A disagreement over the killing of a buck during a hunting trip brings an elderly Natty Bumppo, known as Leatherstocking, into contact with a judge and his daughter. Staunchly defending his right to hunt in the rapidly-changing Lake Otsego region, Bumppo challenges the prevailing attitudes towards the cultivation of the forest at the height of its pioneer settlement.
The first of the five Leatherstocking novels to be published, The Pioneers is chronologically the fourth in the series.
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