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Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 19:48:34 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
From: SdeCAP <sdecap@aol.com> Subject: Navajo Call Canned Buffalo Hunt 'Barbaric'

Navajo Call Staged Fort Wingate Buffalo Hunt Barbaric and Infantile

By Brenda Norrell, Indian Country Today,
2 January 1996

Gallup, NM - The hunt of nine fenced buffalo at Fort Wingate Military Depot is being called barbaric and infantile by Navajo who are urging a protest of three hunts sponsored by the New Mexico Game and Fish (NMG&F) Department.

Why don't they just stab them, ust walk out there and slit their throats? said B.J. Goodrock, a Navajo from Shiprock, NM. It is barbaric and infantile to think that this is fun. The buffalo should be given every advantage, like stampeding toward the men with the guns, she said.

The NMG&F Department sponsored a lottery for three hunts of nine mature bulls. New Mexico's first hunt of the bison herd was 30 years ago.

John Crenshaw, spokesperson for NMG&F, responded to objections by the Navajo by asking, I don't know what they want us to do, turn them loose?

Crenshaw said 60 buffalo are enclosed on 11,000 acres at Fort Wingate. Since 10 to 15 calves are born each year, room must be made for new calves. Although some calves are expected to go to herds on New Mexico pueblos under an agreement with a Pueble consortium, there is still the question of what to do with the old bulls, weighing about one ton. The bulls often die in captivity when they are being transported.

They are very difficult to move, he said. The reduction of bulls also gives younger bulls the opportunity to breed and improve the gene pool.

In response to the fair chase question, he said, hunters will be escorted out and hunt on foot, accompanied by a Fish and Game Officer who will ensure that only older bulls are shot.

Mr. Crenshaw said 150,000 New Mexican sportsmen pay license fees, and that the revenue provides funds to manage herds in the pay-and-use system. As users pay, they should be allowed to use. I don't think any apologies are necessary. If they object, so be it, he said.

With more than 1,000 applicant for each of the three hunts, nine hunters were selected from New Mexico, Utah and Nebraska. The license will cost New Mexico residents $100 and out-of-state residents $200.

Peggy Little Elk, Navajo-Cheyennee from St. Micheals, AZ said Navajo should protest the brutal hunts being held on land that is ancestral to both Navajo and Zuni Pueblo.

The Indians should have a say in what happens. The buffalo is sacred to us Native Americans. Our grandfathers brought us up to respect the animals on the earth.

They are just stripping us all over again.

Ms. Goodluck said the hunt of fenced bison represents the Old West mentality. She said it is similar to 1800's excursions where people abpard trains passed through buffalo herds and shot them. Modern sportsmen seldom need meat from hunts as primative man did for survival, she said.

This is an excuse to maim and take what they really don't need. Only people who really need the meat should be eligible. They are paying to shoot a gun at a helpless animal.

This is the epitome of American thinking, she said.

Sangre de Cristo Animal Protection, Inc. (SdeCAP)
P.O. Box 11395, Albuquerque, N.M. 87192-0395
(505)-265-2322; fax: (505)-265-2488


CONTACT: Elisabeth Jennings
JANUARY 3, 1996
(505) 265-2322 from 9am-5pm Mountain


Albuquerque, NM--Despite legislative action which calls for involving pueblos in decisions regarding the buffalo at Ft. Wingate, SdeCAP has been told that tribes that have been promised buffalo from the herd have not been contacted about such transfers. Sangre de Cristo Animal Protection, Inc. (SdeCAP) has learned that in the 1995 legislative session,

Senate Memorial 16 and companion House Memorial 26 which addressed the buffalo at Fort Wingate were passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Johnson. Memorials, while having no strength of the law behind them, do affirm the sentiment of the legislature on a particular issue. These memorials resolved that the department of game and fish and the state game commission...enter into negotiations with the Picyris, Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, San Juan and Taos pueblos regarding the possible transfer, sale or loan of the Fort Wingate bison herd to the pueblos for their bison project. It appears that the intent of the legislature through the Memorials has not been fulfilled.

SdeCAP, who stands firmly opposed to the buffalo hunt, has been in contact with many Native Americans who are also opposed to the hunt. Quoted in Indian Country Today, Peggy Little Elk, Navajo-Cheyenne from St. Michaels, Arizona, said that the Navajo people should protest the brutal buffalo hunts being held on land that is ancestral to both the Navajo and Zuni Pueblos. B.J. Goodluck, a Navajo from Shiprock, N.M. said, This is an excuse to maim and take what they really don't need. Only people who really need the meat should be eligible. They are paying to shoot a gun at a helpless animal.

Citizens should be outraged by the Department of Game and Fish' lack of vision and public involvement in their decision to offer the hunt. Other options which could benefit more people and which do not include killing the buffalo have apparently not been pursued. For instance, in addition to offering the buffalo to tribes for establishing their own herds, the buffalo could be moved to the Fund for Animals' lush 1000-acre Black Beauty Ranch located in Murchison, TX. The Fund for Animals is willing to accept all nine buffalo at the ranch to live out their lives without the danger of being hunted or otherwise killed. Further, the prospect of creating a watchable wildlife refuge at Fort Wingate, such as that planned for buffalo at Fort Robinson in Nebraska, has not been actively pursued as a source of revenue for the state or tribes.

The Department of Game and Fish has acted hastily and irresponsibly by claiming that the buffalo hunt is necessary. Native Americans and animal protectionists are both willing to provide options for buffalo that the Department of Game and Fish claims need to be killed for their own good, despite evidence to the contrary.

Demonstrations are planned for January 10th and 13th. Letter writing campaigns have begun. For more information on what you can do, contact Ryan at SdeCAP: 505/265-2322 or email us at 'SdeCAP@aol.com'