Grizzly Hunt Rule in Montana

Western-Bear-Foundation-LogoJust an update quickly on the recent ruling by the Montana Commissioners to not enact a hunting season for grizzly bears this year.

We actively supported the idea of having a hunting season for grizzly bears in Montana this year. Due to the recent delisting and movement of control into state hands there was an opportunity for Montana to have such a season. We sent letters to commission and worked with other stakeholders to try and influence a decision but as many of you heard that was a futile effort as the commission voted unanimously against a season. Where were a little frustrated at the process as the Director of Montana FWP came out before the ruling stating there will be no hunting of grizzly bears in Montana in 2018. This all came out by her prior to the vote by the commission who is the only authority to in the state to decide on such a hunt. It was handled poorly to say the least.

That all being said the reasoning given is valid to a point. The tri-state Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) (three states surrounding the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE)) — outlines how grizzly hunting would be split based on how much land the states have in the designated grizzly bear management area. The agreement also notes when hunting wouldn’t be allowed, based on the total bear population and any grizzlies that were killed by wildlife managers, in collisions with cars or that die naturally. Through the agreement Montana would have received a 2018 quota of .9 females and 5.8 males. The low female mortality is a huge reason for the commission decision. If one female is harvested, then the hunt would end. We understand their rationale but want you all to know that our stance was in that of support of a hunting season regardless of limited quotas. Tomorrow is never guaranteed! With the lawsuits and court issues this may have been the one chance at a Montana Grizzly Bear Hunting Season. Time will tell.

Wyoming is still currently moving forward with their planned season and we suspect draft regulations will be coming soon. We are unable to get a good bead on Idaho right now. They will have the smallest quota of all 3 states and although they may desire a hunt the discretionary quota available may not allow for one.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Western Bear Foundation

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