“Officials have agreed to allow as many as 900 bison from Yellowstone National Park to be shot by hunters, sent to slaughter or placed in quarantine this winter…”
Anyone who has visited YNP recently can attest that there are too many of two things… people and bison! It is virtually impossible to visit “the Park” without running into droves of each animal. I live along the borders of the nation’s first national park and much of our local economy comes from the millions of annual visitors each year and just like the tourists, bison spread out from the Park as well, finding nooks and crannies to live in, especially during the winter. Like the money made from tourism it would be nice to have a crack at those big shaggies too!
However, before we dust off the Sharps and get our Quigley on I’m betting that any “hunt” won’t be a hunt at all but a cull carried out by government “sharpshooters”. That would be sad indeed! I for one would pay a handsome fee to hunt a wild bison and do my part to thin the over populated YNP herd. I don’t know about you but there’s just something about a big old “buffalo” that’s romantic, the skull, the hide, the meat… every inch of the American bison is pure nostalgia, they are the true symbol of the American West.
Romance aside, we owe these animals a balanced ecosystem and YNP is anything but right now. Too many predators, too many bison, each wreaking havoc on the flora and fauna of one of the most incredible places on the planet. That balance, and a fair bit of monetary profit could assuredly be generated via a limited public hunt on the bison of YNP.
I will keep my ear to the ground on this, looking for opportunities for public comment about an open hunt. Fingers crossed the Park Service will use common sense on this and allow John and Jane Q Public to participate in the balancing of our Nation’s bison herd.