Did guys actually exist in the Old West who made their living as bounty hunters?

Did guys actually exist in the Old West who made their living as bounty hunters?

Steve Drake
Gladewater, Texas

Bounty hunters were a varied assortment of mankind. On the frontier, bounties were offered for animals, Indians and outlaws. The most famous bounty hunter was Jim Kirker, a former mountain man, who found he could make far more money working for the Mexican government in the 1830s and ’40s collecting Apache scalps than he could skinning beaver. He led a band of hell-for-leather scalphunters called the Apache Company on many successful forays against the Apaches just prior to the Mexican War. At the time, the Mexicans were offering $100 for an adult male, $50 for a woman and $25 for a child. Other bounty hunters tracked down lawbreakers and were generally held in disdain by professional lawmen.

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.