May 17, 2016

Bison in the news.

1. "Bullet the bison likes to spend her days rolling in the mud, lounging in the shade and walking around the house ... and through the door, and down the hallway. Her owner, Karen Schoeve, doesn’t mind. It can be a nuisance sometimes, but Bullet is house-trained, so long as she doesn’t track mud inside."



2. "Yellowstone euthanizes baby bison that tourists loaded into their car."
Rangers tried to reunite the newborn bison calf with its herd... The efforts failed, and the calf was euthanized because it was abandoned and approaching people and cars....  The two foreign tourists visiting Yellowstone last week tried to “save” the baby bison from the cold by putting the calf in their vehicle and trying to leave. A park visitor told EastIdahoNews.com that she saw the tourists, a father and a son, pull up to a ranger station with the bison in their SUV, the Sacramento Bee reported. “They were demanding to speak with a ranger,” said Karen Richardson. “They were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying.”
3. "On [May 9th], President Obama signed legislation honoring the American bison, also known as the buffalo, as this country’s first national mammal."
[Andrew C. Isenberg, author of “The Destruction of the Bison”] cautions against fitting the bison into what he calls a simplistic Christian teleological narrative—a version of the story in which America’s indigenous peoples, with their eco-friendly hunting practices, were tempted by the “unsustainable exploitation” of the Euro-Americans and, together, nearly destroyed the Edenic state of nature. It is misguided, Isenberg argues, to idealize the Indian hunters and white preservationists while demonizing the pioneers and industrialists, all of whom were shaped by their own social and economic pressures, all of whom played their own part in the near-tragedy. There were, of course, significant differences between the various groups—and yet these differences, he writes, “must have seemed trivial to the bison.” Ultimately, the simplest perspective from which to interpret the vicissitudes of the American bison is that of the bison itself. The honor it received this week is meagre compensation for its travails, but it is better than nothing.

90 comments:

Bob R said...

Maybe the rangers were just hungry for some barbecued baby bison.

pm317 said...

Why didn't they take the baby bison to some ranch that could have saved it?

Ann Althouse said...

"Why didn't they take the baby bison to some ranch that could have saved it?"

They want to teach people that nature is nature and stop being so damned sentimental.

Ann Althouse said...

You know it's our tax money. It shouldn't be spent on providing happy endings that cushion stupid people from the consequences of their attempts at getting cozy with the wild.

Ann Althouse said...

Something like 35,000 bison are slaughtered for meat in the United States every year, so why is there any kind of premium on preserving one bison?

pm317 said...

I am not condoning what those foolish tourists did. But once that was done why not try to save it?

Michael K said...

There used to be about 400 bison on Catalina Island and we enjoyed seeing them there. They were the herd that grew from a few animals left behind from a movie made in the 1920s. Then some idiot woman went up to one and had her husband take her picture. The bison butted her and she sued. The bison were then removed.

campy said...

"[Our tax money] shouldn't be spent on providing happy endings that cushion stupid people from the consequences of their attempts at getting cozy with the wild."

It should be spent on providing happy endings that cushion stupid people from the consequences of their attempts at getting cozy with other stupid people.

EDH said...

"On [May 9th], President Obama signed legislation honoring the American bison, also known as the buffalo, as this country’s first national mammal."

A fitting tribute since Obama has "buffaloed" much of the nation.

pm317 said...

Right, once you get used to the idea of slaughtering by the 1000s, it is perhaps easy. I am a vegetarian and I can never get used to that idea.

Ann Althouse said...

"I am not condoning what those foolish tourists did. But once that was done why not try to save it?"

It was a maladapted wild animal. It had no way to live in its habitat. Why should it be preserved? Why should tax money be spent moving it to a new home? As noted above, something like 35,000 bison are slaughtered for meat in the United States every year. It's not an endangered creature or anything. Plus, the consequence here is a vivid lesson to future well-meaning tourists. And tourists in Yellowstone are continually doing stupid things around and to bison. It's a big, ongoing problem. Not a one-time screwup.

cubanbob said...

"You know it's our tax money. It shouldn't be spent on providing happy endings that cushion stupid people from the consequences of their attempts at getting cozy....."

For a moment there I thought you were referring to the Democrat base.... the ones who demand all the free stuff.

Chris said...

"Why didn't they take the baby bison to some ranch that could have saved it?"

Brucellosis. The calf would have to be quarantined for months before it could be transferred out of the park, and it's not old enough to feed/care for itself, and the park has no facility to care for the calf for that time.

