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Grand Canyon Bison Hunt
News Bytes 05/6/2021 55 Comments

The National Park Service is opening a rare opportunity this fall. Thousands of people across the country will apply to roam Grand Canyon National Park looking for the park’s largest and most iconic residents. But only 12 volunteers will be chosen . . . for a bison hunt.

Normally, hunting is prohibited within national parks. But the park service has authority for staff or volunteers to kill animals that harm resources.

And harm they have. Officials at the Grand Canyon say bison trample archaeological resources, create deep ruts and wallows in meadows, and spoil ponds. The giant beasts—the largest currently living North American land animals God created—can be hunted on the adjacent national forest. That has pushed them to make their homes almost exclusively within the Grand Canyon.

Between 300 and 500 bison live on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. The park wants to reduce the number to 200.

Much of the hunting will be done on foot in elevations of 8,000 feet or higher at the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. Volunteers can’t use motorized transportation or stock animals to retrieve the bison that can reach lengths of over 11 feet and weigh up to 2,000 pounds. They must haul the bison carcasses out on foot. Each volunteer can choose a support crew and will have to prove firearms proficiency.

The chosen shooters must bring their own equipment and use non-lead ammunition to avoid the risk of poisoning the endangered California condor that scavenges on gut piles.

“It’s a unique experience, and you can walk a long ways before you see one, then you gotta get a shot,” says Dave Arnold, a hunter who harvested a bison in 2002 in South Dakota. “That’s where the fun ends.”

“They are very skilled climbers. They can get down in places humans can’t,” Grand Canyon spokeswoman Kaitlyn Thomas says.

Other national parks have also turned to volunteer shooters to manage wildlife numbers, including mountain goats at Olympic National Park in Washington and elk at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

Grand Canyon Superintendent Ed Keable revived talks over hunting after other measures like corralling failed.

The state wildlife office will select and vet 25 applicants and forward those to the park service, which will choose 12 in a random drawing.

Native American tribes will have a separate opportunity to become volunteer shooters, but those agreements aren’t finalized, Thomas says.

Unlike other bison hunts, volunteers won’t have to pay for a bison tag. Those can top $5,400 for non-Arizona residents. Shooting a bison at the Grand Canyon also won’t count against the one bison lifetime limit for hunters.

Environmental groups claim lethal removal is far less efficient than other methods for dealing with wildlife. They also contend the sound of gunshots will affect other animals that aren’t the targets.

Wildlife officials say shooting bison within the park should pressure the animals to move back to the Kaibab National Forest.

At 78, hunter Arnold says he won’t compete for one of the shooting entries. But he admits, “If I [were] 20 years younger, I would be right there in line.”

(Bison enter a corral on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Bryan Maul/National Park Service via AP)

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Most recent comments

Yikes!

Yikes!

Yes 1st comment!

Yes 1st comment!

3rd comment

We went to the Grand Canyon last year before Covid hit and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOO breathtaking!!!! After seeing it you just know there had to be a Creator!
But about the bison... don't they know that bison are very rare now? I wonder why they can't do sort of like a big cattle drive and drive them off somewhere else? If they have to shoot them, then okay, it will be so much fun for the hunters, but then what are they going to do with 100-200 dead bison?

@Riley

They could eat them.... I’ve had a taco made out of bison meat and it was really really good. Has anyone else eaten bison before?

Amelia B.

No I have not. But I've had lamb and alligator. Anyone had alligator before?

I think that would be fun for

I think that would be fun for a once in a life time thing to do. But I would what to ride a horse not just walk.

We were going

We were gonna go to the Grand Canyon, but because of Covid we couldn't, but instead we are going to go to Florida in the end of May, and also in my state we are known to have a lot of bison.

Okay

Okay yeah so what they may destroy things and everything but this is part of God's creation and we need them in order to survive more cuz what if we lose all animals and bison are the only one left so please stop killing them

Random Fun Fact

You're more likely to get stung by a bee on a windy day than any other.

Most likely because bees get

Most likely because bees get blown into you.

@ Stefan

I know, right!

@ Abygail A

They're not killing them all. Just some of them. Like you'd cut down trees so others can grow or whatever.

this is mylee

It does seem like they are killing to many of them though... I D K if ive had bison before but ppl eat it down here sometimes so maybe. I've never had alligater before. ALso some ppl were asking me questions like do you eat armidillo ? and other wierd animals just bc the state I live in ! They thought everyone here was cowboys which is so not true XDXD. My dad likes cow tounge at Mexican restrants LOL.

My grandpa once ate a rat. I

My grandpa once ate a rat. I don't I would do if I was starving.

.

I agree with Riley. They should just push them out instead of killing them.
@ Belwyn we have bees, and since I've been stung so many times is doesn't really hurt anymore. I will feel a slight sting, but other than that, I'd be fine.
@ Abygail yes, I agree with you too
@ Stefan one time when we were at my grandparents house, my dad poured himself a bowl of raisin bran, but instead of raisins it was ants. So he just poured it back in and my grandma said, 'give it to your grandpa. He'll eat it.' And so we did, and he did eat it. Ants and all. Yuck!
@ Mylee my dad likes cow tongues too. I don't. I've had them before but they were disgusting!
@ Amelia I've had bison in a taco too, before and it was good.

