The National Park Service is seeking volunteers to kill bison on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Arizona Game and Fish and the NPS entered an agreement on Sept. 25, 2020 to reduce the number of bison on the North Rim. Because this herd does not have any predators in the area it is growing largely unchecked. NPS is concerned with the population and impacts on park resources such as water, vegetation, soils, and archeological sites.
Biologists estimate the current herd size between 400 and 600. They say that number could easily double within 10 years. The goal of this cull is to reduce the herd number to below 200.
"Selected, skilled volunteers will be able to take up to a single bison including head, hide, and meat in exchange for removing the carcass from the field," said Arizona Game and Fish Commission Chairman Kurt Davis. "The Game and Fish Department will provide the volunteer with the necessary permit to possess and transport the carcass from Grand Canyon National Park. There will be no waste of game meat, and no waste of tax dollars to contract for paid sharpshooters."
The online application opens May 3 at 12 a.m. MST and is open for 48 hours. AZGFD will run the lottery, but final selection will be dependent on meeting qualification criteria.
Volunteers must meet the following criteria: • Be a U.S. citizen 18 years of age or older • Pass a background check and have no criminal or wildlife violations • Self-certify a high level of physical fitness • Have firearm safety certification and pass marksmanship proficiency test • Provide their own equipment, firearm, lodging, food, and field dressing supplies • Be available for one of the assigned lethal removal periods for the full five days: Sept. 20-24, 2021; Sept. 27-Oct 1, 2021; Oct. 18-22, 2021; Oct. 25-29, 2021
The MeatEater crew and hunters across the nation appreciate seeing the National Park Service continue to employ ethical, public hunting as the proper tool for wildlife management.
For more information on the cull and volunteer requirements, check out the NPS website.