Hunting the American West


- Hardcover with dust jacket
- 12 x 8.75 inches
- 416 pages
- Over 400 color and B&W images
- $49.95 plus S&H

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By Richard C. Rattenbury

BPHAW-webCoverExperience the grandeur, excitement, and peril of the quest for big game in the West from 1800-1900 in this vivid interpretation with engaging narrative, direct quotations, and historic imagery.

Hunting the American West is a thoroughly illustrated, narrative history of big-game hunting in the nineteenth-century American West. The engaging narrative draws extensively on the writings of original participants and observers of the subject and -- along with an abundance of pictorial material -- affords unusual insight into the diverse methods and motives for hunting big game in the Old West. No other work on the subject conveys the feeling and character of the hunt in its various eras and styles, or its profound consequences, as convincingly.

This book covers subsistence, commerce, and sport hunting; the variety of methods used over time and among different peoples in the harvest; the evolving weaponry involved; the artistic expression engendered by the western chase; and the rise of the hunter-conservation movement, which led to the founding of the Boone and Crockett Club.

Publishing Awards for Hunting the American West

  • WINNER -- 2009 Spur Award for Best Non-Fiction, Historical Book
  • WINNER -- IPPY for Best Regional Non-Fiction, Gold Award
  • WINNER -- Foreword Book of the Year for History, Silver Award
  • FINALIST, Non-Fiction -- Oklahoma Book Awards
  • FINALIST, Large Format Cover Design -- Independent Book Publishers Association, Benjamin Franklin Award

A must read for anyone interested in the history of hunting, firearms, and the West. In his well-written, balanced narrative, based ont he words of the hunters themselves, Richard Rattenbury transports us back into the nineteenth century, and a vanished American West.

John F. Reiger
Professor of History, Ohio University, Chillicothe; and author of American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation

The subject of hunting in the 19th-Century American West has never been fully explored by scholars. Richard Rattenbury helps fill this gap with the first comprehensive narrative dealing with big-game hunting for subsistence, sport, and profit. Ranging from the earliest aboriginal hunters to the conservation movements of the early 20th century, the scope of Rattenbury's work is broad, his characters colorful and his conclusions telling. Characterized by sound scholarship and a pleasing writing style, this lavishly illustrated book will appeal to general readers and specialists alike.

B. Byron Price
Director, Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West, University of Oklahoma, Norman; and author of Fine Art of the West