Varmints and Victims is a broad overview and analysis of predator control in the American West. Focusing mainly on the public lands from the nineteenth century to the present, Frank Van Nuys examines four major mammals: wolves, lions, coyotes, and grizzly bears. Previous works by Thomas Dunlap, Michael Robinson, and Jon Coleman examined this subject from a variety of perspectives, but Van Nuys’s in-depth and well-balanced overview of the topic is a welcome addition to the literature.

The author provides a few paragraphs about native peoples and the role of predators in their cosmology (which seems a little thin) before delving into the ways that Euro-Americans during the fur trade, overland migrations, and within the early settlements in the...

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