Do You Have What It Takes to Help Thin the Grand Canyon Buffalo Herd?
Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park has a bison problem, and they're looking for hunters who can help.
Part of the bison herd in the Grand Canyon can be thinned with relocation, but the remainder needs to be harvested to get the herd back to a sustainable size.
Colorado hunters understand the concept of thinning herds both on public lands and National Parks as a way to balance the state's wilderness and wildlife. So, it's no surprise hunters from our state would be invited to help another state manage theirs.
Big game hunters in the Centennial State can enjoy plenty of elk, deer and even some bear hunting. But shooting a wild bison is strictly off-limits. Why? There aren't enough wild bison in Colorado to hunt anymore.
Before you load your gear into the truck and drive off to Arizona and volunteer to harvest bison, there are some things you really need to know.
The hunt is in the Grand Canyon National Park where hunting is normally prohibited. That means you have to apply and have your name selected in a lottery.
The hunt takes place between October and May when the road to the Grand Canyon's North Rim is closed to the public. That means you're going to be hiking, probably in the snow, at an elevation of around 8,000 feet.
While all the details aren't completely worked out, an official with the Game and Fish Department in Flagstaff, Ariz. says some of their models would require the hunter to be able to hike 8 miles per day, carry a 60 pound pack and be able to hit a paper plate target five times from 200 yards away.
The good news, the plan is to use sleds, snowmobiles, and in some cases a helicopter to carry the kill out. Hunters will also get a share of the meat to take home.