Over the century long history of the National Bison Range under management by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, staff have worked diligently to conserve American Bison and have focused on the genetic integrity of this herd. Cattle gene introgression has not been detected in the past decade. Annual bison capture operations help to continue the genetic record, assess herd health, and remove similarly related individuals to minimize inbreeding. The herd that resides on the Bison Range on the Flathead Indian Reservation is considered in the highest levels of genetic diversity. The health of the herd is assessed and monitored regularly, while attempting to maintain a sense of living in a natural setting.

To keep with these genetic objectives, an annual removal of some animals needs to occur. This is called a cull. Generally live, younger individuals are removed and sold or donated to other herds around the country. Some are used for food programs and some are to grow conservation herds which promote bison as wildlife and return them to areas where they once roamed.

In 2021, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are facilitating the bison cull with the assistance of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The process is a live animal sale. 27 individual bison will be removed from this population, with 5 being donating to a conservation herd and 22 being sold. The proceeds of the sale stay at the Bison Range and support the management of all wildlife and habitats within the fenced area. Please see the attached Bid Package for details. Sealed bids must be returned by September 28, 2021 and will be opened September 29, 2021.

2021 Surplus Bison
Sale reduction of bison herd in 2021 – 22 animals

Please Note: Bid packets are available for viewing and download on our website at http://csktnrd.org/wildlife, and can be requested to be received via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Thank you for your interest.


  1. Bidders may bid on one or any number of animals. No multiple choice bids will be accepted, bid only on the animals wanted. Bids will be considered in whole dollar amounts only (no cents). There is a minimum bid of $1,000.00/ bison.
  2. A 10% deposit is required with all bids. All deposit checks should be made payable to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, memo line: Bison Surplus Sale. Deposit checks will ONLY be returned to unsuccessful bidders. Successful bidders that decline will forfeit their deposit. Final payment for successful bidders may only be in the form of cashier’s check or money order; no cash or personal checks.
  3. No bids will be accepted by phone or after closing date.
  4. Bison from the Bison Range are wild animals. As with all federal and state agencies managing wildlife; the CSKT makes no certification as to the suitably for human consumption. Meat inspection is responsibility of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and can be arranged independently through cooperating slaughter establishments.
  5. The Bison Range is following a herd-health monitoring program for bison. This program is designed to assess the presence and prevalence of diseases in the population as a whole, and not to determine presence or absence of disease in individual animals. This program is part of an adaptive management process and emphasis varies according to current and local wildlife threats and/or needs for early detection and rapid response of wildlife diseases. Some agents of diseases such as Malignant Catarrhal Fever (MCF), Johne’s disease (M. paratuberculosis), and Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD), have been detected at very low levels.
  6. The Bison Range bison come from outside the designated Brucellosis Surveillance Area in Montana.
  7. The CSKT Bison Range provides an on-site veterinarian to conduct veterinary inspections and other necessary testing. The Bison Range will permit brucellosis and tuberculosis testing of bison leaving the range to meet animal health requirements of a recipient state. This must be arranged by the buyer with our on-site veterinarian. The Bison Range will provide holding facilities, feed and water for the 3 days required for tuberculosis testing. Costs incurred for these tests, a certificate of veterinary inspection, and any additional testing required by receiving states, are the responsibility of the buyer. Successful bidders are responsible for determining the testing requirements for their state and coordinating such testing with the refuge FWS Biologist Amy Lisk (406) 644-2211 ext. 217, or CSKT Biologist Shannon Clairmont (406) 675-2700 ext. 7242 by September 30, 2021.
  8. Selection of animals for this sale is predetermined by the FWS Regional Wildlife Health Office. Sale animals are identified and herded into sale pens during our annual bison capture operation. This will occur on October 4-6 between 8:30 and 4:30 pm and is not open to public viewing in 2021. Reasonable effort will be made to deliver normal and apparently healthy animals.
  9. All animals will be delivered to buyer’s trucks between the dates of October 7-12, 2021. Exact date and time for pick up is scheduled by the refuge biologist and varies according to number purchased by buyer and timelines for required health tests. Out of state buyers schedule will be dependent on recipient state regulations and should be planned for in advance.
  10. Successful bidders will be notified by phone before end of business on September 30, 2021.
  11. An appropriate “Bill of Sale” will be given to each buyer. Bison are sold, AS IS, NO WARRANTY.
  12. Hauling equipment must be sturdy, well ventilated and covered with solid paneling to prevent bison from seeing outside the trailer. Bison settle down quicker when outside visual stimuli are eliminated. It is recommended that buyers plan on hauling two-year old bulls separately from females. Light pickup stock-racks or small trailers are not sturdy enough for any animal over a yearling and will not be loaded. Any failure to load an animal due to equipment failure, or inadequate equipment, will result in the delivery of the bison being rescheduled to a later date to ensure adequate equipment is sourced. Cost incurred due to any delayed delivery of bison, for any reason, are the responsibility of the buyer.
  13. All trucks and trailers must be thoroughly cleaned prior to entry into the Bison Range located at 58355 Bison Range Road, Moiese, MT. Buyers must check in at the Visitor Center upon arrival. Equipment will be inspected and sprayed with a disinfectant before being directed to the loading station. Vehicles with unclean beds will not be loaded and directed to the nearest wash station.

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