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Grand Canyon National Park officials want to kill hundreds of bison over five years, and they need volunteers to help.
The park’s bison population has grown to about 600 bison in the North Rim, according to the National Park Service. Officials are hoping to reduce that number to less than 200 by killing or relocating them.
“This action is necessary due to the rapid growth of the bison population and the transition from the herd using state and U.S. Forest Service lands into almost exclusively residing within Grand Canyon,” National Park Service officials said on its website. “Impacts from grazing and trampling on water, vegetation, soils, and archaeological sites, as well as on visitor experience and wilderness character also necessitate action.”
This year to reduce the population, park officials want volunteers to kill and remove the bison.

How does that work?
Volunteers would be part of a “lethal removal” process that’s a little different than a hunt. The animals are only killed for management purposes. It’s not a recreational hunt.
People need to apply to be a volunteer during the 48-hour window starting May 3 at midnight. Then people will be selected in one draw.
“The lottery … will send applicants to the park for provisional selection,” the National Park Service said. “Final selection will be contingent on meeting the volunteer qualification criteria.”
During the 2021 season, there will be four, five-day periods when volunteers will remove bison. Volunteers have to complete a training on the first day and can’t select which week they participate in.
People who are chosen are then responsible to gather three to five “support volunteers” to help them during the week. They can be family members or friends.
Volunteers also need their own camping equipment, firearms and non-lead ammunition.
The exact process of the lethal removal isn’t explained by the National Park Service, but the volunteers will be able to harvest some meat.
Who can volunteer?
Grand Canyon officials want the volunteers to be skilled and serious about the operation. Every volunteer is required to pass a firearms safety course and a marksmanship proficiency test.
“You must show that you can handle your rifle safely and follow directions from a range master,” the National Park Service said.
Volunteers also will need to haul bison carcasses, which can be very heavy. Bison can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. They will need to do this on foot.
Additionally, the volunteers must meet a number of other requirements, including:
  • Be a U.S. citizen 18 years or older
  • Providea photo I.D.
  • Prove they are physically fit
  • Pass a background check that shows no history of criminal or wildlife violations
Is there push back on this process?
Some activist groups think shooting and killing hundreds of bison isn’t humane or necessary.
Alicyn Gitlin of the Sierra Club told The Associated Press last year that she would rather the bison be removed from the area entirely.
“I’m very nervous about there being a perpetual dependency on this use of people having to go into the park and shoot,” she told the AP.
In 2017, The Humane Society of the United States said the plan was unneeded and unwarranted.
“If it happens, the NPS will not only be targeting the very symbol of the agency itself and our national mammal, but spilling their blood in or around yet one more jewel of our nation’s most beloved network of federal lands,” the group wrote.
The National Park Service said they are removing the bison to protect park resources and is the only way to reduce the population of the bison herd quickly.
“Individuals or groups who wish to express their opposition/concern may do so as part of the rights protected and guaranteed by the First Amendment,” the National Park Service said. “Those wishing to exercise their First Amendment rights should review the park website for information about permits.”
 

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Sounds interesting...and strange in the same breath..what's to be done with the meat?
Can the "volunteers" take it or will it go to food banks or?
Removing a bison only by use of foot travel would be a sh*t ton of work.

Just my thoughts...
 

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Found the answer..

How much meat will I be able to keep? Will I be able to keep the head or hide?
Grand Canyon National Park will transfer bison carcasses to Arizona Game and Fish Department at the end of each volunteer/ operation period. Arizona Game and Fish Department may distribute what they choose to skilled volunteers on the last day of their service. Skilled volunteers may share with Support Volunteers. Carcass distribution will not exceed one bison per volunteer team. Any parts not desired by volunteers will be transferred to the Tribal governments of GCNP’s 11 traditionally associated tribes.
 

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sounds like a good deal for the Tribal government . just another question is what happens to the hides . wonder if they go to the Tribal government as well ?
 

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So as I read that the volunteers have to spend the money to get to the park, find the bison, set up camp, hunt the bison, shoot the bison, skin and quarter the bison, carry several hundred pounds of meat, hide and bone however far it is back to the vehicle and when all is said and done the state still owns the animal and, at most, may let you have some of the meat.

I really, really want to hunt a bison but honestly in this proposal I’m seeing a lot of work for very little return. The main benefit I see to actually hunting a legally wild bison over a ranch is to keep a trophy that can be recognized for records but if you can’t keep the skull or hide I’d rather put in the time and effort to hunt one somewhere else where I can actually keep the whole animal.
 

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I would be all over it if they allowed you to use archery equipment. It's very difficult to find somewhere to hunt free range bison.
 

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I want a Bison pretty bad but if I go hunt them its because I want all the meat. That's what I'm doing it for. Yeah I really want to shoot one with my 1884 Trapdoor but I want the meat primarily
 

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I believe I've read about Chuck Adams free range hunt but it was many years ago. If I recall he put on quite a few miles tracking it to get within bow range? Just not a lot of opportunities to hunt them free range anywhere in North America.
 

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I believe I've read about Chuck Adams free range hunt but it was many years ago. If I recall he put on quite a few miles tracking it to get within bow range? Just not a lot of opportunities to hunt them free range anywhere in North America.
Adams took at least three free range bison, the first in the Utah Henry Mountains in 1986, and two in Arizona's Kaibab in 2000 & 2002. Rinella took his in Alaska on the Cooper River in 2005 (with a firearm).
 

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I would be all over it if they allowed you to use archery equipment. It's very difficult to find somewhere to hunt free range bison.
Hey TBrom, I found this info on free range bison hunts. It would appear that there are a large handful of opportunities, albeit long odds on drawing tags.

 

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For a non-resident for the most part free range bison is basically buying a hunt, Alberta has hunts for Woods bison and Arizona, Wyoming, and Utah have auction tags. Of course it varies year to year but the tags seem to be going for 35-80K.

Well, I had to edit this post, previously I had the auction hunts were going for 15-20K, I looked up this year's and they went for 35K in Wyoming and 82K in Utah. Just a few years ago they were 15k and 10 years ago they were about 6k.
 

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For a non-resident for the most part free range bison is basically buying a hunt, Alberta has hunts for Woods bison and Arizona and Utah have auction tags. Of course it varies year to year but the tags usually go for like 15-20k.
Certainly the surest way to get a tag.
 

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from what I have read this isnt a hunt the park service takes you out and you shoot
and then have to work for a week packing meat ,your and others its kinda like fish in a barrel
 

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from what I have read this isnt a hunt the park service takes you out and you shoot
and then have to work for a week packing meat ,your and others its kinda like fish in a barrel
Bison always was like fish in a barrel. That's why they were wiped out in a 15 year period
 

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For those wanting a bison, I could be wrong on some of this info, but I am pretty certain there are free range bison on Kodiak Island. I don't know if they qualify fr any record books as that kind of thing does not interest me in the least. I think they were introduced and as such a tag is not needed, nor are they regulated by AKDFG.

Again, look this up for yourself for the exact facts. I stumbled across this a few years ago and haven't looked since.
 
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