Clovis is the name archaeologists have given to the earliest well-established human culture in the North American continent. Clovis were the first big game hunters of the Paleoindian tradition, although they were probably not the first people in the American continents. The first people are tentatively called Pre-Clovis, I suppose for lack of a better terminology.
Clovis archaeological sites are dated between 11,000-10,800 RCYBP (which converts to circa 12,500-12,900 calendar years before the present) and they are found pretty much throughout North America. The point and culture are named after the town in New Mexico near where it was first identified, although the name of type site is officially Blackwater Draw Locality 1.
Clovis Life Styles
The Clovis people were primarily, but not exclusively of course, big game hunters of megafauna, now extinct forms of large bodied animals like mammoth, bison, horse and camel, hunted using a highly mobile hunting strategy.
Environmental conditions at the time were dry, and it might be speculated that the Americans took up big game hunting (from the mixed hunter-gatherer-fisher strategy of pre-clovis) as an adaptation to drought. But, for whatever reason the people started hunting elephants and horses and bison, the big-game hunting strategy only lasted as long as there were big game to hunt.
The End of Clovis
The end of the big game hunting strategy used by Clovis appears to have occurred very abruptly, sometime about 9,800 to 10,800 RCYBP. The reasons for the end of big game hunting is, of course, the end of big game: most of the megafauna disappeared about the same time.
Scholars are divided about why the big fauna disappeared, although currently they are leaning towards a natural disaster combined with climate change that killed off all the large animals. It's possible that the extinction was helped along by over-kills. Overkills are known from buffalo jumps at the Murray Springs and Head-Smashed-In sites, among others. A buffalo jump is when a herd of buffaloes are purposefully stampeded off a cliff; the hunters then butcher a few of the animals and leave the rest, usually with quite a bit of waste. But, there aren't that many buffalo jumps and no elephant jumps, so, that kind of evidence is not strongly compelling.