MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A judge on Thursday temporarily blocked the opening of the first grizzly bear hunts in the Rocky Mountains in more than 40 years, as he considers whether the government was wrong to lift federal protections on the animals.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen’s order came just two days before Idaho and Wyoming were prepared to open the first grizzly bear hunting seasons in the Lower 48 states since 1974. The order will remain in effect for 14 days.

“The threat of death to individual bears posed by the scheduled hunts is sufficient” to justify a delay in the states’ hunting seasons, Christensen wrote in the order.

The move marked a victory for wildlife advocates and Native American tribes that sued over the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision in 2017 to lift protections for 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park.

“We’re thrilled,” said Mike Garrity, the executive director for plaintiff Alliance for the Wild Rockies. “Now the judge has time to rule without grizzly bears being killed starting Saturday morning.”

The plaintiffs had argued the bears still face threats to their survival. Federal wildlife officials say the bears are thriving.

Fewer than two dozen bears would be allowed to be killed in the hunts.

The advocacy groups claim the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision last year that Yellowstone grizzlies are no longer a threatened species was based on faulty science. They also say they don’t trust that the three states that have taken over bear management will ensure the bears’ survival. They are asking the judge to reclassify the bears as threatened.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead was willing to “make adjustments” to the hunting season, said Erik Petersen, Wyoming’s senior assistant attorney general. He wants the judge to leave Wyoming, Montana and Idaho in charge of managing the bears — even if he rules that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needs to revise its rule declassifying grizzlies as threatened.

“The likelihood of any significant harm to the population is essentially nil,” Petersen said.

Among their arguments in court, attorneys for the advocacy groups questioned how other threatened grizzly populations in the Lower 48 states would fare if the Yellowstone bears’ status changed. They also said the federal wildlife agency ignored recent spikes in overall bear deaths that, when hunting is added to the mix, could cause an unanticipated population decline.

Department of Justice attorneys said the Fish and Wildlife Service considered all the plaintiffs’ arguments and proceeded with lifting protections because there is no threat of extinction to the bears now or in the foreseeable future.

“They have a lot of speculation, [but] they have very little facts,” said attorney Michael Eitel.

Petersen and attorneys representing Montana and Idaho said the people most affected will be the farmers and ranchers who live in grizzly territory and have increasing conflicts with bears attacking livestock. Those people have been cooperative with conservation efforts, but that attitude may change if federal protections are restored, they said.

The population of grizzlies living in Yellowstone was classified as a threatened species in 1975, when its number had fallen to 136. The Fish and Wildlife Service initially declared a successful recovery for the Yellowstone population in 2007, but a federal judge ordered protections to remain in place while wildlife officials studied whether the decline of a major food source, whitebark pine seeds, could threaten the bears’ survival.

In 2017, the federal agency concluded that it had addressed all threats, and ruled that the grizzlies were no longer a threatened species needing restrictive federal protections. That prompted six lawsuits challenging the agency’s decision. Those lawsuits have been consolidated into one case that Christensen heard Thursday.

Idaho’s hunting quota is one bear. Wyoming’s hunt is in two phases: Sept. 1 would open the season in an outlying area with a quota of 12 bears, and Sept. 15 would start the season in prime grizzly habitat near Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. One female or nine males could be killed in those areas.

It would be Wyoming’s first grizzly hunt since 1974 and Idaho’s first since 1946. Twelve hunters in Wyoming and one in Idaho have been issued licenses out of the thousands who applied.

Montana officials decided not to hold a hunt this year. Bear hunting is not allowed in Yellowstone or Grand Teton.

Johanna Love steers the newsroom as editor. Her time off is occupied by kid, dog, biking, camping and art. She loves to hear from readers with story tips, kudos, criticism and questions.

