MT Bison permits

katqanna

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
1,695
Location
Bozeman, MT
Right now MT hunters have 80 either sex permits for bison hunting in MT.

I just got back from the all day IBMP meeting at West Yellowstone. Heres the breakdown on this years winter stats and why you guys need to get invested in this process.

There were 42 successful Public hunts. 29 in Gardiner, 28 of which were male. 13 on the West, 7 males.

Of the Treaty hunters there were 172 taken. CSKT 138, 94 males. Nez Perce 25, 18 males. Shoshone-Bannock/Umatilla 9. The Nez Perce did not take as many as before because of the capture - ship to slaughter that took 514 of them from Jan 14-Feb. 5.

The IBMP process stressed that to meet the APHIS/MT DOL demands of lower bison population, hunters needed to focus on the cows. The Tribes stated they would pass this on to their hunters, but they couldnt make them go after females and if they had no other choice, they wouldnt pass up an opportunity for a bull if one presented itself.

So during the discussion of focusing on cows, FWP Regional Supervisor Sam Sheppard, who used to be our chief game warden and in charge of the hunting aspect, said that MT might consider making half of our current tags cow only.

So during the public comment period, I made mine about hunting that MT hunters wanted to see increased opportunities, not lessened. That if they wanted 40 cow tags, great, add that to what we have now of the either sex and increase our overall permits.

They also talked about staggering the hunting days, to allow for days when there is no hunting so the bison can actually get away from the firing line to the broader landscape.

The hunting discussion meeting is on May 27th in Missoula, place yet to be determined. As soon as I find out I can post, but y'all need to start getting your voices heard or APHIS/DOL's wishes are going to keep robbing MT hunters of bison on many levels.
 

RobertR

New member
Joined
Aug 18, 2012
Messages
250
Location
Glen, Montana
I think it has always been a big slap the hunters face with bison management. It seems the DOL dictates management and the tribes can have what they want. It should be equal for all no exceptions but that's to late. Hec lets just let bison be free ranging and solve the debate.
 

katqanna

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
1,695
Location
Bozeman, MT
The rules are made by folks that show up.

On the IBMP are 3 Native American partners (of 9), the CSKT, the Nez Perce and the ITBC. There are a couple other Tribal entities that are looking to get seats at the table like the Blackfeet and the Shoshone-Bannock.

Yesterday, the Nez Perce representative was retiring, he has been with the IBMP since 2009 when the Tribes were brought on. In his goodbye speech, just before he closed, he stated their tradition of the peace pipe, to sit down, smoke together, that there, "be no lies between us." He said that nowadays, what he brings to the table is not his pipe, but his attorney because that's the only thing they listen to.

Heres what is at the table now - Yellowstone National Park, Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Us Forest Service, APHIS, MT DOL Board of Livestock, MT DOL State Veterinarian, CSKT, Nez Perce and the IBMP.

The Tribal entities are there with their staff, including attorneys, advocate their hunting hunting rights. YNP advocates bison as wildlife, to be treated as other wildlife that come into Montana and that people can hunt them in Montana. USDA Forest Service, I am not quite sure what their position is after all these years. Erickson is good for regulations and a voice of reason against the ag block and studies. The current treaty hunts are taking place on Forest Service land, but they dont really get involved in the problems, like with the concentrated guts piles all over the ground that can spread disease in a bottleneck migratory area or the shooting line. FWP walks a weird line because the Governor signs on to the APHIS Brucellosis Management Plan each year that holds the state hostage and gives them the foothold into FWP (Pat Flowers just retired this last summer, he was very good there about the regulations, biology and politics for sportsmen issues that fund FWP, we have a new FWP rep with Sam Sheppard, so time will tell).

Then you have the ag stakeholders that all want the wild bison eradicated on the basis of brucellosis and until recently, when the point was made that this was a "bison" group and now the opening ground rules are no discussion of elk, kept trying to add elk into the equation, to go after them as well.

There was some mention at the meeting of getting the USFWS added as an agency.

There are a few of us, from the Public, that are independent hunters that advocate for hunting, regularly attending and make public comments: Mike Mease with Buffalo Field Campaign, Joe Gutkoski (88) who has been at this from the beginning, sometimes Glenn Hockett with GWA and myself advocating North American Model and science.

Without more of the Montana hunter perspective, I am concerned that the bulk of the hunting focus will be towards the Native Americans wishes and trying to correct for those actions, like the suggestion to remove part of the permits to cow only. As more Nations apply for recognized Treaty Hunting rights and more Nations petition to join the IBMP there will continue be a significant shift away from the original mission statement of getting bison on the broader landscape in Montana, to serving up the bison on a APHIS/DOL platter.
 

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