Published May 12, 2017
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) witnessed two hazing operations in the past week, both targeting wild buffalo who migrated to the South Fork / Denny Creek area of the Hebgen Basin.
This portion of the Basin south of the Madison River is currently a “no tolerance” zone for wild buffalo. Last Thursday, a total of forty-seven adults including pregnant females and juveniles, along with eight new born calves (some born just yesterday) were pushed off of their chosen ground. Six riders, three with the Montana Department of Livestock and three with Fish, Wildlife and Parks, did the dirty work.
They were assisted by two Gallatin County Sheriffs and our new game warden. The buffalo were not having any of it. They immediately took off from the riders at a dead run and got the attention of another group of nineteen buffalo (including two big bulls who we were concerned about getting shot) and while the 47 took off in one direction, the 19 took off in another, never to be seen again. The agents were left in the dust. The 47 kept running right down the Madison Arm Road along Gallatin National Forest. After a few miles they ducked off deep into the woods. It seemed the hazing was over when the agents loaded up their horses, but a few miles down the Madison Arm Road, they pulled over and unloaded again.
Tuesday’s haze was conducted by the Department of Livestock, Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The hazers started bullying twenty-seven adult buffalo and six newborn calves and found a few more along the way, so it ended with a total of thirty-nine adults and juveniles and six new born calves.
Like last week, the hazers had another challenging time with it. The buffalo took off, again leaving them in the dust and heading straight for thick timber, where the agents lost them for at least an hour. While they searched, a huge thunderstorm rolled in, dropping heavy rain and hail, soaking the bullies.