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Bison hunt opens with judge's decision pending

By Associated Press
Published On: Nov 15 2012 08:22:55 AM MST
BISON 1
BILLINGS, Mont. -

Montana's eighth bison season is opening with a judge's decision pending on the animals' movements outside Yellowstone National Park.
    
The hunt opens Thursday as hunters wait to see whether winter weather will force portions of the 4,200-strong herd to leave the park for food.
    
Last year, hunters killed 11 bison. The Billings Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/Sss9ta ) incomplete reports from tribal hunters tallied seven bison killed.
    
Ranchers and farmers are suing to prevent the bison from roaming freely across 70,000 acres in the Gardiner basin. The state opened the land just north of the park last year to migration in an attempt to curb periodic slaughters of the animals to prevent the spread of disease to cattle.
    
Judge Wayne Phillips' decision is expected sometime in December.