Sunday, August 15, 2010

Buffalo Field Campaign

Buffalo Field Campaign * August 13, 2010

Dear Buffalo Friends,

I made a mistake in yesterday's Update from the Field. I incorrectly reported that there were no representatives from the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) on the IBMP tour of lands outside of Yellowstone's western boundary. The DOL was, in fact, on that tour. The DOL did not, however, attend the public forum that was held the same evening, before local candidates. All other IBMP agencies were represented, but the DOL was a no-show for this important discussion.

Buffalo Field Campaign would also like to report that the 2010 West Coast Road Show schedule is full for this year! We will soon be updating the Road Show schedule to reflect more details about the dates and locations that BFC is coming to those areas. Please join us if you can and bring your friends! If you'd like to help get BFC to your west coast community next fall, please contact Mike Mease at

In wanting to offer you more than a correction with this email, we are including a special buffalo treat below. This is the season of the buffalo rut, or mating season. A time when buffalo families come together, and bulls battle one another for the attention of receptive cows. The sheer display of bull buffalo power is awesome in the true sense of the word. BFC Habitat Coordinator Darrell Geist happened upon some bulls challenging one another as he was making his way home from the IBMP meetings in Bozeman the other day. Below are some of these photographs, followed by a very powerful poem.



A bull buffalo chases another bull out of his space. BFC file photo by Darrell. Click here for larger image.

The challenge begins. BFC file photo by Darrell. Click here for larger image.

This is one of those moments in the lives of bull buffalo when years of practice sparring turn into the real thing. BFC file photo by Darrell. Click here for larger image.

Formidable challengers! Tails up, dust flying. It is amazing that fatal injuries are extremely rare when such forces meet. BFC file photo by Darrell. Click here for larger image.

A mature bull wallows in powerful display and to cover himself with his scent and dust. The younger bull in the foreground will have to wait a few more years before he can join in the fun. BFC file photo by Darrell. Click here for larger image.

The Bull Fight

Wild buffalo gathering for the rut in Lamar Valley, grasses green,

silver gray sage, Artemis rising above rolling ridge.

An ancient dance begins.

Females and males wallowing in a mountain meadow. Kicking dust, legs

reaching for Sky, rolling in Earth.

Calves almost black now from the red pelage of their births, loafing

and suckling still.

The roaring bellows of bulls is answered by Thunder: Boom! Crack! Boom!

A bull courts a female. Rubbing his chin over her head.

Stretching and strutting before her, tail-flying: look at me!

Clouds loom. Rain begins to fall. Lightning strikes.

A bull chases a younger bull from his prospective mate, circling.

The challenge is made.

The bull fight begins.

Earth flies under the struggle of bulls, heads locked, chests and

humps straining, thrusting legs fighting to gain ground.

The young bull takes his eye off his challenger in the charge.

The old bull watches, waits.

Turning and leaning his horns into the charging bulls chest.

The bull fight is over now.

The bellow is heard.

Thunder rolls off the mountain, echo of an old war drum. --anonymous

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