Wyoming releases proposals for grizzly hunts

Wyoming’s Game and Fish Commission has released its proposals for grizzly hunts next fall.  The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is meeting in Cody this week, and is listening to  outfitters, ranchers, and others who want to talk about the bears.

Wyoming probably has the most grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone area, and will probably take the most grizzlies in hunts, if the hunts happen next fall. 

But, the bears are coming out of hibernation right now, so volunteers are working with Wyoming’s Game and Fish Department, and BLM employees, to build an electric fence around Park County’s landfill..

Bear Wise Coordinator Dusty Lasseter said this was an important project in light of the upcoming grizzly hunting season.

Lasseter explained, “We didn’t want bears to be harvested off the landfill, but more importantly it was a human safety issue for us. We didn’t want bears to be conditioned to human foods and lose that natural fear and respect for people.”

Hunting groups gave money and labor to the effort.  One was a bear hunting group.

The President of the Western Bear Foundation , Joe Kondelis said, “It keeps bears on the landscape, less management actions by the department, more bears for the public to enjoy.”

And the public filled the place when the Game and Fish Commission hosted an open house in Cody Wednesday night after a long day of conducting business.

On Thursday, the  Commission will be discussing things like sage grouse on bird farms, and cutthroat trout. But, on Wednesday, there was so much discussion about bears and wolves, the meeting went long.

Park County Commissioner and outfitter Lee Livingston commented,  “People don’t want to live with bears, for the most part. Might be some that do.”

We asked Chief Game warden Brian Nesvik how many grizzlies might be taken in the state’s first grizzly hunt since the 70’s.

Nesvik explained,  “Inside of the demographic monitoring area, there’s no more than ten males and two females that can be taken inside of that area.”

But once two sows are killed, Nesvik said the hunt stops completely in the DMA.

But he said outside the DMA, “That is simply a twelve grizzly bear quota, and that is not related to gender.”

Nesvik said baiting will be allowed, in some cases, outside the DMA.

Grizzly populations and deaths are only counted inside the Demographic Monitoring Area. There will be a public hearing in Cody on the proposed hunting regulations April 10th.

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