American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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From the host of the Travel Channel’s The Wild Within.
A hunt for the American buffalo - an adventurous, fascinating examination of an animal that has haunted the American imagination.
In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery permit to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. Despite the odds - there’s only a two percent chance of drawing the permit, and fewer than 20 percent of those hunters are successful - Rinella managed to kill a buffalo on a snow-covered mountainside and then raft the meat back to civilization while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Throughout these adventures, Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years’ worth of buffalo hunters in North America, as well as the buffalo’s place in the American experience. At the time of the Revolutionary War, North America was home to approximately 40 million buffalo, the largest herd of big mammals on the planet, but by the mid-1890s only a few hundred remained. Now that the buffalo is on the verge of a dramatic ecological recovery across the West, Americans are faced with the challenge of how, and if, we can dare to share our land with a beast that is the embodiment of the American wilderness.
American Buffalo is a narrative tale of Rinella’s hunt. But beyond that, it is the story of the many ways in which the buffalo has shaped our national identity. Rinella takes us across the continent in search of the buffalo’s past, present, and future: to the Bering Land Bridge, where scientists search for buffalo bones amid artifacts of the New World’s earliest human inhabitants; to buffalo jumps where Native Americans once ran buffalo over cliffs by the thousands; to the Detroit Carbon works, a “bone charcoal” plant that made fortunes in the late 1800s by turning millions of tons of buffalo bones into bone meal, black dye, and fine china; and even to an abattoir turned fashion mecca in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, where a depressed buffalo named Black Diamond met his fate after serving as the model for the American nickel.
Rinella’s erudition and exuberance, combined with his gift for storytelling, make him the perfect guide for a book that combines outdoor adventure with a quirky blend of facts and observations about history, biology, and the natural world. Both a captivating narrative and a book of environmental and historical significance, American Buffalo tells us as much about ourselves as Americans as it does about the creature who perhaps best of all embodies the American ethos.
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 42 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||July 30, 2019|
|Publisher||Random House Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #842 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1 in Ecosystems & Habitats
#1 in Animals (Audible Books & Originals)
#1 in Biology of Mammals
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Top reviews from the United States
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I bought his book, "American Buffalo," primarily b/c I've been buying a lot of free-range, grass-fed bison from Dan O'Brien's Wild Idea Buffalo Company and I thought it would be a good idea to learn some history about the animal. After having read Rinella's book, I now know not only a ton about bison, but also a lot more about the settlement of the western United States and the characters who lived there, the traditional way of life of many Native American tribes, Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Chetaslina/Copper River area, hunting in general, and about current tensions between the cattle industry and conservation groups regarding the reintroduction of wild, free-ranging bison into areas where they were once native.
I particularly enjoyed the later chapters where Rinella is successful in hunting a wild buffalo and his account of butchering the animal and transporting it out of the wild. It's a pretty harrowing tale. Lots of adventure. A lot of risk. I can't imagine being alone in grizzly country for days period--much less trying to pack out hundreds of pounds of meat IN THE DARK. Steven Rinella is hardcore and I have a ton of respect for his willingness to suffer for what he believes in. The only thing I didn't like about the book was knowing that I don't think I could ever do the same. Even camping in the campground in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park freaks me out. This guy camped multiple days covered in blood in backcountry grizzly habitat BY HIMSELF not far from the dead bison he was butchering. Then, for good measure, he whitewater rafts his cache of bison meat down the Chetaslina River--also in the dark.
Guy's a stud. Read his book. But fair warning you will feel like less of a man after having done so. I have to go do some push-ups now.................
Top reviews from other countries
I’d highly recommend this book and all his others, if your an Hunter or Angler or appreciate the outdoors all his books are phenomenal.