For Immediate Release:
November 22, 2005
Stephany Seay or Dan Brister, 406-646-0070
Gardiner, Montana - At approximately 11:00 this morning, a bull bison was shot and killed by a female hunter. The bison was shot in the Eagle Creek Special Management Area, National Forest land near the northern border of Yellowstone National Park.
Another woman killed a bison in the same area on Saturday and a man killed one in the Horse Butte area near West Yellowstone on Saturday. A total of eight wild bull bison have been killed in Montana this fall. Six were shot as part of Montana's bison hunt and two by Montana's Department of Livestock.
Advocates with the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC), a wild bison advocacy group based in West Yellowstone and Gardiner, say bison should be given more tolerance in Montana before they are hunted. "It is premature to declare open season on bison in Montana without first opening habitat for them in the state." said Dan Brister, the group's Project Director.
BFC volunteers documented two of the kills with video and still cameras.
Montana's zero-tolerance policy for wild bison is blamed on the 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 six bison hunted this year have been bulls, which pose no risk of transmitting the bacteria.
"We oppose the hunt because buffalo have no protected habitat in Montana and are never allowed in the state without being captured, shot, or harassed." said Stephany Seay of the BFC. "As soon as this hunt ends, the Department of Livestock will be out here to capture, slaughter, and harass any buffalo lucky enough to survive the hunt."
The wild bison of the Greater Yellowstone Area are the last unfenced and genetically pure buffalo left in the country. Bison are not considered a wildlife species by the state, are granted no habitat in Montana, and are managed by the state's Department of Livestock.
In the past ten years the state of Montana and the federal government have killed 2,466 wild Yellowstone bison.
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.