CHEYENNE — In the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed rule for removing grizzly bears from the endangered species list in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, there is a requirement that the states put several hunting regulations in place before delisting will occur. To meet that requirement the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has put out a draft regulation to the public.
The draft regulations are another means to ensure the grizzly bear population in Wyoming remains recovered. If the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission institutes a hunting season for grizzly bears after delisting, the proposed regulations would set up several provisions. The most important provisions to ensure Wyoming complies with the delisting rule include:
- No person shall take any grizzly bear outside of established grizzly bear hunting seasons or hunt areas.
- No licensed hunter shall take any female grizzly bear with dependent young at side.
- Any hunting mortality that exceeds total mortality limits within the Demographic Monitoring Area in any calendar year shall be subtracted from the specific age/sex class’ total mortality limit within the DMA for the following year.
- Within 24 hours after taking a grizzly bear, the licensee shall report the taking of a grizzly bear by calling toll free 1-800-264-1280, and shall present the hide and skull to a Game and Fish Regional Office within five days for registration purposes.
- Any hunting season shall immediately close when specified harvest limits are reached.
Game and Fish will hold a series of public meetings around the state on this proposed regulation and take comments online or in writing. All interested parties are encouraged to attend one of these public meetings starting at 6 p.m. to discuss the proposed Grizzly Bear Management Regulation:
June 13 -Cheyenne, Game and Fish Office
June 14 -Jackson, Virginian Lodge
June 16 -Casper, Game and Fish Office
June 20- Lander, Game and Fish Office
June 21-Pinedale, Game and Fish Office
June 23-Cody, Bighorn Federal Bank
The public comment period ends June 29, 2016. Those interested can comment online or by mail.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will consider this regulation at its July meeting in Pinedale. This meeting is set for July 7-8.
“This is the next step in the process that will bring management of grizzly bears back to the state, which is something the people of Wyoming strongly support. We look forward to hearing from the public and thanking the state for its commitment to recovering this population,” said Brian Nesvik, Chief of the Wildlife Division for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
A consideration of if there will be hunting of grizzly bears will occur in Wyoming after bears are removed from the endangered species list and management is returned to the state.