By the middle of the 1700s the great herds of bison that roamed America were estimated to be at least 60 million, and possibly as many as 100 million. But in less than a century that number was reduced to a few hundred. Many causes can be found as to why the buffalo were nearly wiped out. Certainly, drought had much to do with it, and the hide hunters, and (sport?) hunters killed hundreds of thousands. But did you know?
Buffalo on the Spit

For more than a century Wyoming bison were killed by the tribes for many and in some cases most of their needs. When the mountain men/trappers brought European trade goods everything changed.  Indians started hunting buffalo as an economic benefit for themselves and their tribes. For the first time they began killing bison for their hides and tongues which they then exchanged for trade goods. By the 1840s, the number of hides prepared for trade was far more than could ever be used by the tribes.

 One estimate guesses that Native Indians were using/eating only four out of every 100 bison they were killing as more and more American and European trade goods reached the tribes. In 1839, the American Fur Company bought 45,000 buffalo robes and in 1840, 67,000 more. All of this was before the coming of the famous buffalo hunters of the plains that slaughtered the buffalo by the tens of thousands.

Thanks to a few forward looking people, starting in 1881, today there are nearly 400,000 bison, once again, in North American.



They weigh around a ton
Stand 6 feet tall at the hump 
From nose to tail are about 11 feet long
They can run for short distances as fast as 35 Mph
Reach mature full size at about 7 years of age
Can live 30 years or more
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