Winter travelers

Many of Yellowstone's bison migrate out of the park in winter where they are fair game for licensed hunters and tribal members.

Hunters have shot 70 bison so far this season in Montana, according to Fish, Wildlife & Parks information.

Of those, 59 have been shot on the west side near West Yellowstone while 11 have been killed in the Gardiner area. FWP has reports of other kills on the west side that have not yet been confirmed. 

Of the 70 animals taken, the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes has killed the most at 39, followed by state hunters with 24. The majority of the bison — 33 — were male compared to 31 females, the rest were juveniles.

The Montana hunting season runs through Feb. 15. Five American Indian tribes have treaty rights to hunt bison in Montana.

Earlier in the week, 250 bison were reportedly in the Gardiner basin. Yellowstone National Park has not yet begun its bison removal operations. Those animals are corralled and shipped to slaughter with the meat going to specific Indian tribes. Last year more than 1,200 bison were culled by the park. The park's bison population is about 5,400 animals.



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