Great News for Wyoming Bison Applicants
Wyoming Game and Fish has announced big news for hunters who are on this year's wild bison priority hunt list. For the first time, hunting wil be allowed on the National Elk Refuge, and quota numbers appear to be increasing.
Historically, WG&F has issued 25 bull licenses, 5 of which go to non-residents. Success rate on bulls is at or close to 100%, although the hunt can be frustrating. The bison hunt occurs on the edges of Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge, and the bison show an amazing ability to hang out just inside the boundaries of these two traditionally no-hunting areas.
Cow tags are also issued, but these are plagued by low success rates (25%) due to the greater tendency of cows to stay in the no-hunting areas.
On August 31, 2007, the Aspen Times reported that the National Elk Refuge would be open to hunting, and that the WG&F would "allow hunters to kill about 300 bison this fall."
Wyoming Game and Fish also issued a press release, commenting on the opening of the Elk Refuge to hunting, and on overall management objectives.
For those hunters who applied for the wild bison priority listing last January, the increased quotas and more aggressive management seem to mean that you're more likely to have drawn a license. If you recieved a relatively low ranking number (better than 25 for bulls, or any number for cows), I'd call the Jackson office of Wyoming Game and Fish (307-733-2321) and ask them if you should expect to go bison hunting this fall.
Additional bison hunting info available on the WG&F web site.