JACKSON HOLE, WYO – A draft of a new regulation for a grizzly bear hunting season this fall calls for a quota of 12 bears (10 boars, 2 sows) within the demographic monitoring area (DMA), comprised mainly of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem experts deemed as suitable habitat. Another 12 bears of any sex (though authorities would urge hunters to take males) could be harvested in Wyoming outside the DMA.
It will be the first hunt of grizzlies since the 1970s. The cost of grizzly bear licenses is set by state statute at $600 for residents, $6,000 for nonresidents. The season inside the DMA would run Sept. 15 through Nov.15. For the rest of the state it would be Sept. 1 through Nov. 15.
According to Game and Fish authorities, allowable mortality limits are developed using a pre-set formula outlined in a cooperative agreement between the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Montana chose not to pursue a grizzly hunt in 2018. Idaho has not declared whether it will allow grizzly bear hunting this year.
“This draft was shaped by public input we received this fall and winter and the best available science. It contains proposed regulations that would ensure Wyoming will meet its commitment to manage for a healthy and viable population of grizzly bears inside the demographic monitoring area in northwest Wyoming,” said Brian Nesvik, Wyoming Game and Fish Department chief game warden and chief of the wildlife division. “We believe this proposal reflects the public support for using hunting as a component of grizzly bear management and has many provisions that will recognize this opportunity and keep the grizzly bear population recovered for generations to come.”
A public comment period on the new draft is now underway. Input already suggested this winter from the public and incorporated in the current proposal includes 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 comment period will also include a number of public meetings across the state and a final recommendation will be presented to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission at a public meeting on May 23, 2018 in Lander.
Comments are being taken through the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website where all meetings and hunting season and regulation proposals are also posted. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. April 30, 2018.
Read the full WGFD Grizzly Bear Hunt draft.