(57) comments

Jay Westemeier

Without getting into another quarrel with Mr. Taylor, who has persisted on this issue since he must have finally gotten a computer, I'll again point to one thing......WHY would Wyoming, its outfitters, livestock ranchers, farmers, and hunters in general really think a trophy Grizzly hunt would be a great thing for the state? Provide one objective and intelligent reason this hunt is good for anything other than putting an ornament in some wealthy hunter's make believe forest room. Does anyone really believe 24 less Grizzlies will put a dent in any anti-predator dreams they hold? This debacle is nothing more than another overstep by a tiny fringe segment of our population. Absolutely nothing good will come out of this proposed hunt unless you get off on frivolous political traps set by many to further divide our country.

Chad guenter

It will put a dent in EVERY overpopulated drainage in the GYE, Mr. Westemeier. Carrying capacity has been reached, thinning the numbers will actually benefit the grizzly population as a whole.

Jay Westemeier

it's nearly impossible to ask for an objective comment on this issue from an anti-predator advocate. Your comment about helping the grizzly population can't be perceived as being credible. Plus, there is no current science that backs it.

Gregory Taylor

Mr. Westemeier If you are aiming that comment at me it's wrong to call me an anti-predator advocate what I support are controls of to the populations of predatory animals such as the non-native Canadian Timber or Grey wolves that were introduced in Wyoming and the GYE and the Grizzly Bears too.The trans planting extra bears is a viable option but may be doomed by the mess that anti hunters have been creating at delisting wolves and bears alike. At this time going into a fully the reintroduction of native Mexican Grey Wolf has been slowed because of the example set here by the animal Rights and Anti-hunting groups not following the agreed upon numbers required of breeding pairs and overall numbers of wolves to warrants their delisting.

Jay Westemeier

I respect your professional views on the subject Mr. Taylor but find it troubling that a wildlife biologist like yourself buys into and advocates the "non-native Canadian wolf" hoax that anti-predator people have leaned on since the reintroduction. I'm also surprised that a former wildlife management professional would believe that initially agreed upon numbers established many years ago should be written in stone and never be adjusted for variables that didn't exist when the initial numbers were established. To me, that's a simplistic and narrow minded approach to wildlife management. Not trying to disparage your profession, but it's become more apparent that many wildlife managers at both the state and federal levels have become arrogant and place themselves above mother nature when it comes to achieving balance within an ecosystem.

Gregory Taylor

Jay Westemeier Labeling me as ""anti-predator " I truly find insulting and condescending and shows that you have very little credibility on the topic at hand as pigeon holing to simplify your arguments to your level of understanding other peoples stances and thinking on the subject. Adjustment to the dynamics of having wolves back in the GYE and western states is not as simple as you think. Wolf reporting prior to the introductions were ignored as "inconclusive" even when photographs were provided. I myself had a visual sighting and found large canid tracks which the report was mishandled and did not get routed to the USFWS so timely follow up was not done for several weeks.This was within an area that a wolf-like animal was killed by a man while predator calling and turned over to be tested for a DNA match for wolf DNA and still the wolf introduction was ramrodded through despite evidence of a small population of wolves hanging in the GYE. The bringing in wolves from a different genetic stock has extirpated any genetic differences for the resident wolves that remained in the geographically isolated Calling it a hoax does nothing more than reinforce my opinion of your pro-predator stance that you do not care that recovery of wolves and bears must be done at all costs regardless the science of doing it correctly in the west and the GYE! I just hope that judges that get pulled into these issues become better educated and make valid decisions based on research and the scientific information from the extensive field work on the biology of wolves and their complex predator-prey relationships

Jay Westemeier

Mr. Taylor, your response to my post has exposed your position on this and other predator issues. Your opinion on the wolf reintroduction has been disputed and explained by the highest level of wildlife biologists and wolf experts. Your opinion also demonstrates exactly what I stated about some wildlife management personnel's arrogance. Despite your apparent knowledge of the GYE, your opinions on predator management is obviously biased for unknown reasons and shouldn't be construed by anyone as the end all to the debate. The importance of predator species to the GYE and their long term survival should never be analyzed by biased or corrupted mindset. Enjoy your retirement sir.

Gregory Taylor

Jay what do you propose to do with the young of year reproduction that exceeds the habitat in GYE???

