Written by Cheryl Fogle-Hatch
This episode describes bison hunting on the North American Great Plains. Bison is the scientific name for animals that most people know as buffalo. The Great Plains is a geographic region of western Canada, the United States, and Mexico that contains prime bison habitat. Many different species of grasses on the Great Plains supported large herds of bison until they were nearly hunted to extinction during the late 1800’s. Before then, bison were an important food resource for Native American groups.
Prehistoric hunters were successful because they understood bison herd behavior and they used knowledge of the landscape to trap and kill bison.
- Archaeology Southwest 2017. A Century of Paleoindian Archaeology. Accessed June 7, 2017.
- Frison, George, C. 1998. Paleoindian large mammal hunters on the plains of North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95: 14576-14583. Accessed June 5, 2017.
- Government of Alberta, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site. Background of the Buffalo Jump story. Accessed June 6, 2017.
- National Geographic Society, North America: Physical Geography. Accessed June 7, 2017.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Time Line of the American Bison. Accessed June 7, 2017.
- U.S. National Park Service, Bison Ecology - Yellowstone National Park. Accessed June 7, 2017.