Either something’s terribly amiss with the tides and the moon or The New York Times is starting to appear neutral in some of its reporting. I hit the Science section of today’s online paper and found an article relating the possibility of the Yellowstone bison herd being culled (at least in part) by hunters, rather than through the large-scale kills that have previously taken place when the herd wandered out of its normal haunts and into Montana during harsh winters. I’m going to give two thumbs up to the Times for relating the info about the proposal from Park officials without a single snarky comment about the “evils of hunting,” as well as for including input from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, which claims its been asking for some time for gifts of the Yellowstone buffalo so that they may start additional herds outside the famed Park’s boundaries. Altogether an informative read, though I wish the Times had included info on where the public can comment on the Park’s proposal or the text for the proposal itself. You can click here for the full TNYT article which, by the way, does state that the proposal for “selective culling” would also include the possibility of captured buffs being shipped off for slaughter or relocation. However, if hunting is included, it’s probably safe to assume that it would be by a tag draw system. Given that tag draws for free-ranging buffalo in the few states that allow it/have the animals usually come to just a handful each year, additional tags would be a welcome opportunity for hunters seeking a trophy and hunt of a much different caliber than that for their backyard whitetails–and an all-American one at that.
By the way, I tried Googling the proposal documents but came up empty. I also went to the National Park Service’s www.nps.gov site and searched for “bison proposal,” but the last posting that came up was one from 2010 asking for public comments on bison brucellosis vaccinations. I’m guessing this new selective cull proposal is in its infancy and the public comment period hasn’t been created and posted yet
I’ll try my best to keep tabs on this one, but if y’all hear anything that includes either comment opportunities on the hunt or a tag lottery going into effect, shoot a comment here so those looking to fill a freezer or five have a chance to get in on the hunt.
The Author Recommends: If there’s a chance to draw a tag for a Yellowstone buffalo hunt in the near future, you’re gonna need enough gun. I pick Guns of the American West by Dennis Adler to help you make the right choice.