Buffalo are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. The buffalo who had been staying safe the past few days on CUT land walked into Beattie Gulch this morning. Lots of hunters were there ready with their rifles. A group of young native hunters walked out towards the buffalo, and as they got closer, began to shoot. In the span of just a few minutes, four went down. An accompanying adult in the background shouted, “Get another one!” And then it was over.
As the buffalo moved south into other portions of Beattie Gulch, more shots were fired. At least two went down that we could see, but no doubt there were more. As all of this was going on, some state hunters from Minnesota headed up Beattie Gulch right along the park boundary. The one holding the tag was hoping to get a buffalo with his bow, with a rifle for back up. The buffalo made it back to the park before he was able to kill.
It was such a sad procession to see these buffalo leave their land. They just don’t ever get a break. Going into the park they are safe from the hunters, but threatened by Yellowstone’s trap.
After we left that scene, we drove around some rental cabins where some Yakima hunters were staying, their trucks loaded with buffalo body parts. Apparently, this is heavily frowned upon by the “homeowners association” so my friend, who owns some of those cabins, wanted photos taken. Well, as we were taking pictures, one of the hunters was in the truck and stepped out. What could have been a tense situation turned into a constructive conversation. From the hunter’s perspective, though, it is all about sovereignty and exercising rights. There is no consideration for the buffalo’s perspective, which is terribly sad. It’s all so human-centric, with the buffalo being pawns in this terrible game. We got his contact information, so I will be reaching out to him to continue the conversation and share what is truly happening with the last wild buffalo, and discuss things far beyond “rights” and human interests.
For now, I am packing and about to head out for a spell. But, as we said, myself and others with Roam Free Nation will soon return. We will always represent the buffalo’s perspective. We are buffalo-centric. We are the only true voice they have!! Please support our work to defend these sacred relatives!