I generally think this is a good thing. The Jackson Hole bison herd, unlike the Yellowstone bison, are not constrained by a shortage of winter range because they, like the Jackson Hole elk, are artificially fed during the winter. The result is a herd that is only constrained by its summer range unless there is a periodic reduction.

It should be noted (for about the 500 th time on this blog) that almost 100% of the Jackson Hole bison have antibodies to brucellosis, but, nevertheless they are pretty much allowed to wander where they want, showing the lies of the Montana Dept. of Livestock and the federal agency APHIS that keep the Yellowstone bison bottled up inside Yellowstone National Park using the propaganda that some of them have brucellosis.

Herd managers deem bison hunt a success. By Jeff Gearino, Casper Star Tribune.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to Jackson Hole, Wyoming hunters take 266 bison

  1. avatar vicki says:

    Since this herd isn’t as limited by the winter range, would think they’d be a lot more likely to come into contact with cattle. That is, as Ralph says, evidentiary support of Montana’s big deceit when it comes to bison.

  2. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    I need to make a correction. Jackson Hole bison are not allowed to wander where they want; they are pretty much confined to Jackson Hole proper. They are not allowed into the Gros Ventre, where there is winter range, nor the Buffalo Fork, nor south of the town of Jackson. These areas all have livestock.

    At last check, only two permittees were trailing cattle across Grand Teton National Park to Forest Service allotments east of the Park under the 1950 compromise that expanded the Park to its current boundaries.

    Wyoming law gives bison a dual status (dual status is popular here); they are considered livestock east of Jackson Hole, wildlife in JH. (The bison in the North Fork of the Shoshone west of Cody are kind of a special case, but their wanderings are also quite limited). No bison would be tolerated on Togwotee Pass or down in the Wind River Basin, where I live. There is more than adequate winter range here for them, but the ranchers would have a fit.

    Another example of how closely the livestock industry in Wyoming controls wildlife.

  3. avatar Mark says:

    Wyoming likes ‘wildlife’ as long as it isn’t a predatory animal. They act like the KKK when it comes to predatory animals! They are truly a scary state; they don’t even seem to belong with the rest of the U.S.!

  4. avatar ed says:

    The main issue here is the competition for grazing resources between bison and domestic cattle. what no one has bothered to mention is that cattle are an introduced species to this country, wheras bison are not. If left unchecked cattle could cause irreperable harm to grassland ecosystems (as invasive species often do). A solid solution would be to drastically reduce cattle in this country and sharply increase bison numbers (replace one with another) to replace the current beef market.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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