By Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-Large
bison counts completed this past summer in Yellowstone National Park
indicate some changes in habitat use within the park. Bison from the
park migrate outside of the protected area into both Wyoming and
Montana. The northern herd is hunted in Montana in both the West
Yellowstone and Gardiner areas. Bison from the southern herd migrate
toward Jackson, Wyoming, and can be hunted on the National Elk Refuge.
So it's somewhat surprising that the central herd, which typically
summers in the Hayden Valley in the park, is the one that's declining.
2016, a total of 1,274 bison were culled from the Yellowstone ecosystem
through tribal hunting, roundup and slaughter, or public hunts.
However, all these bison were considered part of the northern herd.
Counts this summer indicate that the central herd declined by 42% from