Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes

Off-Reservation Bison Hunt


Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Off-Reservation Wild Bison Hunting Regulations

Members may engage in wild bison hunting on open and unclaimed lands, and other lands as provided by agreement with the State of Montana, off of the Flathead Indian Reservation subject to the following conditions:

  1. Tribal Members eighteen (18) years of age or older may obtain an Off-Reservation Bison Permit and Tag, or both, from the Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation, and Conservation (unless otherwise restricted by special annual regulations set by the Tribal Council).

  2. A hunter must have his or her Tribal I.D. card and an Off-Reservation Bison permit and tag, or both, in his possession while hunting or while in possession of a bison or parts thereof. A hunter may have no more than one such permit or tag per bison in his possession unless so authorized by the Tribal Council.

  3. If a hunter desires to take more than one bison in a permit year, or a member younger than eighteen (18) years old wishes to obtain a permit and tag, he may present his or her request to the Tribal Council at a duly convened council meeting. The Tribal Council shall have the right and power to grant or deny such a request based upon cultural or religious practices or need. If such a request is granted the Tribal Council shall direct the Division to issue the permit and tag.

  4. The hunting of Bison is restricted by these regulations, annual harvest quotas and special annual regulations set by the Tribal Council.

  5. Bison hunting season is September 1st through the end of January of each winter season.

  6. The Off-Reservation Wild Bison hunt area is described as those open and unclaimed lands found within the described 2007 Montana Bison Hunt Legal Descriptions and respective map by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

  7. The Off-Reservation Bison hunt season/permits may be closed by Tribal Council action under emergency conditions which would cause unusual vulnerability and harvest of bison. Closures will be implemented within 48 hours of Tribal Council action and such closures shall be announced through the Tribal media venues. All permitted hunters are encouraged to call the Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation during normal business hours (phone# 883-2888 or 675-2700) to verify the status of the bison hunt season before the start of any hunting trip.

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  1. A Bison Permit is valid for one either sex bison per year and hunters are prohibited from transferring their permit to another person or using a permit issued to another person. Elders or handicapped persons who receive a permit may request, from the Division, authorization for a designated hunter, who is a Tribal Member, to hunt for them. If such authorization is granted to a designated hunter, then the valid permit is transferred to the designated hunter.

  2. A Off-Reservation Bison permit shall consist of two parts, as follows:

    1. A hunt reporting card. All permit holders are required to return the hunt report card information within 7 days of the date the animal is killed. Hunters who do not kill a bison are required to return the hunt report portion of the permit to be eligible to receive a permit for the next year. Information may be reported by phone, mail or in person to the Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation, and Conservation Office in Polson.

    2. A hunt tag. The tag must be notched for the day and date the bison was taken and must be so marked at the time of the kill. Permitted hunters must accompany the carcass during transportation unless otherwise authorized by Council. The tag must be attached to the animal once the animal is taken and must remain attached until processing of the animal has taken place.
    1. The only means of taking allowed are with a center-fire rifle with a 150 grain or larger bullet.

    2. Hunters are encouraged to read the information and recommendations handout given with the permit to better care for the meat and be informed on Brucellosis.

    NEW: There is a West Yellowstone fee for a permit for groomed snowmobile trails.

Gardiner Bison Hunt Restriction for 2021-22 Hunt Season


2018 to 2019 Season
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Gardiner Bison Hunt Restriction for 2021-22 Hunt Season

(Note: These Rules do not apply for hunting all of the Gardiner Basin, these rules Only apply for hunting within the Beattie Gulch Special Management Area)

Due to continued hunter and public safety concerns for hunter activity in Beattie Gulch, the MOU hunt agencies have agreed to manage their hunters to improve safety in the Beattie Gulch site with 5 hunters per agency each day or hunt period. Each participating government will be required to have a game warden present each day that they have their 5 hunters at the Beattie Gulch Special Permit Hunt Area and the warden will be acting as the lead person to direct their hunter's activity and to coordinate with the other wardens/tribal hunters each day they hunt.

The selection process for CSKT hunters to be authorized for the special management hunt area will be conducted as follows:

  • default_titleCSKT Hunters are Not allowed to hunt the Beattie Gulch area, unless a game warden is present. However, CSKT hunters are allowed to hunt in other areas within the Gardiner Basin without CSKT game wardens present.
  • default_titleAll CSKT hunters that have been issued their 2020-2021 Bison Permit will be eligible to apply for a Beattie Gulch Bison Hunt. If you are interested in signing up to hunt Beattie Gulch, contact the Permit office at (406)883-2888 ext. 7200. A drawing for the 5 hunters/day will be conducted on the first Thursday in November and names will be selected to fill designated hunt days. Hunt days can occur anytime bison are present in the Beattie Gulch area starting in November, until the end of our season, which ends January 31st.
  • default_titleDuring the hunt season, If selected hunters do not show up to the Beattie Gulch trail head parking area at 7 am on the day of their drawn hunt, the CSKT warden may select an alternate hunter from available hunters in the field that day. We will not hold your spot! The alternate hunters will be selected on site (Beattie Gulch Trailhead) on a first come basis, starting at 7 am the day of each scheduled hunt day by the CSKT warden on duty for the hunt.
  • default_titleCSKT hunters must sign up each year, if they are interested in hunting Beattie Gulch. They will be limited to one day each until all applicants have also drawn at least one day. Once all entered hunters have one draw, hunters would then be eligible for a second hunt authorization day with the same process as the first drawing. Hunters may also put in for a non-scheduled hunt day draw that would occur only when bison are known to be available to hunt in Beattie Gulch and there is a warden available for hunt day. On those days, five hunters would be drawn and contacted on the immediate availability of bison that day or for the next day as planned by the respective hunters.
  • default_titleIf the CSKT warden has to leave the special hunt area during an active hunt, all Beattie Gulch special hunt area hunters will receive general direction from other participating agency game wardens in the absence of the CSKT warden.
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National Park Service Regulations

With the opening of hunting seasons on lands surrounding Yellowstone National Park, hunters are reminded that hunting is not permitted within the park. Though most of the park boundary is well marked, it is the responsibility of the hunters to ensure they do not hunt within the park.

The Lacey Act and the Code of Federal Regulations strictly prohibit the killing or removal of any animal, living or dead, from inside Yellowstone. This includes animals shot legally outside the park that cross into and die within the park boundary. Taking and removing any animal parts, including shed antlers, is also prohibited.

Federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state and local laws, to legally possess and carry firearms in Yellowstone National Park, though discharge of firearms remains prohibited. The carry or use of other weapons such as bows, swords, and pellet or BB guns is prohibited. Additional details are available at

Continuing this year is a restriction on the transport of heads and spinal cords of deer, elk or moose that were taken in states known to have chronic wasting disease in wildlife. Complete details can be found on page 16 of the 2010 Superintendent’s Compendium, which is available at

Game animal carcasses or parts may be transported through Yellowstone by motor vehicle on park roads only if they are covered or stored out of sight, accompanied by a transport permit from the National Park Service, and are bearing a valid state tag as evidence that the animal was taken legally outside of the park.

Transport permits must be secured before entering the park and can be obtained at any park entrance station or by calling 307-344-7381 and arranging to meet with a park ranger.

Game animals cannot be transported on backcountry trails or stored overnight anywhere in the park, including campgrounds, parking lots or at concession facilities. Stock users are reminded that proof of a current, negative Coggins test is required for all horses and mules being transported into or through the park.

Visitors or hunters who observe illegal hunting activity within the park should call the Park Service tip line at 307-344-2132. In some cases a cash reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone illegally using firearms in the park or illegally killing or transporting wildlife in the park.