Game and Fish tweaks griz hunt regs after hearing feedback

WYOMING – Wyoming Game and Fish Department today released its revised grizzly bear hunting regulations proposed for this fall season. Two significant changes were direct results of feedback gathered during a mini-tour of the state at several public forums.

One updated regulation change reduces the quota of female grizzly bears allowed to be hunted from two to one.

“This is a further effort to ensure our first grizzly bear hunt in over 40 years is conservative,” said Brian Nesvik, chief game warden. “Additionally, the changed proposal reflects our work to address any concerns about the hunting allocation process between the states of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.”

The updated proposed regulation also clarifies the process to obtain a license if a hunter is placed on the grizzly bear license issuance list for hunt areas 1-6. Hunters who are high enough on the list will be required to submit payment for their license fee and proof of a hunter education certificate within 10 days of notification.

Additionally, the updated proposal establishes 10-day hunt periods for those hunting in areas 1-6.

According to the department, the draft quota inside the demographic monitoring area (DMA), which is the area experts deemed as suitable habitat, is 11 bears with a very conservative 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.

Input from the public last fall suggested this proposal 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.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will next meet in Lander on May 23 to discuss and vote on a potential grizzly bear hunting season. The meeting begins at 10am at The Inn in Lander in the Peaks Conference Center, 260 Grand View Drive. The public is invited to attend and provide in-person comment.

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