MadisonMan said...

I think that rather than the bison, the National Mammal should be Homo sapiens.

Chris said...

"Brucellosis[...]"

Or, to put it another way, there are a raft of federal and state regulations that left the park service with no other option. And we all like regulations, don't we? Lots, and lots of regulations.

Well-meaning, but ignorant people thought it was a good idea for the state to intervene in a wild animal's individual welfare. As a result, the animal became dependent on the state. Unfortunately for the animal, the state was wholly unequipped for that responsibility.

Well, not wholly unequipped. In this case, the state did the one thing it allowed itself to do.

Chris said...

"You don't kill life just because it is the easy way out."

A national park is not a petting zoo. The point is for the animals live and die on their terms, not ours.

There was a time when park policy was to treat the animals as pets. It was a freaking disaster.

tommyesq said...

From what I heard, the buffalo could not be moved elsewhere because there is a quarantine on Yellowstone buffalo due to the fear of brucellosis. There does seem to be some debate over whether such fears have any actual basis, but for now it is in place.

Bob Boyd said...

"innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm." - Graham Greene

MadisonMan said...

Bring back the Buffalo Nickel!

Original Mike said...

I talked to a Ranger at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore years ago. The previous winter they had had to go out onto Lake Superior and rescue a deer that was stuck out on an ice floe because the towns people (Munising, MI) kept calling their office asking that they go out and save it. "We could have died", the guy said with disgust. He was right.

Quaestor said...

They want to teach people that nature is nature and stop being so damned sentimental.

Damned straight. Thumbs up.

I remember reading about an incident that reflected the Indian attitude to the bison in Son of the Morning Star by Evan S. Connell. I've mislaid that tome and cannot confirm the details, but it seems there was an army officer, major or lieutenant colonel, posted to the frontier who expressed a liking for buffalo tongue to a tribal chief with whom he was holding negotiations. Soon afterwards thousands of tongues were delivered to his headquarters by various Native American proto-ecologists expecting payment.

Curious George said...

I'll g the other way...why was it euthanized? Just le it go in the park...something would eat it soon enough.

kjbe said...

"You don't kill life just because it is the easy way out."

A national park is not a petting zoo. The point is for the animals live and die on their terms, not ours.

There was a time when park policy was to treat the animals as pets. It was a freaking disaster.


Exactly. It's not in the mission of the National Park Service. They don't have a rehab center, nor is it their priority to rescue individual animals. Their mission is to preserve the ecological processes of the park, and even though humans were involved in this case, it is not uncommon for bison, especially young mothers, to lose or abandon their calves. Those animals typically die of starvation or predation.

Chris said...

"I'll g the other way...why was it euthanized? Just le it go in the park...something would eat it soon enough."

Because it was rejected by the herd, and habituated to humans... approaching tourists, causing a hazard.

Fernandinande said...

[Andrew C. Isenberg, author of “The Destruction of the Bison”] cautions against fitting the bison into what he calls a simplistic Christian teleological narrative

No problem.

—a version of the story in which America’s indigenous peoples, with their eco-friendly hunting practices,

Like running herds of bison over cliffs and practicing cannibalism, genocide and slavery when that failed.

Mary E. Glynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
pm317 said...

@Chris at 8:52

Yeah. I can accept that. There are unseen difficulties in rescuing a wild animal.

Chris said...

"What better way to teach humans the dangers of interacting with wild animals? Let them dodge the 'trained' and humanized animals coming into the park..."

You haven't been to Yellowstone, lately, have you? That idea may appeal to you, but that's not how it would play out.

The park service did not "rig the game". What they did, within allowable options, was in the best interest of the park, its wildlife and visitors.

When you do visit Yellowstone, or any other wild area, please don't try to save the animals, don't feed the animals, don't approach the animals. Thank you.

Susan said...

Apparently people think that a small bison is very like a stray cat. You find one wandering around and you take it to a shelter and they find a happy forever home for it.

Then again, if you take the average mal-adapted stray cat to a shelter and leave it the chances are it will also be "euthanized" and not find a happy forever home.

So I guess the only difference, really, between a small bison and a stray cat is the bison has a better publicist.

Ron said...

If only the POTUS would get in someone's car so the herd would reject him!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Maybe the rangers were just hungry for some barbecued baby bison.

This is more insightful than you realize. I have a friend who is a retired Fish and Game officer in California. We were discussing deer hunting and the various zones in the State. As a joking aside, he remarked on how much easier it was to get venison when he as able to "eat the evidence".

