Over the last several decades, there has been an increasingly robust body of ethnographic research indicating that the sharing of meat is strongly linked to the fitness pursuits of individuals, where successful male hunters achieve various forms of prestige that ultimately lead to greater reproductive success. We argue that the effects of prestige hunting and other similar displays can be traced archaeologically in subsistence, settlement, and material culture profiles, and in the gender division of labor of even the simplest foraging societies—in this case Great Basin Middle Archaic (4500-1000 B.P.) hunter-gatherers. In contrast with optimal faraging and other efficiency models that attempt to account for such behaviors, we apply costly signaling theory to explain when foraging currencies shifted from calories to prestige among Great Basin foragers. The application of such an approach has the ability to integrate a series of disparate, subsistence- and non-subsistence-related observations regarding Great Basin lifeways and, in so doing, revise our traditional understanding of prehistoric culture change in this region.