Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2011


Great Plains Research 21 (Spring 2011):17-26


© 2011 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Historic accounts from the 19th-century western Great Plains contain significant information on Plains ungulates and other animals, particularly as they relate to provisioning the Euro-American travelers. Using data derived from these accounts, a quantitative assessment of the hunting success of the Pike, Long, Glenn, and Dodge expeditions of the early 19th century is presented to ascertain the conditions of these species in the region. These data are then used to assess historiographic models of bison overhunting. This analysis indicates that the western Southern Plains and western Central Plains had differing trajectories of overhunting explained by temporally variable human and environmental impacts.