BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana wildlife officials want to prohibit state hunters from shooting bison in an area bordering Yellowstone National Park where dozens of hunters can congregate for the chance at an easy kill.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said the area near Gardiner known as Beattie Gulch has become unsafe as hunter numbers increased.

The gulch is used by wild bison herds to migrate out of Yellowstone in winter in search of food at lower elevations in Montana. Hundreds of bison annually have been harvested there in recent years.

The proposal would close off the area to state hunters. It would not apply to hunters from American Indian tribes who journey to the Yellowstone-border to harvest bison under longstanding treaty rights.

A decision on the closure is expected next month.

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