The Native Americans had a variety of means of hunting buffalo. The most common way, as shown in the first picture, was to chase the herd over a cliff. This would cause a vast majority of the animals to perish in the fall. This hunt would happen around once a year, and the hide and meat would be cooked and eaten in celebration then, and then spiced and dried as a jerky to be eaten later. Another common way to hunt was riding on horses, and having the parties encircle a part of the herd. They would then fire their arrows and spears into the circle, killing all the bison inside. Although guns were used in war by Indians, they preferred not to use them in the hunt. Bows were more stable to be fired on horseback, and were also easier to reload.
The white man and buffalo
At first, tribes welcomed the white man into their lands and tried to teach them the ways of surviving. Unfortunately, this offer was taken for granted. The Americans greatly over hunted the herds, until there were only 200 buffalo left in the West. There means of hunting were also very different from that of the natives. Instead of being very reserved, white men would simply hunt for sport. They would perch themselves on a stand overlooking the field, and shoot the herd as they walked through. Some hunters boasted on they could kill over 100 buffalo in just a few days. The presence of settlers did not only directly kill buffalo, but brought diseases over as well. Foot-in-mouth diseases killed much more buffalo than actual hunting. It was like Cortes and the Aztecs. He killed many, but the infectious foreign diseases killed even more. The worst part of the situation was, Americans felt no remorse for the near extinction of a species. They only viewed buffalo as "sport and profit for a short time." They believed that buffalo hunting cleared out space for American expansion, and were proud of their additions.