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Wow!....on several counts.
 

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None of the bison will be killed within the park. There is no authorized hunting in YNP. Instead, The Park has the states do the dirty work so they can save face. Montana and Wyoming issue tags, so when the bison migrate out of the park in the winter, they may be hunted, gathered by/for the tribes, and then killed. This has been going on since in Montana at least for more than 15 years. This is the biggest number I've seen - the 1,000 head. But that is only if they leave the park. If they stay inside the boundaries of Yellowstone, then that number is 0. So YNP sets the number of bison they think they need to cull, and then Montana and Wyoming set their harvest numbers based on that. The biggest share of the numbers are out the northern boundary into Montana, so Montana issues the most tags. Basically, you apply in May, and they put your name on the list in the order they are drawn. Once the bison start migrating out, they'll give you a call and let you know the date to come for your hunt. Once the harvest number is reached, then they quit calling the names on the list.
 

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There are discussions for Idaho to join in the party in the coming years as well. This past year, some bison wandered out of The Park and spent a week or two over near Henry's Lake. IFG tried hazing them back into the Park but ended up just dispatching them next to the road and hauling them off. But there are starting to be enough migrate out and into Island Park that it is becoming, or will soon be enough that it has to be addressed, either through hazing, which is what they've been trying the last few years, or having hunters, or just allowing it to happen. There is a push by one group to form a Caldera National Monument for the Island Park area and the primary thing behind all of that is to allow the bison to establish in Island Park, and eliminate cattle from the area. But that is another discussion for another thread.
 

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West side Utah Lake
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
None of the bison will be killed within the park. There is no authorized hunting in YNP. Instead, The Park has the states do the dirty work so they can save face. Montana and Wyoming issue tags, so when the bison migrate out of the park in the winter, they may be hunted, gathered by/for the tribes, and then killed. This has been going on since in Montana at least for more than 15 years. This is the biggest number I've seen - the 1,000 head. But that is only if they leave the park. If they stay inside the boundaries of Yellowstone, then that number is 0. So YNP sets the number of bison they think they need to cull, and then Montana and Wyoming set their harvest numbers based on that. The biggest share of the numbers are out the northern boundary into Montana, so Montana issues the most tags. Basically, you apply in May, and they put your name on the list in the order they are drawn. Once the bison start migrating out, they'll give you a call and let you know the date to come for your hunt. Once the harvest number is reached, then they quit calling the names on the list.
Thanks for the heads up and info on how it works and why...I guess I will just have to apply next year.
 

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I hear that late hunt is COLD!! Would be cool though to add a bison to the list.
 

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No muzzy. Just rifle or archery are allowed. And rifle bullet must be at least 150 grains, so that dictates what size of rifle you can use.

Also - for Montana, 10% of whatever number of tags are issued each year, are set aside for non-residents.

I don't know about Wyoming.
 

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Does anybody know the elk to bison kill rate for wolf in Yellowstone? Does anybody care?
 

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I wish I knew Iron Bear. I've read several books about the YNP wolves, and the general theme is that the primary prey base is elk. I can't remember the specific ratios, but it seems like 80-90% elk, and 10% other stuff - deer, moose, bison, and other wolves. And each pack varies in what they kill more of because of other factors within the park. Northern packs killed a lot more bison than the southern packs, that kind of thing.

Prior to the wolves though, Montana would give out around 2,000 elk tags on the Gardiner unit each year. Since the wolves have leveled off, there are some years Montana gives no tags for that unit. With the drop in elk numbers though, bison numbers have increased and The Park reports record highs right now. I couldn't give you exact numbers. I'm sure you could google something up.
 

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Just some quick checking on things Iron Bear, turned up the results of one season of monitoring as noted at the following website:
http://www.yellowstonenationalpark.com/wolves.htm

Two excerpts from that site notes:
Composition of Wolf Kills: Project staff detected 132 definite, 206 probable, and 8 possible kills made by wolves in 2002, including 291 elk (84% of total), 21 bison, (6%), 4 deer (1%), 4 coyotes (1%), 4 wolves (1%), 1 badger (<0.5%), 1 Canada goose (<0.5%), and 22 unknown prey (6%). The composition of elk kills was 34% calves (0-12 months), 31% cows, 22% bulls, 5% adult elk of unknown sex, and 8% elk of unknown sex and age. Bison kills included 10 calves (unknown sex), 3 yearlings (2 female, 1 male), and 8 adults (3 female, 3 male, 2 unknown sex). Of the bison kills, 1 was killed during December, 1 in January, 5 in February, 6 in March, 7 in April, and 1 in late May. The Nez Perce Pack made 13 of the bison kills and Mollie's Pack and Druid Peak Pack each killed 2. During winter, wolves residing on the Northern Range killed an average of 1.8 elk per wolf per 30-day study period.​

