This case involves Wyatt Earp and his distinctive manner to hunting buffalo in order to gain financial success. The purpose of this paper is to compare his strategy and improvement of a hunting approach that was being used by the old timers. Next, we will discuss key elements of business success form an operations perspective and relate these ideas to Wyatt Earp’s approach. Finally, we will address whether or not the buffalo hunters were irresponsible in killing off the great buffalo herds as they did. We may be left to wonder if Wyatt Earp is a pioneer of what BLS (2012) describes as a General and Operations Manager, as one who plans, directs, or coordinates the operations of public or private sector organizations.
Key Issues and Underlying Issues
Wyatt Earp managed his hunting escapades by using a method that went against the popular ways of veteran hunters of the West. Hunting expeditions of Wyatt Earp’s time demanded supplies, manpower, and financing to get the effort underway. The revenue was determined by the amount of meat and skins sold and had the money remaining after paying for expenses. We can clearly see from his example that the challenges Wyatt Earp faced are not much different than those a CEO of a business face today.
The “old timers” used a prevailing method to accomplish their hunt. The hunter would provide enough supplies to last several months. Besides the necessary supplies, the experienced hunter in 1871 prepared for the excursion with five wagons, pulled by four horses each, one driver, the stocktender, a camp watchman, a cook, and a team of four skinners. Buffalo hunters often acknowledged an unwritten code that forbid a hunter from skinning his own kill, so an expert buffalo hunter, and anyone considered to be above a skinner would never do the skinning because it was a lack of dignity to do so. The weapon commonly used by most hunters was the “Fifty” rifle manufactured by Sharp’s. The rifle offered a... [continues]
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