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Yellowstone Bison

Yellowstone Bison Killer: It Was Self-Defense

The resident was identified as firing 40 rounds from a .22 pistol into a group of bison making their way through Gardiner, a day after one died instantly, while another died the following day. A third bison died later in the Gardiner area, but it’s not certain whether the death was related to a gunshot wound (an examination of the corpse yielded no bullet wounds), so it is not part of the investigation by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

FWP is expected to deliver its report on Thursday to Park County Attorney Brett Linneweber, who will then determine whether it was a killing out of season or a justifiable killing in defense of life and property, an exception in the statutes. It will be an interesting decision for Linneweber: Park County Commissioners are on record as opposing the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) plan to allow bison grazing in the Gardiner Basin and have directed him to determing a legal strategy for oppposing it. Passions are running high in the Gardiner area over the IBMP grazing plan, so there will be an outcry no matter what Linneweber decides.

IBMP encompasses those entrusted with bison management in the region — the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Montana Department of Livestock and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks — as well as three other stakeholders: the InterTribal Buffalo Council, the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes and the Nez Perce Tribe.

RELATED STORIES: Two Roaming Yellowstone Bison Killed in Gardiner; Legal Challenges to Yellowstone Bison Accord Possible; Final IBMP Approval At Hand for New Yellowstone Bison-Management Plan; Montana, Feds Discussing New Bison Grazing Outside Yellowstone

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