"The Life of a Hunter: A Tight Fix."
Scenes of hunting, fishing, and outdoor sports were popular
subjects for both "high" and "low" art.
Hunting during the mid- to late 1800s gradually became a pastime
for Easterners–a luxury rather than a necessity, thanks
to the industrialization of meat processing. It was also viewed
nostalgically, as a glance back to the days when men had to
be larger-than-life to cope with the dangers of the wilderness.
Folk heroes such as Davy Crockett became legendary for their
hunting prowess and ability to tame Nature.
The fever for hunting was, for a time, a madness
of mass extermination. Most people know the story of the bison,
which had a population in 1800 of 40 million, and of fewer than
600 by 1883. (32)
Less well known is that more than 30
species were badly endangered or made extinct during the same
period, including Bald Eagles, California Condors, several types
of whales, sea otters, fishers, mink, and elk.