:-)

Besides possibly carrying disease, adult buffalo are extremely strong, unpredictable animals. A baby buffalo may be cute, but it isn't a pet. The young buffalo cannot be just let loose and be expected to live a cute Disneyland life. The Park Service doesn't have the facilities or personnel to babysit the animal until it is grown. Even if they did, once grown the buffalo would be even MORE dangerous as an adult because it would be unafraid of humans. The stupid humans, thinking they were in a theme park, would put themselves in danger and be hurt or killed. The adult buffalo would have to be killed. The rangers were just cutting to the chase saving everyone a boat load of money, time and suffering.

lemondog said...

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

Mahatma Gandhi

Bob Boyd said...

Holy Cow!

Quaestor said...

You don't kill life just because it is the easy way out.

Sentimentality regarding the natural world is foolish and ultimately self-defeating. What is remarkable is that the obvious wisdom is generally ignored, even by the well-schooled. Cognitive dissonance at work, I suppose.

I often wonder about the motives of people like those "foreign tourists" who thought they were rescuing that calf. All over the Western world there are tens of thousands of rescue organizations, mainly for abandoned or abused pet animals, but many are for native wild species as well. I will admit there are sound arguments in favor of some rescue efforts on behalf of domestic pets and livestock. These animals have co-evolved with humans and have lost, or more precisely re-purposed, some of their survival traits to serve our needs. Consequently they depend on us humans for survival. They function as part of our communities, and as such they are included in our altruistic motivations. However, rescuers of pets also care for abandoned animals. All too often people acquire pets without the slightest forethought about the responsibility* entailed. However, they acquire children with even less forethought or acknowledged responsibility, so disposable pets follows inevitably. Because willing rescuers exist in such abundance the ironic effect is more abandoned pets because the thoughtless pet owner can more effectively assuage what remains of his conscience with the certainty that the pet will be cared for. Most egregious are the soi-disant "no-kill shelters", a fancy word for neurotic animal collecting.

Rescuers of wildlife, however, have no excuse. If a wild animal is unable to survive by its own means, it should die. End of story. That's how we got here, people. Nature red in tooth and claw shaped us by selecting the fit and destroying the unfit.

The problem has two roots: One is the word rescue, it implies heroism. Everybody wants to be a hero. So you bundle a bison calf into your car and, voilĂ !, you're a hero in your own estimation. How satisfying that must feel. The other is mind rot like this. Anthropomorphizing nature is bad enough, but that quintessential hippy chick wearing a flower garland is a cardinal sin against sanity.

*Oh, what a sad word that has become, responsibility. It used to imply moral, legal, and/or financial obligation. Now "I take full responsibility..." means nothing more than case closed, shut up.

Quaestor said...

I'll go the other way...why was it euthanized? Just let it go in the park...something would eat it soon enough.

Something did. Of that you can be absolutely certain.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... Something like 35,000 bison are slaughtered for meat in the United States every year, so why is there any kind of premium on preserving one bison?

But it's a baaaaaby!
Resolute pragmatism is cruel and evil when it's practiced by people we don't line and/or when the results conflict with our emotional instincts. And one mustn't neglect the (valid, proper) role emotions play in decision making & judgement...

#empathy #compassion #
#Imnotsurehowhashtagsaresupposedtowork

Quaestor said...

Mahatma Gandhi?

I do hope you realize the man's name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, that the Mahatma part is essentially propaganda?

The worst kind of bullshit is the bullshit that issues from the mind of someone called Mahatma.

mikeyes said...

The Yellowstone bison herd is one of the last 25,000 or so American Bison that are not cattle/bison hybrids as measured by mitochondrial DNA. The "35,000 bison slaughtered each year" are actually hybrids raised for meat. There are approximately a half million of these hybrids in public and private lands but very few pure bison left in North America.
Of course, that is no reason for visitors to try and halt a natural process as those tourists did.

Quaestor said...

I'll go the other way...why was it euthanized? Just let it go in the park...something would eat it soon enough.

Something did eat it, even if that something was nothing more exalted than bacteria. By euthanizing it... Bullshit. Let's be real. By shooting it dead with a rifle rather than just letting it go the rangers made certain that whatever flesh eater(s) made a meal of it would have more resources to enjoy than if the calf lingered for days slowing wasting its own substance. I just hope they didn't use lead ammo.

Gabriel said...

Bison are dangerous and they kill people. Those tourists could hardly have been more stupid if they had "rescued" a bear cub.