@ Stefan and Amelia/eating weird animals discussion

I've had dog liver and duck tongue (in China). Most real Chinese food is really good, though, just so y'all don't think it's all disgusting.

Random Fact

Did you know when you sneeze your heart stops beating?

@Riley D, Isabel F

I disagree with you 2. They have to kill some in Grand Canyon because of overpopulation. If bison keep moving around, they'll keep stompin and destroying the ground. Of course, don't always kill em' but overpopulation is also a threat. Ocassionaly kill them. Also, have you guys been to the north rim? Ive actually seen the bison and its pretty cool. (Meaning, Ive been to the north side not the south).

WHY??????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHY? WHY?
I love bison! Why are they killing them! AH!!!! NOnononononono!!!! No! No! No!
(I hope they at LEAST USE the meat for something not just leave it to rot....POOR BISON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
@About Alligator and Weird foods
Yes I've eaten alligator. I've also eaten Ostridge, Emu, Fly (They taste like juice and crackers), mosquito, gnat, Lion, Moose (obviously!), Bear, Seal, Caribou, raw fish, horse :( Sadnesses.

@Desarose S

If humans let animals roam the surface of the earth, the animals would overtake the humans! Humans need to take control of the earth, Desarose.

@Above

Dessie wow that is a lot!!! XD I have had calf fries... But I am not too adventurous!! XD

This is Mylee

@ dessie wow you’ve had lots of food. A mosquito and flies I wouldn’t eat though. I think you know about how nasty flies are. And mosquitos have diese.

This is Mylee

@ dessie wow you’ve had lots of food. A mosquito and flies I wouldn’t eat though. I think you know about how nasty flies are. And mosquitos have diese.

@Desarose S

Well, do you feel sorry for a snake or a spider or a fly when you kill one of those? (I'm hoping that's rhetorical. XD) If you killed one, you probably killed it because it wasn't supposed to be there, right?

@ people who eat weird meats

I've eaten swan before that's the weirdest ive had tho.

I think the strangest meat I

I think the strangest meat I ever ate was goat but vegetables….XD

Replies

@David
Humans also need to be good stewards of the animals as well, though I know what you mean. We are the masters (And mistresses') of the animals, as a dog musher I most certainly am big on that. What I meant was bison have minds as well, and how would you feel if suddenly you were target practice?
@ Riley
XD Ikr...I didn't even realize I'd eaten so much until I tried listing it. What are calf fries though?
@ Mylee
I eat mosquitoes on accident, they fly into my mouth those little pests!!!!!!!!!!!!! As for flies, I've only eaten about five to show my friends I'm not scared of doing so...But I'm not Bug Eating Bear Grylls yet!
@Hesperus
Um...well....Yes, I do feel sorry for bugs when I kill them, or see them killed, if I let myself think about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have HUGE empathy....and am too soft for my own good. But I must kill them, because if I don't then they will eat me whole. (mosquitoes). Yes, I do feel bad when I kill animals. But I do.... Even bugs have minds.... XD sorry that's just me. Normally I don't think about it then I'll be fine.
@ Franz
Have you had goat cheese?????????? I find it disgusting!

Replies

@David
Humans also need to be good stewards of the animals as well, though I know what you mean. We are the masters (And mistresses') of the animals, as a dog musher I most certainly am big on that. What I meant was bison have minds as well, and how would you feel if suddenly you were target practice?
@ Riley
XD Ikr...I didn't even realize I'd eaten so much until I tried listing it. What are calf fries though?
@ Mylee
I eat mosquitoes on accident, they fly into my mouth those little pests!!!!!!!!!!!!! As for flies, I've only eaten about five to show my friends I'm not scared of doing so...But I'm not Bug Eating Bear Grylls yet!
@Hesperus
Um...well....Yes, I do feel sorry for bugs when I kill them, or see them killed, if I let myself think about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have HUGE empathy....and am too soft for my own good. But I must kill them, because if I don't then they will eat me whole. (mosquitoes). Yes, I do feel bad when I kill animals. But I do.... Even bugs have minds.... XD sorry that's just me. Normally I don't think about it then I'll be fine.
@ Franz
Have you had goat cheese?????????? I find it disgusting!

@Dessie

Calf fries are the male reproductive part that is cut off a bull calf to make it a steer. They batter and fry up this part.

@Dessie

I have had goat cheese and it is not so bad. But I prefer regular cheese!

@Desarose S

Huh. Well, OK.

more replies

@Riley
Ew....I don't think I would be brave enough to eat that.... How can you stand goat cheese?! I can't stand it at all!
@Hesperus
....XD
Random Question: Can anyone else not stand touching towels? Or worse, biting them?

more replies

@Riley
Ew....I don't think I would be brave enough to eat that.... How can you stand goat cheese?! I can't stand it at all!
@Hesperus
....XD
Random Question: Can anyone else not stand touching towels? Or worse, biting them?

