40 general bison permits were issued this year for bison hunting. 39 tags have been filled and officials expect the last tag to be filled prior to the close of the first bison hunt in 15 years in Montana. Authorities are already claiming the hunt a success and are speculating that perhaps the hunt could be expanded as early as next year.
When the hunt is completed next Wednesday, surveys will be taken and times set up for public comment. After that, decisions will be made on the future of the bison hunt.
Officials in Montana as well as all neighboring states to Wyoming and in particular, Yellowstone National Park, are concerned with the spread of brucellosis from bison to cattle in nearby ranches. This year 583 bison were captured and slaughtered that were found near the northern boundary of Yellowstone. Some officials think hunting is a more palatable way of solving that problem than rounding them up for slaughter.