Volume 7

There is a significant paradigm shift occurring in the bison world from conventional handling to low-stress handling. It appears to have reached the tipping point where there's no turning back. It is in support of this paradigm shift that this special issue of Stockmanship Journal has been written, and is offered free of charge--it is the editor's and the contributors gift to the bison community, and we all want it to be circulated freely and widely.

This issue is the first in-depth articulation in print of what I'm calling "low-stress bison handling," which is the application of the principles and techniques of Bud Williams' low-stress livestock handling to bison. It is a joint effort of the eight contributors who represent a broad cross section of bison managers in both the public and private sectors in the United States and Canada (see In This Issue in the sidebar). They all are committed to adopting and implementing the principles and techniques of low-stress bison handling, and each has an important story to tell. The contributors deserve our appreciation and gratitude for lending their considerable time, experience, and expertise to this joint effort.

This issue is meant to serve as: (a) an introduction to "low-stress bison handling," (b) a "how to" manual for bison handlers (whether novice or experienced), and (c) an illustration of its successful implementation and application in a variety of settings, commercial and private, and with wild and domestic bison.

Acknowledgment and gratitude are due to the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Turner Ranches, and Parks Canada for their commitment to improving animal welfare through better handling, for consenting to have their agencies and operations written about, and for granting permission to use the 69 videos in this issue that were shot on their properties.

- Whit Hibbard

Masthead photo. Snowcrest Ranch. Photo credit: Whit Hibbard
Body photo. Snowcrest Ranch. Photo credit: Aaron Paulson