The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission voted unanimously to institute Wyoming’s first grizzly hunt since 1974. The vote falls in line with a recommendation from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), the latest research and a three-state memorandum in addition to thousands of comments.
Parts of this approved plan that were based on public input include: mandatory education for grizzly bear hunters, hunt areas and regulations to direct harvest to areas with higher potential for grizzly bear/human conflicts, a closed portion of a hunt area next to Grand Teton National Park to support the wildlife viewing tourism economy and a prohibition against hunting grizzly bears near highways.
“I want to thank all of the people who came to today’s meeting to participate in the process. Additionally, thousands of people commented online and truly made this regulation a better regulation,” said Scott Talbott, WGFD director. “Many, many people have been part of this process since last fall in helping to set a direction for all grizzly bear management, from education, conflict reduction to hunting. Wyoming is committed to ensuring a recovered population to provide opportunity for anyone who is interested in grizzly bears and this decision is part of our management.”
The draft quota inside the demographic monitoring area, which is the area experts deemed as suitable habitat is 11 bears with a very conservative one bear female sub-quota. Allowable mortality limits are developed using a pre-set formula outlined in a cooperative agreement between the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
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(Photo source: Wyoming Game and Fish Department)