This new bison hunt is controversial, but I see as necessary in the short run because of the continued winter feeding of elk in Wyoming, which by default also means feeding bison in the winter. It is controversial because it is hardly a hunt. It is a herd reduction measure.
The Yellowstone bison are not fed and leave the Park looking for food, and the herd is largely self-regulating. The Jackson Hole bison are limited only by summer range, having plenty of artificial feed during the winter. As a result, Grand Teton National Park has an excess of bison, and the herd just keeps on growing. The Jackson Hole bison have little winter mortality, and they are increasingly taking over the valley floor in Jackson Hole and damaging wildlife habitat.
Everyone should note that while Montana livestock politicians are seemingly always in a panic if bison leave Yellowstone Park, suposedly because of the brucellosis infection in the herds, Wyoming livestock politicians are much more interested in keeping the winter feedlots open even though that perpetuates a brucellosis disease rate far higher than in Yellowstone Park.
Once again, the bison issue and problems are really problems spawned by the livestock industry’s insistence on being first in line in the Yellowstone region.
Here is the story in the Jackson Hole News and Guide. By Corey Hatch.