- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana Native American tribes would be able to resume licensed bison hunts near Yellowstone National Park under a measure given initial approval by the state House.

The House voted 65-35 Monday to grant eight tribes two state licenses each. Those hunts are separate from the unregulated hunts by four tribes that have treaty rights to take bison near the park.

Since November, state hunters have killed 34 bison and treaty tribes 139.

The bison killed in the licensed hunts are to be used in ceremonies, such as the sun dance and the medicine pipe dance. The Legislature originally passed a bill allowing the tribal licenses in 2005; that measure expired in 2015.

The bill is up for a final vote Tuesday before it goes to the Senate.

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