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Great Plains

Ray Mears explores how 500,000 square miles of flat, treeless grassland was the setting for some of the Wild West's most dramatic stories of Plains Indians, wagon trains, homesteaders and cattle drives.

Ray joins the Blackfeet Indian Nation as they demonstrate bareback riding skills before a ritual buffalo hunt and sacrifice, and learns how their ancestors were dependent upon the buffalo for their survival. He follows in the wagon ruts of the early pioneers along the Oregon Trail and hitches a ride on a prairie schooner with wagon master Kim Merchant. He discovers the stories of the early homesteaders who lived in sod-houses and farmed the wild grassland around them.

At a cattle auction in Dodge City he explores the story of the railways, cow-towns and the buffalo massacre. His journey across the Great Plains ends at Moore Ranch where he joins a long-horn cattle drive and learns about the life and myth of one of the Wild West's most iconic figures, the cowboy.

Release date:

1 hour

On TV

Tue 20 Dec 2016 20:00

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterRay Mears
ProducerClare Bradshaw
Executive ProducerAndrea Cornes