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First grizzly bear hunt in 44 years blocked!

2018 grizzly bear hunt blocked

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen issued a temporary order that will block the first lower 48 state's grizzly bear hunt in 44 years for the next 14 days, stalling the season opener. During that time, Christensen will determine whether grizzlies were delisted too early and if “the government was wrong to lift federal protections on the animals,” Fox News reports.

The grizzly bear season was slated to open on Saturday in Wyoming and Idaho; 12 hunters in Wyoming and one hunter in Idaho had tags for the controversial hunt. While Idaho’s quota was a single bear, Wyoming had a quota of 12 bears. Only one female or nine males can be killed during the hunt.

Christensen’s decision is considered “a victory for environmental advocates and Native American tribes” who were against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) 2017 decision “to lift protections for 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park,” according to Fox News. FWS’s decision weighed heavily on the bears’ successful recovery and plentiful population while plaintiffs argued that this decision was premature and “based on faulty science.”

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Following the ruling, according to Erik Petersen, Wyoming's senior assistant attorney general, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead encouraged the judge to leave grizzly bear management in the hands of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana officials even if their classification changes; he also said he would “make adjustments” to the hunting season, if necessary.

“The likelihood of any significant harm to the [grizzly] population is essentially nil,” Petersen added and pointed out that farmers and ranchers who live within prime grizzly bear territory have the most to lose if the hunt doesn’t proceed because of “increasing conflicts with bears attacking livestock.”

Christensen’s ruling on the case is actually a combination of six separate lawsuits filed separately. In order for the case to be heard, Christensen had ordered the cases to be combined into one.

Stay tuned to goHUNT for further developments.


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Betty V. - posted 1 year ago on 09-06-2018 12:08:31 pm

Mark A. Good question! These stories aren't even accurate.. by folks paid to record these numbers, here's some of the bear number statements in this story: in the 80's, bears numbers "on the rise" 1991-- 2,000 complaints was prob right, then next it say "weren't monitoring" the to numbers being "something like" __, then numbers were off by 5,000? and still now by at least 3,000.. but people miss them, etc.. 3,000 shot but it was really 2,000, but we're rebuilding, etc. Hoping to get back up to 18,000+

Betty V. - posted 1 year ago on 09-06-2018 09:38:32 am

Thanks Judge Dana

Gary S. - posted 1 year ago on 09-02-2018 08:29:30 pm
Mesa, Arizona

I drew an archery elk tag in Unit 51. When I went to put out some trail cameras, it was obvious that it was too dangerous to be hunting in Grizzly country with a bow and arrow. I saw LOTS of fresh sign and KNOW that I would not be able to process an elk and get it removed before several Grizzly's found "US"! I am not going hunting, because it is TOO DANGEROUS and I would probably need to defend myself. Poor decision to block hunting!!

Mark A. - posted 1 year ago on 09-02-2018 12:55:08 pm
Lake Villa IL

Our tax dollars at work. I wonder how much time and money has been spent between this topic and timber wolves. I don't have the numbers but I bet it would be enough to help all species. Instead the lawyers and poloticians get the money.

Chris D. - posted 1 year ago on 09-01-2018 05:54:27 pm
Cleveland, OH
Yancee H. - posted 1 year ago on 09-01-2018 12:20:36 pm
Saratoga Springs, Utah

We, as hunters and conservationists, need to form stronger legal defense funds. Something akin to what the NRA has done.

Chris M. - posted 1 year ago on 08-31-2018 09:14:57 pm
Minden Nevada

There is overwhelming evidence that Grizzlies have recovered. This ruling should end up overturned if our civil litigation system works properly.

Josh C. - posted 1 year ago on 08-31-2018 08:39:58 pm

So is the hunt cancelled? If so are they refunding license fees? So the real losers in the deal are the bears that would benefit from the money.

Dan D. - posted 1 year ago on 08-31-2018 12:08:20 pm

What a load of ****