Bison

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BISON - SPECIES OVERVIEW

Bison herds remind everyone of the Old West and the days far in the past when bison herds roamed everywhere. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Fortunately, there is still a huntable bison population and a need for population control. There are private herds in many places that provide the opportunity to hunt but there are also some wild herds in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, Alaska, Arizona, and Canada.

To hunt bison in Utah, there are draws and also raffles. In South Dakota, the bison hunts are through the Custer State Park and awarded through the draw process and the hunts are guided by the park employees. Alaska decides its bison hunts using a draw system and the odds are very low. In Montana, the system is a draw and the hunts occur in Yellowstone. The most complicated draw process is through Arizona because there are many application periods, but there is also a raffle in that state.

STATES AND SEASONS

Alaska

Alaska offers five bison hunts and the information on applying can be found in the Alaska section. There is not a point system, so while the odds of being drawn are low, you have the same odds as anyone else. The best unit to apply for is Delta, which has the largest wild herd in Alaska. A guide is not required on an Alaskan hunt.

Arizona

Alaska offers five bison hunts and the information on applying can be found in the Alaska section. There is not a point system, so while the odds of being drawn are low, you have the same odds as anyone else. The best unit to apply for is Delta, which has the largest wild herd in Alaska. A guide is not required on an Alaskan hunt.

Montana

Montana offers its tags through a draw system. The odds of getting a tag for a bull are small (less than 1%) but because there is no point system, you have as much a chance as anyone else. Montana’s bison live in Yellowstone and are hunted during the winter when they leave the park.

South Dakota

The bison hunts in South Dakota are in Custer State Park. The state uses draws to give out tags and it does have a point system. If a bull permit is drawn, there will be a three- day trophy hunt scheduled and if a non-trophy bull or cow is drawn then you will have a one-day hunt scheduled. The hunts are guided by Custer State Park employees (for free!).

Utah

Utah has four areas where there is bison hunting and tags are issued through a draw system, which does have a point system, as well as through raffles, commissioner tags and governor tags. The chances of pulling a bison tag without many points weighing it in your favor is under 1%.

Wyoming

Wyoming offers bison tags through the draw system without a point system. The odds are between 1 and 2% for a bull tag and 15-20% for a cow tag.

Canada

Canada offers hunts for wild plains bison and wood bison (wood bison are larger than wild plains bison). Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest territories and the Yukon territory have wild herds and hunts must be booked through an outfitter.