As Wyoming moves forward with its controversial grizzly bear hunt for the first time in 44 years, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) has been dealing with some threats and “satanic” comments. While it’s not unusual for WGFD to receive negative comments concerning hunting and fishing regulations, the commission’s unanimous approval of the grizzly bear hunt has made the comments collected reach a new threshold.
Dan Thompson, the large carnivore specialist in charge of the grizzly bear hunt rules, paraphrased the “satanic” comment, which roughly stated that “the hunt would provoke Satanistic blood-lusting violence,” during a hunt planning session in Lander, the Cody Enterprise reports.
“It sounded kind of like a heavy metal song,” Thompson added.
Other threatening comments were turned over to the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation for further follow up.
During the Lander meeting, a printed public comment summary was distributed to attendees, which was a summary of 3,334 public comments in total; however, that did include the total number of comments received. For example, according to the Cody Enterprise, the National Resources Defense Council submitted 58,139 identical comments because it used a form letter and those were counted as a single comment; the Center for Biological Diversity sent in a form with 31,919 names; the Defenders of Wildlife “said it collected 14,982 signatures on an opposition petition and would send names on request,” and the National Parks Association “claimed 1.3 million members and ‘supporters’ opposing the hunt.”
While the Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Western Bear Foundation and the Utah Archery Association have provided comments in support of the grizzly bear hunt, none of the organizations gave member numbers to back them up. Yet, according to the public comment document summary, 65% supported the hunt as a way to manage the grizzly bear population. As goHUNT previously reported, last month, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission unanimously approved the grizzly bear hunt and established a quota of 11 bears with only one female bear included.