Removal Goal not Met as 457 Bison were Killed this Winter
By angelamontana

Posted: April 2, 2019

Even though many bison hunters got “skunked” early in the season, as the bison weren’t leaving the park, there are at least 457 bison killed on record so far for this past season, according to an article by Michael Wright with the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

At least 457 bison were killed this winter, a total that falls shy of a removal goal as most hunting seasons and capture-for-slaughter operations end.

Of those, 347 were shipped to slaughter after being caught in Yellowstone’s Stephens Creek Capture Facility and 106 were killed by hunters, according to a report from the park. The number taken by tribal hunters will likely increase because final harvest totals for several tribes haven’t been reported yet.

The report was compiled late last week as park officials shuttered the trap for the year. Park officials don’t capture bison beyond the end of March because of the approach of calving season for the animals, park spokeswoman Linda Veress said.

According to the report, hunters killed 106 bison and an additional three killed by YNP staff after they were wounded and came back into the park.  However, only one out of the 85 hunters licensed through Montana was actually successful, according to MT FWP.  The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes took two, Nez Perce Tribe harvested 53 and Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation harvested 11.

Apparently, “the migration that benefited hunters also gave park officials a chance to open the gates of the trap.”  There were 348 bison caught, with one dying in the corrals and the other 347 being sent to slaughter with the meat going to Native American tribes.

To read the full story in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, click here.

(feature photo via National Park Service)