The National Park Service Is Looking For Volunteer Bison Hunters

A herd of buffalo in a field
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The National Park Service (NPS) has put out a call to action seeking volunteers to come help keep buffalo numbers in check near the Grand Canyon.

The American bison herd surrounding the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is growing at a pace that has them headed towards over population, and with no predators in the area the only way keep the herd in balance is to hunt them.

The Park Service is concerned with the growing populations impact on park resources such as water, vegetation, soils, and archeological sites. To address those concerns, the Arizona Department of Game and Fish entered into an agreement with the NPS to cull the heard through the use of skilled volunteer hunters.

According to a recent report from MeatEater, biologists estimate the current herd size between 400 and 600. They say that number could easily double within 10 years. The goal of this cull is to reduce the herd number to below 200.

“Selected, skilled volunteers will be able to take up to a single bison including head, hide, and meat in exchange for removing the carcass from the field,” said Arizona Game and Fish Commission Chairman Kurt Davis.

“The Game and Fish Department will provide the volunteer with the necessary permit to possess and transport the carcass from Grand Canyon National Park. There will be no waste of game meat, and no waste of tax dollars to contract for paid sharpshooters.”

In order to be eligible to volunteer for the hunt, certain criteria must be met, and in case you were wondering, the Park is partnering with  eleven traditionally associated tribes to work together on the lethal removal.

Volunteer registration is now open, and can be accessed through an online portal managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. 

More information about the bison reduction plan can also be found on the National Park Service website.

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