What’s With These Anti-Hunters? Polish Bison Edition

“We call for a halt to plans for killing bison, especially for commercial purposes,” a statement by Greenpeace Poland director Robert Cyglicki proclaims.”The bison is not only a great and rare animal, but also a symbol of Poland’s nature, protected by Poland and the EU.” Well he would say that wouldn’t he? But he shouldn’t. Here’s why [via dw.com]. . .

Poland’s environmental authorities have granted permission for hunting 10 bison in the Borki Primeval Forest. They argue that the herd there is too large and threatened by tuberculosis.

In 2016, 15 calves were born, bringing the total number of animals in the area to 111 – but the government wants to maintain a population of 95 by eliminating weaker animals . . .

There is a commercial aspect to the government’s plans as well: Revenue from the sale of hunting permits is supposed to pay for supplemental winter fodder and care of the herds.

So hunting 16 European bison (a.k.a., the wisent or the European wood bison) would make the herd stronger and pay for their upkeep. So why not? Because hunting. Sigh.


  1. avatar Alex Waits says:

    Do you want mutant murdering hybrid death dealing bison? because that’s how you get mutant murdering hybrid death dealing bison.

    Population management is beneficial to the herd and to the government, do you know how expensive it is to cover up entire towns being wiped out by mutant murdering hybrid death dealing bison?

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      +5 for the Archer reference.

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Truth is, with a herd that small, inbreeding is a thing. It will lead to a lack of genetic diversity that, in the long run, won’t be good for their health and vigor.

      To effectively manage a herd that small, you need to do more than cull the weak and sickly. You need to introduce a few genetically unrelated bulls once in a while.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Interesting point Curtis in IL.

        What is the minimum herd population to prevent long term problems from inbreeding?

        1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          I’m not sure there is a definitive answer for that, and it would depend on the genetic diversity existing in the herd to begin with.

          We’re talking decades, not years.

        2. avatar Lance F says:

          Isle royal has a population of about 30 wolves, there has been no sign of problems from inbreeding since they arrived there 40 years ago. The consensus among anthropologists for remote tribes is 400 minimum to not be affected by inbreeding. I say 100 is on if watched and weak animals culled.

        3. avatar Bruce says:

          You haven’t kept up with Isle Royale I see. There are only two left as of the last count, and they are a father and daughter, and extremely inbred. There is little chance of a continuing population, so it was definitely too small a starting point to sustain.

      2. avatar DaveW says:

        Just as with the American Bison, the old and weak in the herd are not the breeders. The cows go for the young studs. In many specie, the old and infirm are driven out of the herd. As we have seen in deer herds, over population allows for faster and wider spread of diseases and starvation which decimate the herds.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Yup, and the density of the American Bison herds is one of the things that led to their demise. Once brucellosis hit them, it spread like wild fire across the country, killing millions. That, and the US policy of exterminating the species, did them in quick like.

  2. avatar NorincoJay says:

    Delectably delicious

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      And. . . nice comfy pelts. If land management $$$ does really go back into the land and animal management the animals will be better off, they will be hardier and (hopefully) overall they will be the benefactor of more humane treatment.

      On a separate note, I had to Bing search (’cause google is the debil) the term “Wisent” so thanks for the vocabulary lesson. At first I was like “Polish / wisent”??? That one pictured looks just a little uppity . . .
      ; )

  3. avatar Ovidio G says:

    Environmentalists mostly don’t know anything about the reality of nature. They just apply their ideological crap to everything and, if the truth is different, then too bad for it. Mah………

  4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Killing an animal == icky, therefore Greenpeace and their ilk want to ban killing animals. Next question?

  5. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    The epitome of emotion-based decision making, devoid of science or logic.

  6. avatar CTstooge says:

    200 years ago the majestic Polish Bison darkened the plains from the Urals to the North Sea.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Imagine the global warming they must have caused!

  7. avatar Josh says:

    111 ….idk color me fancy …but I don’t thinkle that would fly here in the states either. I know our herds have rebounded ,but even then not nearly the number they once we’re before the 1850s’ . I’d love to hunt chicken prairies as well, but in Missouri theyou just haven’t bounded enough.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Populations of that size will never exist again. You have to get the sheer number of bison, plains and wood, that existed here. At the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition, there were likely some 60 million bison in what would become the lower 48. That’s millions of more cattle, of all types, than exist in the US and Canada put together.
      If you have not yet, I highly recommend the book Undaunted Courage. Lewis talks about it taking days to ride past a single herd of grazing buffalo.
      The fact that we could kill them all so fast was one of the more impressive but tragic, feats of human history.

      1. avatar Lance F says:

        Great book, I second the recommendation.

    2. avatar Big Bill says:

      You do realize that bison are raised and killed for meat, right?
      And no one, believe me, seriously wants bison herds the size they were before the mid-1800s. No one.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Do I realize they are raised and killed for meat? Absolutely I’ve killed them and I eat them all the time. I even butchered one by myself. I will never do that again.

        1. avatar Charlie Dwyer says:

          Have not done a bison, Did a wild boar once. Never again. Unless I am starving. Gads, what a chore!

        2. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Charlie Dwyer, I do a couple hundred wild boar a year.

  8. avatar RCC says:

    As Curtis said genetics is a huge part of herd management. It is something my mother kept extensive records of when we used to breed stud cattle in the 60 & 70’s. Culling by sale or meat works was just normal farming

    Many so called “environmentalists” seem to have a view that money magically comes from government or something. One of the “major” leaders of a green group came to one of our hunting and conservation training days for a short time a few years back. He kept asking how we got the money for all the 4wds etc. Couldn’t grasp the idea that we all had jobs and spent our own money

  9. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I wonder how much money greenpeace and peta give to help feed the herd during winter or for TB treatment?

  10. avatar Arc says:

    Ban on hunting for commercial purposes makes it sound like a huge industry but its actually just the government making some coin off the hunting permits used to reasonably conserve the population. The government seems to actually have a reasonable, middle ground, conservation program in place and are not kneeling to calls for extermination, or to hunting bans. What is there to see here again?

    I like it when government tries to cover expenses rather than taxing everyone. Hunters get to hunt, permits pay for habitat and breeding, (hopefully) long prison sentences for poachers coupled with heavy fines. Taxpayer bill is minimal.

    Greenpeace is like Peta, they are terrorist organizations in my sweet humble opinion.

    On a side note, Bison are NOT something you want to raise as a livestock. They are more aggressive than regular cows and can fuck your world up if they don’t want to go to another pen. They also aren’t rare at all, maybe in the wild, but they are also a meat animal.

    Off note / snippy comment: From what I gather from chatting with Polish residents, its not exactly the most level headed country.

    1. avatar rip_vw32 says:

      Actually, so long as you don’t startle Bison (ie yell or some such) they are pretty docile.. .that being said, they can jump straight up 6 foot, and run at a sustained rate of about 30mph… a 1200 pound cow will ruin your day not to mention a 1 ton bull…. i don’t trust them (my parents and their best friends raise them) but I am not afraid of them… Just have a healthy respect and you’ll be fine…

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    Polish bison make for excellent kielbasa.

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    I had no idea they still existed, 111 animals .Wow…

  13. avatar Charlie Dwyer says:

    Environmental Activist = Blackmailer.

    Just clearing things up.

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