Home / General / Will Western States Finally Manage Grizzly Bears?

Will Western States Finally Manage Grizzly Bears?

The next predator battle is here and it’s not going to take long for this one to heat up.  Grizzly bears have recovered in Yellowstone according the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and have healthy populations from Northern Idaho all the way to the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Montana is even taking the next step and has a management plan approved for the southwest portion of the state. News of other states gaining approval for their management plans will happen in the near future.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 11.34.38 AM Other areas are subject to localized rumors of grizzly bear populations without public documentation from biologists. As is the case with wolves, where there is smoke, there is fire. Announcements of growing populations coinciding the rumors will happen over time.

So where does that leave us as hunters? Every serious big game hunter would love to have a grizzly bear rug in the house and if it comes from their own backyard- even better! However, seasons likely won’t happen soon if we follow the same playbook we used to de-list and establish wolf-hunting seasons. This fight has the potential to be just as messy as the wolf battle and for good reason. Grizzly bears are slower to repopulate and are considered a success of the Endangered Species Act.

The real question to ask is “Are grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem really endangered now?”  That is where the battle lines will be drawn and every available resource will be spent to prove one side or the other right. If the 2007 attempt at delisting is any indication, plan on learning anything and everything that is important to bears.  That attempt at delisting brought about a study of white bark pine nuts and how dependent grizzly bears are on them as a food source.

The bottom line is that the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee has recommended grizzly bears be removed from the Endangered Species List. How long it will take for this to materialize and hunting seasons to be implemented is another question entirely!




About Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief

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Following in the footsteps of his father, Guy has taken up the reins and is now at the helm of the Eastmans’ Hunting Journal and the Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal. A fine hunter in his own right, Guy has taken several trophy animals and has become an expert in trophy hunting as well.

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  1. great more stuff to kill

  2. This guy thinks he needs a beat rug to be a man! Haha your such a loser, when does the open season on sickles mess begin!!! Hunt to eat you ducking idiot!!!

  3. Dear Bent,

    I would very much appreciate it if you would keep your ignorant comments to yourself. If you do not have anything to add to the post you should try and keep your diarrhea in your mouth.

    You are a coward. I know this because you hide behind a screen name and try to get a rise out of anybody that will read your comment. I have had it with cowards like you polluting the internet.

    If you knew anything about the subject you would understand that having a bear rug, especially a griz rug, has nothing to do with being a man. A griz can shed you to pieces in seconds and to overcome the remarkable senses an animal like this would be a great accomplishment. Guy is one hundred times the man you could ever think about being.

    Hunting is much more than sport. To think so is a massive disrespect to hunters and the animals they pursue. Hunting is conservation and wildlife belong to every one of us. This article is about science based regulation to ensure the health of every animal in the western ecosystem.

    You have obviously missed that point so I spelled it out very plainly for you. Again I would greatly appreciate it if you could keep ignorant comments to yourself. Nobody likes this. I will proudly put my real name on this. If you have a problem with my comments please come find me and we can settle it.

  4. It will be a exciting challenge and adventure to be able to stalk a grizzly with archery equipment.

  5. dear dopey trolls,

    conscientious trophy hunters always use the meat and if not for themselves (because their freezer is already full or cannot reasonably expect to get it home without spoilage), donate it to a local organization that can. sorry if you’re vegan i know that may not mean anything to you. Many foodbanks and shelters in Montana receive donations of protein from hunters during hunting seasons. Poachers most often kill for hides and horns…although sometimes they’ll use the meat…but usually waste more than they take. Guy is certainly a respected trophy hunter in every sense of the definition. If you took the time to study up on it and read a bit, you’d know that the vast majority of successful wildlife management and preservation in this country has been done by hunting and fishing organizations.

    Left to mindnumbed robots, wildlife would over populate and die from disease (now that’s humane)…eventually disappearing from most everywhere accept the feeble examples penned up in zoos.

    So fill your piehole with tofu to protect us from your shrill whine.

  6. Well, I seriously doubt that the Grizzly will be de-listed even though it’s “recovered”. Recovered from what? I used to hunt Grand Teton park. I say USED to, because all you see there now and for the last 15+ years is Grizzly and Wolf tracks. Elk, Moose and Deer are scarce, due to all the predators in western Wyoming. I sure hope the G&F will hold a lottery for a Grizzly bear tag, but if they try, PETA and other Bunny hugger groups will line-up to sue. And tie it up in the courts for YEARS!

  7. Definitely a contentious matter along the lines of hunting seasons for wolf, but if viewed through the lens of objective, conservation-minded goals, getting the grizzly population to a number that can support managed, regulated hunting is a step in the right direction.

    As we have seen countless times not only here in North America, but abroad (elephant poaching increases in Kenya after safari hunting was halted is a prime example) when hunting is outright removed, animal populations can and will suffer. Habitat is arguably the single largest piece of the puzzle, and without, we have zero game to speak of.

    I would see this as a “win” for the states involved, and, most importantly, for the betterment of the species and hunters involved, if the grizzly’s population continues to use science and sound wildlife management, and a very small lottery-style permit system is put in place as an initial test for viability.
    Perhaps start with a fall season, outline specific requirements of the hunters holding the tags, as well as hunting districts, and use the hard data to make smart choices moving forward for successive seasons. Here in Montana where I live and hunt, a tag quota of, say, five grizzlies taken over the course of a season could be a possibility. Resident hunters cost: $250. Non-resident cost: $5,000. Or perhaps states only allow resident hunters to participate in the initial season. No preferences, all lottery style. All monies go towards more research and monitoring. Perhaps same regulations as black bears: sows vs. boars, must be checked in with FWP, tooth pulled to be aged, etc.

    While challenging, we must remember to put emotions aside at times, and focus on the data at hand, and look at a long-term solution for the betterment of the species.

    • Tim,
      The price gouge you describe is a bit unfair. We non resident hunters support a huge amount of western economy’s, and the $250 vs $5000 is a steep difference for us folks. I would prefer $500 resident/ $3500 non-resident, but no more.Make the draw favor residents of you have to,but leave out the price gouge.

  8. Time for wolves and Grizzly to be taken off the endangered species list. Supposedly there aren’t any wolves in Colorado but I saw 2 this past summer above timberline. I emailed the Parks and Wildlife and received no answer back. Both species are spreading big time but a lot of people in charge aren’t willing to accept and/or deal with the problem.

  9. Bottom line is $$$. It would be interesting to see what kind of money Idaho has made from wolf tag sales over the last couple of years and where it goes. So far the wolves seem to survive life out of federal control. Managed correctly I would sure guess that a grizzly population would be one hell of a monetary resource for the states if kept out of federal courts. Example being look at our forests. Burned and useless timber far as you can see. Hunting grizzly locally may be years away but it may happen. I sure hope so cause I really want to burn an arrow through one!!!

  10. There needs to be a hunt entered soon I had eleven different grizzly bears this spring and to on the hit list if they would ever pass it.hopefully soon.

  11. Two auto correct

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