White people definitely killed more buffalo at one time. Over the course of time I’m sure the Native Americans killed more. The white Europeans hunted buffalo to near extinction because they knew how important buffalo were to the Native Americans. The Europeans thought that this would force the Native Americans to assimilate and become more “civilized”.
Native peoples hunted bison more modestly than European hunters. They used the buffalo for food, clothing and even shelter. Many peoples regarded the buffalo with respect for spiritual reasons.
European fur traders, however, hunted bison to near extinction to ship fur to Europe. The bison numbers were so great that they could not be counted when Europeans first settled in North America. Between the 1600s and the 1800s, bison were being hunted extensively. By the 1860s, almost 200,000 were killed annually for the fur trade.
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