Gregory Taylor

Chad I agree with you but trying to convince animal rights and anti's of that is a steep hill to climb. In Alaska and British Columbia studies have shown that as I will call populations of higher densities bears cannibalize the young and older bears by the more aggressive and robust bears and the young at side with the female so that the males get the female back into breeding form and condition.

Gregory Taylor

Jay Westemeier your emotional, irrational and misinformed views and attempts to pull others into an argument and provoke me are wasted but I am enjoying your showing the true colors of anti- hunting and animal rights factions, Your twisting the science and research ignores the long known findings by the true experts of the wolf and bear biology and ecology. I have read most of the literature on the wolf and bears by the genuine professionals in the field not just the writers that suit my purpose! My stance has always been in favor of the need to restore the wolves and bears to better the actual ecosystem and in the overall stewardship man has in the responsibility to monitor and manage for the betterment of the resources and the concept has no boundaries to just the GYE. To be so close minded on these issues like the extremists you are offers no solutions other stopping any management to mitigate the conflicts as they appear. Exactly who do you refer to as "Wolf Experts"? Give me names and literature you are basing your opinion on the wolves and bears rather than just saying that I am refuting you based against hypothetical "Wolf and Bear experts" Your perception of my being arrogant is that I am familiar with and the issues and facts. Am I the arrogant one in this discussion because I use facts and verifiable information and respect the issue more than emotionally attacking others in an insulting manor? Your ignorance that you have as to the greater issues and that its not confined to in a small area as is the GYE. Including The small population of the bears and wolves in Glacier NP. Frequently problem bears get relocated from the recovery area to unoccupied southern areas well away from the main Yellowstone area. The bears have been dispersing on their very own into new areas and those bears may be counted as loss and mortality in the GYE and not be counted or known of until a conflict occurs in those pioneered areas! Wyoming has wolves dispersing into all sorts of new areas and encounters are random. Wolves have shown up in Utah, Colorado.expecting them to stay isolated to the GYE is ignoring that young wolves leave the packs when they get the urge or chased from the pack just as younger Grizzly Bears (2-3 year old's) range out every year when they get chased off or be killed by older and bigger males that are attempting to breed. When this happens the females can go back into breeding condition.

Jay Westemeier

So, now I'm an "extremist" Mr. Taylor? I suggest you find a new and more productive hobby Mr. Taylor. Sounds like your bone to pick is with past management officials and leading biologists that you disagreed with while you were in the field. I wasn't one of them and am not responsible for the unfortunate end to your career, so don't take your frustration out on me or anyone else who currently disagrees with you. Wyoming wildlife management has a history of sweeping issues that affect predators under the rug. They've always caved to pressure from the state's establishment and have treated predators as nothing more than an obstacle. Other than being surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscape and diverse wildlife in the lower 48, a Wyoming wildlife management career is a thankless and politically driven job. It's the wildlife advocacy groups you like to call extremists that actually keep Wyoming and its agencies in check when it comes to OUR wildlife. I'd be interested to know what your agency's mission statement was while you were working. Was it to protect and help ensure the long term survival of the state's wilderness ecosystems and endangered species or was it to just portray a genuinely responsible agency while only coddling to the state's special interests? And by the way, no so-called expert in the world can determine a set carrying capacity for any area or species. Nature by itself is the only qualified expert capable of doing that.

Gregory Taylor

Chad you have the easy to see back up to your comments with the bears dispersing into areas bordering the GYE !!!

Gregory Taylor

Jay I have had a computer for many years but not until recently stumbled across the JHN&G and reading the arguments against hunting the Grizzly Bears and hunters and ranchers in the GYE as a whole I have been laid up after a stoke and have the time to explain other issues and debunk the misinformation spread by the anti-hunters and animal rights factions that wildlife management professional are basically not allowed to enter into these arguments in the press but I being a private person can do so being an advocate for wildlife and proper wildlife management science as a WHOLE, I can see that rather than hunt the excess bears in this population would be transplanting them into unoccupied habitats that exist within their historic range which extend all along the Rocky mountains down into the Sierra Madres of Old Mexico and the Sierra Nevada Range up into Oregon and Washing State by way of the Cascade Mts, creating a much more stable population and gene pool. Wyoming has been the source for the spread of Rocky mountain Bighorns into their former historic range. That for sure will make the extremists happy and others not quite so jubilant ! Increased numbers of bears will safe guard them from being an endangered species,

Gregory Taylor

Westemeier the hunting a true monster Kodiak Brown Bear is what a "wealthy hunter" would hunt for not much more than the $6000 of the non-resident tag in Wyoming.costs. Inland Alaska Grizzly hunt might be a small bit cheaper.The hunting of bears in Alaska doesn't seem to hurt the states image and the money from bear tourism and hunts there helps seal the futures of the species there!

