Commerce - Market Hunting
When the 49ers rushed in, small restaurants, boarding houses, and hotels blossomed overnight throughout the mining region and in San Francisco. Feeding the masses of immigrants swarming to San Francisco became good business. Market hunting emerged in response to the need for food; California's abundant wildlife gave new meaning to the term fair game. In 1854 John Audubon described the phenomenon called market hunting: Many of the miners, indeed, turned their attention to killing deer, elk, bear, antelopes, geese, ducks, and all sorts of game and wildfowl, by which they realized considerable sums from selling them in San Francisco.
This lethal multi-barreled gun killed dozens of birds with a single shot. Eventually laws were passed to protect migratory birds, and Oakland's Lake Merritt became the nation's first game refuge in 1870.
Top: Shot Gun, 4-Barrel, Collection of Oakland
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