Animal Writes
12 December 2001 Issue
Buffalo Update

From [email protected] 

My eyes leak all too often this year...

Todays news: two more brother buffalo are on their way to slaughter as I write this update. One of them we have known since the beginning of Buffalo Field Campaign's existence. He had a very short tail and we playfully nicknamed him Stubby. For years now, I have been a friend of this beautiful buffalo. Many days I have sat with him and learned from his knowledge. He has taught me well and has always treated me like a member of his family.

After last week's violations of our First Amendment rights to document that slaughter - this week, a friend and I decided to take a different approach. Climbing above the field where Stubby grazed, we hid in the trees on our national forest land and were positioned to document. As the morning sun tried to warm us, a blizzard descended on its warmth. We stood silent, motionless and cold. We were looking over our brother Stubby with the video camera ready.

The first to arrive on the scene were two highway patrol officers and a sheriff. They sat in their cars, engines running, eyeing the buffalo and waiting for the buffalo killers to arrive. An hour later, the "calvary" arrived: 4 snowmobiles, 3 ATV's and 3 horse's - all for the mighty Stubby. They all sat around for another hour trying to figure out where we were up on the hill. When you are ashamed of what you are doing - you go to great lengths to hide your actions.

Our people on the ground informed us that they had spotted us and planned on arresting us. At this point, I thought of Stubby and the many lessons he had taught me in the past. Then, the "army" started to move toward Stubby, except one snowmobile that was coming for us. We knew that the ground support could cover documenting whatever happened to Stubby, so our focus became escape.

Many times, in many years, I have watched Stubby outsmart the DOL. His favorite trick on losing snowmobiles was running straight up the mountain. I have often cured my sorrows by laughing at the snowmobiles gettin' stuck trying to follow him up this same mountain. Like he had taught me many times before, we ran up the mountain to safety. With the extra buffalo magic surrounding us, the snowmobile in our pursuit not only got stuck, but they blew their clutch. We got away and are forever indebted to Stubby.

I know now that Stubby is about to be shot in the head and butchered and will no longer grace my days out on patrol. He may be gone from this earth but his presence will never leave. His knowledge is passed on to the herd. But, anytime a buffalo is killed - it is removing great knowledge from all of us. There are no cows here and there is no logic in place. When an agency like the DOL is in charge, with no wildlife education and such a strong conflict of interest, bad and unjust things will always happen. When law officers violate our constitutional rights for the benefit of injustice - can there be justice?

Know that these are America's last wild, free ranging buffalo and it is our duty to speak in their behalf. Voice your outrage and get involved because it is going to take all of us to make a change. Stubby and his family must not die in vain. The head of the Director of the Montana Department of Livestock is Marc Bridges - he can be reached at mailto:[email protected] 

I walk around our cabin and see all the tearful faces and I know that Stubby will never be forgotten.
With the Buffalo,
The Funky Duck

Buffalo Field Campaign
(formerly Buffalo Nations)
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
406-646-0070 phone
406-646-0071 fax
[email protected]

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