Wyoming’s Game and Fish Department says more than 7000 people applied for 22 grizzly hunting licenses recently. Two people in Jackson were chosen in a lottery for the tags. They plan to hunt grizzlies with cameras instead.
The streets of downtown Jackson are crowded with tourists from all over the world. Some find their way down Cache street to the Mangelsen photography gallery. There, they’ll find wildlife prints that sell for thousands of dollars, each.
Mangelsen has been featured on a national news show. His pictures of bears, particularly bear number 399, are famous.
Mangelsen described the first time he saw her, “I hadn’t seen a grizzly bear in Teton Park for the first 30 years I lived here. And then one happened on my back deck.”
He applied for and got a Wyoming Grizzly hunting tag that he won’t use, so that he could prevent one hunt.
He remarked, “If somebody wants to see a bear hunt all you have to do is go to one of these sporting channels, or go to YouTube and watch. I saw this one bear that this guy shot that was hit five times. It rolled down the hill, blood across the snow, writhing in pain.”
Mangelsen said he’s not against hunting for food, but is against hunting grizzlies for a trophy…
He explained, “These are intelligent, emotional animals. They suffer just if you shot a dog, or even people”
Mangelsen drew grizzly hunting tag #8. Kelly Mayor, who also lives in Jackson, drew #2.
She said, “I plan to go out with a camera.”
Mayor joined a Jackson group called, “Shoot Em With A Camera”. Their goal is to limit, or even stop the upcoming hunts for grizzlies in Wyoming.
When asked what she thinks about grizzlies, Mayor commented, “I think they’re really beautiful. I think they bring a lot of tourists to our town.”
The Founder of the group, Lisa Robertson said, “So, as the wildlife watching sector on public lands increases, the hunting sector decreases.”
Committee member Ann Smith said she told Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, “One live grizzly brings about twelve million dollars into the state, and he agreed.”
But, she said Mead told her hunting big animals is the Wyoming culture.
The women say they’ve raised $42,000 online from people who support their anti-grizzly hunting stance. Mangelsen said he’s gotten a lot of support, too, but one man wrote online:
“They won’t find you, but they might find your camera, and they might find your body.”
The women said electronic signs against Wyoming’s planned grizzly hunt will start appearing across Wyoming and Montana. They are also supporting the groups that have filed lawsuit against the hunt, and plan to be in Missoula for the court hearing later this month.