American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon by Steven Rinella

This title is part of BHA's Jim Posewitz Digital Library: Required Reading for Conservationists 


Long before he was “The Meateater,” Steven Rinella was just another hunter dreaming of a premium tag and the next adventure. One of his early works, American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon, is the story of receiving one such tag and the ensuing journey. This book is the perfect blend of hunting, adventure, conservation, science and history.

Starting with the unearthing of a bison skull by the author, fascinated with his find and curious by nature, the author proceeds to unfold centuries of history of that skull while concurrently  discussing the ancient and colonial history of buffalo in North America and the effects of man’s heavy handed abuse of them since our arrival in the new world.

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon sheds light on the people responsible for saving the buffalo from the brink of extinction. These are names we all know, but it is difficult to fathom the uphill battle they were embarking on at the time. The saving of buffalo by sportsmen may be the grandest of a long list of conservation successes in our nation’s history.

Rinella brings us along in his raft floating through a vast wilderness that is checkerboarded with private land on a modern buffalo hunt. There is potential prosecution and danger around every bend of the river, but will there be a buffalo around one of those bends? You’ll have to read to find out. I promise you will learn something from this book and will have even more respect for Steven Rinella, who continues to bring the tradition of hunting meat back to the mainstream. 

-JOHN PROVENZALE, BHA New Jersey chapter board member


Purchase American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon on Amazon Smile, and register Backcountry Hunters & Anglers as your preferred non-profit to give back to your wild public lands, waters and wildlife. 

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