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Wyoming's wildlife commission unanimously approves grizzly hunt

Wyoming grizzly hunt approved for 2018

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Yesterday, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission unanimously approved a grizzly bear hunt for this fall. It will be the first grizzly bear hunt in Wyoming since 1974 and officials say it is a result of the successful recovery of the animals within the state.

Idaho also decided to hold a grizzly bear hunt this year. Montana, the third state that was considering a possible hunt, decided against one. As goHUNT previously reported, WGFD modified its proposal based upon public comments and research, decreasing the female grizzly bear quota from two bears to one, which dropped the entire quota for the hunt from 12 to 11. Additionally, there is a 10-day limit in place for a hunter with a license for any of the six designated demographic monitoring areas.

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“I want to thank all of the people who came to today’s meeting to participate in the process. Additionally, thousands of people commented online and truly made this regulation a better regulation,” said Scott Talbott, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “Many, many people have been part of this process since last fall in helping to set a direction for all grizzly bear management, from education, conflict reduction to hunting. Wyoming is committed to ensuring a recovered population to provide an opportunity for anyone who is interested in grizzly bears and this decision is part of our management.”

According to WGFD, the approved plan also requires mandatory education for grizzly bear hunters and “a closed portion of a hunt area next to Grand Teton National Park to support the wildlife viewing tourism economy and a prohibition against hunting grizzly bears near highways.”

Wyoming Legislature previously set the bear license fees prior to the approval of a hunting season. For residents, it is $602; for nonresidents, it will cost $6,002.

Stay tuned to goHUNT for further information.

14 Comments

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Matthew R. - posted 4 months ago on 05-30-2018 02:55:54 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

@ Ken N. "You have to hire a licensed Outfitter to hunt any big game animal in Alaska" Sheep, Mtn Goats and Grizzly/Brown bears are the only game that require a hunter to be accompanied by an Alaskan guide OR Resident your are at least second of kin with.

Comparing the cost of a fully outfitted Kodiak grizzly hunt to just a tag in Wyoming is like comparing the cost of a fully outfitted week of duck hunting in Stuttgart Arkansas to a duck hunting license in West Virginia. Let's also not confuse the fact that this is just a tag, you aren't getting a guide, lodging, meals, infield transport, meat and trophy care. Let's also be honest and consider the fact that the vast majority of Wyoming's Grizzly Bear habitat is in designated wilderness areas, so you will almost certainly need a guide as a NR, and for 6k a tag you would be kind of dopey not to get one and to limit your hunting to only areas outside of the wilderness. Also per the Alaska DFG you can "expect to pay $6,000-$15,000 for a brown/grizzly bear hunt", after your Wyoming tag and guide cost you are going to be in the same league if not higher. No chance I would consider hunting Grizzly in Wyoming over Alaska.

Obviously we don't have to put in for a tag, but if you really think 6k isn't too much for JUST a tag then you aren't the average guy and it sucks to see the sport going away from the masses. There are other ways to make the hunt/draw profitable but to just flat out exclude the average sportsmen is wrong.

Gary H. - posted 4 months ago on 05-30-2018 04:54:30 am
goHUNT INSIDER

I recon i'm going to have to let someone else shoot the bears.... 6K is just too much for me. And the below comments about it being a RIDICULOUS fee are absolute correct.

For those of you who dont think that the 6K fee is ridiculous you need to pull your head out of the sand...

tom.witbeck
Tom W. - posted 4 months ago on 05-29-2018 03:53:00 pm
Otsego MN
goHUNT INSIDER

Awesome news, I see a lot of whining on this page already and thats sad. I know Idaho is having a "season" (1 tag) as well in 2018. Id say this is progress, we now have the opportunity to hunt grizzly in the lower 48. We didn't 6 months ago. I live in MN and could make this hunt a reality (obviously still expensive), maybe not this year, but we as hunters now have another option. Step in the right direction, and the first to put there necks out there and get the ball rolling, crazy to see "hunters" complaining immediately.

Ken N. - posted 4 months ago on 05-29-2018 03:01:27 pm

You have to hire a licensed Outfitter to hunt any big game animal in Alaska. $22,000 for a Kodiak hunt and you have to buy the $1,000 brown Bear Tag. Wyoming only requires an Outfitter in Wilderness areas. Plenty of country to hunt a Grizz outside of the wilderness. If you are tough enough to do it alone. Quit the whining. You don't have to put in for a tag. I wish I could put in as a non-resident, as I know, like every other area and species, the drawing odds are way better than resident. This Hunt is a bargain!

Matthew R. - posted 4 months ago on 05-29-2018 01:55:30 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Correct me if I'm wrong (good chance I could be wrong) but for over 6k a tag that has to make it the most expense non-auction tag in the country by far? am I right?! Even the most expensive sheep tags are only 3k. Honestly that is so insulting for just a tag.

Eric K. - posted 4 months ago on 05-28-2018 09:55:29 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Perhaps I'm wrong Ken: To think $6000 dollars isn't a lot of money to some people is naive of me and for that I apologize. However, we're losing hunters in this country at an astounding rate and to make a hunt an elitist attainment for only the fortunate is disheartening. I (and I'm sure many like me) would love to have a chance to hunt one of these prestigious animals but making it only attainable for the more fortunate is counterproductive to what I feel hunting is all about. Please allow me to digress: to see Wyoming open Grizzly hunting is a huge step in the right direction and for that I am extremely grateful, so I will sit back and hope one day I get my (wink) shot also.

Ken N. - posted 4 months ago on 05-28-2018 08:24:28 pm

Most all non resident tags in Wyoming are 8 to 12 times more than a resident tag. 600 for res, 6000 for non. What's not fair?

Eric K. - posted 4 months ago on 05-28-2018 08:08:07 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

$6G's for non-residents is just laughable. The money that goes to the state from non-res hunters is massive and to flat out slap them in the face and say we don't want you here by putting an unrealistic fee on a tag is insulting. I've hunted Wyoming on several different occasions for deer and elk but will choose to give my hard earn money to states that appreciate it. Thanks but no thanks.

Ken N. - posted 4 months ago on 05-27-2018 05:45:08 pm

Jared Z. You will have to let me know who your Outfitter is in Alaska. I have looked for about a decade, and I have not found a hunt for under 18k. 6000 is a bargain and I bet many non residents think so too.

Jared Z. - posted 4 months ago on 05-27-2018 09:04:27 am
goHUNT INSIDER

It's cheaper for a non resident to fly to Alaska, hire a guide and fly the meat back in a first class seat. I wonder if the tag prices were set to keep opposition happy.

Tyson C. - posted 4 months ago on 05-26-2018 04:53:18 pm
Lincoln, NH
goHUNT INSIDER

For $6k non-residents better be getting a sizable portion of the tags. Anyone willing to pay that much for just a tag in a state that requires special access requirements for non-residents to wilderness areas should have a very good chance of getting a tag.

Jon D. - posted 4 months ago on 05-25-2018 11:13:52 am
goHUNT INSIDER

@gohunt team

Have they announced when the application deadline and drawing will be?

Matthew R. - posted 4 months ago on 05-24-2018 02:37:57 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

$6,002 .... Stop! Just stop!

Daniel E. - posted 4 months ago on 05-24-2018 09:28:06 am
Cayucos, CA
goHUNT INSIDER

Great news! Whats with the extra $2 though? Kind of funny that its not just $600 and $6,000...anyone know why this is?