First day I visited Yellowstone a middle-aged couple was arguing with a ranger that the bison could not possibly be as dangerous as the ranger said they were. I am small-hearted enough to hope that they got eaten by something.

Quaestor said...

The "35,000 bison slaughtered each year" are actually hybrids raised for meat.

Not according to the National Bison Association.

I'm not disputing, but I'd like to see the citations.

Quaestor said...

I am small-hearted enough to hope that they got eaten by something.

Not small-hearted but big-brained. Wolves need to eat, and idiots need to be culled.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I just hope they didn't use lead ammo.

Not a problem, they likely shot it in an inedible location. Lead ammo is not an immediate danger to humans who consume the game. It was likely a head shot.

Lead shot, from shotgun shells, can be problematic because the shot/pellets get into the ground, fields and are then eaten by birds who absorb the lead into their systems. Not good for the birds AT ALL, but really a non issue for those eating the wild game. You would have to eat a LOT of geese or wild birds to have any health effect. It IS really a pain to have to pick the shot out of the fowl. Watch out for your teeth and fillings if you don't!

Lead shot is actually a more humane way to kill geese because it is more effective and people tended to take shorter range shots than longer. At a shorter range you have more effective kills and less wounded birds getting away. Sorry for all the tender hearts out there....but this is reality :-O

I wonder what they did with the hide. I bet it was utilized as well. Waste not and all that.

Gabriel said...

@Quaestor:Wolves need to eat, and idiots need to be culled.

Classic unpublishable Far Side comic. "I know you miss the Wainwrights, Bobby, but they were weak and stupid people - and that's why we have wolves and other large predators."

pm317 said...

Quaestor said...

Mahatma Gandhi?


LOL. I have to laugh at the right wingers' disparagement of Gandhi. I know a thing or two about the man and certainly more than you do having lived it. So cut it out.

Gabriel said...

@pm317:I know a thing or two about the man and certainly more than you do having lived it.

Lots of people know things about Gandhi.

My maternal grandfather went to jail with Gandhi in 1933, so I grew up knowing this myth was cobbled together from half-truths. My grandfather took the lessons he'd learned in jail to begin an ashram in the bowels of West Bengal. As a consequence, my parents raised me with an intimate understanding of Gandhi that teetered between laudatory and critical. My family adored him, though we never really bought into the idea that he single-handedly orchestrated India's independence movement. This is to say nothing of Gandhi's bigotry, which we didn't touch in our household. In the decades since his assassination in 1948, the image of Gandhi has been constructed so carefully, scrubbed clean of its grimy details, that it's easy to forget that he predicated his rhetoric on anti-blackness, a vehement allergy to female sexuality, and a general unwillingness to help liberate the Dalit, or "untouchable," caste.

Gandhi lived in South Africa for over two decades, from 1893 to 1914, working as a lawyer and fighting for the rights of Indians—and only Indians. To him, as he expressed quite plainly, black South Africans were barely human. He referred to them using the derogatory South African slur kaffir. He lamented that Indians were considered "little better, if at all, than savages or the Natives of Africa." In 1903, he declared that the "white race in South Africa should be the predominating race." After getting thrown in jail in 1908, he scoffed at the fact that Indians were classed with black, not white, prisoners. Some South African activists have thrust these parts of Gandhi's thinking back into the spotlight, as did a book published this past September by two South African academics, but they've barely made a dent on the American cultural consciousness beyond the concentric circles of Tumblr.

Rusty said...

pm317 said...
"Why didn't they take the baby bison to some ranch that could have saved it?"

Who's gonna pay to raise it? Ranchers aren't a charity.

DBQ @ 10:56

Steel shot or its equivalent are mandatory for waterfowl in this country. Rule of thumb is you don't take a shot until you can see their eye. I don't thing I've shot a goose at over 20 yards.

Quaestor said...

@ Dust Bunny Queen

I've read many articles about the pros and cons of lead-cored rifle ammunition and lead shot. It seems to me that most pro-lead arguments are anecdotal and unsubstantiated by science.

These are my thoughts on the matter. Lead ammunition is more of a traditional choice than an ideal one. Lead was used originally because it was cheap and convenient. Because it melts at a low temperature hunters and soldiers could make their own ammunition with nothing hotter than a campfire, whereas iron, though more abundant than lead, was much more expensive to manufacture. After rifling was introduced the softness of lead became important, but it took a while to realize it was too soft, leaving lead particles behind which clogged rifling and promoted corrosion. For most of the 20th century lead was still used because there was little incentive to discover or synthesize substitutes.

