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Yellowstone bison: Why can’t you harvest bison through hunting instead of shipping them to meat processing facilities?

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From the National Park Service

Why can’t you harvest bison through hunting instead of shipping them to meat processing facilities?

  • Hunting in the park is not authorized by Congress and longstanding policy prohibits hunting in units of the NPS system unless specifically authorized by Congress (NPS Organic Act of 1916, 16 USC I, V § 26).
  • Even if hunting were to be authorized, it may not be popular with the vast majority of the American and world-wide public due to wounding, behavioral changes (avoidance) and other unintended effects to bison and other iconic and threatened wildlife species (e.g., bears, elk, pronghorn, wolves), and adverse effects to wildlife viewing and visitor enjoyment.
  • Hunting outside Yellowstone’s park boundaries in Montana generally removes less than 300 bison each winter due to variable and often infrequent migration of bison outside the park until late winter when females are late in pregnancy and hunting of these females is considered undesirable. Also, there appears to be a social tolerance that will limit substantial increases in bison hunting and associated gut piles in places near the park boundary.
  • In 2013, a panel of expert scientists reviewing bison and brucellosis issues concluded that culling or removals of bison, along with hunting, would be necessary to limit the size of the bison population.

 

 

 

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