According to Baxter's report, there have been a couple of changes to this hunt program since we last reported on it. Perhaps the biggest change is that the park has eliminated some five-day, horseback hunts based from a teepee camp that hunters previously could book outright for $10,000 without going through the lottery to draw a permit. Kremer tells us that the five-day program just did not generate enough interest, so now all bison hunters in Custer State Park must apply for a permit in the annual lottery operated by the park.
There are some 1,200 bison roaming the park's 71,000 acres. About 75 of those are breeding bulls three years and older. Approximately 10 to 15 of those are trophy bulls, according to Kremer. The park offers permits for 10 of those annually. With such a low number of permits available, you might think the chance of drawing would be near impossible. Not so. Less than 100 hunters apply each year for the chance to hunt these animals, creating excellent odds of being drawn. In 2007, 70 hunters applied, which would give applicants a one in seven chance of drawing. However,........(continued)