Bison population numbers on this unit are managed by sport harvest. This once in a lifetime permit provides a unique opportunity for sportsmen to take a bison in a truly wild situation. Hunting permits are set to maintain the population at or below the current population objective and sex ratio, in a combination of hunter choice, or cow-only permits. The first bison hunt on the Henry Mountains was held in 1950, when 10 permits were issued, and 6 bulls and 4 cows were harvested. Hunting resumed in 1960, and permits have issued every year since, with the exception of 1965, 1972 and 1973. Due to difficulties in sex determination, the permit was officially designated as Hunters Choice in 1974. The first cow-only permits were issued in 1988, and an orientation course is offered each year to teach permit holders how to properly distinguish cows from bulls. Non-resident permits, based on 10% of total permits, were first offered in 1978. Conservation permits, which are sold at an auction to the highest bidder, or by conservation groups at annual banquets, were first offered in 1982.

There have been over 1800 bison hunters afield from the first hunt in 1950 through 2005. Hunter choice permits have ranged from 9 in 1975, to 68 in 1991. The average number of hunter choice permits has been 26. There have been 564 cow-only hunters afield. Permit numbers have ranged from 0 in 1992, 1993 and 1996, to 129 in 1990. The average number of cow-only hunters has been 38. A total of 55 conservation permits 9 have been issued. Hunters have harvested 1611 bison, comprised of 890 bulls and 721 cows. The average annual harvest has been 21 bulls and 34 cows. Overall, hunter success has been 87%, while it has been 93% for hunter choice permits, and 77% for cow-only permits.

There continues to be a high demand for these unique permits. In 2005, 4336 residents applied for 19 permits, and 601 non-residents put in for 3 permits (Crump 2005). Overall odds of obtaining a permits was greater than 200 to 1. Of course, these odds are affected by the number of bonus points the applicant has, making odds less for some, and greater for others. The number of total applicants for bison permits on the Henry Mountains has increased by 461 since 2001.

This information has been retrieved from a 2007 report found here: