Wyoming opens grizzly bear hunting: Wyoming Greenlights Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt

ArmyGrunt

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https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5b05a514e4b07c4ea1045677/amp

The Yellowstone grizzly was removed from the Endangered Species List last year.

Wyoming officials have approved the state’s first grizzly bear hunt in more than 40 years, allowing for up to 23 bears to be killed this fall.

The unanimous vote by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission came less than a year after the grizzly bear population in and around Yellowstone National Park lost federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The hunting season is slated to open in September. One permitted hunter at a time will be allowed to harvest a total of up to 11 bears, including one female, in a core grizzly habitat outside Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks known as the Demographic Monitoring Area. Another 12 bears, either male or female, can be harvested outside that core habitat area.

Dan Thompson, manager of large carnivores for the state wildlife department, said during a presentation Wednesday that the management
proposal is “conservative” and based on years of scientific study of the Yellowstone population.

“Hunting is another management tool within the suite of options that we currently have for the future conservation of grizzly bears,” he said, adding that the proposed hunt is “not going to negatively impact the overall population of grizzly bears.”

There was very little discussion among the commissioners ahead of the vote.

“While we don’t always agree on everything, I think we can agree the grizzly bear is a wonderful animal and we are very fortunate to have him in the state,” said commissioner Peter Dube.

In June of last year, more than four decades after the species was listed as endangered, federal authorities announced that Yellowstone grizzlies had recovered to the point that they no longer required federal protection. The Interior Department estimates the population to be around 700 bears ― up from as few as 136 in 1975 ― and has said multiple factors indicate it “is healthy and will be sustained into the future.”

“This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of the state, tribal, federal and private partners,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said at the time.

More than a dozen Native American tribes and activists sued the federal government in late June, arguing that lifting endangered species protections would violate tribal religious beliefs. The Northern Cheyenne Tribe and several conservation nonprofits, including the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, filed a separate complaint in August in an effort to restore ESA protections for the bears.

Grizzlies inside Yellowstone remain protected. As soon as they leave the park area, though, they are under the jurisdiction of the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Montana opted to forego a grizzly hunting season in February, citing ongoing litigation and other risks. Meanwhile, Idaho voted to allow one hunter to harvest a single bear this fall.

Bonnie Rice of the Sierra Club was among those who urged the Wyoming commissioners not to approve the hunt.

“Grizzly bears are the essence of wildness and they’re the soul of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem,” she said.

But Charles Price, a rancher and former member of the commission, said, “If we want [grizzly bears] to be biologically and socially acceptable to the people of Wyoming, then we must manage them.”

Although the Yellowstone population has bounced back, conservationists worry about the threat of climate change and say sport hunting could severely impact the long-term survival of the species. Grizzlies have an extremely slow reproduction rate. Additionally, the seeds of white bark pine, a high-elevation tree that has been severely impacted by disease, insects and climate change, are an important food source for Yellowstone grizzlies.

Wyoming “ignored concerns raised by Wyoming residents and national park supporters across the country by approving its destructive grizzly hunting plan,” according to Bart Melton, the Northern Rockies regional director for the National Parks Conservation Association.

“This hunt follows a flawed removal of federal protections for the great bears that we fear will result in fewer bear sightings by visitors and increased risk for future of this species that was not so long ago at the brink of extinction,” he said in a statement following Wednesday’s vote.

This story has been updated with additional comments from the meeting and reaction to the vote.
 
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lil 2 sleepy

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It is a necessary thing to balance populations in WY. I will be applying
 

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That must be a hell of a Grizzly population to allow 23 bears in one season.
 

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That must be a hell of a Grizzly population to allow 23 bears in one season.
The article says numbers are around 700, up from about 136 in the 70s, if I remember right
 

tigris115

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I mean the hopeful consequence is that more landowners let grizzlies onto their land and we can have an actual population in the lower 48 like with elk and bison.
 

wysongdog

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It’s about time. Drawing one of these tags will be like winning the lottery for most of us who have hunted with these animals. They have no fear of man right now. It’s no exaggeration when we say a rifle shot is the dinner bell ringing for them and the damn bears come a running.
 

lil 2 sleepy

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Is there any word on when the application process is? I buy preference points for everything else in Wyoming, but don’t see anything on when.
 

ack

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They want six grand for non res tag..Then if you need to hunt wilderness area YOU WILL HAVE TO HIRE AN OUTFITTER for non residents....Could cost you another 15 to 20 grand...Go to Yukon or Alaska for grizz for same or less..To show how times have changed..In 1978 I got 60" moose and nice silvertip grizz on 18 day hunt..Total-$4500..Should have done two I guess,lol.
 

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It’s about time. Drawing one of these tags will be like winning the lottery for most of us who have hunted with these animals. They have no fear of man right now. It’s no exaggeration when we say a rifle shot is the dinner bell ringing for them and the damn bears come a running.
I was reading about a grizzly attack that just happened in Montana. A popular opinion is just what you stated above, no fear of humans by these bears.
 

LivingTheDream

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Yeah the 6k license is a bit of a bummer. Odds probably won't be too bad if they make you front the license costs. But you are right probably looking at 15 to 20k all in. Glad to see this and nice to see a new opportunity for hunters.
 

Bullthrower338

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Plenty of land in Wy that isn’t wilderness. I would bet a years wages that there are plenty of ranchers that would be happy to have a hunter remove one off their place. Hope Montana follows suit soon.
 

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This is great news. A good friend and client of mine is a game warden in Wyo, they’ve had tons of probs with too many grizzlies the last few years. Wolves are a problem too. They’re still trying to get that reopened.
 

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This is great news. A good friend and client of mine is a game warden in Wyo, they’ve had tons of probs with too many grizzlies the last few years. Wolves are a problem too. They’re still trying to get that reopened.
We can shoot 5 wolves in MT. Wyoming was to radical to quick on wolf hunting and their plan got shot down by the feds. The griz are out of control in MT, WY and ID. I was a junior in high school the last time I applied for a griz tag in MT, it’s about time to open it back up!
 

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Thanks for sharing. It is an amazing comeback for the grizzlies!
 

ack

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They will limit one hunter to an area at a time I read yesterday..I lived in Wyo 16 years and saw one..It was across from Beartooth Lake and running like hell...No way to outrun one of those heathens ~
 

ack

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Plenty of land in Wy that isn’t wilderness. I would bet a years wages that there are plenty of ranchers that would be happy to have a hunter remove one off their place. Hope Montana follows suit soon.
Grizz are not everywhere though..Mostly around Yellowstone region and wilderness areas and start pretty close to trailheads..
 

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The hunting season is from Oct. 15 to November 15. There are 7 hunting areas. Area 1-6 has a quota of 10 bears. If one female is shot, Hunting in Area 1-6 is over. Area 7 is out of core grizzly bear habitat. It has a quota of 12 bears. A good amount of conflict happens here. Bait is only allowed in Area 7. Hunting is still illegal in National parks in monuments. Hunting in popular wildlife viewing locations in prohibited.
 

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