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Public comment period starts for Wyoming grizzly bear hunting season

Cheyenne – A draft of a new regulation is out for public comment. The regulation is for grizzly bear hunting seasons and adds to an existing regulation that was passed in 2017 to establish grizzly bear management regulations. 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.

The Commission directed the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to draft this regulation after a series of public meetings this fall and winter when people had the chance to talk about all components of Wyoming’s Grizzly Bear Management Plan, which includes research, education, population monitoring, conflict management and hunting.

The new draft regulation is available for review online now and comments can be submitted at meetings, online or by mail at:

Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Hunting Season/Regulation Comments
3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY 82604

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.

“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 the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s 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.” He added that management for the other three large carnivores in Wyoming (mountain lions, gray wolves and black bears) contains an element of hunting.

The draft quota inside the demographic monitoring area, which is the area experts deemed as suitable habitat is 12 bears with a very conservative 2 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. Input the public suggested this winter in this 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 cost of grizzly bear licenses was previously set in law by the Wyoming Legislature.

View meeting locations, times, and dates https://wgfd.wyo.gov/News/Public-comment-period-starts-for-draft-grizzly-bea.