FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The cool summer weather and early fall snow may have been a bummer for farmers in Delta Junction, but so far it seems to have been a boon for this year's crop of bison hunters.
The Delta bison hunt, the state's most sought-after drawing-permit hunt, opened Oct. 1 and hunters already have killed 33 bison, according to area management biologist Steve DuBois at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Delta Junction. The hunt closes March 31.
''There was a lot of hay that was left out this year and that's what bison are hitting pretty hard,'' DuBois said. ''They've been pretty accessible.''
The state controls the size of the Delta bison herd -- which numbered 453 prior to this year's hunt -- through a lottery hunt each year.
The state issued 100 permits for the hunt this year and DuBois said about two-thirds of the permit holders have gone through the necessary orientation class.
The rest of the permit holders likely will qualify for the hunt in the next few weeks, he said.
Last year's Delta bison hunt was one of the most unsuccessful on record. Hunters killed only 65 bison, even though the season was extended for two weeks in an effort to reach the harvest objective of 75 animals.
The 65 percent success rate was one of the lowest since the bison hunt began in 1950, said DuBois.
''We're ahead of last year,'' he said.
(Distributed by The Associated Press)
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