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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

10,000 years ago the Paleoindians of what is now Stanton County, Kansas(near the Colorado border) hunted Bison on foot, with only spears to secure their valued prey.........."Creeping up on watering holes where the Bison lingered, they divided into two teams"........"The spear-throwers, probably all men, hid in the grass and sagebrush 50 yards away along the rim of the steep dirt bank"........"They watched the other team, the drivers, creep out of gullies to the east"..........."The drivers walked slowly toward the herd, forming a human half-ring".........."The drivers would have walked slowly at first"..............."But as the beasts got nervous and edged west, the drivers charged, waving hides, bunching bison against the bank where the hunters hid"........................ "This was the moment of fear as Bison can quickly become aggressive"....................."These bison were bigger than modern bison and could toss a man 10 feet in the air"....................... "The shouts from the drivers in the ambush would have bunched the herd against the dirt bank, with their hooves stuck in rain-soaked mud"................."At the moment the herd bunched, trapped, the hunters leaped up, one hand holding extra spears, the other spear arm curling upward"........"They pitched volley after volley of spears into bison rib cages"................... "The attack lasted only minutes"........ "The hunters almost certainly used atlatls, two-foot-long spear-throwing sticks"


Mystery solved: Scientists reconstruct 10,300-year-old bison hunt in what is now Stanton County, Kansas

May 27, 2017
In the Summer of 2002, an Archaeology team dug out a portion of Bear Creek in Stanton County and found bones and a mystery buried under a few feet of gray soil.

Rolfe Mandel is a geoarchaeologist from the University of Kansas who’s long been one of the leading explorers hunting evidence of Paleoindians, the ancient ancestors of Native Americans.

Rolfe Mandel, geoarchaeologist; U. of Kansas

But what he first uncovered when he and a team of other archaeologists started digging holes along the dirt bank here was a thick bed of white bone stretching 40 yards — nearly half the length of a football field — the skeletons all bunched up, shoulder to shoulder, all 10,300 years old.
What he found was more than a great story, Mandel said.
It is a window in time — and an ancient testament to human daring.

How did they do it?

We used to learn in school that Kansas history started with John Brown and the Civil War and railroads 150 years ago.
But the age of this site, in far western Kansas a short drive from the Colorado border, predates most of the invention of agriculture.

paleoindians hunting bison with Atlatls

It’s so old that at 103 centuries ago, the bow and arrow hadn’t been invented yet. The hunters killed the bison from not much more than arm’s length.
Attacking that herd was incredibly dangerous, but that’s what those hunters did.
And there’s more:
The hunters who killed these beasts might have worked in an ambush team that included their own family members

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