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Too many hunters, too little space: Proposal to close bison hunt area

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on a proposal to close a small portion of HD 385 in Beattie Gulch near Gardiner and on the border of Yellowstone National Park to bison hunting due to safety concerns.

Officials with the agency said in recent years, 200-300 bison are harvested each year within the approximately quarter-mile-square area at the mouth of Beattie Gulch.

The proposed closure is out for public comment now and will be decided upon by the Fish and Wildlife Commission at its Oct. 17 meeting.

Bison season opens Nov. 15.

This proposal would only impact state hunters, not tribal hunters exercising off-reservation treaty rights. FWP issued 40 licenses for the Gardiner Basin portion of HD 385 to state hunters this year.

Comments on the proposal will be taken until Friday, Oct. 12, at 5 p.m., and at the commission meeting on Oct. 17. Comments can be submitted online at http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/publicComments/2018/beattieGulchBisonHuntingClosure.html.

Chet Layman

Chet Layman

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