“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hunting Buffalo or Shooting a Ford Pickup?

I started hunting at 12. No stocked game, an old Stevens single shot 12 gauge and a love for the outdoors all came together for me. My uncles and father taught me the rules of hunting. I learned to respect nature, and understand the need for balance between hunter and game.

Sentimentality aside, there is a time to kill. It is not a season as much as a natural balance.

We were contemptuous of bad hunters, those that lost wounded game or made a bad kill. Trophy hunters that left meat in the field were not sportsman. Slaughter was not hunting.

I no longer hunt. I like those that do. To me, hunting a buffalo would be like shooting a Ford F-150. I would not do it, but if others choose to, that is there business, but this small story makes no sense to me. There is no balance here and states don't get much bigger and less populated than Montana.

Open Season on America’s Last Wild Bison
By LetBuffaloRoam, New West Unfiltered 11-15-07

Montana’s Buffalo Hunt Opens Without Any Buffalo in Montana

WEST YELLOWSTONE & GARDINER, MONTANA – Today marks the opening day for Montana’s bison hunt, authorized by the Montana Department of Livestock. Montana has issued 44 tags to kill members of America’s last wild bison population that migrate out of Yellowstone National Park into Montana. It is expected that the Nez Perce as well as Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes will conduct separate buffalo hunts under treaty right. The state’s hunt will continue through February 15, 2008.

There are currently no wild bison in Montana.

Glenn Hockett, President of the Gallatin Wildlife Association, a hunting organization that opposes the current bison hunt and is working to help restore wild bison in Montana had this to say, “Recent reports from Yellowstone National Park indicate there are no bison in the state of Montana for hunters to hunt. I think this points out the flawed nature of this shoot ‘em at the border Department of Livestock led “hunt” with no year round habitat.”

Wild American bison, while native to vast expanses of North America, are granted no year-round habitat in Montana. There is never a time that wild bison are allowed to be in the state without being subjected to harassment, capture, slaughter, quarantine, or shooting. Wild bison are ecologically extinct everywhere outside of Yellowstone National Park.

Montana’s bison hunt is not authorized by the state’s wildlife agency Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, but by the Montana Department of Livestock, an agency that promotes cattle interests.

“I don’t think most people understand that only the Department of Livestock can authorize the hunting of wild bison in Montana, and their goal is no bison left standing in Montana,” said Glenn Hockett.

“Allowing the Department of Livestock to have authority over the management of wild bison or any wildlife species is a clear conflict of interest,” said Buffalo Field Campaign spokeswoman Stephany Seay. “They have no interest whatsoever in wild bison or their habitat, and you may as well put the fox in charge of guarding the hen house.”

Fewer than 4,700 continuously wild American bison exist in the United States; all reside in Yellowstone National Park. A joint state-federal agreement signed in 2000, the Interagency Bison Management Plan prohibits wild bison from migrating to lands outside of the Park and maintains a zero population of wild bison in Montana in an effort to benefit cattle interests who claim they fear the spread of the livestock disease brucellosis from wild bison to cattle. There has never been a documented case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to cattle.

Buffalo Field Campaign strongly opposes Montana’s bison hunt as well as the Interagency Bison Management Plan. BFC maintains that wild bison should be allowed to naturally and fully restore themselves throughout their native range, especially on public lands, and must be managed as a valued native wildlife species by wildlife professionals, not cattle interests.

“Our position on the hunt is clear,” said Buffalo Field Campaign’s cofounder and subsistence hunter Mike Mease, “No habitat, No hunt.”

2,018 wild American bison have been killed or otherwise removed from the remaining wild population in Yellowstone since 2000 under actions carried out by the Interagency Bison Management Plan, as well as state and treaty right hunts.

Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field, every day, to stop the slaughter of the wild Yellowstone buffalo. Volunteers defend the buffalo and their native habitat and advocate for their lasting protection. Buffalo Field Campaign has proposed real alternatives to the current mismanagement of Yellowstone bison that can be viewed at For more information, video clips and photos visit .


  1. If you're talking about Dick Cheney, he can't hit the buffalo or the truck, but if you're a buddy you better be wearing kevlar.

