No American president has been closer to the working life of the West than Theodore Roosevelt. From 1884 to 1886 he built up his ranch on the Little Missouri in Dakota Territory, accepting the inevitable toil and hardships. He met the unique characters of the Bad Lands-mountain men, degenerate buffalo hunters, Indians, and cowboys-and observed their changes as the West became more populated. Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail describes Roosevelt's routine labor and extraordinary adventures, including a stint as a deputy sheriff pursuing three horse thieves through the cold of winter. Whether recounting stories of cowboy fights or describing his hunting of elk, antelope, and bear, the book expresses his lifelong delight in physical hardihood and tests of nerve.