Stop Yellowstone National Park’s Bison Slaughter!

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Stop Yellowstone National Park’s Bison Slaughter! Sign Our One Click Letter No Matter Where You Live! In February 2014, we asked you to oppose the slaughter of bison in America’s oldest national park and you responded by the thousands. We need you to speak up again, because Yellowstone National Park is continuing to kill these majestic and wild animals. Since January 15, approximately 250 bison have been captured inside the park and all, with the exception of five, tragically transported to slaughterhouses. In addition, Montana hunters and treaty hunters have killed at least 150 bison along the park’s borders, raising the death toll to 400 individuals.  The Montana livestock industry wants America’s last wild bison dead. The Montana Livestock Industry has zero tolerance and no respect for wild animals such as bison. These bison are being rounded up and shipped to slaughter to appease livestock ranchers in Montana who unfairly compete with bison for grazing space.  In 1995, the Montana legislature adopted MCA 81-2-120 in response to political pressure by cattle ranchers to stop wild bison from migrating from Yellowstone National Park into Montana. MCA 81-2-120 gives the Montana Department of Livestock complete jurisdiction over migratory bison, which means that bison can be physically removed, hazed, rounded-up, killed by hunters, and sent to slaughter at the will and order of the Montana livestock industry. Click here to take action: https://secure2.convio.net/ida/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2709 See this alert on our website here: http://www.idausa.org/stop-yellowstone-national-parks-bison-slaughter/
(Bison Photo copyright Jim Robertson)

Stop Yellowstone National Park’s Bison Slaughter!

Sign Our One Click Letter No Matter Where You Live!

In February 2014, we asked you to oppose the slaughter of bison in America’s oldest national park and you responded by the thousands. We need you to speak up again, because Yellowstone National Park is continuing to kill these majestic and wild animals. Since January 15, approximately 250 bison have been captured inside the park and all, with the exception of five, tragically transported to slaughterhouses. In addition, Montana hunters and treaty hunters have killed at least 150 bison along the park’s borders, raising the death toll to 400 individuals.

The Montana livestock industry wants America’s last wild bison dead.
The Montana Livestock Industry has zero tolerance and no respect for wild animals such as bison. These bison are being rounded up and shipped to slaughter to appease livestock ranchers in Montana who unfairly compete with bison for grazing space.

In 1995, the Montana legislature adopted MCA 81-2-120 in response to political pressure by cattle ranchers to stop wild bison from migrating from Yellowstone National Park into Montana. MCA 81-2-120 gives the Montana Department of Livestock complete jurisdiction over migratory bison, which means that bison can be physically removed, hazed, rounded-up, killed by hunters, and sent to slaughter at the will and order of the Montana livestock industry.

Click here to take action:

https://secure2.convio.net/ida/site/Advocacy…

See this alert on our website here:

http://www.idausa.org/stop-yellowstone-national-parks-biso…/

Essential Species Quiz

Here is a short multiple-choice quiz to test your knowledge of our fellow animals.

Instructions: Choose the species that best fit the descriptions below.

Note: Although some may share a few of the characteristics, they must meet all the criteria listed in order to qualify as a correct answer.

1. Which two species fit the following description?

  • Highly social
  • Live in established communities
  • Master planners and builders of complex, interconnected dwellings
  • Have a language
  • Can readily learn and invent words
  • Greet one another by kissing

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Dolphins

D. Penguins

Answer:  A. and B

2. Which two species fit the following description?

  • Practice communal care of the youngsters on their block
  • Beneficial to others who share their turf
  • Essential to the health of their environment
  • Without them an ecosystem unravels
  • Have been reduced to a tiny portion of their original population
  • Vegetarian

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Bison

D. Hyenas

Answer:  B. and C.

3. Which two species fit the following description?

  • Out of control pest
  • Multiplying at a phenomenal pace
  • Physically crowding all other life forms off the face of the earth
  • Characterized by a swellheaded sense of superiority
  • Convinced they are of far greater significance than any other being
  • Nonessential in nature’s scheme

A. Humans

B. Prairie Dogs

C. Cockroaches

D. Sewer Rats

Answer:  Sorry, trick question; the only species fitting the criteria is A.

