Citizen Takes Action To Shut Down Bison Trap

 A lot of bad news recently concerning buffalo being captured for slaughter to appease Livestock.

This press release from the Buffalo Field Campaign:

“I called, I wrote, and no response…This is my response.”

For Immediate Release, February 25, 2008
Contact:  Buffalo Field Campaign, Stephany Seay or Mike Mease 406-646-0070

WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA – An unidentified man has made it impossible for Montana Department of Livestock agents to capture bison in the recently erected Horse Butte bison trap.  The man is perched upon a platform suspended from the top of a pair of poles that are standing on end and anchored to the walls of the trap.  A large banner hanging from the platform reads, “I called, I wrote, and no response…This is my response.”  Photos of the blockade.
The banner’s wording is an apparent reference to a series of call-in days organized by local and national environmental and animal rights groups targeting government agencies responsible for the bison slaughter. According to Stephany Seay, Media Coordinator with Buffalo Field Campaign, “Thousands of wild bison advocates from around the world have made calls, written letters, and attended public meetings to strongly speak out against the slaughter of America’s last wild bison.  Unfortunately we have been completely ignored, put on hold, or otherwise disregarded by these decision-makers, revealing that our public officials are not interested in the public interest. Sometimes people, after exhausting every other means of public participation, have no other choice than to take direct action to stop the slaughter and have their voices heard.”

The Montana Department of Livestock was expected to begin capture and slaughter operations in the Horse Butte trap this week.  Construction of the Horse Butte trap, which hasn’t been in place since 2004, was completed last week.

In spite of receiving thousands of calls from concerned citizens opposed to the bison slaughter, Yellowstone National Park remains intent on capturing and killing bison.  Between February 8 and February 21, Park officials used a similar trap to capture and slaughter 290 bison on the north side of Yellowstone National Park and Yellowstone officials captured 157 bison this morning.  While the government’s official reason for the slaughter is to prevent the spread of brucellosis from wild bison to cattle, no such transmission has ever been documented.  Because there are no cattle on any part of the Horse Butte Peninsula at any time of the year, such a transmission is impossible and Montana’s intolerance for bison in the area unjustifiable.

According to a statement made by the man occupying the platform, “Until bison management in Montana is guided by sound science and fiscal responsibility with input from every interested party, I choose this stance.  In the past few years I have tried every conceivable method of redress.  I have written, I have called, and I have gotten absolutely no response.  I have nothing left but to put my own life and freedom on the line.  The bison are that important.”

2,336 wild American bison have been killed or otherwise removed from the remaining wild population since 2000 under actions carried out under the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP), as well as state and treaty hunts. The IBMP is a joint state-federal plan that prohibits wild bison from migrating to lands outside of Yellowstone’s boundaries. Wild American bison are a migratory species native to vast expanses of North America and are ecologically extinct everywhere in the United States outside of Yellowstone National Park.

Buffalo Field Campaign strongly opposes the Interagency Bison Management Plan and maintains that wild bison should be allowed to naturally and fully recover themselves throughout their historic native range, especially on public lands.

Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field, every day, to stop the slaughter of the wild American buffalo.  Volunteers defend the buffalo and their native habitat and advocate for their lasting protection. Buffalo Field Campaign has proposed real alternatives to the current mismanagement of American bison that can be viewed at For more information, video clips and photos visit:






  1. dbaileyhill Avatar

    Desperate times, desperate measures. I think this is just the beginning. God bless that man and everyone else who stand up for the bison. This could be the season that many folks will reach their limit.

  2. vicki Avatar

    I almost wondered if this was you. I’m saying a prayer too.
    I just wish I could go take him something, food, coat, whatever.

  3. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    Hats off for this tough guy!

  4. Mike Avatar

    Bravo! Someone bring that man some hot chocolate and a nice sleeping bag.

  5. April Clauson Avatar
    April Clauson

    Lord bless this man, and I pray more people will take this type of stand for the Buffalo and all other endangered species that FWS and all want to destroy. This is a good story and will reach out to the people and the governments. If I was there I too would be sitting with him!!!! Keep him safe and the Buffalo!!! But soon I am sure someone will come and arrest him….

