Yellowstone’s bison population this winter has so far been mostly staying inside the park, and so are not being subjected to capture or slaughter.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Morgan Jacobsen told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that most of the animals have remained within the park’s borders on the slopes above Gardiner.
Typically, the northern bison herd in the park migrate to the lower elevation just north of the park in search of food. When that happens, they are fair game for hunters, or are herded into the Stephens Creek Capture facility.
Over the weekend, 35 bison were moved from the facility to a new home on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where it is the tribe’s ambition to expand the reservation’s herd to 1,500 bison over 28-thousand acres of land. That would make it the largest tribal-managed bison herd in the US.
Meanwhile, officials estimate the park’s bison population as of October is about 4,730.
NPS / Jacob W. Frank