Gregory Taylor

I am done with putting an educated and informational discussion based on fact and science while the anti's that spout forth an irrational and totally biased discussion that only see facts that can be twisted to support their emotional ideas and ideals. I realize that their opinions are set and unchangeable. I only am talking to any non-hunters that want a down to earth discussion here that is verifiable and makes sense to them.The anti hunting crowd here does a good job at showing their inability of writing without insults and hoping for harm to hunters by suggesting that hunters should point their guns backwards! The simple fact in restoring animals back to the historic population and range is man must return back to the historic numbers before European man settled to North America. Pick a year in history that you want to go back to.

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Richard C. Bedford

Thank you, Judge Christensen. God bless you. God bless America.

Comment deleted.
Richard C. Bedford

I only wish they would shoot with the barrel pointed the other way!

rich quinlan

None of this makes much sense to me . Bears cant read signs to know when they are protected or in a hunting zone . I have no respect for trophy hunters at all but also realize that proliferation of these big boys is not going to have a happy ending. Where i used to camp in Colorado is overun with black bear now as the populations have flourished and hunter numbers declined , fires have forced them into new areas and where i used to tent camp is really not safe anymore. I don't understand either if you're going to allow hunting why not thin out the whole population instead of waiting on the boundary to see what bubbles out. But what the heck do i know !

Gregory Taylor

Mr. Quinlan I can see why anyone would be confused by this issue as the author does use the poor non- factual information that the opposition of these hunts. Perhaps I can address this issue for the readers. The anti hunting crowd refutes any pro hunt do studies,research and surveys of the bears to knowingly manage the population of grizzly bears in the available habitat so that an educated and informed managers can determine that there is a hunt-able surplus of bears present and reduce conflicts between man and bears. The population has grown beyond the recovery area and now man bear conflict have grown outside the recovery area, Opponents to the hunts distrust any of the science used in support of any of the legal hunts. Yet provide nothing themselves as to facts about the bears they so lovingly want to protect. The anti hunting groups rely on anecdotal information based on their feelings not facts. Many of the opponents are not out in Grizzly bear occupied habitat trying to avoid having a conflict or a bad encounter with a bear grizzly or black. The spikes in the bear mortality numbers need to be clarified as to what increased the numbers of bear deaths. Your trying to make sense of the issue is commendable and I think you are on the right track and being open minded and that is very rare. Keep asking questions and believe only what makes sense! I have a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Management and Ecology and also a hunter and can make little sense of the arguments by the anti-hunting crowds. I have hunted where bears are and luckily not had bad experiences but my friends have had them.

Richard C. Bedford

Such selfish people exist in this world - you encroached on their habitats. Really, think about it. Is it fair? Where are they going to go if you keep pushing them out?

Gregory Taylor

Colorado has suitable habitat along with California, Oregon and Washington too. are the goals to your plans for restoring them to the historic Bear ranges they were found east of the Mississippi River. Actually the only states that I no Grizzly Bears are not historic are Hawaii and maybe Florida, If you are wanting to start "culling" mankind how do you unselfishly plan to do that?? With the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Glacier NP.being the only Grizzly Bear habitat occupied with any sizable numbers the bears in the lower 48 states, bears should get relocated rather than hunted.

Glenn Graham

Killing the bears is illegal and immoral, as most of us have known all along. Those that want to kill the bears should look at the science rather than their emotions. The bears are endangered. Killing sprees belong in the 20th century.

