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Life in the Ourdoors of MontanaLife in the Ourdoors of Montana
Wildlife Officials Seek to Expand Bison Hunt
The plan would increase quotas on future bison hunts and allow hunting in new areas
BILLINGS — State-licensed hunters in Montana could take more bison migrating from Yellowstone National Park under a proposal given initial approval Thursday by Montana wildlife commissioners.

The plan would increase quotas on future bison hunts and allow hunting in new areas. A final vote is scheduled for Feb. 13.

The proposal marks the latest effort to give Montana hunters a bigger role in the fate of Yellowstone's migrating bison. In recent decades, government workers have captured and slaughtered thousands of the animals as they left the park in an effort to prevent them from spreading animal disease to livestock.

Efforts to control the population with more hunting have yielded mixed results. Hunting seasons in years when the winter migration came late have ended with few bison killed.

As a result, members of Indian tribes acting under longstanding treaty rights took the vast majority of the 744 migrating bison shot by hunters over the last decade. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said the pending proposal would offer more comparable opportunities for state-licensed hunters.

The maximum annual quota on Yellowstone bison would increase from 150 to 200 animals. Also, hunting would be newly allowed in areas south and west of Hebgen Lake in Gallatin County.

Glenn Hockett with the Gallatin Wildlife Association said adoption of the proposed changes would mark a small but important step away from the slaughter program.

"We're slowly but surely moving in the direction of recognizing bison as a valued, native wildlife, just like elk," said Hockett, who serves as volunteer president for the hunting and fishing advocacy group.

The hunt proposal is contingent on a pending environmental study looking into whether bison should be allowed more room to roam outside the park. That effort is being jointly pursued by Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Montana Department of Livestock.

If the push to give more room to bison falls short, there would be no bison available in the new areas that could be opened to hunting.
On 12-13-13, ride4fun commented....
Since moving to Montana, it has never failed to amaze me that Wildlife Commissioners and Fish, Wildlife, and Park employees don’t do more to actually PROTECT animals.  Their main concerns seem to be that there should be enough animals around so they can charge hunters to KILL this
Kellyn Brown
Kellyn Brown18 Apr
"If we made decisions on permits this way in MT, our economy would grind to a halt" @GovernorBullock on #KeystoneXL delay
Dillon Tabish
Dillon Tabish12h
KALISPELL, MT: You'll find the box in a brick building filled with history. Skateboards, pizza, clocks & ties #THTH14
Molly Priddy
Molly Priddy18 Apr
@natashavc @TaraAriano @allyzay Oh no, I've been thinking it's a room for all your types of mustards. Recalibrating my ideas now.
Tristan Scott
Tristan Scott19 Apr
@tristanscott *Billie Joe
Flathead Beacon
FB Headlines13h
Browning, Blackfeet Utility Dispute Goes to Court http://t.co/GnpOwOcwhn