Cheyenne – The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission set a conservative approach for Wyoming’s first grizzly bear hunting season since 1974. Grizzly bears in Wyoming have exceeded recovery criteria since 2004 and management of the bear was returned to the state last year.
The vote of the Commission was unanimous and followed the recommendation of Game and Fish personnel, the latest research, a three-state memorandum and thousands of public comments.
“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, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “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.
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.
The regulation clarifies the process to obtain a license if a