  6. Barb Avatar

    It’s high time people starting taking more drastic actions to gain attention to the criminal activities routinely carried out by our federal agencies to appease the livestock industry. It’s time the livestock industry (and some hunters) stopped acting LIKE SPOILED CHILDREN and learns to respect ALL of our wildlife, especially predatory animals.

    This kind of slaughter to our native animals cannot continue. The public will not allow it!

    Bravo to this brave person! We need more like him!

  7. Concerned Avatar

    Unfortunately, he has already been arrested and removed, according to the Bozeman Chronicle.

  8. Cindy Avatar

    My hat’s off to this courageous man. If I was in the area I would climb up there and take his place. Maybe that’s what needs to be done. If enough people get on that platform and then get hauled off maybe the right people will finally take notice.

  9. JB Avatar

    Kudos to “Ginko”.

  10. dbaileyhill Avatar

    Thank you, that is a huge complement. I wish i could get there to take his place. My husband/best friend and i have an agreement that i do not put myself in danger, as i have gotten lucky 5 times. (His blood pressure is finally normal again.)

  11. Catbestland Avatar


    Maybe you can answer this question. On the plains of Eastern Colorado there is the Comanche National Grasslands, a park of about 1/2 million acres. Could some of those bison that are slated for slaughter be sent there instead. It is a perfect habitat. There are other grasslands in Colorado as well.

  12. Concerned Avatar


    I am not Buffaloed, but I can tell you they would resist because the possibility of the Bison carrying or having been exposed to brucellosis…The state of Colorado, would resist it with all their might, many of us brought this possibility up right after the big slaughter in 90’s and hit road blocks at every single turn, unfortunately.

  13. dbaileyhill Avatar

    I will add that bison do not travel well, and that is an understatement. There was a fellow who rounded up wild bison and put them on train cars. (This was before the story of the 23 in YNP began). All but a handful were dead upon arrival.
    Bison weren’t meant to be confined, and many suffer slow deaths after be gored by other bison while they are confined. Some even died that had no injuries. Bison are very different creatures from cows. Bison are very intelligent and display many attributes that herds/families of elephants are known for. There is much more still to discover about both bison and elephants.
    The bison is the very first animal that people worked to conserve. A cattle rancher in Texas initiated the preservation of the species. (I hope i am remembering correctly). He also supplied wild bison to YNP to add to the small number remaining in there. **Bison were the very first conservation project/effort.** That fact adds even more fuel to fire my anger. I have stacks of history books about bison. I have studied all the books i can find about them.
    My dad took me to see my first bison before i can remember, and have been enthralled with them from as far back as i can remember.

  14. Concerned Avatar

    Many of the Bison actually came from the Ranch that was in Buffalo Hills area of Kalispell, MT, that is both for Yellowstone as well as the National Bison Range South of Polson, MT The area was set up by one of the first leaders of Kalispell, MT

    What is so sad, there is actually a mandate on the congressional record about Bison that was wrote into law in the early part of the century that recognizes Bison as an endangered animal and mandating that no more Bison were to be killed..I will have to do some research, it has been a couple of years since I read the act, but as far as I know, it has never been overturned..I did that research in the late 90’s, so will again have to see if I can find it.

    I guess, Google will again, become my best friend!


  15. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    WHAT? CAN THIS BE TRUE? Concerned wrote: “…there is actually a mandate on the congressional record about Bison that was wrote into law in the early part of the century that recognizes Bison as an endangered animal and mandating that no more Bison were to be killed…”

    Concerned, if this is true, you could hold the key to resolving this issue…!

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

  16. Buffaloed Avatar

    It would take a change of the rules governing transport of animals from a brucellosis infected herd. Currently it is illegal to transport these animals across state lines. Two years ago APHIS/Homeland Security agents escorted trailers full of buffalo to slaughter all the way to Nampa, Idaho. There are even APHIS agents escorting them to slaughter houses in Montana this year.

    I would like to see these rules changed but I doubt that they will because the livestock lobby controls wildlife too and they won’t let it happen. I guess Brucellosis is only dangerous in Montana since they don’t seem to be too concerned with it in Idaho or Wyoming and they don’t seem to be concerned about feeding it to people. If it were truly dangerous the meat would be destroyed and not given to food banks.

