Wyoming recently announced the state is proposing a hunt for as many as 23 grizzly bears this year – a very disappointing development, particularly in light of Montana’s recent decision not to hunt bears.
We don’t like this development for two reasons. First, we oppose trophy hunting of grizzly bears, and we’ve continued to ask for – at minimum – a five-year moratorium on hunting. Second, these numbers are far too high for a grizzly bear population that’s suffered record numbers of bear deaths in recent years, even while they were protected under the Endangered Species Act. What’s killing bears are run-ins with hunters, cows, hikers, and campers. And GYC is fully committed to funding and implementing projects that prevent bear deaths and brings down the numbers of conflicts.
That’s why it’s so disappointing to us that Wyoming would suggest a take of 23 bears this year. More specifically, they’ll allow 10 male bears and two females to be killed inside what’s called the Demographic Monitoring Area, which represents the some of the best available grizzly habitat in Greater Yellowstone.
The proposed hunt numbers are the maximum the state could possibly have proposed under a tri-state agreement between Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. This is reckless, and the very opposite of cautious or conservative.
Wyoming is at least recognizing the value of grizzly bears around Grand Teton National Park by proposing a no-hunting buffer zone on the east side of the park. While we appreciate this measure, we find the proposal as a whole unacceptable.
Here’s where you can help. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is taking your public comment on the grizzly bear hunting proposal through April 30. Join us in telling the commission that this plan is unacceptable.
Thank you for speaking out today. Your support is invaluable as we continue to hold the states accountable in doing what’s right for Yellowstone’s grizzly bears.
-- Chris Colligan, Wildlife Program Coordinator