundance of pictorial materials - affords unusual insight into the diverse methods and motives for hunting big game in the Old West. No other work on the subject conveys the feeling and character of the hunt in its various eras and styles, or its profound consequences, as convincingly.
|Publisher:||Boone and Crockett Club|
|Product dimensions:||9.00(w) x 12.28(h) x 1.14(d)|
About the Author
Richard C. Rattenbury earned a B.A. degree in history from Texas Christian University and an M.A. in museum studies from Texas Tech University. He has served as curator of history at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum since 1987.
Read an Excerpt
Daniel Moreau Barringer, a Philadelphia geologist and mining engineer, was yet another gentleman-sportsman who participated in the golden age of hunting in the American West. Later a member of the Boone and Crockett Club, in 1883 he hunted north of Yellowstone Park, taking a grizzly bear under circumstances both dramatic and farcical. Approaching an elk carcass that he had left in a tree, Barringer suddenly came under the assault of a large female grizzly. The animal made a furious charge to within twenty feet of its supposed adversary, where it suddenly stopped:I threw my rifle to my face as quickly as I could and fired at her left eye. At the shot, she arose upon her hindfeet and danced for all the world like a trained dancing bear back to the spot where the elk lay, and then fell backward almost across the carcass....I ran up to her thinking to finish her off with a second shot....So I stood over her with my rifle pointed at her head and in glorious excitement watched her struggles grow less and less until she lay still. I then walked around her, about the proudest youngster in that or probably any other part of the country. Wishing to make sure, however, that she was really dead, I playfully caught hold of her right hindleg and gave it a long, strong pull. What the physiological effect of this action on my part was I do not know, but I do know that with an unearthly sort of groan she rolled over on her side. This was too much for me. My nerve had held all right until then, but at this particular moment it oozed out somewhere....I took out through the woods at the greatest gait I think I have ever employed, distinctly hearing the bear behind me, and almost feeling her hot breath on my back as she made jump for jump with me. After I had run about a hundred yards, as far as I could at that gait, I whirled around....To my utter surprise, there was no bear in sight. I sneaked cautiously and shamefacedly back..., where I found the bear and the elk lying where I had left them, one as dead as the other.Obviously a sportsman able to appreciate his own hunting foibles, Barringer also wrote with some humor of a day-long pursuit of bighorn sheep in the Absaroka Mountains of western Wyoming in 1888. Armed with “...a splendid English Holland & Holland double express hammer rifle,” he set out before sunrise and soon found a band at rest with a fine ram in the group. Not wanting to be “winded” by his quarry, the hunter made an hour-long detour to get within range, only to have the breeze change as he prepared to fire. The animals instantly ran off, and Barringer, “cursing my luck,” plodded after them. He finally found the tracks of the big ram rounding the dense skirt of a large juniper tree and followed them.
Table of Contents
(1) Foreword(2) Acknowledgments(3) Introduction(4) The Object of the Chase: Big-Game Animals of the American West(5) The Subsistence Hunters: Twelve Millennia Surviving with Wildlife(6) The Sport Hunters: Adventurers and Aristocrats, 1800-1865(7) The Arms of the Chase: An Evolving Array of Weaponry(8) The Market Hunters: Demand, Depletion, Devastation(9) The Sport Hunters: Officers, Blue-Bloods, and Foreign Gentlemen in the Golden Age, 1865-1900(10) The Image of the Chase: Artists, Illustrators, Photographers, and Engravers(11) The Sport Hunters: American Adventurers in the Golden Age, 1865-1900(12) The Hunter-Naturalists: Conserving Western Big-Game Animals(13) Bibliography(14) Index
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I purchased this book for my husband as a gift for our anniversary. He has picked it up almost every night since he recieved it. He really loves the pictures. Many of them are nature shots and he never tires of looking through them.