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Weekly Update from the Field November 24, 2005
Update from the Field Thanksgiving Issue
November 24, 2005
* TONIGHT - NBC Nightly News to Feature BFC Bison Hunt Video Footage
* Thanksgiving Message
* Update on Montana's Bison Hunt
* Dirty Trick by Cody Jones
* New Ways to Support the Work of the BFC!
* Last Words 

View Exclusive Bison Hunt Footage:
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/bisonhunt/bisonhuntvideo.html
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* TONIGHT--NBC Nightly News to Feature BFC Bison Hunt Video Footage
NBC Nightly News will feature a report on the Montana bison hunt tonight. The segment will include coverage of BFC's efforts and BFC hunt video footage shot last week. Check local listings for times.
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* Thanksgiving Message
There's still much to be thankful for even when one of the things you love most in the world - the last wild buffalo - are constantly threatened by fear, greed, hatred and misrepresentation.

Even in the face of this challenge, or sometimes especially in spite of it, we have much to be thankful for:
We give thanks to the 23 buffalo that saved themselves and their race from extinction, by taking refuge in Yellowstone's remote Pelican Valley over a century ago.

We give thanks for the generations of wild buffalo that have come after them, that have continuously graced this majestic landscape, strengthening their numbers.

We give thanks for the wild buffalo's endurance, persistence, and resistance to the shallow laws of man.

We give thanks for the thoughts of regret and sadness that may lurk in the buffalo hunter's heart after they so easily gun down such a brave and noble giant.

We give thanks for the small hope that this regret will shape itself into championship for the cause of the last wild buffalo.

We give thanks for the vast tracts of prairie land that are still wide and clear, lush and ready for wild buffalo to again fill up the empty spaces and dance a thunder dance upon her generous surface. 

We give thanks for the true champions of the wild buffalo's cause who have given up the life they knew before to make defending the last wild buffalo the life they know now.

We give thanks to these volunteers for withstanding harsh climate and long hours, frustration and heartache, unrelenting in their resolve to set the buffalo free.

We give thanks to their tireless effort and heartfelt determination and commitment.

We give thanks to all of those who make it possible for us to be here on the front lines with the buffalo.

We give thanks to our brothers and sisters who have done this work in years past, who continue to offer their support, strength, encouragement and inspiration.

We give thanks to wild buffalo advocates on both coasts who bring us to their towns and cities so that the buffalo's story can be told.

We give thanks to everyone, everywhere who give voice to the last wild buffalo from all over Mother Earth.

We give thanks to Patagonia for keeping us warm and dry, for helping us in so many ways, and for being such a strong voice for the last wild buffalo.

We give thanks to Common Ground Organic Farm for growing good food and filling up our root cellar so that we are nourished and healthy.

We give thanks to the beautifully skilled hands that put their hearts into magnificent creations that adorn our tables and fill our bellies.

We give thanks to Karrie Taggart and the Horse Butte Neighbors of Buffalo, to the Stovall Family, to barb and to all the local advocates of the last wild buffalo who make it easy for the buffalo and hard for their would-be killers.

We give thanks to these special souls for their courage to stand up and fight for what's right in their own back yard.  You are such a powerful voice!

We give thanks for the lessons the buffalo are teaching us. Lessons about caring for one another, about being a strong family that doesn't turn its back when one falls down. Lessons about defying the laws of man and standing to face their nemesis, rather than run from them. Lessons that seemingly take too many human-lifetimes for our lesser species to learn. 

We give thanks for the wild buffalo, we honor the mighty bison. And we give thanks for all of you who believe in their cause and never give up on our shared vision of wild buffalo dancing upon the ground they choose to be on once again.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Buffalo Field Campaign
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* Update on Montana's Bison Hunt
During the first week of Montana's bison "hunt" gunners have taken the lives of six magnificent bull bison. They were shot down in the field after migrating from the protective boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, entering the killing fields of Montana. 

Our volunteers in Gardiner, along Yellowstone's northern boundary, have seen most of the killing so far. Four bulls have been shot there; two by men and two by women. Documenting these incidents is extremely difficult, the desire to make the bullet miss its target is powerful; but the importance of showing the world what this canned hunt looks like, and the need to raise awareness of the wild buffalo's constant struggle strangles the yearning to interfere.  

Here in West Yellowstone one bull buffalo was gunned down at the mouth of the Duck Creek bison trap; another was shot out on the Horse Butte peninsula. It is such a different time now, every vehicle and every person donned in orange are suspected buffalo killers.  

