Historical Event

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October 29, 1830

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"In addition to his other talents, the mountain man had to be a master of buffalo hunting, for meat comprised almost one hundred per cent of his normal diet. Buffalo meat has been called the greatest meat man has ever fed on. He cracked the marrow bones to make "trapper's butter."

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Trappers and Mountain Men - American Heritage Junior Library

Topics: (click to open)

Trapping, Exploring, Hunting
Boiling Fatty Meat and Bones
Roasting Meat
Man The Fat Hunter
Facultative Carnivore
Pre-civilization races
Fat
Carnivore Diet

Important Text:

The mountain man was a rugged individualist of whom Washington Irving wrote, "You cannot pay a free trapper a greater compliment than to persuade him that you have mistaken him for an Indian." In fact, he virtually had to become an Indian in order to survive. "A turned leaf," wrote George Frederick Ruxton in Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains, blade of grass pressed down, the uneasiness of wild animals, the flight of birds, are all paragraphs to him written in Nature's legible hand." 


In addition to his other talents, the mountain man had to be a master of buffalo hunting, for meat comprised almost one hundred per cent of his normal diet--at least when in the buffalo country. As in everything else, he had to develop new techniques for "making meat." When hunting horseback, according to the traveler Rudolph Kurz, the hunters (those operating from fixed forts, at any rate) did not use long-barreled rifles because "they think the care required in loading them takes too much time unnecessarily when shooting at close range and, furthermore, they find rifle balls too small. The hunter chases buffaloes at full gallop, discharges his gun [a short- harreled shotgunk and reloads it with out slackening speed.


Buffalo meat has been called the greatest meat man has ever fed on. The mountain man usually boiled the outs from the hump, and roasted other pieces. He cracked the marrow bones to make "trapper's butter", or he used the marrow to make a fine thick soup.

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