Today, thanks to advanced chemistry and materials engineering there are many lead-free choices which outperform lead in every way — cheaper to produce, ballistically superior, and with equal or better lethality. For example Winchester E-Tip and Federal Premium Black Cloud FS Steel Waterfowl Shotshells. Research has shown that deformation of birdshot does not significantly contribute to lethality or ballistics. Steel is just as good, and has the added benefit of being easily found in the killed bird with a magnet.

William said...

In addition to driving buffalo herds off cliffs, the first Americans hunted the mastodon to extenction. Because of the greed and/or hunting prowess of the first Americans, later Americans never got to eat mastodon steaks or adopt these adorable creatures as house pets. The first Americans were primal Americans. There's vey little evidence that they were better people than the later immigrants, except, of course, the Irish. .We need to stop anthromorphizing Americans of all varieties.

Roger Sweeny said...

Most people don't realize it but few bison herds are natural. Naturally, there is a 1:1 female:male ratio. But adult male bison aren't satisfied with one mating. They collect "harems" of ten or more. This leads to rather violent fighting with losing males removing themselves from that male and looking for another to fight. Most all bison herds are "managed" by removing all males over 6 years of age (the biggest, most violent ones) and also removing many younger ones so the female:male ratio is about 6:1. This cuts the violence to levels the preserve/park managers find acceptable.

Levi Starks said...

Would it be asking too much to know what country the visitors were from?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Rusty

Exactly. Steel shot is mandatory. However, it encourages the novice hunters to take longer range shots than they should, resulting in wounded or crippled birds. I'm too old to go crawling through a rice check anymore, so I haven't hunted in quite some time. Skeet and trap is still fun though :-)

From our back deck we have a view of wild rice fields. One year there was a wounded goose whose wing had healed but couldn't fly. His/her mate kept it company. It was very sad and I wanted to go and put it out of its misery, however it was across the river about 100 to 150 yards away and in a very difficult area to get to by having to cross quite a few acres of private farming land and rice checks. A very long shot for me with my 22 rifle. I didn't want to make it worse.

So...we just stopped looking at him or worrying about it. Sadly, but surely, nature took its course and a coyote or some other predator accomplished the task.

Gahrie said...

LOL. I have to laugh at the right wingers' disparagement of Gandhi

Why?

Do you deny his racism, classism and sexual perversions?

Or doesn't the truth matter?

His one contribution to humanity was the idea of non-violent coercion.

Quaestor said...

LOL. I have to laugh at the right wingers' disparagement of Gandhi

Laugh away. It's the main preoccupation of fools.

R. Chatt said...

Where I live there is an organization called Native Animal Rescue which aids people in dealing with injured wild animals -- foxes, owls, coyotes, etc. They rehabilitate the wounded or abandoned animals and return them to the wild. I called them once for advice when a hummingbird had smacked into my porch window and knocked itself out. Should I touch it or not? We also have a Marine Mammal Center for injured sea creatures.

So I probably would have expected a similar group near Yellowstone and tried to call someone if I saw that bison calf in distress. But apparently there aren't similar groups out in Yellowstone, maybe because the neighbors are ranchers and also because the park has a problem with people putting themselves at risk attempting to interact with animals.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Lead ammunition is more of a traditional choice than an ideal one.

@ Quaestor.

I was mostly addressing lead shot, as in shot gun ammo as it relates to birds. I believe that lead shot shells are illegal everywhere now.

However, you are quite correct in that lead ammo/bullets were more traditional, easier to to manufacture, reload or create at home (so to speak). Another advantage of lead ammo was that the bullets would expand upon impact due to the soft nature of lead. The downsides as you presented are true.

However, with the advent of jacketed hollow points or other modern ammo that will expand on contact without leaving the lead in the rifling and the associated lead contamination..... the old style ammo is passe.

People who have never hunted or who view nature as a Disneyland theme park full of Bambi type critters will not understand.

Sorry to be off topic.

MrCharlie2 said...

I can't imagine just walking up to a wild bison and posing for a picture or luring a cold calf. Those are big animals, and not very cuddly from what I've seen.

I think it would be great to just turn over some huge chunk of land, like say the western half of Wyoming, to the buffalo and see if we can get back the really big herds. But, I suppose some interest group (i.e. people who live there) would get in the way.

Quaestor said...

I think it would be great to just turn over some huge chunk of land, like say the western half of Wyoming, to the buffalo and see if we can get back the really big herds. But, I suppose some interest group (i.e. people who live there) would get in the way.

