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Bison Hunting

Hunting ArticleLike elk hunting, a program to manage the size of the bison population on the refuge is imperative to herd health management.

Photo credit: Mark Gocke

Hunters must already have a Wyoming state bison license, issued by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, to apply for a Refuge bison permit. Individuals who have not already applied and been selected for a 2015 Wyoming bison license are not eligible to hunt bison this year. 

Hunters apply for a Refuge bison permit by completing an online application. Similar to the procedure used by Refuge elk hunters since 2008, begin your application by visiting the Wyoming Game & Fish Department's Private Lands Public Wildlife Access Program web site
Bison hunters must apply between July 13 through July 31, 2015, initially applying for only one bison hunt period. The results of the computerized random draw will be posted on the application web site by 11:00 am on August 5, 2015. Leftover and alternate permits will be available later in the season. 

A 2015 Bison Hunting Information and Regulations four-page handout thoroughly explains the refuge permit application process, along with general bison hunting information, season and hunt period dates, hunt regulations, and an area map. Hard copies are available; the document is also available here via the link below.

Please note: the four-page handout contains one error: the text on page 1, middle column, last paragraph, under the heading Option 2: Leftover permits, should refer to the drawing on August 5 rather than August 4. Also, the Wyoming Game & Fish Department's Private Lands Public Wildlife Access Program web site has changed since the four-page 2015 Bison Hunting Information and Regulations handout was printed and distributed. The correct link is now

Hard copies of the information and regulations will be available during the hunting season at the following Jackson, WY locations:

Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center
532 N. Cache Street

Wyoming Game & Fish Department
420 N. Cache Street

National Elk Refuge Administrative Office
675 E. Broadway Street

Hunters are responsible for reading the National Elk Refuge hunting information and regulations specific to the hunt area where they are permitted and have them available while hunting on the refuge. 

It can be difficult to distinguish between a one to two year-old bull and a mature cow. A bison identification exam is available online and is a suggested tool to help hunters differentiate between bulls and cows. In cases where a hunter with a cow/calf (Type 4) license kills a bull bison, the animal will be confiscated and the hunter charged with a Federal Class C misdemeanor having a maximum fine of $5000.

Last Updated: Sep 03, 2015
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