Yellowstone plans to ship 600-900 bison to slaughter this winter

by Brett French as published on The Independent Record

Last year the combination of slaughter and hunting removed 1,171 bison from Yellowstone

Things to come, again?

Last year the combination of slaughter and hunting removed 1,171 bison from Yellowstone. Of that total, 375 were killed by hunters — mostly tribal hunters — and 694 were sent to slaughter. The meat of the animals slaughtered is distributed to participating Indian tribes. Another three bison died in captivity.

The removal of bison is biased to females and young because they are the ones that tend to migrate, White said. That means that the population is trending toward an increase in the number of males, although it’s still deemed within the desired conditions, he explained.

Removing 600 bison would keep the herd numbers stable, based on mathematical calculations by the National Park Service, Deleray said. By removing 900 bison the herd would be slightly declining in population.

“What we’re managing for is a declining population,” Deleray said. “We’d have to go higher to get a more significant decline.”

If the park can cut the bison population to an average of about 3,500 animals, White said the park can then remove fewer bison in the future, possibly most of them through hunting and thereby put an end to the ship-to-slaughter program.

The only hang-up in that plan is that when there are fewer bison not as many migrate. Mild winters can also mean few migrants.

“That’s the idea behind reducing the herd,” Deleray said, “but we haven’t gotten to that point yet.”

The potential for fewer bison migrating out of the park concerns some tribal hunters who have been exercising their treaty rights to kill the animals when they exit Yellowstone. Some tribal members argued for changes to ensure the hunts can continue, such as scaling back the trapping of bison or trapping bison later in the winter. That was met with opposition by some of the other IBMP partners.

“We all agreed and support that hunting is a preferable way to remove bison,” said Marty Zaluski, Montana State Veterinarian. “To suggest a trap shouldn’t operate,” or that it operate at a reduced capacity would be inconsistent with the goals of IBMP.

“Hunting was a tool and not an end in itself,” he said.

No bison have been hunted or trapped so far this winter, Deleray said.

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16 replies »

  1. Well they should let the bison go to the tribes to live if they are in excess. I believe some have been revoked in Wind River. WY. There are only 2 genetically pure bison herds left and this is one of them. I don’t really think there is a need to reduce Yellowstones numbers. This is another example of the cattle industry calling the shots and their ridiculous fear of bison spreading brucelosis to cattle. Which has never occurred. The bison have been designated our National Mammal and MUST be protected.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Again this is so disgusting I could throw up! Relocate them to other.states to reduce the herds. I guess they have never heard the more you remove the more the animal population will increase its numbers.We have some transplants in Illinois in one of our conservation areas and visitors flock to see them especially in the Spring if there are new babies. What is the problem out there? It sounds to me like there is NO regard for their safety or welfare! These are National parks NOT.slaughter pens! I think they need to poll the American people and ask us what we think. The judgement should never be left to a handful of people. Especially the ones in charge now. The way I see it, they don’t value anything Bison, Burros or Wild Horses! Hmmm We now have a new.set of players in the US House and the Senate. Perhaps its time to once again start making.some.calls! Very sad news! Thank you for keeping us updated so we can support and fight for them!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A few years ago I researched what happened to the “harvested” bison from Yellowstone.
    Answer: Native American tribes were given the bison, the animals were slaughtered and the meat was made into steaks, sausage and other products and sold online at exorbitant prices.
    Before doing this research, I thought the native Americans living at the poverty level on reservations were given the meat to help sustain their families. I was wrong.
    Some people are getting rich off of the slaughter of these bison … and I found out that it was a money-making scam for the few and not a means of helping native Americans in need as I was led to believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Why can’t we control population by non lethal means? Why do people think they can save animals by killing them? It’s immoral. Shame on the park system for allowing this.


  5. The Killing Fields
    Hal Herring Feb. 6, 2006

    And then I witness something that I have not seen before, in 30 years of hunting elk and deer and just about everything else, of seeing domestic cows and goats and pigs shot.

    The three remaining bulls stop grazing and slowly walk over to the bull lying in the snow. They put their heads close to him and breathe out great clouds of steam. Their tails go up, not quite straight, but like a shepherd’s crook, and they make some odd grunting noises. Then they circle the downed bull. And keep on circling.
    Canyon, who told me earlier that he was an “enrolled tribal member,” and has not, until now, witnessed a buffalo being killed, says, “They are circling just like we do when we go into the sweatlodge, clockwise, like the world turning!”

    I stand and stare, transfixed. Mike Mease comes up onto the road and tells me that that almost every one of the kills has been just like this. “A lot of times they’ll hook them with their horns to try and get them up,” he says, “and they’ll circle. Somebody who was with us earlier said that elephants do this, too.”

    The bulls show no inclination to move off, or to resume grazing. They face the hunters and stand, tails up, as if they are made from dark stone, as if they will be there like this until the end of winter, or the end of time.



    • Really sad, but informative article. What the BFC attempts to do – bringing this slaughter – NOT hunt – to the public – is sure not easy for any of them. Whats being done to the buffalo AND wolves AND mountain lions AND wolverines AND coyotes AND (so important to us here) our wild horses & burros – is what we as humans have done to pretty much every wild species that we consider to be “in our way”. Seems as if after all these hundreds of years – we might possibly have learned that ALL species of animals are important to this planet. If that lesson isnt learned soon – we wont be here to be concerned about it anymore! The thing is I just dont get why these wild independent creatures are such a threat to some humans. Altho – I guess that IS the threat – something that doesnt depend upon the good will of humans – something that doesnt live & die because of profit & greed – that could live their entire lives with no “input” from us and would be so much better off for it.


    • i posted the above article because it speaks to the true core of our humanity and why we all value these wonderful and amazing animals. We share the same needs the same emotions, the same planet. It is truly a time for a step up in evolution..or awakening..however it is best defined for each person.


  6. It’s going to be a battle to the finish line Maggie..all the way to the finish line. Everyone has to choose their battle because there are so many, but in all reality, we are all fighting for the same thing and against the same foes.

    Liked by 1 person

      • My Grandmother used to say that there was one good thing about living to be old. The Wheel of Justice DOES turn, although it never turned fast enough for her either.
        Some of those Third Reich criminals thought they had escaped, but it was when they were old that they were caught and made to face justice. There really is no rest for the wicked.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Remember when the Buffalo were almost gone, brought back, now they want them gone again. You cannot tamper with nature in this drastic way. Our Wild Horses are another example, and these animals are beloved except for the Cattle industry. We have to make them keep their animals on their property, not ours. This has to be done. We have more cattle & sheep on the public land, should
    NOT be allowed, no more of it, get them off and take care of our HISTORY!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. PEER
    Published on Jul 12, 2018

    Bob revealed that Yellowstone’s NP grizzlies were becoming habituated to hunting parties outside the park by feeding on elk “gut piles” left by outfitters. As a result, grizzlies react to the sound of gun-fire like a dinner bell, increasing tragic human-bear interaction. PEER won Bob’s reappointment as a seasonal ranger for the final three years of his 30-year career. During which time, restrictions were enforced on hunting outfitters near Yellowstone.
    After he retired, he worked with PEER on mismanagement of the park’s bison populations, including failure of the park to accommodate bison family dynamics and needlessly maiming bison in holding facilities.

    Liked by 1 person

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