If this seems a harsh assessment of the human race or a tad bit misanthropic, remember, we’re talking about the species that single-handedly and with malice aforethought blasted, burned and poisoned the passenger pigeon (at one time the most numerous bird on the entire planet) to extinction and has nearly wiped out the blue whale (by far the largest animal the world has ever known). Add to those crowning achievements the near-total riddance of the world’s prairie dogs, thereby putting the squeeze on practically all their grassland comrades, and you can start to see where this sort of disrelish might be coming from.

When the dust settles on man’s reign of terror, he will be best remembered as an egomaniacal mutant carnivorous ape who squandered nature’s gifts and goose-stepped on towards mass extinction, in spite of warnings from historians and scientists and pleas from the caring few…

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The preceding was an excert from the book, Exposing the Big Game.

200+ Yellowstone Bison Sent to Slaghter

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/at-least-200-yellowstone-bison-have-been-sent-to-slaughter-conservation-group/ar-AA8wPh0

Yellowstone National Park has shipped at least 200 bison near the park boundary with Montana to slaughter as the famed tourist destination seeks to reduce a herd by 900 animals this winter, a U.S. conservation group said on Friday.

A park spokesman, Al Nash, could not immediately confirm how many bison may have been handed over to tribal partners and taken to slaughter. But he said 162 bison had been captured and placed into a holding facility as of a week ago.

The Buffalo Field Campaign, which opposes the culling and has been monitoring it, said the bison had been dispatched to slaughter since Wednesday, and anticipated that 55 more could be sent on Monday.

The culling plan allows the bulk of bison marked for death to be transferred to Native American tribes for slaughter and a certain number of the wandering buffalo to be killed by hunters.

The strategy is designed to address worries by ranchers that bison infected with the bacterial disease brucellosis, which can cause miscarriages in cattle, could transmit it to their herds, potentially threatening Montana’s brucellosis-free status.

The plan this winter to reduce the bison population to 4,000 from 4,900 comes as conservation groups are seeking federal protections for a herd that is a top attraction for the 3 million annual visitors to a park that spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Buffalo Field Campaign spokeswoman Stephany Seay called the culling practice “the brutal abuse and slaughter of the only wild population of buffalo remaining in this country.”

The iconic hump-backed animals once roamed by the tens of millions west of the Mississippi until hunting campaigns reduced their numbers to the fewer than 50 that found safe harbor at Yellowstone in the early 20th century.

The Buffalo Field Campaign said that roughly another 100 bison have been killed by hunters outside the park in Montana, while Nash, citing state officials, put that number lower, at 70.

Nash said the park usually engages in culling in winter, when bison migrate to lower elevations in search of food. Federal and state officials on horseback have been capturing animals along the park boundary, both inside and outside the park.

Conservationists petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last year to provide federal safeguards for the Yellowstone herd, contending it was the only free-roaming band in the country to retain its genetic integrity.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Wild Buffalo Roam East of the Mississippi for First Time Since 1830s

http://ecowatch.com/2014/12/31/wild-buffalo-roam-east-mississippi/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=c725c49f24-Top_News_1_2_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-c725c49f24-85338557

When David Crites walked out of his apartment last month, he was greeted by a line of six or so bison standing shoulder to shoulder in the front yard. He sidled over to his truck, staring at the huge animals, slipped into the front seat, then closed the door and turned on the ignition. As the pickup slowly made its way down the driveway, the bison lumbered alongside.

“It was like I was in Yellowstone,” Crites says. But he wasn’t. His temporary job (which includes housing) is to remove trees and install fences in the Nachusa Grasslands of north-central Illinois—where wild bison recently set hooves down for the first time in almost 200 years.

The herd of 30 bison is part of an effort by the Nature Conservancy to restore grasslands in the Prairie State, which, perhaps ironically, has lost more than 99 percent of its former grassland. In the late 1980s, conservationists happened to be passing by the Nachusa when they heard the call of an upland sandpiper, a bird that breeds in tallgrass prairies. The Nature Conservancy then began buying farms in the area as they became available, and now it owns a total of 3,500 acres.

The group is doing its best to re-create a lost landscape, says Jeff Walk, director of science for the Nature Conservancy’s Illinois chapter. He knows the prairie won’t be exactly the same as yesteryear’s, but he and the rest of the team are trying to get as close a match as possible.

