State-licensed hunters could take more bison migrating from Yellowstone National Park under a proposal that has cleared an initial hurdle with Montana wildlife commissioners.
Thursday's preliminary approval sets up a Feb. 13 final vote on the plan to increase quotas on future bison hunts and allow hunting in new areas.
Members of Indian tribes acting under treaty rights took the vast majority of the 744 bison shot by hunters over the last decade. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim says the agency wants more comparable opportunities for state-licensed hunters.
The maximum annual quota on Yellowstone bison would increase from 150 to 200 animals. Hunting would be newly allowed in areas south and west of Hebgen Lake.
The proposal is contingent on an environmental study now underway.