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Roll Over Teddy – Bison Culling in Yellowstone…

Did you hear that? The eerie restless noise coming from the location of Theodore Roosevelt’s grave? It is the sound of our beloved 26th President “rolling over in his grave.” I couldn’t help but think this when I read this recent article on the Yellowstone National Park bison herd (click here).

Many that are familiar with Yellowstone National Park, being the crown jewel of the National Park System, know of the abundance of wildlife in and around its borders. What many aren’t familiar with is how the National Park System was set up and what the actual intentions were when Theodore Roosevelt pushed for set-aside/refuge areas to preserve American lands from development and overhunting. 

Notice the last word in the previous sentence. It wasn’t two words spelling out ‘no hunting’, but it was overhunting. What many have forgotten is the status of our wildlife resources at the historical juncture of the late 1800s and early 1900s. In the midst of overhunting and uncontrolled market hunting at that time, wildlife resources were decimated across much of the country. Theodore Roosevelt and others recognized this and established the most successful wildlife management model the human race has ever seen, historically. The Boone & Crockett Club and the National Park System were both parts of this new strategy for managing and protecting our wildlife and land resources.

Fast-forward to 2020 and our federal employees tasked with managing the National Parks System, along with so many misinformed and fanatical antihunters, plus misinformed members of the public that don’t have a strong opinion either way on hunting, are making decisions that are cost-prohibitive and in opposition to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

Hunters always have been, and should always be, the best tool used for managing wildlife. Rather than expensive trapping/culling strategies, hunters are happy to foot the bill for ethical, fair chase hunting practices, as we have been since the early 1900s officially in the U.S., and since the dawn of time globally.

The idea that hunting cannot happen in National Parks is a fallacy. It has happened in the past and should happen as an effective management tool now and in the future. History doesn’t lie, only those that choose to ignore it do. As the saying goes, “if we don’t learn from history, then we are doomed to repeat it.” 

Let hunters be the tool used to manage these bison in and out of the Park! Enough said.


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  1. I can’t argue with that logic. I would not mind some bison meat in my families freezer.

  2. Hunting is conservation. RMEF knows this as do the other animal specific conservation organizations. Balance is important, so we need to allow hunters to help balance this out. We are apart of the ecosystem if we want to be or not.

  3. Paul E NAVARRE

    We faced a similar issue connected with the Colorado Rock Mt Nat Park with too many elk, ie, (no hunting unless the elk stepped over the line) One recommendation at the cost of 19 million dollars over a 20 year period, was to have Federal Sharpshooters cull the elk and then bury them in the Park. Sportsmen’s groups outcried and the results was “citizen culling groups”. Remember NO HUNTING ever in the park. At least the meat was donated this way. There has been no culling for the past 5-7 years.

  4. Joe Robillard

    It makes no sense to have the park service roundup and send the Buffalo to slaughter when there are thousands of hunters that would love the opportunity to harvest one of these animals and pay all the costs associated with it. Instead we spend government money to achieve the same goal. As you stated it seems that we never learn from history.

  5. Well written!! Very important issue which NEEDS to be addressed!!

  6. This is the North American Model of Conservation where hunters and shooters fund wildlife management in the United States. If you look at the facts the Pittman Robertson Act placed an 11% federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition that shooters and hunters pay for each purchase, depending on the year this amounts to 700-900 million dollars, hunting license fees contribute another billion dollars each year, and NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) like RMEF, SCI, DU, PF, NWTF, and other hunting conservation groups contribute another 450 million/year. The state wildlife agencies wildlife budgets are about 2.5 billion a year to manage our wildlife resources which includes non-game species as well. So if you look at the numbers these three funding sources contribute 2.25 billion each year or 90% of the total state wildlife budgets. Huntering is the management tool to be utilized for wildlife population management.

  7. The land ((( parks belongs to who ?? ))) We The People Right ??? . So shouldn’t it be We The People vote on it ?? . Hunting is the best idea ?? and it weeds out the herds ?? . Let the hunters do what they do best ?? . & what about this disease that Buffalo gets ?? . Our wildlife management. Has to help treat these animals ? with vet ????

  8. Brandon Mason

    Just had this video forwarded to me by a friend because he saw the article. Some things make me scratch my head with the bent of this video, but maybe I’m off base: https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/management/bison-management-faqs.htm

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