By definition, hazing wildlife “is a method that makes use of deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourage an undesirable behavior or activity.” It is abusive, forced removal. When wild buffalo are hazed, government agents will use horses, ATVs, trucks, and even helicopters to chase buffalo off of their chosen ground. Hazing is not only seriously rude and disrespectful, but it is very dangerous for the buffalo and often results in injuries or death. During the height of calving season newly born buffalo are hazed with their mothers and families for many miles without rest. Baby buffalo have been separated from their mothers and orphaned, many collapse from exhaustion, others are seriously injured, and some die. Adult buffalo suffer, too, including pregnant buffalo who are hazed just as they are about to give birth.
Under the Interagency Bison Management Plan hazing was once a very common occurrence, but thanks to the strong voice of wild buffalo advocates, hazing has mostly become a thing of the past. Today, some hazing may still take place in portions of Montana – cattle-free national forest land – that are considered “no tolerance zones”. Yellowstone National Park will also occasionally haze buffalo into their Stephens Creek bison trap to capture them for slaughter or quarantine. Hunters are also allowed to haze buffalo out of no hunting zones, into areas where they can be shot and killed.
Read about the other tools of buffalo mismanagement.