February 03, 2008

Hunting buffalo in Yellowstone

On a Buffalo HuntFor the first time in more than 100 years, Native people are able to hunt wild bison again in the Greater Yellowstone Area. Being inspired culturally to take part in a limited bison hunt, my two cousins, Basil "Baz" Tanner and Terry "Tunes" Tanner, my son Ryan "Red-Raven" Woodcock and I formed our hunting party. We all took a one-day orientation on the regulations, the area open for hunting, brucellosis and the activists, who would be present with cameras. We received our permits after the course. What I learned on this hunt was both a cultural renewal and a painful reminder of the past.

Even though this is a controlled hunt, it has many regulations. Hunting is allowed only in the areas of open and unclaimed lands within Montana and outside Yellowstone National Park. Non-tribal members are not allowed to hunt or pursue but are allowed to help dress and haul out the bison after the kill. Permits and tags can only be obtained by tribal members 18 year or older who first attend the Bison Hunt Orientation. The season for the hunt is Sept. 1 through the end of January. (A different permit process allows non-Natives to hunt bison, too; a lottery drawing determines who gets a tag.)


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Back in 1959, when writerfella first ever visited the Crow Reservation in Montana, there was a Buffalo hunt on reservation land. His uncle Victor Paddlety participated and writerfella went along just to observe. Two buffalo were allowed to be taken and Victor shot one of the two. Victor ate raw buffalo kidney but writerfella demurred. The men did not dress the carcasses but waited for women to come who then butchered the buffalo after carefully excising the hides. That evening, at a communal gathering, all atending took part in a buffalo feast. The meat was not at all either gamey or greasy. The event later became the inspiration for authentic historical Kiowa buffalo hunt scenes in writerfella's screenplay, RUN BEFORE THE BUFFALO. In keeping with the post on buffalo hunts in the Yellowstone, the above demonstrates that writerfella partially was wrong when he said, 'Unlike the wolf, there is one predator that isn't allowed back on the lands they once roamed -- the Native American...'
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

I presume your uncle used a rifle. In your "historical Kiowa buffalo hunt scenes," did they use rifles also?