Since 1999, the tribe has issued a handful of bison tags each year for trophy hunters. Tribal wildlife biologist Jamie Cuch keeps the number of tags low to maintain management goals. This herd numbers about 300, which is what this arid country can support. The animals are certified disease-free and are the descendents of 32 animals from the Henry Mountains, donated to the tribe by the state of Utah in 1988. The herd is constrained only by the extremes of topography on the reservation, including two steep, rugged and deep canyons, as well as a substantial stretch of the fabled Green River. Of course bison do swim, so the animals actually come and go as they please.
Each year, Cuch presents the tribal Big Game Board with the number of bulls he thinks can be harvested from the herd, and they typically follow his recommendation. This year Cuch is proposing five tags be offered for hunts in 2004. These are once-in-lifetime tags issued directly by the tribe. The hunt is conducted by Roland McCook, Jr., the tribe's director of outfitting and guide services. He also conducts hunts on the reservation for trophy elk, bighorn sheep, bears and mountain lions. All hunts are conducted by horseback and on foot, which means this bison hunt is as close as a modern day hunter can get to experiencing a real, old-time plains bison hunt.
The cost for 2004 is proposed at $10,000. If that seems a little pricey, consider that there is no time limit on the hunt. Clients may hunt as long as the tribal season for bison is open. Hunts are strictly 1 x 1, and........(continued)