Buffalo Field Campaign Promises to Broadcast Images to National Audience

For Immediate Release:
Thursday September 8, 2005

Dan Brister, Buffalo Field Campaign (406) 726-5555, dan"at"wildrockies.org

Billings, Montana - For the first time in 15 years, hunters will shoot Yellowstone bison as they exit the park on their seasonal migration into Montana. The Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Commission adopted regulations for the 2005-2006 bison hunt at its meeting earlier today.

The Commission approved two seasons: one between Nov. 15, 2005 and Jan. 15, 2006 and another from Jan. 16, 2006 to Feb. 15, 2006. The hunts will take place along the park’s northern boundary near Gardiner, MT and along its western boundary near West Yellowstone. A total of 50 permits will be issued, including 10 already issued for last year’s cancelled hunt.

Critics of the hunt say bison should be given more tolerance in Montana before they are hunted. “It is premature to open a hunting season on bison in Montana without first opening habitat for them in the state,” said Dan Brister, Project Director of the Buffalo Field Campaign.

In the past four years Montana and U.S. officials have slaughtered more than 930 bison under provisions of the Interagency Bison Management Plan. “Every winter and spring, we see bison killed by the hundreds for committing the crime of entering Montana,” Brister said. “Now the state wants to shift the blame to hunters.”

“Our state is making a grave mistake in proceeding with this hunt,” said Mike Mease, a Montana subsistence hunter who co-founded the Buffalo Field Campaign. “The last so-called ‘hunt’ proved a disaster for Montana and its hunters. People across the country were outraged when they saw video images of a national icon being gunned down at close range.”

Buffalo Field Campaign volunteers will videotape and photograph the hunt and share images with the media. BFC has already scheduled field tours of the hunting grounds with national network news crews.

“We will document everything,” Brister said, “to be sure everyone in America sees for themselves what a bison hunt looks like. There is neither fairness nor chase involved in killing bison,” Brister added. “All it requires is walking up to one of the gentle giants, taking aim, and pulling the trigger. It’s about as sporting as shooting a parked truck.”

The Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field, every day, to stop the indiscriminate slaughter of the Yellowstone bison. Volunteers stand with the bison and document every move made against them.