And

Winter Studies: During the 2002 March winter study (30 days), wolves were observed for 243 hours from the ground. The number of days wolf packs were located from the air ranged from 1 (Yellowstone Delta) to 15 (Leopold, Rose Creek II, Tower, and Sheep Mountain). Seventy-two definite or probable wolf kills were detected, including 65 elk, 3 bison, and 4 prey of unknown species. Among elk, 19 (29%) were calves, 22 (34%) were cows, 18 (28%) were bulls, 4 (6%) were of unknown sex, and 2 (3%) were of unknown sex and age.​
 
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West side Utah Lake
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I wish I knew Iron Bear. I've read several books about the YNP wolves, and the general theme is that the primary prey base is elk. I can't remember the specific ratios, but it seems like 80-90% elk, and 10% other stuff - deer, moose, bison, and other wolves. And each pack varies in what they kill more of because of other factors within the park. Northern packs killed a lot more bison than the southern packs, that kind of thing.

Prior to the wolves though, Montana would give out around 2,000 elk tags on the Gardiner unit each year. Since the wolves have leveled off, there are some years Montana gives no tags for that unit. With the drop in elk numbers though, bison numbers have increased and The Park reports record highs right now. I couldn't give you exact numbers. I'm sure you could google something up.
I can understand them not killing as many bison due to the difficulty but why do you suppose that their primary prey is elk and not deer or moose? Is it a sheer numbers thing where elk are the majority of prey available or is it because of some other reason that the primary prey is elk?
 

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I wish I knew Iron Bear. I've read several books about the YNP wolves, and the general theme is that the primary prey base is elk. I can't remember the specific ratios, but it seems like 80-90% elk, and 10% other stuff - deer, moose, bison, and other wolves. And each pack varies in what they kill more of because of other factors within the park. Northern packs killed a lot more bison than the southern packs, that kind of thing.

Prior to the wolves though, Montana would give out around 2,000 elk tags on the Gardiner unit each year. Since the wolves have leveled off, there are some years Montana gives no tags for that unit. With the drop in elk numbers though, bison numbers have increased and The Park reports record highs right now. I couldn't give you exact numbers. I'm sure you could google something up.
In an attempt to reduce elk numbers. Which was another stated goal of wolf reintro.

The elk numbers were already dropping in the Greater Yellowstone area, and were plummeting in a few short years after reintro with very few wolves present. This happened in areas where there were no wolves as well. Parts of Northern Utah saw massive declines, as did parts of Wyoming with no wolves.

You can look to the fires and other land policy use for the declines. And you can look to elk that were not in optimal condition because of these things for the declines, AND for the huge packs that formed feasting on dumb and sick elk.

If wolves were the cause of the GYA elk declines, then those elk numbers would go up when wolf numbers declined, which they have multiple times in dramatic fashion, with NO response upward from elk. And study after study has yet to show that wolves suppress elk numbers. Do wolves eat elk, yep, that's what they were designed to do. Are they responsible for suppressing their numbers? Nope, nothing says so, except some uneducated internet hacks with very myopic views and understandings of what they espouse.
 
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I can understand them not killing as many bison due to the difficulty but why do you suppose that their primary prey is elk and not deer or moose? Is it a sheer numbers thing where elk are the majority of prey available or is it because of some other reason that the primary prey is elk?
Its all about herd structure. It suits the way they hunt. If you look at wolves that target bison in Yellowstone and Canada, they hunt differently. But you see a lot more similarity in terrain, herd structure, and hunting tactics among Bison hunting wolves in Canada.

Pack hunters exploit herd prey based on the same things that normally make herds strong. That being the way the herd interacts with each other. This is seen in African lions as well, which are the only cats to hunt this way.
 

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Lots of variables at play with the wolves and elk and bison in YNP. The upside, is that whole thing is one of the most researched, documented, and analyzed moves in wildlife management study. More is known about the YNP wolves than any predator base in any ecosystem ever. More are collared, more are tracked, and more data is gathered about their habits, range, interactions, predation, than any other group of animals. If you are really interested, there are numerous books, professional publications, academic pieces, and very well documented studies to check out. Far more data based analysis than most uneducated internet hacks would espouse. :)
 
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