Wyatt Earp Essay

This case involves Wyatt Earp and his unique approach to hunting buffalo while taking in the highest profit. This paper will recount his strategy and improvement of a system that, to some, was satisfactory. I will compare and contrast the ideas of Wyatt Earp against the “tried and true” ways of the West and draw a conclusion based on the data from the case. To undertake a hunting expedition of this caliber, one needs to be aware of the supplies needed, the manpower, and the cost that they entail. After all is said and done, it doesn’t matter who killed the most buffalo.

What matters is who sold the most meat and skins and had the most money in their pocket after paying for expenses. The challenges that faced Wyatt Earp are not much different than those that face a CEO of a modern day business. In addition to supplies, the typical hunter of 1871 set out with five wagons, each pulled by four horses and led by one driver, a camp watchman, a cook, and a team of men that would skin the kill. The money that was made from the sale of the buffalo skins and its meat would be divided in half.

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One half would be divided among the hands and the other half would be for the hunter after all of the expenses were paid. For Wyatt Earp, this was the first system that needed improvement. He reduced overhead by utilizing one wagon with four horses, one that he would ride during the hunt, and one man that would drive the wagon, cook, and skin who he would split his profits. With this plan, Wyatt would have to assist in skinning the buffalo; a task not usually accepted by good hunters. The next aspect of his business he analyzed was the weapon of choice.

The common rifle used was heavy and special care had to be taken between shots so the metal would not melt. Aim was next to impossible on horseback and to carry it up into a stand was laborious, not to mention the ammunition was heavy and also very costly. Wyatt found a much more efficient weapon that used lighter, less expensive ammunition, but the trade off was that it had to be shot from the ground. He found this to be a great value because the buffalo would ignore a man on foot, which gave him an advantage.

The other part of designing a successful operation is not to set unrealistic goals. His counterparts expected to kill one hundred buffalo a day, but in all actuality, the best hunter would possibly kill 30-40 with a price of two to five dollars per buffalo. Wyatt’s lowest count was eighteen and the highest was twenty-seven. After all was accounted for, he and the skinner would make $20 – $35 each for a days work. Wyatt Earp recognized that even though some men had killed more buffalo or had higher kill totals, his hide count was beyond the average as was his profits.

In conclusion, Wyatt Earp successfully designed and organized an improved system to turn a greater profit from hunting buffalo. Although there were trade offs like using a different gun, having to help skin the kill, and using fewer resources to achieve the desired goal, he was able to effectively employ a transformation process that maximized profit. Bridget Larson Wyatt Earp Case Analysis March 2, 2010 . I will compare and contrast the ideas of Wyatt Earp against the “tried and true” ways of the West and draw a conclusion based on the data from the case. • Supplies • Resources • Man power • Compensation


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