Grizzly bears are probably the baddest of the bears, at least in most of North America. While they’re often not what some people like to think, they’re still fairly aggressive, especially when compared to black bears, and will definitely put a hurting on your weekend plans if you screw around with them. However, they’ve also been a threatened species for some time.
However, the population of grizzly bears has been rebounding. It’s rebounding so well that Wyoming will host the first legal grizzly hunt since 1975.
After exceeding recovery expectations while protected by the Endangered Species Act, U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials in Wyoming approved the first grizzly bear hunt to take place in the lower 48 states since 1975.
WGFD has been floating the idea around for several months, and has even hosted a number of public meetings across the state to give folks an opportunity for their opinions to be heard on the proposed 2018 Wyoming grizzly bear hunt.
In the end, the commission unanimously voted 7-0, re-wrote and implemented a final set of regulations, and approved the grizzly bear hunt for this fall.
WGFD highlighted a number of things hunters need to know about the hunt:
- The Department shall generate grizzly bear license issuance lists for hunt areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Separate license issuance lists shall be generated based on the residency of applicants for a grizzly bear license. A computer random number selection shall be utilized to determine name placement on the grizzly bear license issuance lists. When a hunting opportunity exists for hunt areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, licenses shall be issued to individuals on the license issuance lists for a specified ten (10) day hunting period as designated and at the direction of the Department. The Department shall issue at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the available licenses to residents prior to issuing a nonresident license. Licenses shall be issued until mortality limits are reached or until the close of the season.
- The application period for the grizzly bear license issuance lists and limited quota drawing shall be July 2, 2018 through July 16, 2018. Completed applications shall only be submitted through the Department Electronic Licensing Service.
- After the drawings for the grizzly bear license issuance lists are completed, the Department shall contact applicants in the order of their ranking on the lists and advise them of the possible opportunity to hunt grizzly bears. The Department shall continue to contact applicants on the lists until ten (10) applicants accept the possible opportunity to hunt grizzly bears.
- Applicants on the grizzly bear license issuance list who are offered and accept an opportunity to participate in the grizzly bear hunt shall be advised of a specified ten (10) day hunting period during which their license shall be valid. Licenses to hunt grizzly bears in hunt areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 shall be valid for a single ten (10) day hunt period as specified by the Department and shall not be subject to renewal or hunt period extension.
These are just a few of the listed regulations on the WGFD website, so please take the time to read through all of them at your convenience.
For hunters, this is good news.
Contrary to what animal rights activists like to think, this is good news for the grizzly bear as well. Hunters are typically conservationists. While they like to eat what they kill, as a general rule, they also want to hunt these species for ages to come. They want these populations to be large and healthy, but not so large they endanger humans.
It sounds like the grizzly population is doing well and, in time, will do even better.