Montana continues to insist that this "hunt" is good for the buffalo. They feel that it will curb the threat of brucellosis transmission, and also keep the population in check. Yet, there is no real threat of brucellosis, and there is no overpopulation of the last wild buffalo. Montana has neglected to give the wild buffalo cruelty-free habitat within its borders. Montana has neglected to recognize wild buffalo as a native wildlife species. Montana has neglected to remove all management authority from the Department of Livestock. Gunning down members of the last wild herd of buffalo as they cross man-made lines unrecognized by any save ourselves, is anything but good for the buffalo.

We did receive some encouraging news this week; the Crow Tribe has pulled out of the hunt and turned in their two permits. We can only hope that the other Montana tribes realize that, like the hunters, they are being used by the state to do their dirty work, and they will follow suit and pull out of this canned hunt. 

Nevertheless, wild buffalo respond to instinct and continue their winter migration, unknowingly or in spite of entering harm's way. Forty-four more bison permits have yet to be filled. Our field patrols at both camps are working double shifts and front lines volunteers are sorely needed. Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer may have donned blinders and earplugs, but with your help, these can be removed. Please keep the pressure on him.

For the latest news on the hunt, including video footage and press releases, visit http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org.

Thank you for being a voice for the last wild buffalo!
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* Dirty Trick
As someone who advocates for the buffalo I always try to see things from their perspective. Being in the field witnessing these atrocities helps me understand what kind of reactions and emotional responses to expect. Understanding the unpredictability of buffalo it is safe to say that this hunt comes across as a dirty trick. The buffalo are no longer looking over their shoulders for the DOL. With hazing operations ceased and no capturing until spring, buffalo have begun leaving the park en masse. The bulls toss their heads jubilantly in housing developments and mixed herds have begun leaving the park as well. Last year's calves, some of them only six months old, are in the line of fire. Everyday our proximity to them reminds us of how conditioned these majestic animals are to human presence. Throughout the summer they are adored by tourists in Yellowstone, and in the winter and spring they are likewise accompanied by BFC volunteers and locals of West Yellowstone. Humans have been present during nearly every moment of the buffalo's lives. Proponents of the hunt would like to pretend that this is fair chase, they want us to believe that it is sporting to shoot at a standing target, but there's only one big difference between a camera and a gun. After years of harassing, hazing, and slaughtering, the buffalo have learned to fear the DOL, only to have them replaced by a much more immediate danger. Anyone can see the buffalo's joy at finally being free to wander where they will in this little section of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, maybe they imagine that their persistence has paid off. Maybe they believe that their sacrifices haven't been in vain. They have no idea until it is too late, the true intentions of their enemy. Time after time we have recognized their wonder at the absence of the DOL, unfortunately we also must recognize the shock of the hunt. Write to the governor; tell him to stop his dirty tricks.
--Cody Jones, BFC Coordinator

Contact Gov. Brian Schweitzer today!
Phone: 406-444-3111
Fax: 406-444-5529
Web: http://governor.mt.gov/contact/comments.asp
Mail: State Capitol, P.O. Box 200801, Helena, MT 59620-0801
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* New Ways to Support the Work of the BFC!
Long-time BFC supporter and creative artist Mel Kelley has helped set up a new way for artists, crafts-people, and anyone else to auction items to benefit our work and keep our patrols in the field. Mel has kicked off the new program by donating her one-of-a-kind gourd artwork and a beautiful photographic print to benefit the BFC.

To learn how you can auction items and support BFC or to peruse the items already offered, please visit
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/bisonmerchandise/bisonauction.html

We also have benefit items available directly on our web site. Mariah Blackhorse of Westwind Designs makes beautiful buffalo-inspired earrings, hair-ties, and bookmarks that you can buy by clicking here: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/bisonmerchandise/bisonartgifts.html

Read BFC's updated wishlist to learn what items we currently need. Donations are tax-deductible and go directly to our front lines work to protect the buffalo. Click here for the current wishlist:  http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/wishlist.html
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* Last Words
"If to kill [a buffalo] required any special skill or bravery or nerve... To shoot buffalo seems a mania.... Sport! when no danger is incurred and no skill required. I see no more sport in shooting a buffalo than in shooting an ox nor so much danger as there is hunting Texas cattle."
~ The Murder of the Buffalo, June 1872, Topeka, Kansas newspaper, taken from "The Buffalo Book" by David A. Dary
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STOP THE HUNT! Call Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer:
Phone #: 406-444-3111

Stay informed! Get our weekly email Updates from the Field:
Send your email address to Stop-the-Slaughter-on@vortex.wildrockies.org

Speak Out! Contact politicians and involved agencies today!
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html

Write a Letter to the Editor of key newspapers!
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/lte.html

Help the buffalo by recycling your used cell phones & printer cartridges! 
It's free and easy. http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/support/recycleprint.html.

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