Hunting season for bison on the National Elk Refuge is just around the corner. The 2013 season begins just two weeks from now. Spokesperson Lori Iverson says hunting seasons on the refuge are used as a management tool to achieve optimum herd size. The refuge objective is a wintering herd of about 500 bison. The Refuge bison hunting season will be comprised of 12 hunt periods of varying length, with a number of weeklong breaks of non-disturbance incorporated into the season. This is intended to increase the success rate for hunters since bison, along with other animals, may learn to avoid an area with continued hunting pressure. Iverson says bison hunting licenses are issued by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, but a Refuge–specific bison permit is required and is provided with the State license.