Grizzly bears in Wyoming may soon be open to hunting, as the state aims to remove their Endangered Species Act protections. This could result in an increase in the number of bears targeted, as the population has spiked in recent years.
The proposed “Grizzly tag quota” would allow for a state-managed hunt of up to 10 females and 29 males in Wyoming’s portion of the tightly monitored “demographic monitoring area”. The estimated population of grizzlies in the area is 1,069, a count biologists say is more accurate due to changes in the method of counting grizzlies.
Previously, in 2018, Wyoming had a grizzly bear hunt cap of one female bear and 10 males within the DMA. But with the population increase, the state is proposing a higher number of bears that can be hunted.
The Grizzly tag quota could extend beyond the DMA. This will have an untold number of additional bears potentially being targeted outside the 19,278-square-mile area. Wyoming’s peripheral hunt could drive down the population of grizzlies outside the DMA. This is similar to the state’s two-tiered wolf management plan.
Grizzly Bear Permits
Despite concerns about the impact of hunting on grizzly populations. Officials argue that hunting is a necessary tool for population management. “To be responsible, we’d still have limits in place,” said Dan Thompson, who leads the large carnivore section of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
The grizzly tag quota may result in around 80 grizzlies being taken statewide. This is according to previous hunting plans that were halted by a federal injunction. However, it’s difficult to estimate how many grizzlies exist in areas outside the DMA.
Although some critics may argue against the hunting of grizzly bears. Supporters of grizzly hunting believe it’s an effective way to manage the population. Likewise, they believe it will prevent human-grizzly conflicts. With the population of grizzlies on the rise, this possible grizzly tag quota may be a necessary tool to ensure the survival of the species. Likewise, this hunting plan will protect human communities.