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Ada County hunter draws first Idaho grizzly bear tag

An Ada County resident was drawn for the Idaho grizzly bear hunt and has been notified by Idaho Fish and Game, which by law can’t disclose the name of the hunter.

There were 1,272 people who applied for the single grizzly bear tag, which was open only to Idaho residents. It will be used in a portion of Eastern Idaho, and the hunt is scheduled for Sept. 1 through Nov. 15, however, there is a chance the hunt may not happen due to pending litigation in federal court.

All unsuccessful hunters who applied for the grizzly bear tag will receive their tag fee refunds by Aug. 20. Only the tag fee will be refunded. A refund will not be issued for hunting licenses, application or convenience fees.

The grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has recovered since being listed as endangered in the 1970s, and the population has met federal recovery criteria since the early 2000s.

In 2017 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed Greater Yellowstone grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act list. The conservation strategy for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly population, which includes Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, includes hunting as a management tool when the population is more than 600 bears.

The 2017 population estimate is 718 grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone “demographic monitoring area” (DMA), which encompasses suitable grizzly habitat in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. The DMA includes all of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, but no hunting will occur in either national park.

The grizzly population in the DMA has been stable over the last decade with annual population estimates in the monitoring area ranging between 694 and 757 grizzlies.

The following rules apply for the 2018 grizzly bear hunt:

• Bag Limit: One grizzly bear, except, no female grizzly bear accompanied by young may be taken, and no young grizzly bear(s) accompanied by adult grizzly bear(s) may be taken.

• Dogs: Use of dogs to attract or pursue grizzly bears is prohibited.

• Bait: Hunting grizzly bears over bait is illegal.

• Electronic Calls: It is unlawful to use electronic calls to attract grizzly bears for the purpose of harvest.