This series of photographs engages with a small group of primitive skills practitioners who attend the annual buffalo (American bison) hunt on the perimeter of Yellowstone National Park in Montana. These individuals scavenge animal parts and other animal products typically left behind with most contemporary hunting techniques. After offering assistance to hunters by field dressing, skinning, quartering and carrying of buffalo to vehicles for transportation, any meat scraps left behind are canned or packaged, fat is rendered and placed in jars, hides are tanned and bones are used to make primitive tools and ornamental objects. These individuals see themselves as a neutral party to the often controversial polemic around the hunt and management of Yellowstone buffalo. They aim to honor the animals by making use of what would otherwise be left behind.
While the majority of nearly 1000 Yellowstone buffalo killed annually are corralled and shipped to slaughter by state and federal agencies, the hunt represented here relates to a recent revival of American Indian tribal hunts associated with the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. These hunts empower tribes by allowing them to reengage with traditional cultural practices and a relationship to these animals that dates to the millennia.