I think it would be great fun to swoop down on some urban hipsters and drop them naked and unarmed in the wilds of Idaho. Their romantic notions of nature would evaporate quicker than morning dew, I reckon.

Oclarki said...

I find it interesting they won't say what country the visitors were from.

Bob Boyd said...

"I find it interesting they won't say what country the visitors were from."

Poland?

Quaestor said...

I find it interesting they won't say what country the visitors were from.

Germans, mostly likely. In their national compensation for the whole Nazi thing the Germans have swung too far in the other direction (which is typically German) and have gotten their psyches all out of kilter (also typically German). Which is why they're awash in undocumented migrants from Whoknowswhereistan, and can't muster the gumption to deport even the worst of them.

Quaestor said...

Poles are more tough minded than Germans, also they are more likely to know what bison are. The last free-ranging bison in Europe west of the Pripet Marches are in Poland.

Bob Boyd said...

@Quaestor

The Poland comment was just a joke. My first thought was also Germans.

Fritz said...

They could have just let it wander until the Yellowstone wolves found it. Win win.

Fritz said...

MrCharlie2 said...
I can't imagine just walking up to a wild bison and posing for a picture or luring a cold calf. Those are big animals, and not very cuddly from what I've seen.

I think it would be great to just turn over some huge chunk of land, like say the western half of Wyoming, to the buffalo and see if we can get back the really big herds. But, I suppose some interest group (i.e. people who live there) would get in the way.


When we visited Yellowstone a few years ago, the bison were everywhere. You'd stop at a geyser and take a trail and run into one just standing around. Mostly, they just stand around and tolerate people. Mostly. . .

Quaestor said...

Mostly, they just stand around and tolerate people. Mostly. . .

I get it, though others may not

mikeyes said...

Quaestor,

There are several cites in the Wikipedia article on American Bison that talk about the influx of cattle genes into most living bison. One of the positive effects was that this allowed the bison to flourish because of the injected diversity and helped overcome the genetic bottleneck that often occurs in species with small numbers. There have been numerous studies showing that the vast majority of bison have mitochondrial DNA that is cattle based. Mitochondrial DNA is passed on from the mother to all children which means that the proto-mother of these bison is a cow, not a bison. The actual genetic makeup of these buffalo may be majority bison, but they are still the product of cattle somewhere in the past. The hybrid always looks like a bison so the phenotype can't really be distinguished from a bison without the cattle mitochondrial DNA.
It's actually a good thing that the cattle genes were introduced, sort of like the introduction of Neanderthal genes to homo sapiens is a good thing. Overall these are bison but to say that they don't have cattle genes is not true.

Quaestor said...

Isn't interesting that there are no comments regarding Bullet the Bison?

Honestly, I don't know what to make of Karen Schoeve. She seems to be reasonable and well-balanced in spite of her odd pet. Somethings strike me as odd (besides the bison in the house) such as the boots over the jeans. Working cowhands don't do that for several reasons, which makes me think along the lines of all hat and no cattle regarding Ms. Schoeve.

Bison aren't friendly as a rule and aren't domesticated. (I notice the camera operator kept his distance throughout.) This makes me concerned for her safety more than the well-being of that beast.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem with rescuing the young bison is they are a heard animal, and it was apparently rejected by the herd. What would they do when it got older and tried to join a herd? If a short time with humans would cause that, how would it work if it had spent months, if not years, with humans?

Changing subjects a bit - found it interesting about steel versus lead shot. At the indoor range where I have been shooting, steel bullets are banned. The guy who assigns lanes uses a magnet to test all the ammo shot there. Apparently, the steel penetrates better, and causes all sorts of problems with the walls and backstop.

Finally, friend of mine has an automatic shotgun he got from his grandfather, apparently legal if it is plugged to only 3 shells, or something like that. Or, it predates the 1934 NFA. In any case, he was called "boom, boom", because he had broken his trigger finger earlier in life, and couldn't get his finger off the trigger fast enough to single cycle the gun. Apparently his wife hated it when he actually hit a bird, since he would inevitably hit it two or three times, filling it with shot that she would have to dig out. Haven't shot it for maybe 4 decades, but it was fun, at least for me. My brother though shoots sinister (left handed), and those spent shells ejecting to the right, across his face, we're not as much fun.

Quaestor said...

Changing subjects a bit - found it interesting about steel versus lead shot. At the indoor range where I have been shooting, steel bullets are banned.

