Recently, I've been watching a lot of old western-style movies, and something that has always bothered me in these movies is the portrayal of bison hunts. There are two particular scenes that always make me feel sick, one is from Dances With Wolves and the other is Wyatt Earp.

Bison Slaughter Still Happens

These brutal movie scenes, where dozens of bison carcasses are left to waste, make me question if it really was that way. I always imagine the wild west as a tough place to get food, so the scenes where the bodies of bison are strewn around with only their furs cut off make the massacres even worse. The hunting of bison was so prolific that by the early 1900s there were only a few dozen bison left in the Yellowstone area. Since then the numbers have ballooned to the thousands, but the slaughter of these beasts is still happening. It’s just on a much smaller scale and for a much different reason.

Yellowstone Bison Management Plan

Once the bison population reached the thousands, a new issue arose where bison would travel outside Yellowstone boundaries. This caused a fear among cattle ranchers that these bison could make their herds sick. Despite there being no records of bison passing the disease to cattle, The Bison Management Plan was formed to help reduce the number of bison in the park to a more manageable number, around 5,000. Excess bison have been transferred to other lands, killed in hunts, or slaughtered for meat.

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The new plan aims to allow more bison to live safely inside Yellowstone National Park and allow for more animals to be safely transferred to other lands rather than slaughtered.

I’m not against eating meat, I love it, but there’s has always been something odd about eating bison from a national park.

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