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AZGFD recommends amending spring bison hunts for 2020, 2021

Posted July 25, 2019


PHOENIX — To increase total harvest and improve hunter satisfaction, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is recommending the Commission amend the spring bison hunts for 2020 and 2021.

The Commission approved the 2020 and 2021 spring bison hunts and hunt permit-tag numbers in April 2019 as part of the two-year recommendation package. AZGFD, however, is concerned about the availability of bison during the approved seasons.

A total of 25 hunt permit-tags were issued for the year’s first House Rock herd hunt (April  5-June 2), yet hunters harvested only two bulls. A combination of late heavy snowfall that limited hunter access, and the fact that bison remained longer than usual on winter range inside Grand Canyon National Park, resulted in a significantly higher days-per-harvest ratio for this hunt than in past years.  

As a result, hunter satisfaction was low and resulted in several complaints received by AZGFD. 

AZGFD recommends amending Commission Order 8 by:

The recommendation is for an overall reduction of 22 permit-tags (14 bull, eight cow) each year, with the expectation that total harvest and hunt success will return to previous levels. The amendment only applies to the 2020 and 2021 spring hunts, and does not affect the 2019 or 2020 fall hunts.