Shrinking Delta Junction Bison Herd Prompts Reduced Hunt To Two Weeks

A popular Interior bison hunt is getting a massive reduction to just two weeks after a terrible winter for the herd. Here’s KTOO radio with more:

The hunt is by far the most popular for any game species in the state. Hunters submitted more than 44,000 applications last year in hopes of drawing a permit to harvest one of 120 animals the state had planned to make available this year.

“That’s definitely the highest ever,” says Bob Schmidt, the state Department of Fish and Game Delta-area wildlife biologist.

Schmidt says state managers had to rethink their plan for this year’s hunt after finding out that about 180 bison, or nearly a third of the 600-animal herd, died of starvation last winter. That’s three times the number they estimated last spring.