    It is possible for people to contract brucellosis but it is very rare because of milk pasteurization which used to be the main way that it was given to humans. It is still possible to contract it through an open cut if someone comes in direct contact with infected birthing materials or reproductive tissues.


    To my understanding Charles Goodnight was the rancher in Texas who supplied a few genetically pure buffalo and some others came from the Flathead region of Montana. These buffalo were captive raised at the Buffalo Ranch in the Lamar Valley and the other, native buffalo from the Pelican Valley were not disturbed. It is at the Buffalo Ranch where it is speculated that brucellosis was transmitted to buffalo through infected cows milk.


    I would love for you to post any information you come up with regarding the congressional record.

  17. Catbestland Avatar

    This congressional record is a band wagon we could all jump on.

  18. Concerned Avatar

    I remember finding this when I started blasting the Montana Government in 1998, with so many emails that they actually stopped the email service at the capital here in Montana for quite a while, that was during the time I moved to Montana and Governor Marc Racicot was in Office as well as Conrad Burns(He is gone now, thank god!), so I will have to dig some archives out, there was a widely circulated letter on the internet way back then that I and my Wife wrote, it appeared on several websites for quite a long time, had it posted there..

    As I said, I will have to do some searching and digging, but I should be able to find it again, it was around 1917-1918 that it was done.

  19. Concerned Avatar

    One starting point is look at the original text of the Lacey act as wrote in 1894, there was a $1000 dollar fine imposed for anyone convicted of shooting Bison. We also need to look at the boundary control agreements that Montana, Idaho and Wyoming signed with the park service in the 70’s to see if it violates the Lacy Act of 1894…as far as I know, there has been very few revisions to this act.

    This is a starting point, I will continue to do the research to see if in fact that I can find all of the information that I had when I moved to Montana

  20. Buffaloed Avatar

    I just heard that some snowmobilers dismantled the Horse Butte capture facility. It sounds like it is getting crazy out there.

  21. kim kaiser Avatar

    the guy was removed and arrested per the bozeman chronicle

  22. Buffaloed Avatar

    I also heard that another 20 buffalo were captured in Gardiner and 26 from the Horse Butte Peninsula near West Yellowstone today.

    BFC’s website says 422 killed in the hunt and management activities so far this season but I don’t know if the count has been updated today to reflect the new numbers. I think we are getting close to 600 so far and could have surpassed that by now. The blood bath is well underway and I don’t see much hope of it slowing down soon.

  23. Buffaloed Avatar

    The snowmobiler incident was within the last hour.

  24. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    Civil disobedience at it’s finest…!

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

  25. JB Avatar

    The cases that Defenders is pursuing right now (specifically, the prebles meadow jumping mouse, and NRM wolf), in combination with a new administration (hopefully democratic), may completely change the FWS’s view of the ESA.

    There is absolutely no question that the bison is either threatened with or in danger of extinction in “a significant portion of its range.” Hell, its been eliminated from nearly ALL of its range! The rulings in these cases my finally (after more than a decade) force the service to change its interpretation of the act, and could provide bison lovers with a mechanism for listing (and protecting) the species.

  26. Buffaloed Avatar

    Woops, the snowmobiler incident didn’t actually happen. Someone was just messing with the DoL. 😉

  27. Concerned Avatar


    This is what causing so many misconceptions as well as anger on both sides..

    Come on folks use your heads…

  28. Catbestland Avatar

    I’m very much in support of this guy but I don’t quite understand the picture. Is there a naked guy under a blue tarp, on top of the sign, which is on top of the poles. I must be blind but I can’t tell.

  29. Buffaloed Avatar

    I was wrong to report the snowmobile incident here. I should have realized what was going on and considered my source. I overheard something that I mistook for a real situation but it turned out to be a joke on me. Sorry.

    As far as the numbers of buffalo caught today, I stand by that information.

    Cat, the person in the photo was not naked, however, according to news reports, the arresting officers took his sleeping bag and some of his clothing or boots to make him more uncomfortable.

    Here are all of the sources of information I have seen on the issue.,1,5286832.story

  30. Catbestland Avatar

    Well now, the arresting officers taking his sleeping bag, clothing and boots is REALLY rude. In fact, I think it boarders on Wreckless Endangerment considering the weather and temperature.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Brian Ertz