To do that, volunteers and seasonal employees like Crites (who spends the rest of his year working in data centers) erect fences, collect and sow seeds, and replicate natural growth cycles with controlled burns. So far, their work has paid off. Even on a winter day when dry brown oak leaves cling to trees, the undulating hills are colored in red, orange, and gray, a mosaic of newly planted big bluestem, Indian grass, and switchgrass.

But until October, the landscape had been missing one thing it needs in order to really thrive: grazers.

After decades of preparation, genetically pure bison (meaning they don’t have any cattle genes) arrived this fall from a preserve in Iowa. There are a few herds just like them living in reserves across the country, but this group is now the first one east of the Mississippi.

So far the experiment is working well. Aside from a roundup every fall, when the bison will get their vaccinations, these wild oxen will roam across 500 acres enclosed by a woven wire fence. Signs hung on the wire warn visitors that the bison are wild. Anyone who hops the fence could suffer the consequences (i.e. a potential horn to the buttocks, or worse, a trampling).

Within the enclosure, the bison eat the grasses and avoid the forbs, or flowering plants. This helps promote plant diversity, because without the bison noshing them down, grasses would dominate the prairie, leaving little room for rare species like the prairie violet. The nearly one-ton beasts will also help spread seeds and sculpt the soil with their hooves, something researchers will study on site.

“The other thing is poop; they’re very productive,” says Kirk Hallowell, a volunteer steward and my guide for the day. Their pies will fertilize the soil and attract insects, which will (hopefully) bring birds. If all goes well, Nachusa project director Bill Kleiman and ecologist Cody Considine will open up more land to the bison next year.

Despite the project’s success, the land will never be what it was 200 years ago. The bison each have an identification chip embedded in them, and seven of them wear GPS collars. They’ll never be able to roam wherever they want, and people will always have to manage fires on the land, raising the question of what is truly wild.

“It’s an interesting and important concept, but the answers don’t fit on bumper stickers,” says Kleiman. He argues that the bison are semi-wild, and an important part of our natural heritage. “Everyone loves bison. They’re a national symbol of what we discovered when we came to North America—that wistful longing for wide-open spaces. And they’re a symbol of it right here.”

The bison certainly feel wild when Hallowell and I step out of the open-air truck to get a closer look, nothing but knee-high grasses swaying between us. Lying on top of a hill, their shaggy hair blows with each wintery gust. The 1,900-pound bull, fondly nicknamed “Chain Breaker” because he did just that in a corral once, fixes his big brown eye on us. He gets up, hind legs first, and shakes. Other animals stand up, too, and join the viewing party.

We get back in the truck. As we start to drive away, I look back and see Chain Breaker, his horned silhouette regal against the gray sky. Looks wild enough, for now.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

“Hunter-Conservationists:” the Most Ridiculous Spin of the Century

The award for Most Ridiculous Spin of the Century goes collectively to Kit Fischer, sportsmen’s outreach coordinator with the National Wildlife Federation (what the hell kind of environmental/wildlife advocacy group hires an outreach coordinator to attract sport hunters?); Dave Chadwick, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation; Jim Posewitz, board member of Helena Hunters and Anglers; Casey Hackathorn, president of Hellgate Hunters and Anglers; Chris Marchion, board member of Anaconda Sportsmen and Glenn Hockett, president of Gallatin Wildlife Association. These revisionists recently had the insolent audacity to try to boast that “hunter-conservationists saved bison from extinction a century ago” in their article, Enlist Montana Hunters to Manage Bison Numbers.

Let’s not forget that the vast herds that once blackened the plains for hundreds of miles on end were almost completely killed off by hide-hunters, market meat-hunters or by sport-hunters shooting from trains just for a bit of fun.

The only reason hunters stopped the insanity was that the bison were all but completely wiped out. By the time they ended their killing spree, only 18 wild bison remained, holed up like wrongfully-accused outlaws in the upper reaches of the Yellowstone caldera.

Although Yellowstone National Park is now synonymous with the shaggy bovines, bison would prefer to spend their winters much further downriver, on lands now usurped and fenced-in by cowboys to fatten-up their cattle before shipping them off to slaughter.

