Wild Bison Killed in "Hunt," Harassed in Hazing
For Immediate Release, December 12, 2005
Contact: Stephany Seay, Dan Brister: (406) 726-5555
YELLOWSTONE & GARDINER, MONTANA. Montana's
zero-tolerance policy against the country's last wild
bison resulted in another bison death and increased
bison harassment activities over the weekend by hunters
and government agents.
On Friday in West Yellowstone, a 14-year-old girl killed
a wild buffalo less than half a mile from Yellowstone
National Park. The buffalo was shot just yards from
the Duck Creek Bison Trap, on the private property of
Dale Koelzer, a landowner who hosts the Department of
Livestock (DOL)-run bison trap. On Thursday, Buffalo
Field Campaign representatives witnessed DOL agents
off-loading a semi trailer full of hay at the property
where no cows or horses live.
"Are DOL agents using this enormous amount of hay
to lure hungry buffalo into unwelcome territory so that
they can invite so-called hunters to shoot them like
fish in a barrel? " questioned Stephany Seay, a
coordinator with the wild bison advocacy group Buffalo
Field Campaign. "Or are the livestock inspectors
gearing up for a heavy season of capturing the country's
last wild bison just as soon as their canned hunt is
The Buffalo Field Campaign opposes Montana's bison hunt
because wild buffalo have no protected habitat in Montana
and are never allowed in the state without being captured,
slaughtered, shot, or harassed.
Regardless of Montana's so-called fair chase bison hunt
being in full swing, on Saturday in Gardiner, National
Park Service (NPS) employees forced an estimated 70
wild buffalo back into Yellowstone National Park (NPS).
Today the NPS conducted another hazing operation, staunching
the natural migration of about 15 more wild bison. These
operations are taking place simultaneously with the
State's hunt, just miles away from where hunters are
"stalking" their prey.
"The National Park Service is mandated to protect
our national treasures," said BFC's Mike Mease,
"Yet they are buckling to livestock interests and
lending a hand in the destruction of the last wild buffalo
The wild buffalo harassed by the NPS were underway with
their annual migration, which is blocked by private
land owned by the Church Universal & Triumphant
(CUT). In 1998 the federal government spent 13 million
U.S. taxpayer dollars specifically to purchase conservation
easements that would allow wild bison and other migratory
species to access these and other areas of critical
habitat near Gardiner. Wild bison are singled out, harassed
and slaughtered for using this critical migration corridor.
The state justifies its lack of bison tolerance on the
unfounded fear that bison may transmit brucellosis,
a European livestock disease, to cattle. There has never
been a documented case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis
to livestock. All fifteen bison hunted this year have
been bulls, which pose no risk of transmitting the bacteria.
A total of eighteen wild bull bison have been killed
in Montana this fall. Fifteen have been shot by Montana
hunters, two by Montana's DOL, and another was shot
by a Yellowstone National Park ranger inside the Park.
In the past ten years Montana and the federal government
have killed 2,475 wild Yellowstone bison, more than
half of the existing herd.
The Buffalo Field Campaign and other wild bison advocates
will hold a press conference in Helena, Montana on Thursday,
December 15, 2005, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. A detailed advisory
will be sent out prior to the event.
Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in
the field, everyday, to stop the slaughter of the wild
Yellowstone buffalo. Volunteers defend the buffalo on
their native habitat and advocate for their protection.
BFC video footage and photos of Montana's bison hunt
are available upon request and may be viewed at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org.