The bison narrative has a long history and is entwined with the North American indigenous cultures. Millions of bison previously roamed the land, giving the earliest Americans everything they required to survive in a harsh environment.
In the late 1800's, bison were killed for their hides and tongues only, by the Europeans. Throughout history, this is the time that they were slaughtered in their largest numbers. By 1890, they were classed as extinct.
However, individual and public conservation efforts saved the bison population from extinction. Bison were once restricted to zoos and national parks, but over time, small herds were established on private ranches.
By the 1980s (100 years after extinction), these ranchers had enough product to sell, igniting a new sector.
Bison meat is becoming a rising market for sophisticated foodies with a robust animal population of around 500,000.