The Fine Line Of Bison Hunting


Published: December - 2004

Our report last month on the re-opening of bison hunting in Montana prompted subscriber David Stingl to write us with an update on the bison hunts in Wyoming. In both cases, we are talking about wild bison that wander out of Yellowstone National Park. Unlike Montana, Wyoming has allowed hunting for these animals since 1988, but they have always been done on a call basis. In other words, when bison were found outside the park, Game and Fish simply called hunters on a priority list for an immediate hunt opportunity. Needless to say, many hunters could not get away on a moment's notice and had to pass on the hunt. This year, Stingl tells us that Wyoming Game and Fish changed their bison hunting program to increase participation and harvest rates by allowing hunters to hunt any time between September 1 and November 30.

Stingl was one of the lucky hunters who drew a license for this season's hunt and had just returned from Wyoming when he sent us the following note:

"This hunt in the Jackson Hole area is limited to lands of the Bridger Teton National Forest, with no hunting allowed on the National Elk Refuge or the Grand Teton National Park. Access is very difficult and confusing. If you plan to hunt self-guided, determining boundary lines between legal and protected areas is extremely difficult. I could not have done this without the aid of Wyoming Game & Fish, Refuge Park Rangers, local elk hunters and a stack of maps. Plan on spending a complete day just figuring out where you can and cannot hunt and how to access these areas. I would highly recommend hiring a local guide who not only can supply horses but has a good knowledge of the area.

"Bison are the largest land mammals in North America, with bulls weighing upwards of 2,000 pounds. This gives a new meaning to the old hunter's saying, `the fun stops and the work starts.' One clever entrepreneur named Johnnie Filbeck has geared up to help hunters retrieve bison and elk in........(continued)

 
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Facilitators: Elk Refuge Inn; Wyoming Board of Outfitters and Guides; Montana Board of Outfitters and Guides;

  


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