Montana's wildlife commission voted 4-1 Thursday to authorize hunters to shoot bison that stray beyond extended "tolerance areas" north of Yellowstone National Park and areas outside the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Indian reservations.
The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department says the move is designed to ease public resistance to bison roaming freely outside of the designated areas. The move is also designed to complement other bison management efforts implemented by officials such as driving or guiding bison back into the parks, or capturing them for relocation or slaughter.
This move has been controversial and even Commissioner Ron Moody opposed the act last month. He has since changed his position and now favors the move telling the Helena Independent Record that the areas would be far from the firing line he envisioned. After visiting the areas, Moody stated that whoever takes the time to venture into these areas will have truly hunted.
Bottom line on this move is that more bison will be available to hunters willing to put in the effort to trek into very remote and rough country.