The National Park Service announced that it is looking for hunters that are “physically fit and proficient with a gun.” They need them to help reduce bison numbers in Grand Canyon National Park.
In recent years bison numbers have increased to the point that they are having negative effects on the ecosystem.
According to Yahoo, About 600 of the animals now live in the region, and biologists say the bison numbers could hit 1,500 within 10 years if left uncontrolled. Shooters would be selected through a lottery to help bring the number of bison roaming the far northern reaches of the park to no more than 200 within three to five years.
The Grand Canyon is still working out details of the volunteer effort, but it’s taking cues from national parks in Colorado, the Dakotas and Wyoming that have used shooters to cut overabundant or diseased populations of elk. The Park Service gave final approval to the bison reduction plan this month.
Much of the work would be done on foot in elevations of 8,000 feet or higher between October and May when the road leading to the Grand Canyon’s North Rim is closed. Snowmobiles and sleds
would be used to remove the bison meat, and helicopters in rare instances, park officials said.
The National Park service is planning on holding a lottery for interested participants. They have not released details on how people can apply, but I am sure it will come out soon. Carl Lutch, the terrestrial wildlife manager for Game and Fish in Flagstaff, said some models require volunteers to be capable of hiking eight miles a day, carrying a 60-pound pack and hitting a paper plate 200 yards away five times.
Of course not everyone is happy with the plan Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club says she’s hopeful Grand Canyon will focus mostly on non-lethal removal.
I know a lot of hunters that would be interested in participating in this. A bison in the freezer will defiantly fill the freezer. Good luck to all who apply.
To read the Yahoo article CLICK HERE