Montana’s bison “hunt” begins

Two buffalo walk towards the camera.

Montana’s bison “hunt” begins today, November 15. The state issues eighty tags for either sex, any age. It used to be that a buffalo tag holder would have a two week period within one of two districts (Hebgen Basin, West or Gardiner Basin, North), and that was the window of opportunity. Now, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has thrown that out, so that any state tag holder can hunt either district at any time during the duration of the hunt (Nov 15 – Feb 15), meaning if a hundred buffalo migrate into the Hebgen Basin – which would be imperiled Central herd buffalo – state hunters could kill eighty of them at once. The state also has it set up so that if there is a “large” migration, they can issue up to 250 more tags! 250 more tags!! Now, tell me if this doesn’t sound like a bison extermination program? To top that off, hunters don’t need to even hunt… all they have to do is call a Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks hotline to find out if there are buffalo in huntable areas. On top of this, seven tribes are also hunting under treaty rights. As sovereign nations, they set their own seasons and quotas. All told, the buffalo “hunt” is over six months long, with some tribes continuing to hunt year-round. This is how Montana livestock interests use hunters to facilitate the destruction of the country’s last wild buffalo.