If today’s ranchers and hunters had their way, bison, along with wolves and grizzly bears, would be forever restricted to the confines of the park. Rancher-hunters already have such a death-grip on Montana’s wildlife that bison are essentially marooned and forced to stay within park borders, battling snow drifts no matter how harsh the winter, despite an instinctual urge to migrate out of the high country during heavy snow winters.

Instead of making amends for the historic mistreatment of these sociable, benevolent souls, twenty-first-century sport hunters want their chance to lay waste to them again–this time in the name of “tradition.”

______________________________________________

Parts of this post were excerpted from my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport

Text and Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Text and Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

FoA, Buffalo Field Campaign file rule-making petition to stop slaughter of buffalo in Yellowstone Park

 

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

(West Yellowstone MT)— Did you know that Yellowstone National Park and other government agencies behind the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) are planning to slaughter 900 buffalo this coming winter under the guise of “disease risk management” even though there has never been a documented case of a wild bison transmitting brucellosis—a bacterial disease that affects livestock and wildlife—to cattle?

 

In an effort to avert the bloodshed, Friends of Animals (FoA) and the Buffalo Field Campaign filed an emergency rulemaking petition Sept. 15 with the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to protect the genetic diversity and viability of the bison of Yellowstone National Park.  They are requesting that the NPS and USFS undertake a population study and revise the IBMP to correct scientific deficiencies, make the plan consistent with the best available science, and follow the legal mandates the U.S. Congress has set. Until then, the groups are also requesting that the capture, removal or killing of bison at the Stephens Creek area of Yellowstone National Park and the Horse Butte area of the Gallatin National Forest be prohibited.

 

“Yellowstone National Park and other federal agencies are required to follow the best available science and not the latest political whims of Montana,” said Daniel Brister, executive director of Buffalo Field Campaign.  “Our joint petition seeks redress to ensure the buffalo are protected for future generations. The IBMP currently is heavily weighted in favor of protecting the profits of the livestock industry at the expense and peril of our nation’s only continuously wild bison population.”

 

Every winter and spring, snow and ice cover the bison’s food and hunger pushes them to lower elevations across the park boundary in Montana. When they cross this arbitrary line, the buffalo enter a zone of violent conflict with ranchers.  Last winter 653 bison were slaughtered, and back in the winter of 2007/2008, the largest scale wild buffalo slaughter, claimed the lives of 1,631 animals. At the turn of the 20th century, similar reckless behavior nearly drove bison to extinction.

 

“Slaughtering wild bison is the livestock industry’s way of eliminating competition and maintaining control of grazing lands surrounding Yellowstone National Park and across the west,” Brister said. “Montana’s livestock industry continues to use brucellosis to frighten and mislead the public into supporting its discrimination against bison. There has never been a single case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to livestock.”

 

The IBMP was designed to be an adaptive management plan allowing for greater tolerance for bison as new information becomes available and conditions on the ground change, but no such tolerance has been afforded to the bison. Despite new scientific research showing that the Yellowstone population is comprised of distinct herds with unique genetics and behaviors, the agencies continue to treat Yellowstone bison as though they comprise a single homogeneous herd, Brister said.

 

“We want to make sure that each herd has a viable population number so that we are not starting to degrade the species,” said Mike Harris, director of Friends of Animals’ Wildlife Law Program. “Right now they are managing the numbers based largely upon misinformation regarding the genetic viability of the herds. The data they are using is not the best available data right now. They are using data that doesn’t match up with what is the actual status of the herd populations in the park. The petition is asking the federal agencies responsible for protecting these animals make an effort to establish stronger scientific criteria to protect the viability of the remaining Yellowstone herds, and to stop slaughtering the last 4,000 genetically pure bison left in the United States.”

Bigotry Against Bison in Montana

Divided public comment starts rescheduled bison meeting

by LAURA LUNDQUIST, Chronicle Staff Writer The Bozeman Daily Chronicle | 0 Comments

BILLINGS – The group charged with exploring the possibility of a free-roaming bison herd in Montana has hard work ahead, according to many eastern Montana ranchers attending a Fish, Wildlife & Parks meeting.

“This is a pipe dream of somebody’s,” said Greg Oxarart of the South Phillips County Grazing District. “You as a panel — do you want bison in your backyard? Not many people do. I hope you take that into consideration. You have a tough job ahead of you.”

Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson

FWP Director Jeff Hagener created the group to brainstorm where and how a free-roaming bison herd could be created in Montana.

Several of the 50 people in the audience carried signs stating “No free-roaming bison” and wore buttons bearing red X’s over a bison. Most were from Phillips and Valley counties, which contain the C.M. Russell Wildlife Refuge and the AmericanDSC_0128 Prairie Reserve.

Some had attended the first meeting of the discussion group in Lewistown in September. That meeting produced a list of guiding principles for any future plan, including respecting private property rights and managing bison as “wildlife” through a FWP management plan.

The group was scheduled to have its second meeting in Lewistown in April. But after receiving a number of heated emails and phone calls, Hagener canceled the Lewistown meeting at the last minute.

Some people were concerned by a series of events involving Yellowstone bison, including a court ruling that bison in quarantine remain wildlife, but a main complaint was that no time had been scheduled during the meeting for public comment.

On Monday, Hagener said no comment had been scheduled because the informal group was created for discussion and would not make any decisions. He also emphasized that the group had nothing to do with the management of Yellowstone bison.

“We are allowing public comment because a lot of the members of the group thought it was appropriate to have that,’” Hagener said. “Hopefully, we’ll come to a result that’s gone through a process with a lot of public opportunity, and we’ve allowed the public to be involved all the way along.”

Facilitator Ginny Tribe opened the public comment session with the reminder that any resulting plan would have a “no action” alternative where the state would not create a free-roaming herd.

“This group has already agreed on some of these principles so keep that in mind when you make your comments,” Tribe said.

Even so, comment ranged from vehement opposition to any bison to a proposal of the exact location on the CMR Wildlife Refuge where FWP should put 1,200 bison.

Dyrck Van Hyning displayed maps of the Southerland Bay region along the northern shore of the Fort Peck Reservoir in the CMR Refuge and said the 33,000 acres could house up to 1,200 bison, based upon the Bureau of Land Management’s grazing guide of 24 acres per cow.

“There’s no private land. There’s natural boundaries. This would be a good place for a pilot project that could start small,” Van Hyning said.

A Department of the Interior report on U.S. bison herds, released a few weeks ago, named the CMR Refuge as a good site for the transplant of bison but categorized future management as highly complex because of the resistance from nearby ranchers.

Hagener said the DOI would not move to put bison on the CMR Refuge without coordinating with the state of Montana.

That assurance didn’t assuage Phillips County ranchers, who cited concerns about property and fence damage, competition for grazing resources, the loss of livelihood and brucellosis. Some were worried about losing grazing allotments on the refuge.

Craig French of Phillips County said the meeting might not be about Yellowstone bison but ranchers can’t ignore the Yellowstone situation.

“If it was in my power to do so, I would hold these people responsible and throw them in jail for cruelty to the animals and mismanagement of the land,” French said. “At least we agree that things need to be grazed. We’re arguing over what should graze.”

Jim Posewitz of Helena also argued for the animals but said people have a moral responsibility to recover a species that they almost eliminated in the late 1880s.

“What happened in Montana is shameful. We have become the bone yard of a continent,” Posewitz said. “Will this be the point in Montana history where we become committed to finishing the wildlife restoration legacy?”

Sheep rancher Becky Weed of Belgrade said that bison and Montana cattle ranchers shared one trait that could serve as common ground for resolution: both need natural functioning ecosystems.

“It’s up to this group to try and explain to each other why the bison issue and the long-term cattle ranching issues are really one and the same,” Weed said. “This is a plea to the ranchers and to the environmentalists to understand why we all have a vested interest in seeking some kind of resolution to this.”

Following public comment, the group started problem-solving exercises to develop some recommendations by the end of Tuesday.

A sad Montana moment for wild bison

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

For wild bison, the idyllic images of Montana being splashed across Seattle ads does not match reality, according to guest columnists Bonnie Rice and Glenn Hockett.

 

 

THE state of Montana has been spending big bucks in Seattle and other cities across the U.S. to entice people to visit its great state. You’ve probably seen the billboards, bus ads and store banners across town with beautiful, scenic images of Yellowstone National Park and its wildlife. Unfortunately, for one of Montana’s most recognizable animals, wild bison, this idyllic image doesn’t match reality.

