'I kill them and cook them"
When officials from the Montana Department of
Livestock decided they needed help slaughtering bison leaving
Yellowstone National Park, they thought of Mac Carelli, owner of
C&C; Meats in Sheridan, Mont. Even though he says scores of
reporters have been all over him "like ugly on an ape," Carelli is
still willing to talk:
Carelli: "It's a terrible deal. They only have so much feed in the
park for all the elk and buffalo they've got. They're overstocked
and there's no grass anymore. If a rancher ran his business the way
the park does, he'd be out of business in 30 days. You have to
control your population.
state pays me for killing them and cooking them. We go over there
and trailer them back here under supervision by the state of
Montana and the Park Service. I just do what they tell me to do.
I'm just a dumb truck
"Then the state hires
a licensed auctioneer. We've had three sales. A lot of people just
want to buy a head or hide and have them tanned. Everybody buys
them, people from Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada and Wyoming.
The last big heads brought $380 for the skull and horns. People
used to hunt bison, but now the environmentalists won't let you
shoot anything. The only way to get a trophy is to come here. The
state gets the money.
"They've stopped bringing the
bison in now. The animal activists have put a stop to it. They're
turning them back into the park, letting them die of starvation and
letting the wolves eat them. Or they're shooting them and giving
them to the Indians. Now it's just a great expense to the state
instead of them getting any revenue
"Those poor goddarned
animals. What are they going to do? They're just like you and me.
What would you do if you didn't have any food?"
" Elizabeth Manning, Ritchie