Photographer gets down and dirty with bison gleaners


Matt Hamon

Two “primitive skills practitioners” field dress a bison near Yellowstone National Park.

There was a good story in the Billings Gazette last month about the Buffalo Bridge Project, which involves a group of people who scavenge whatever is left of bison that are killed just outside Yellowstone National Park.

The photos were good, too, but for whatever reason there were no pictures of the dirty work—the blood, gore and viscera that accompany this odd, primitive endeavor.

Matt Hamon to the rescue. He is a photographer based in Potomac, Mont., who spent a lot of time with the “gleaners,” as he calls them, and he has posted a batch of compelling, in-your-face photographs of what is involved in using all parts of a dead bison.

What is more intriguing is that this series of photographs is only the start. Hamon explains:

“Thus far, I have only photographed the native skills practitioners. To fully realize this project with breadth and depth, I plan to engage with several of the other organizations involved in the management and harvesting of buffalo. This would include tribal hunters, biologists, ranchers (typically opposed to any expansion of buffalo habitat), game wardens, and The Buffalo Field Campaign ( a volunteer organization opposed to any hunting or harvesting of buffalo). This project will take place along the boundary of Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming, and at various indian reservations on which many of the native hunters reside.”

This will definitely be worth following.

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