* Update from the Field
BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
Eight more of America's last wild buffalo have been killed by hunters since we last wrote, every one of them less than a mile from the boundary of Yellowstone National Park. One young bull was shot by a hunter who has a hunting TV program. He filmed the event for his show and wrote thoroughly about it on his blog. Of everything he had to say about it, the following is something we certainly agree on:
"The bison deserves to be treated as wildlife and not livestock. Until we as hunters make that case, the plight of the bison is relegated to the same path, rather than the path of abundance we have provided for all our other wildlife." ~ Randy Newberg.
While this is excellent sentiment, I am reminded of Ed Abbey's statement, "sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul."
Over the past seven years, hundreds of hunters have killed hundreds of wild buffalo on the fringes of Yellowstone National Park, under the guise of a legitimate hunt. The Montana Department of Livestock is kicking back, enjoying having hunters do their dirty work. Montana hunters in particular are proud of all the wildlife species they have "brought back" from the brink, but what have hunters accomplished for wild bison in Montana? The people who come to kill bison are failing their conservation ethic, putting the cart before the horse by taking from the buffalo without doing what is necessary to ensure that they survive into the future. Hunters have a responsibility to NOT kill ecologically extinct native wildlife and a responsibility to defend animals who are hounded and killed by state and federal agencies, brutally kicked off their tiny fraction of habitat after hunting is over.
Buffalo Field Campaign is not opposed to hunting, but we strongly oppose the current buffalo hunt. Some of us are subsistence hunters and honor the sacred life that not only helps feed some of our family, but plays a key ecological role outside of the human spectrum. A profound statement buffalo hunters could make -- especially those with a TV show -- would be to publicly oppose the Interagency Bison Management Plan and to publicly refuse to participate in a hunt that is set up to keep buffalo from accessing and inhabiting their Montana habitat.
Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!
* TAKE ACTION! Critical Mass Needed to Stop Bad MT Bills and Yellowstone's Plans to Slaughter
BFC file photo by Kim Acheson. Click photo for larger image.
The Montana Legislature is declaring war on wild buffalo and other native wildlife, running amok with some terrible bills that, if passed, would spell disaster for America's last wild buffalo and elk. Montana is trying to make the buffalo issue a state issue, but these are our nation's last continuously wild populations, important to all Americans and to all the world. BFC has created a web page to track these bills and enable you to take the necessary actions to prevent them from becoming law. It doesn't matter if you are a Montana resident, everyone should take action. If you live outside of Montana, contact Governor Steve Bullock and tell him why you visit Montana and what is important to you. Remind him that wild buffalo and elk are our national heritage, and urge him to veto these bills.
to defeat legislation that seeks to destroy wild buffalo and elk!
State, federal, and tribal governments -- including Yellowstone National Park --are aiming to kill hundreds of wild buffalo this winter through hunting, slaughter, or both. The agencies state that they want to "even the sex ratio" and have placed a heavy target on female buffalo, wanting to kill at least 400 and another 50 bulls.
to prevent wild buffalo from being captured and slaughtered!
* Time is Running Out on Your Chance to Send Buffalo Valentines
View the card and order now!
With Valentine's Day two weeks away, we wanted to remind you of your chance to send a special card to the recipient(s) of your choice. Your card will represent an investment in the wildest of wild bison-the Yellowstone-area population-and our ongoing work for their well-being and freedom. Can you imagine a more precious Valentine?
This year's Valentine, like those in the past, is hand-drawn by the talented artist and dedicated BFC supporter Kathleen Stachowski.
The 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" card features an image of two bison standing face-to-face, forming a perfect heart with their bodies.
The inside sentiment reads:
" 'In a gentle way, you can shake the world.'
A gentle, world-shaking gift has been made in your honor by ____________ to further the work of Buffalo Field Campaign. Happy Valentine's Day!"
The card also includes a few words on Buffalo Field Campaign's mission.
Please donate a minimum of $15 per card. The deadline for ordering is Monday, February 4. Please order early! Your card will be mailed to reach your Valentine by the 14th. To view the card and to order, click HERE or send a check or money order (no cash please) to the address below.
Deadline for ordering cards is Tuesday, February 5.
For the Buffalo,
Buffalo Field Campaign
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
* Colorado Ski Vacation to Benefit Buffalo Field Campaign
BFC is currently auctioning a week's lodging in a luxury Crested Butte slope-side condominium. The highest bidder will get to choose, subject to availability, a week between now and November 1st in this 4 bedroom, 3 bath condominium that comfortably sleeps 11.
Thanks to long-time and generous supporter Deanna Wenstrup for donating her condo to make this auction possible!
View the details and place a bid.
* WANTED: Photos & Art for 2014 Wild Bison Calendar
BFC is getting ready to create our next Wild Bison Calendar! We are now accepting photos, artwork, quotations, poetry, and interesting facts for 2014. We aim to go to print a few months earlier than usual, so please send us your 2014 Wild Bison Calendar submissions as soon as possible!
Submission Requirements: To meet the image size and quality of our calendar printing, photos must be high-resolution, digital images of wild buffalo of the Yellowstone area in their natural habitat (no roads, signs, people, etc. in the shot, please). Photos must be at least 12.25" wide x 8.25 tall at 300 pixels per inch. File sizes should be approximately 35MB. (This requires a 10 megapixel camera or larger). Please submit RAW files whenever possible. We strongly prefer your images to not be color corrected. Adjusting color in images for four color process printing is different than for other printing processes. Artists and photographers will be given full credit for any and all photos, art, images or original text. Deadline for submissions is Saturday, February 9, 2013.
Please email your photo submissions for BFC's Wild Bison 2014 Calendar or send a disc of photos and/or art to BFC Wild Bison Calendar, P.O. Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758. We can't wait to see your pictures and art!
We have just a few 2013 Wild Bison calendars still in stock. ORDER NOW!
* BFC Wish List Featured Items: Binoculars & Field Volunteers
When we head out the door in the morning, there are a few vital pieces of gear that we always take with us. One of those vital pieces of gear is a pair of binoculars. Our current collection of binoculars is in need of refreshing, as many of the pairs we have now are in rough shape. Good binos are critical for gathering the information we need, when at a distance. We are currently asking for outdoor optics, specifically waterproof and multi-coated. Some suggested types include compact and full-size high-resolution binoculars, water- and fog-proof, 7-10x 35-70mm magnification. All donations are tax deductible. Please contact our gear coordinator with any questions about these important optics. Check our complete Wish List for other important items that helps keep BFC running!
In addition to optics, we also need volunteers to help us make use of them. This is the time of year that the buffalo are being hunted and we could use passionate hard-working individuals in the field. If you are interested, please contact our volunteer coordinator. For more information about volunteering with BFC visit HERE.
* By the Numbers
The last wild buffalo populations are currently estimated at fewer than 4,300 individual animals, living in and around Yellowstone National Park. Wild bison are currently ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.
Total Buffalo Killed: 77
Buffalo Released from Capture:
Held for Government Experiment:
Died In Government Trap:
Miscarriage in Government Trap:
State Hunt: 14
Treaty Hunts: 62
Shot by Agents:
Highway Mortality: 1
Total Killed in Previous Years
Total Killed Since 2000: 4,082
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, and highway mortality
* Buffalo Inspired Last Words
"As a hunter, you have a responsibility to future generations to see to the conservation of the animals you hunt...."
~ Jim Posewitz, Beyond Fair Chase
If anyone has submissions for Last Words just send them to us. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you have been sending! Keep them coming!