A privately funded nonprofit that manages a nature reserve in northeast Montana is offering bison harvest opportunities for the fourth time.
American Prairie Reserve will offer 26 chances to hunt bison through an online drawing, the most they’ve offered since they started their annual bison harvest in 2018.
Seven will go to local residents near Fort Belknap and Malta, five total to members of the Fort Peck, Rocky Boy’s and Fort Belknap tribes, eight to Montana residents, two to anyone worldwide, while four will be donated to local charities. Last year, these groups included The Wounded Warrior Project and the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Malta.
George Horse Capture Jr., the director of tourism for Aaniiih Nakoda Tours on the Fort Belknap Reservation, says these hunts are an effective way to practice bison management.
"Since we’re lacking of some of the major predators that buffalo are more familiar with from their ancestors’ days, sometimes as humans, we take that role of being a predator. And, you know, management is very, very important, and I know it brings me comfort to know it’s still going on," said Horse Capture Jr.
Last year, more than 2,500 people entered for 16 slots.
Those interested must enter before June 30. Winners will be announced on July 10 and are required to pay a $300 fee. The proceeds will go to maintaining the reserve. The entry form and rules are online at americanprairie.org/bison-harvest .