Yukon Bison Hunt Rule Changes Announced
Bison hunters will find only a few rules changed for the 2010-11 season, Environment Minister John Edzerza announced.
"The Yukon government wants a healthy, viable herd that benefits all Yukoners while minimizing the impact of bison on other wildlife in its range," Edzerza said. "Through adaptive management, and by working closely with First Nations and stakeholders, we can respond quickly to any changes on the landscape or to the herd itself."
The annual allowable harvest has been set at 300 animals this season. The bison hunting workshop remains optional. There are two hunting areas only this season:
- * Bison Extended Season Area – hunting permitted Sept. 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011. This includes what was called the ‘exclusion area’ last year, along with a 1-km-wide strip west of the North Klondike Highway from Whitehorse to Braeburn and a 3-km-wide strip north of the Alaska Highway from Whitehorse to the Slims River Bridge.
- * Bison Management Area – hunting permitted from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, 2010 and Feb. 15 to March 31, 2011. This is the same area as last year and covers most of Game Management Zone 5, which includes the bison core range. There is now a six-week break mid-winter to give wildlife in the area a reprieve from noise and disturbance.
The bag limit remains one bison per hunter per year. Kill reports must be made to an Environment Yukon office within 72 hours of harvest.
Hunters should refer to the Yukon Hunting Regulations Summary 2010-11 for more information. The summary and detailed maps will be available shortly from any Environment Yukon office or from the Environment Yukon website. Videos on how to identify the sex of a wood bison and how to field dress a bison are also available online.
Environment Yukon relies on advice from the Bison Management Committee and the Bison Technical Committee when setting rules for the bison hunt. The technical committee has representatives from local First Nation governments, Renewable Resources Councils, the Government of Canada, and stakeholders such as the Yukon Fish and Game Association and the Yukon Outfitters Association. The management committee consists of various directors from Environment Yukon, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation.
Wood bison are still considered a threatened species in Canada. Thanks to recovery programs the Canada-wide population has climbed to about 3,000 animals in the wild today from just 300 in the early 1900s, with Yukon's herd numbering about 1150 animals.