Yellowstone Park Bison Hunt Approved
December 17, 2004
The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission approved a new hunting season for bison that migrate out of Yellowstone National Park.
In 2003, Montana's Legislature passed a law giving the Fish Wildlife & Parks Commission authority to establish a bison hunt in Gallatin and Park counties. At its Dec. 16 meeting in Helena, the commission approved a hunt and authorized 10 bison-hunting licenses for use Jan. 15-Feb. 15, 2005. In subsequent years, more or fewer hunting licenses could be authorized for a season that would run from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15.
The intent of the law authorizing the hunt is to allow Montana hunters to harvest wild, free-roaming bison under fair chase conditions and to reduce damage to private property by altering bison behavior and distribution. Officials said the hunt is not expected to regulate bison populations. Population regulation will continue to be achieved through the Interagency Bison Management Plan that was approved several years ago.
Public bison hunts are established in several western states, including Alaska, Arizona, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. In Montana, the last public bison hunt took place in 1990.
Prospective hunters must apply for one of the 10 licenses, which will be awarded via a special drawing. A license will cost $75 for Montana residents and $750 for nonresidents. Bison hunting regulations and license applications will be available at noon Friday on FWP's website at fwp.state.mt.us. Printed copies of the applications and regulations will be available Friday from most FWP offices and by Wednesday, Dec. 22 from most license providers.