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Yellowstone begins bison capture, slaughter to reduce herd

In this  2014 file photo, Yellowstone National Park bison forage for grass in the snow near an icy Madison River in Montana. (Lloyd Blunk / Associated Press)
In this 2014 file photo, Yellowstone National Park bison forage for grass in the snow near an icy Madison River in Montana. (Lloyd Blunk / Associated Press)
Associated Press

BILLINGS – At least 100 Yellowstone National Park bison have been trapped in southwestern Montana corrals as the National Park Service works to reduce herd sizes.

The Billings Gazette reported Wednesday that trapped bison will be shipped to slaughter facilities so the meat can be distributed to designated Native American Indian tribes.

The Park Service wants to reduce the park’s northern bison herd that numbers about 4,000 by between 900 and 1,400. They migrate from the park to an area in Montana during the winter.

After bison cross the park boundary into Montana they become fair game for licensed state hunters and tribal members with treaty hunting rights.

So far this winter, tribal hunters have taken 80 bison and state hunters have harvested 19.

Yellowstone’s total bison population is about 5,500.

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