Hunters Wanted for Grand Canyon Bison Cull

by
posted on September 13, 2017
bison_usfws_grand_canyon.jpg

Photo Courtesy of USFWS

If you’re physically fit and a good shot, it may be time for a trip to Arizona. The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking hunters willing to help cull the Grand Canyon’s growing bison population amid concerns over environmental damage the animals are causing.

According to the Associated Press, roughly 600 bison currently reside in the region. If left uncontrolled, biologists say the population could reach 1,500 within the next 10 years. In the 1990s, the Grand Canyon bison herd—which has been managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) in the House Rock Wildlife Area since 1929—began moving into the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, where hunting is prohibited. Over the last decade, the animals have been trampling vegetation, causing soil erosion and contaminating water sources.

“If you drive through here with your windows down, you can actually smell the bison,” Greg Holm, wildlife program manager for Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP), told KNAU Arizona Public Radio. “In a nutshell, we want to reduce the number of bison in the population as quickly as possible in the next 3 to 5 years to a level under 200 animals.”

While GCNP prohibits all hunting, supervisor for the AZGFD regional office in Flagstaff Craig McMullen told KNAU Arizona Public Radio that his agency wants to make an exception for bison due to the ecological impacts on the park.

“We think the least expensive, most efficient and most expedient way to get that population down in a hurry is through the use of licensed hunters," McMullen said.

While the details of the volunteer effort are still being finalized, most hunting is expected to occur between October and May, and hunters will be expected to possess a specific set of skills. Carl Lutch, wildlife manager for Game and Fish in Flagstaff said hunters will have to be capable of hiking 8 miles a day while carrying a 6-pound pack. They will also be required to hit a paper plate 200 yards away five times before qualifying.

Think you have what it takes? Be sure to check out the NPS website for updates on volunteer opportunities.

Latest

Herman Shooting Renegauge Truetimber Prarie
Herman Shooting Renegauge Truetimber Prarie

#SundayGunday: Savage Renegauge Prairie

Get a closer look at the Savage Renegauge in TrueTimber Prarie, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.

New for 2022: Benelli SBE3 28-Gauge, 3-Inch

For 2022, Benelli raises the bar in the growing sub-gauge movement with the release of the 28-gauge Super Black Eagle 3, featuring a 3-inch chamber.

Winchester Debuts Bismuth Waterfowl Ammunition

Winchester's Bismuth brings to market a premium, uniform shot, which is tin-plated to produce smooth and round bismuth.

First Look: Rock River Arms Predator HP LAR-BT3

Chambered in the venerable .243 Winchester, the new Predator HP LAR-BT3 is field ready and capable of MOA accuracy.

First Look: TNT T-Rex Pro Treestand in Realtree Edge Camo

Weighing in at just 21 pounds, the True North Treestands (TNT) T-Rex self-climber in Realtree Edge camo is a stand-up/sit-down style all-aluminum stand that features True North's new patent-pending "T-Rex” toothed dual-cable design and the Rapid Claw attachment system.

First Look: Primos Trigger Stick Apex Carbon Fiber Tripod

With carbon-fiber-wrapped aluminum legs and a solid Apex-Clamp design, the Trigger Stick Apex Carbon Fiber Tripod allows firearms or crossbows to be secured to it.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.