State wildlife officials are proposing scaling back Montana’s hunt of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park, saying last year’s hunter success rate was low. “The first year, we had almost 100 percent success with plenty of bison out, but last year it was very different,” said Mel Frost, a spokeswoman for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Bozeman. “This is our response to try to mitigate for that.” Last year’s success rate for bison hunters was 22 percent, the agency said. The latest proposal would allow Montana to issue 40 bison licenses spread over three hunting periods from mid-November to mid-February. Up to 110 additional licenses could be issued if more bison wander out of the park and into hunting areas during that time. Last year, Fish, Wildlife and Parks issued 140 permits but only 31 were filled. The main reason was that few bison left the park during the hunt periods, mainly because of mild weather. Montana reinstituted its bison hunt in 2005-06 after a 15- year hiatus. That season, 50 tags were issued and hundreds of bison wandered out of Yellowstone. “This is a hunt of a migratory population,” Frost said. “We can’t predict the weather and can’t know when or if they’ll come out.” The new proposal would allow 15 eithersex licenses for bison in the Gardiner Basin for the three periods: Nov. 15 to Dec. 31; Jan. 1 to Jan. 22; and Jan. 23 to Feb.15. Around West Yellowstone, 25 either-sex licenses would be issued for the three periods. The proposal would allow additional cow-calf tags to be issued if 50 to 75 bison, depending on the time and area, are seen in the hunting districts during the periods. The department also is considering issuing two licenses in the Absaroka-Beartooth portion of one hunting district for Sept. 15 to Nov. 14. The proposal is an attempt to be more flexible and responsive to the bison’s movements, Frost said. The state wildlife commission is scheduled to discuss the proposal at its Aug. 2 meeting. Public comments are being accepted through July 16.