Bison have been at the center of controversy this spring as they leave Yellowstone National Park in search of grass and calving grounds in Montana adjacent to the park. Instead of being allowed to roam outside the park year-round like other wildlife, bison are hazed back into the park, or captured and shipped to slaughter. Hundreds of bison were killed this year.

This policy stems from a disease called brucellosis, which can cause infected pregnant animals to miscarry. Cattle introduced brucellosis into the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem about a century ago, and some wild bison and elk still carry it. The livestock industry is concerned about wild bison transmitting the disease back to livestock. Such a transmission has never been documented, but the potential, although incredibly small, exists.

Over the last decade, several changes have opened the door for better management of wild bison in Montana. With retired grazing allotments and fewer cows on the landscape, there are tens of thousands of acres of public land where there are no potential conflicts with cattle, ever. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also made sweeping changes to brucellosis regulations a few years ago, and they are now more reasonable and livestock-producer-friendly.

It’s clear that the old ways of bison management need to be updated. Working together, a broad set of conservationists, wildlife experts, ranchers, hunters and interested citizens came to consensus in support of significantly expanding year-round habitat for bison in Montana. Last summer, the state issued a formal proposal based on that recommendation. Ninety-nine percent of the more than 100,000 public comments on the proposal supported increased year-round habitat.

But in late May, the Montana Board of Livestock voted to indefinitely delay any decision on year-round habitat for Yellowstone bison, even though the Department of Livestock was a co-lead in formulating the state’s proposal. It’s now up to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, and it’s unclear how he will proceed.

Science, economics, public opinion and common sense make clear that opening up significant year-round bison habitat in areas without livestock conflicts is the logical path forward. Doing so would give the state more management options and flexibility. More fair-chase hunting opportunities would be created. Fewer taxpayer dollars would be wasted on unnecessary hazing, capture and slaughter. Wild bison would finally be allowed to roam portions of Montana, bringing ecological and economic benefits and sharing the landscape with all of the other wild animals that call Montana home.

Of course, negative publicity for the state of Montana would be reduced, too. Tourism is responsible for a huge portion of the state’s economy, and many of the tourists that visit Montana in response to the state’s tourism campaigns come to see wild bison and Yellowstone National Park.

The proposal for significant year-round habitat is not a choice between wildlife or livestock that would benefit one at the expense of the other; it would be a step forward for both Montana residents and visitors alike. No compelling reasons have been advanced for not moving forward with significant year-round habitat in Montana. In fact, to not move forward — given all of the major recent changes — would be a great setback and failure for the state.

It’s time for Gov. Bullock to do what science and the public have demanded: allow for year-round habitat for wild bison in Montana. It’s time to make the picture-perfect advertisements a reality.

http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2023842207_bonniericeglennhockettopedmontana14xml.html

Jardine man shoots bull bison

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, All Rights Reserved

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Laura Lundquist, Bozeman Chronicle

Gardiner-area resident Bill Hoppe last week killed a bull bison outside his home in Jardine.

Riders with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the Department of Livestock had hazed bison away from Hoppe’s residence several times prior to the shooting, said FWP spokeswoman Andrea Jones.

Bison are allowed to wander outside of Yellowstone National Park until May 1, but riders haze the animals away from private property where owners don’t want them.

On Friday, Hoppe’s wife saw three bison in the yard and was worried for the safety of her dog, which was chained to the side of the house.

She called Hoppe, who came home and tried to disperse the bison, Jones said.

Hoppe said one of the bison charged him so he shot it, Jones said.

Hoppe then killed the bison and called FWP wardens, who surveyed the scene. They hazed the other two bison back into the park.

The bison was field-dressed and the meat was sent to be processed for local food banks. The gut pile was left in the yard.

Jones said the bison might have been more on edge because they’ve been repeatedly hazed. Bison aren’t normally aggressive except when protecting young.

FWP encourages landowners to request help when dealing with bison. But bison are not protected as an endangered species, and people can shoot bison to protect themselves.

Last spring, Hoppe shot one of two wolves that were suspected of killing sheep that he placed on a pasture he leased a few weeks before near Corwin Springs.