My neighborhood indoor range bans steel bullets. They also prohibit steel cased ammunition (a lot of Russian and Chinese ammo is steel cased) and aluminum cased ammo as well. They may tell you that the steel bullets are more problematic, but the restrictions have more to do with the value of scrap copper.

Michael K said...

"The last free-ranging bison in Europe west of the Pripet Marches are in Poland."

I thought those were Aurochs.

Archaeological evidence shows that domestication occurred independently in the Near East and the Indian subcontinent between 10,000–8,000 years ago, giving rise to the two major domestic taxa observed today: humpless Bos taurus (taurine) and humped Bos indicus (zebu), respectively. This is confirmed by genetic analyses of matrilineal mitochondrial DNA sequences, which reveal a marked differentiation between modern Bos taurus and Bos indicus haplotypes, demonstrating their derivation from two geographically and genetically divergent wild populations.

The last ones are supposed to have died in the 17th century but I have read somewhere that there were examples up unutl World War II.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Because real .22 caliber ammo is expensive, harder to get anymore and we don't want to accidentally kill a neighbor when we shoot the ground squirrels (die vermin!!!!) we use one of these. Whisper air rifle.

:-)

Bruce Hayden said...

We have a national bison reserve about 25 miles from here in NW MT. I was thinking of what to do if my father and (another) brother come to visit this summer, as promised and I thought of the bison reserve. Then remembered that they live a couple of miles from a herd originally fenced in maybe 1917, up in the mtns west of Denver (actually owned by Denver, though it is physically maybe 30 miles east of there). Somehow, I can't get excited about bison (except to eat them), having seen that herd many thousands of times over the last 6 decades. Indeed, for several years, I drove by them twice a day, at least, living off the next exit west on I-70.

Time flies - a bit over 15 years ago, I would regularly pick up ground bison meat in the grocery store in CO, freeze it solid, then haul it back to my partner in PHX in my luggage, where it was only available once or twice a year, instead of regularly, as was the case in CO. Not the case any more. Much more available there now. She makes one of the best burgers around, mixing the bison wth ground sirloin, and using some egg to stick it together. And then maybe stuffing it with blue cheese. Looking back almost 20 years, our first fight was over cooking bison meat on the grill. She couldn't comprehend a guy not knowing how to grill. One of those sexual roles things - each of us thought that grilling was the job of the opposite sex. Most of it ended in the coals, which meant I had to bring more down the next week from CO.

furious_a said...

"Know a thing or two about Gandhi", like him saying that the Shoah would be a day of celebration for Europe's Jews (those who survived):

If I were a Jew and were born in Germany* and earned my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest gentile German may, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment. And for doing this, I should not wait for the fellow Jews to join me in civil resistance but would have confidence that in the end the rest are bound to follow my example. If one Jew or all the Jews were to accept the prescription here offered, he or they cannot be worse off than now. And suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy which no number of resolutions of sympathy passed in the world outside Germany can. Indeed, even if Britain, France and America were to declare hostilities against Germany, they can bring no inner joy, no inner strength. The calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre of the Jews by way of his first answer to the declaration of such hostilities. But if the Jewish mind could be prepared for voluntary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy that Jehovah had wrought deliverance of the race even at the hands of the tyrant. For to the godfearing, death has no terror. It is a joyful sleep to be followed by a waking that would be all the more refreshing for the long sleep.

*...he would have ended up unremarked in an ashpit at Auschwitz.

Roger Sweeny said...

I think it would be great to just turn over some huge chunk of land, like say the western half of Wyoming, to the buffalo and see if we can get back the really big herds.

There is a group trying to sort of do that in northern Montana, calling their project the American Prairie Reserve. It is in the area around the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument.

Anne Matthews 1992 Where the Buffalo Roam is an easy read about the Poppers, geographers who suggested that since people were leaving the shortgrass prairie (west of the 98th meridian) and the aquifers were being depleted, the best course might be to take most of the fences down and create what they called Buffalo Commons.

Right now a big idea in the "conservation community" is that to save biodiversity, we need not just isolated parks or even parks plus "connecting corridors" but we need to get humans out of something like half of the planet. Edward O. Wilson gave the idea a push with his recent Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Fritz said...

Mostly, they just stand around and tolerate people. Mostly. . .

Yeah, that's pretty much my attitude these days too...

Rae said...

The special snowflakes should have been required to slaughter, cook and consume the calf so that the natural cycle of life and death is preserved.

Plus I think a lot of snowflakes would stop messing with the animals if word of that got out.

mikeski said...

Chris said...
Well-meaning, but ignorant people thought it was a good idea for the state to intervene[...]


