Grizzly Bear Hunting Proposal Open For Public Comment

Mar 13, 2018

Credit Charles Preston

A proposal for a historic grizzly bear hunt this fall has been released to the public. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department drafted it after a series of public meetings where, according to the agency, the majority of Wyomingites expressed support for a potential hunt. It would be the first hunt since 1975 when the bears were placed on the Endangered Species List.

According to the draft, up to 24 bears will be up for grabs between September 15 and November 15. Twelve of these bears can only be killed in what is known as the Demographic Monitoring Area (DMA), a part of northwest Wyoming considered suitable bear habitat. If two females are killed in this area, the hunt will automatically be over.

Renny MacKay, the Communications Director for Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said the regulation includes mandatory education for grizzly bear hunters and excludes areas where wildlife viewing is important, like around Jackson. The department is also trying to focus the quotas and harvest towards those areas where there is currently a high human, wildlife conflict.

“Those are all things that Game and Fish really heard from the public,” said Mackay. “From those people who supported hunting and also those people who had concerns about hunting wanted to see those regulations reflect some of things they had so they could potentially support hunting or at least reflect some of their concerns.”

Out of the potential 24 grizzly bear licenses, six will go to nonresidents of Wyoming. Public comment on the regulation is now open and a list of public meetings can be found at the department’s website. A final decision will be made on May 23.