I have eaten pig intestines

I have eaten pig intestines and they're actually pretty good if cooked properly.

@Desarose S

Do they have minds? Well, yes. I don't know if I would feel anything, if i was an animal. ANIMALS ARE DIFFERENT THAN HUMANS. They are not God's creatures to go to heaven or hell. Of course, don't overkill them, but you have to regulate 'em anyway.

@David P

Yes, animals are not the same as humans, but I never said that they were! I have eight dogs, and let me tell you this, these guys have feelings. They get sad, they can be trusting, they understand what's going on better than you know. Honestly. I've lived with dogs and animals all my life, and I know that each animal has a personality. Each animal has feelings. Did a dog ever wag it's tail when you walked up to it? That meant it was happy to see you. Animals can be sad. Right now I am currently dealing with a dog who is very sad, and I'm trying to cheer her up.
Each of those bison that are going to be killed have personalities. I don't know if animals go to heaven or hell, but I do know that there will be animals in heaven. ( aka "The lion will lay down with the lamb") God made the animals different than people, but he did make the animals as well as the people.
I hope this wasn't offensive! I'm a very much animal lover and have been around them all my life.

@Desarose S

We both come from different points of view, I can clearly see now. You have had dogs before. I have not, nor any other animal. We used to tie strings around beetles and fly 'em around like kites! It was pretty fun. If you oppose that, I could probably see what you are thinkin'. (Separate thought now) The crazy people who say to preserve ALL life are plain crazy. Some animals just have to go(not extinct!).

oop

Has anyone had raw beef? I have had it and it actually tastes good. Besides that, I'm not about eating crazy things like dogs or cats or lions...(that really got me)
Shark sounds good though (I'm a sushi fan)

also

I think that what the national park is doing is right (except all the walking and stuff)
I like meat and will never be opposed to people killing animals, as long as you give back what you take, that's all!
like those peeps cutting the amazon back and not replanting, their jerks....

@Above

@Dessie: Well, I only just tried it recently, and had to get up my courage. They actually tasted pretty bland. I would rather eat it then some of those things you said!!!! XD Well about the goat cheese, we don't have it often, but we do sometimes, and it is just kinda a creamy cheese. I don't know...
@Aryelle: Wait you do know that eating raw meat is not good for you, right?

@Riley D

It depends on how it's made, if you eat some beef straight out of the container, then no, but if you prepare it in lemon juice and other acidic things, the acid kills most of the dangerous bacteria, and then you can eat it raw......
that's why most sushi is prepared with an acidic sauce or its a eat at your own risk.
I have eaten sushi since I had teeth and I'm still alive sooooo........
its ok

@Aryelle D

Hey, did you know Italians eat horse? I'd try that, actually...

@HESPERUS D

im sorry, I couldn't do it, I would be so sad eating the horse......

.

@David P
Well i'm not the 'Animal Rights Officer' so it doesn't matter if I object to it or not! XD I just wouldn't do it myself. Yes, some animals have to go sometimes. (Mosquitoes are tyrants!) But even when I kill them, they don't know if they're bothering me or not. (Although, even if they did, they'd probably still do it!) So I guess I'm crazy then! Don't worry, I know I'm crazy so even though I do think to preserve all life and so am dubbed as 'crazy', you didn't offend me at all! XD I don't like going hunting with my dad and brother a lot, but if its already dead, then I can't do anything about it and might as well eat it:)
I feel like this right now because I have a dying dog on my hands. He's got parvovirus.....Stayed up all last night to watch him. His life was worth that and more that I am doing, even if he does die. I'll know I tried, right?
@Aryelle
I eat sushi a lot too...homemade sushi with cooked meat! But I have had raw fish and raw moose.
@ Riley
I wouldn't worry about the taste...just knowing what I'm eating....
Bleh. I can't stand goat cheese. Oh yeah, and to reply to your question some time ago, I do eat raw whale (mucktuq) all the time!

@Desarose S

No, you're fine. Of course their is a big distinction when it comes to boys and girls and what they like to do, so that's okay. But I would love to go hunting! That sounds like a lot of fun especially fir your brother! And yes, I see why you wouldn't want to be the police officer to all the animals.

@Above

Cool, I have had sushi with cooked meat but I still prefer it raw. I think I might be able to have whale but I would still feel bad
@Everyone, has anyone had cow balls before?

oop

the "Above" was for Desarose
lol

@Above

I have never tried sushi, I don't think I would like it...
@Dessie: Yeah, I just had to push the thought out of my mind! XD That is cool!! Did you ever get to read "Julie of the Wolves"? That is why I asked that question because she lives in Alaska and eats it so since you live there that is why I asked! If you love dogs and wolves you would so love that book, and the other two that come after it!
@Aryelle: No what are they?

@Aryelle D

thats funny you are so particular on who you said the comment to.

@David P

I try to make sure that my comment is direct so no one gets offended
lol, that's all...
Oh and cow balls are a cows male part by the way

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