The Obama years, in one sentence.

coupe said...

The should have loaded up Prince! He really was dying.

Heard on the security system recorder: "SOMEONE HELP ME! The elevator won't go down!"

(he was already on the bottom floor)

coupe said...

When a Bison dies in Yellowstone, the dinner bell rings for about 400 species.

The Godfather said...

When I was camping in Yellowstone in 1960, I don't recall seeing any bison. I think there were a few outside the park, in a tourist trap. In the park what I mostly saw was brown (or black -- same species apparently) bears. They wandered through the camp grounds, raiding the trash barrels and occasionally the campers' food stores if they (the food stores) weren't properly secured. There was a real temptation to think of the bears as tame; walking down a path with a bear walking beside you, it was only natural to want to reach out and pet the bear (I never did, but I saw others do it and live to tell the tale). The first time I ever ate bison meat ("buffaloburger") was (I think) at Mt. Rushmore on that same trip. I'm tempted to say it "tasted like chicken", but it actually tasted like hamburger. I was disappointed. In Yellowstone I saw moose, and I still remember the sight of a moose running through a meadow. It looked as though its head and antlers were moving on a track, with the body and legs moving as fast as possible to keep up. On August 15th, we woke up to snow. Not a whole lot on the ground (late October/early November snow in Connecticut), but the passes through the mountains to the south were closed for three days.

orthodoc said...

The correct way to behave around wild animals is very simple. Please do not annoy, torment, pester, plague, molest, worry, badger, harry, harass, heckle, persecute, irk, bully, rag, vex, disquiet, goad, beset, bother, tease, nettle, tantalize, or ruffle the animals.

Hope the point is made.

orthodoc said...

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

Mahatma Gandhi

"Despite restrictions on killing and eating cows throughout most of the country, India became the world’s largest exporter of beef in 2012....n 2012, Indian consumers purchased approximately Rs8.6 billion (approximately 129 million U.S. dollars) worth of fur products; this figure is projected to grow to Rs13 billion (approximately 195 million U.S. dollars) by 2018. Most of these products are supplied by domestic producers...poor enforcement of cattle protection laws has allowed a thriving leather industry....inspections of 467 Indian laboratories finds "a deplorable standard of animal care in the majority of facilities inspected."

Fuck off, you pompous fraud.

Bruce Hayden said...

Brown and black bears are, as far as I know, different species. Brown bears are Grizzlies. Interestingly, they can inter breed, to some extent with polar bears. Black bears can be, and often are, brown. They act differently in regards to humans, with the Grizzlies being much more erratic. Here, in MT, where we have both, the Forest Service has posters up at the campgrounds to inform the public how to tell them apart. Browns have a wider face, the signature hump in their back, longer claws, and different scat (the joke is that you can recognize brown bear scat by the bear bells in it). Luckily, the closet Browns were maybe 30 miles down river - while we have had Blacks on the back porch. Of the two Browns they saw there, one was killed a BNSF train, and the other shot when it attacked a guy. He went on trial (killing an endangered species), but got off by claiming he thought it was a black bear (FS had apparently relocated some problem brown bears without telling the community that they had done so).

Quaestor said...

I thought those were Aurochs.

Not Aurochs. European bison (Bison bonasus), smaller than our American Plains Bison (Bison bison), but similar to our extinct Eastern Wood Bison.

Here's a map of their historic range. Note the small red area in eastern Poland.

Quaestor said...

Bison have colonized the contaminated zone around Chernobyl.

Josephbleau said...

Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo. A valid English sentence, (S. Pinker).

Quaestor said...

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

That's eight against your five, Josephbleu.

Rusty said...

DBQ No argument from me. I find that the sky blaster class of duck hunter is rarely successful and usually quits the sport after a couple of years. Unfortunately the rest of us have to pay for their bad behavior.

Blogger Sammy Finkelman said...
Doctors preparing for surgery cleaned their hands with bottles of seltzer water.

Not a completely ridiculous idea. Carbonated water kills bacteria. (and so does Coca Cola)

The constantly emerging bubbles literally destroy the bacteria.

Also steel can penetrate steel. Which is usually the backdrop for an indoor range. Steel plates. And you can't, or it's very difficult, to reload steel cases.

diana said...

Admin, if not okay please remove!

Our facebook group “selfless” is spending this month spreading awareness on prostate cancer & research with a custom t-shirt design. Purchase proceeds will go to cancer.org, as listed on the shirt and shirt design.

www.teespring.com/prostate-cancer-research

Thanks