Canadian wood bison hunting trophies are again importable to the United States! The US Fish & Wildlife Service has officially downlisted Canadian wood bison from Endangered to Threatened, making them importable with CITES Appendix II export permits from Canadian authorities. We sent out an Email Extra bulletin with the breaking news on May 4. The downlisting, in effect June 4, is the result of a 12-year battle by John J. Jackson, III, of Conservation Force, with support from a number of conservation organizations. You can read more about that in this issue of Conservation Force Bulletin, included with your Hunting Report newsletter, and in the Email Extra bulletin. Now that US hunters can import Canadian wood bison, we think it's appropriate to cover this unique hunting opportunity. The majority of the available wood bison hunting is in Canada's Yukon Territory, and while there are several operators with very limited quotas, most of the hunting available is with one outfitter. So, consider this the skinny on a re-emerging opportunity! We first reported on wood bison hunts in 2001 (Article ID 813), when Canadian Correspondent Ken Nowicki mentioned that Tim Mervyn of Mervyn's Yukon Outfitting (867-633-6188; www.yukonsheep.com) had been allocated a quota for these animals. We recently contacted Mervyn to get the latest on what he has to offer. Here's what he told us:
These hunts are physically demanding affairs in extreme temperatures for truly wild game, not semi-domesticated animals in a field. "If they see or hear you, they are gone," warns Mervyn. "It's just like hunting wild deer. Sometimes they will look at you, but on average, they will just run. This is not a pet-and-shoot hunt!"
About 90 percent of the Yukon's wood bison population lives in Mervyn's concession area northwest of Whitehorse. The population is currently over 1,200 animals. The season opens November 1 and runs through March 31, with a closed period in late January to early February. The early hunts in November are conducted by horseback. Otherwise this hunt involves riding snow machines to access the country in the dead of winter.........(continued)