America was once the land of plenty, inhabited by countless numbers of bison. Buffalo were significant to the Native Americans that roamed the prairies and plains. In fact, the near-extinction of the buffalo is among one of the most significant stories that affected the history of the environment in North America.
Buffalo once freely roamed the entire continent, grazing from Canada to Mexico. The most concentrated areas of bison population were western grasslands. By the time Europeans settled in America, buffalo were extinct east of the Mississippi by 1833.
Native Americans used the entire buffalo, including the hides, hair, sinew, horns, hoofs, tibias, bones, ribs, brains, fat, feces, teeth, intestines, gallstones and reproductive organs. Bison were an essential component to Native American survival.
The bison chase or kill involved an entire community of hunters and included several different techniques. Some Native American tribes drove buffalos over steep embankments, while others simply lay in wait for the kill.
The decline of bison largely occurred in the 19th century. The cause is contributed to several factors, including humans and wolves, fires, disease, climate changes and competition from horses over grasslands. The most significant reasons the buffalo nearly became extinct included the railroads, which expanded the population, and buffalo commodities, such as meat, skin, robes and tongues.
Railroads made it easy for sportsmen and farmers to transport buffalo hides. Within a mere three years, more than 4 to 5 million buffalo were slaughtered and by the fall of 1883, the commercial hunt was finished. The final shipment of hides was in 1884 and Native Americans were confined to reservations.
More than 100 years later, buffalo have finally returned from the brink of extinction. Thanks to the plentiful grasslands within Yellowstone National Park, buffalo herds are roaming freely and naturally reproducing.
When visitors travel to Yellowstone, they can witness nature’s beauty, as untouched and preserved as the Native Americans saw this vast wilderness years ago. Herds of buffalo freely roam and baby bison are abundant in the summertime.
Visitors will want to book their trips early. Yellowstone RV parks or Yellowstone campgrounds are often full. Staying outside the park is often easier, which is why Yellowstone Holiday features abundant accommodations and activities and is located close to the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone Holiday makes it simple to book a trip. Simply log online to the website and book a RV site, camping cabin or cottage.