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New B&C Book Explores Hunting the Old West!

Hunting the American West: The Pursuit of Game for Life, Profit, and Sport, 1800-1900

By Richard C. Rattenbury

For every hunter, conservationist, gun and sporting art collector, or history buff who has dreamed of the epic grandeur and adventure of hunting on the western frontier, a new book from the Boone and Crockett Club is a must read. 


Hunting the American West explores the pursuit of big game for life, profit, and sport from 1800 to 1900.

Handsome, heavy, colorful—even this book’s look and feel reflect its larger-than-life subject. Published by Boone and Crockett Club and backed by years of research, Hunting the American West is among the few scholarly works focused on hunting in the 19th-century, from aboriginal hunters to adventurers to market hunters. Drawing extensively on vivid accounts from participants and observers—along with abundant historical photos and illustrations—this book affords rare insight to the methods, motives and character of big-game hunters in the Old West.

“It was a period in which hunting evolved from a subsistence activity to a sport of aristocrats to market-driven devastation of our wildlife resources. It’s a saga that ultimately led to the rise of the hunter-conservationist movement and the founding of the Boone and Crockett Club,” said Julie Houk, director of publications for the Club.


“A must read for anyone interested in the history of hunting, firearms, and the West. In his well-written, balanced narrative, based on the 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; author of “The Passing of the Great West: Selected Papers of George Bird Grinnell” and “American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation.”


The author, Richard C. Rattenbury of Edmond, Okla., is the longtime curator of history at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. He holds a B.A. degree in history from Texas Christian University and an M.A. in museum studies from Texas Tech University. Rattenbury’s previous books include Packing Iron: Gunleather of the Frontier West, The Art of American Arms Makers, and The Browning Connection.

Available Oct. 1, 2008, from Boone and Crockett Club and later from book retailers nationwide, Hunting the American West is a hardcover book, 12 x 8.75 inches with 416 pages and 425 color and B&W photos and illustrations. If ordered directly from Boone and Crockett Club, the price is $49.95. Boone and Crockett Club Associates receive a $10 discount on the book.