Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has proposed closing a popular, crowded bison hunting area near Yellowstone National Park to non-Indian hunters, and is taking public comment on the idea.
Beattie Gulch, near Gardiner, is a roughly half-square-mile bottleneck where bison migrate north out of Yellowstone. According to FWP, between 200 and 300 bison are killed here every year during the bison hunt, which opens November 15.
FWP says they’re issuing the closure due to public safety concerns. It’s common for groups of 20 to 30 hunters to fire on bison entering the area at once. The closure does not affect tribal hunters, who take the majority of bison in the area.
FWP has issued 40 bison tags for the area to state-licensed hunters this year. They say this is part of an ongoing effort to decrease hunting pressure at Beattie Gulch.
Public comment lasts until October 12. To contribute, visit http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/publicComments/2018/beattieGulchBisonHuntingClosure.html .