American Bison
Bison bison

f6.7 @ 1/400s, ISO:1250, Nikon D3S w 500mm and 1.7X teleconverter

"American Bison," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Buffalo hunting, i.e. hunting of the American bison, was an activity fundamental to the Indigenous peoples of the Great Plains. This activity was later adopted by American professional hunters, as well as by the U.S. government, in an effort to sabotage the central resource of some American Indian Nations during the later portions of the American Indian Wars, leading to the near-extinction of the species around 1890. For many tribes the buffalo was an integral part of life—something guaranteed to them by the Creator. In fact, for some Plains indigenous peoples, bison are known as the first people. The concept of species extinction was foreign to many tribes. Thus, when the U.S. government began to massacre the buffalo, it was particularly harrowing to the Indigenous people. As Crow chief Plenty Coups described it: "When the buffalo went away the hearts of my people fell to the ground, and they could not lift them up again. After this nothing happened. There was little singing anywhere." Spiritual loss was rampant; bison were an integral part of traditional tribal societies and they would frequently take part in ceremonies for each bison they killed to honor its sacrifice. In order to boost morale during this time, Sioux and other tribes took part in the Ghost Dance, which consisted of hundreds of people dancing until 100 persons were lying unconscious.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming