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In a major win for hunters, an appeals court upheld the use of motor vehicles to retrieve bison and elk in a national forest in Arizona on Wednesday after three years of legal wrangling.
The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dealt with a rule instituted back in 2016 and is, according to The Arizona Republic, “the latest development in a debate that pitted state and federal officials against environmentalists over how to cull oversized herds of bison that roam areas of the forest near Grand Canyon National Park.”
Rule - Hunters - Motor - Vehicles - Bison
The rule would allow hunters to use motor vehicles to retrieve bison or elk in Kaibab National Forest in northern Arizona if the dead animal was less than a mile away from a road.
Hunters will be able to use only one vehicle and can do so only during hunting season.
Republic - Arizona - Attorney - General - Mark
The Republic reported Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement that “the size of mature bull elk and mature bull bison can be as much as 1,200 pounds and 2,500 pounds, respectively, making it difficult for hunters to remove the animal without the help of a motorized vehicle.”
Brnovich “said leaving any edible portion of a hunted animal in the field to waste is unethical and illegal,” according to the report.
Ability - Elk - Bison - Hunters - Animals
“Preserving the ability of elk and bison hunters to retrieve their animals is a win for conservation and a win for common sense,” he said in the statement.
James Zieler, Arizona Game and Fish Commission chairman, said, “The state entered this lawsuit to protect its sovereign authority to regulate, manage and conserve wildlife in Arizona. This ruling ensures that our hunters will continue to retrieve their lawfully harvested animals to feed their families.”
Hunters - Groups - Decision
Hunters groups lauded the decision as well.
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