  2. About a mile and a half from where I'm sitting there's a guy raising four buffs. There are quite a few around, being raised. Last time I went to the Willowas there was an enclosed range of many hundreds of acres (BIG STRONG fences) with a herd of 50 or 60. I think it was a Nez Perce operation. If you haven't seen one of those big male fellows up close, you've missed something. Really impressive.

    Montana is having a big debate about putting an end to these game ranches where assholes like Cheney drink and shoot. Game ranches(for hunting, though that's a misnomer) are illegal in Idaho, I think Montana will end up that way too, sooner rather than later. There was a big too doo in the paper recently about some incidents in Montana, game getting out, genetics, people injuries,etc. The pressure is on the Montana legislature.

    I don't know about Yellowstone, except that the buffalo wandering out of the park has always been a big deal. Same with the wolves, and grizzlies. And the Elk.

    We can often find buffalo meat in the stores here. Little pricey, little tough sometimes. I hardly ever buy it.

    I'll defend the Nez Perce. They may take one down now and then for old times sake, but they are raising them too. Also, they have worked hard with the Appaloosa horse, and very hard with the salmon and steelhead runs enhancement programs. I have no complaints about the Nez Perce. Cheney and folk like him ought to be shot, but not necessarily for political reasons. Just for being borish citified cretans.

  3. The Nez Perce (Nimíipuu or Nee-Me-Poo)

    The Nimiipuu got the Nez Perce handle, we think, from some French trapper. Though they have never seemed to mind it.

    They used to always come as a group, couple hundred or more, to the Idaho Vandal games, sit together as a group, cheer like crazy. This past Saturday there wasn't one to be seen, though I know many are going to college there. They know a waste of time and money when they see it.

  4. We've had some of these "Hunts" on the north rim of the Canyon. Not much of a hunt, more like shooting targets.

    Charge some substantial fees, to take that shot.

    Always seem to be those willing to pay.

  5. NEW DELHI, Nov 28 (Reuters) - India has criticised a United Nations report for recommending that developing countries cut greenhouse gas emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, newspapers reported on Wednesday.

    The latest Human Development Report, released by the U.N. Development Programme on Tuesday, included some of the strongest warnings yet for collective action to avert catastrophic climate change, which would disproportionately affect the poor.

    "Its recommendations look egalitarian, but they are not," said Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, India's national policy making body, according to newspaper reports.

    "This is the first time I have seen a United Nations report talk of developing nations to take up commitments. I challenge the research team to supplement their research."

  6. Bobal: I don't know about Yellowstone, except that the buffalo wandering out of the park has always been a big deal. Same with the wolves, and grizzlies. And the Elk.

    Let's move Montana down where Arizona is, give 'em night scopes, and tell 'em those things running north that look like families are really scrawny buffalo (because the eatin's not too good in Mexico).

  7. Funny what age does to some.
    My Irish Indian friend and neighbor on the farm made a living in his younger years as a trapper.
    Back in the day, his family was well-known in Morro Bay and environs, he and his brothers rightfully known as tough hombres not to be trifled with.
    Comfortable in his perfectly maintained farmette years later, he said he couldn't bring himself to shoot a Coon in his fruit trees!

  8. Madonna has no more respect for Animal Rights than Dick Cheney. (Actually, I think it's kind of neat lookin')

    I agree with your friend, Doug, the older you get, the harder it is to pull the trigger. I wonder if you live long enough if you get to be like the Jains, sweeping the bugs out of the way as one walks along?

  9. I enjoy being afield and I also enjoy handloading and shooting. I would much rather shoot a F150 than a Buffalo. A buffalo might be easier to get home than a F150 though. Sorry I owned a ford current ride of choice is a Toyota T100 4x4, it has 230,000 miles on it and the original clutch.

  10. We usually have at least a couple blown away during hunting season, but this incident next door in Washington state is a little out of the ordinary. Man Dragged By The Neck Until Dead

    Booze and hunting don't mix. Dick Cheney can testify to that. As can the guy he shot. Hunt dry, or alone, or both. Or with a dry and really trusted friend.

  11. Here it is without having to subscribe to the worthless Spokesman/Review.

  12. 230 K on the original clutch!
    Now that's a testament.
    Friend had an old 70's model 4by up in Truckee (~5,500 ft altitude) carrying a full plumber's truck toolbox bed in back.
    Sometime over 100k, I looked at the plugs and was shocked by their appearance.

    Turned out, that was the first time they had been out of the head!