* Update from the Field: State Bison "Hunt" Opens Today
BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
As BFC's 16th season in the field begins, wild buffalo that migrate into Montana are once again under the gun.
The state of Montana's eighth buffalo "hunt" season begins today, while some First Nations have already, or will soon begin to kill wild buffalo. Migrations take the buffalo across the man-made boundary from Yellowstone National Park into their Montana winter range, yet this habitat is essentially available to them only during the hunting seasons. Between the few tribes hunting under treaty right and Montana's hunt, wild buffalo are vulnerable to hunters for six months of the year: from mid-September through late-March. Sadly, this is something wolves and buffalo have in common in Montana.
To date, one bull buffalo has been shot by a member of the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes.
BFC maintains strong opposition to hunting wild buffalo, as they are an ecologically extinct wildlife species with no access to year-round habitat in Montana and are sorely mismanaged and abused by current management schemes. In addition to hunting, wild buffalo are subjected to abusive actions -- hazing, capture, slaughter, shooting in the field, quarantine, and experimental research -- all carried out under the taxpayer-funded Interagency Bison Management Plan. State, federal and tribal governments are anticipating that hundreds of wild buffalo will be killed this year, either through state and treaty hunting or government slaughter, or both.
BFC's field patrols in both the Gardiner and Hebgen Basins, north and west of Yellowstone's boundary, are in full force, monitoring the buffalo's migration, talking with hunters in hopes of building strong alliances for wild buffalo, and documenting all actions made against them by state and federal agencies. If we have a normal, cold and snowy winter things could go very badly for our friends the buffalo. As they follow their instincts to critical winter ranges and calving grounds they will be met with guns and traps.
Please join BFC in advocating for year-round habitat and lasting protection and respect of these gentle giants, America's last continuously wild populations. Please help keep us on the front lines, in the policy arena, and in the courts to defend these sacred beings, and visit our Take Action page and urge your Members of Congress to take action on behalf of America's last wild buffalo.
Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!
* Wild Bison Calendars: Send Us Your Buffalo Photos for 2014!
Your wild buffalo photo could be featured in BFC's 2014 Wild Bison Calendar! Photo by Larry Broder, used with permission.
It's that time again! BFC is gearing up for our fourth Wild Bison Calendar, and we want your photos! The calendar is a true celebration of the wild buffalo of Yellowstone country and we are thrilled to continue with it. Send us your photos!
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, etc. in the shot please!), and must be at least 12.25" wide x 8.25 tall at 300 pixels per inch and should be approximately 35 megabytes in size. This requires a 10 megapixel camera or larger. 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.
Please email us your raw file photo submissions for BFC's Wild Bison 2014 Calendar. You can also send a disc of photos to BFC Wild Bison Calendar, P.O. Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758. We can't wait to see your pictures! Contact us with any specific questions.
We are also accepting artwork for the calendar -- as well as quotes and buffalo facts -- so please submit anything you'd like us to consider.
Artists and photographers will be given full credit for any and all photos, art, and images. If your photo doesn't make it into the calendar, we can still use it (with your permission) to help educate and inspire in our email updates, web site, newsletters, and other outreach materials.
Do you have your Wild Bison 2013 Calendars? It will soon be time to place a new calendar on the wall, and they make great gifts, so if you haven't yet gotten yours, or want or order more as gifts for your friends and family, do so today.
Thank you for making our Wild Bison Calendars such an amazing project!
* By the Numbers
The last wild populations of American buffalo -- the so-called Yellowstone herds -- are currently estimated at fewer than 4,300 individual buffalo. Wild bison are ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.
Total Buffalo Killed: 1
Buffalo Released from Capture:
Held for Government Experiment:
Died In Government Trap:
Miscarriage in Government Trap:
Treaty Hunts: 1
Shot by Agents:
Killed by Angry Residents:
Total Killed in Previous Years
Total Killed Since 2000: 4,009
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, and highway mortality
* Last Words--Buffalo Inspiration
"...They have their own currents. You could watch a herd
of running pronghorn swerve like a river rounding
a meander and see better what I mean. But
bison are a deeper, deliberate water, and there will
never be enough water for any West but the one
into which we watch these bison carefully disappear."
From the poem "Herd of Buffalo Crossing the Missouri on Ice" by William Matthews
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!