Gregory Taylor

Glenn are you even near grizzly areas? Do you take the family hiking or camping in grizzly areas and worry about whether you have kept your camp clean enough not to entice a marauding bear into your tent or camper? Glenn just what science are you referring to being ignored by me a hunter can you reference this science so that I can not be so ignorant of this "science"???

Glenn Graham

Gregory Taylor. Some numbers in my post below. The population is not increasing. Can you show me some numbers that justifies their killing please? Or is your argument an emotional one? Perhaps you'd rather they be killed because they are inconvenient for you and interfere with your camping?

Glenn Graham

Gregory Taylor - in answer to your question below. The numbers are easy to find. They are from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST), who release an annual report, which is usually covered in the press. You have to look at the numbers, rather than the conclusions of course - the IGBST under Frank van Manen has been trying to get the bears delisted for many years. You'd think that people who have these strong opinions on this thread would have some idea of what the facts are. The population is not increasing. They are not overpopulated https://www.usgs.gov/centers/norock/science/igbst-annual-reports?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects

Gregory Taylor

Glenn what I would like from you is your source of those numbers? I have spent lots of time in Grizzly bear country over the past nearly 50 years or so and had quite a few encounters that were of great outcomes which I wish I had my camera at the ready while fly fishing in the back-country of Yellowstone NP. I like the bears and want their continued existence and would be thrilled if more areas in the wilderness of the western and eastern states. What I and other conservation minded sportsmen and women object to is the twisting of facts, research and management of bears that are presented in an emotional manor by anti-hunting factions that makes management of both the wildlife and human uses of the resources and bears to limit and control the human/bear conflicts.Sportsmen have been footing the bill to increase and manage so many wildlife restoration of wildlife populations and get called "serial killers" and having "blood-lust" by these groups. Many species have been restored to their native ranges from brink extinction by market hunting to satisfy the desires and wants back in the eastern US prior to the conservation movement of the late 1870's to 1940's started by the "dastardly" sportsmen of that time. Elk are coming back in their native range with transplants to Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri and Michigan too. So many species are at or now exceeding their historic numbers and range because of the efforts of sportsman conservationists.

Gregory Taylor

Mr. Graham,your idea of morality is what so you can force it down everybody's throats?? Is it immoral to let wild animals to over populate to the point they starve and die needlessly in tough times? To were they become a danger to the public? To the numbers that they cannibalize each other and the cubs born that year? Are the hunters crying about the hunts that is the privilege we leave to the anti hunting crowd that has very little science under their hats against the hunters! Hunters see and understanding of the science of bears and go into the woods and see what is happening. I have heard many times that the mountain lion is an en danged species because people never see one. Are the grizzly bears endangered to you for the same reason? I have spent great amounts of time in the forests and only saw one black bear in all my years hunting. Are they endangered?? These animals existence is due to stealth and being secretive.I can guarantee I have been watched and even stalked by many mtn. lions and Grizzly bears than I have actually seen!

Glenn Graham

Gregory Taylor - my idea of morality is not to have you go and shoot an animal from a long distance with a big gun because you think its funny. There is no suggestion that the bears are overpopulated. The population has been stable since the 2000's. And heres a surprise for you, and all the pro hunters on this thread - some facts! The population was 718 in 2017, 695 in 2016, 714 in 2015 and 757 in 2014. So.... not rising. Not overpopulated. Frank Van Manen said they had reached their carrying capacity because he's spent 20 years charged with justifying their delisting. Of course he did - but there was no evidense for that. How do you conclude that they have reached their carrying capacity? There used to be 50,000 in the west. Now there are 718. in Yellowstone. Please tell me again how your proof that they arent endangered is because you dont see any when you go out killing.

Gregory Taylor

Glenn Graham - you think that I would find the killing any animal is "funny" and is to most hunters? That is an assumption that is repulsive and so wrong! I take it that you are a vegetarian and utilize absolutely no animal products in any form? Hunting to me is not joy filled except at being in being out in gods greatest creation nature and the great out doors.To me the kill is anti climatic as my time out hunting is over except that I now continue hunting with my camera as I was before hunting seasons opened! If as you put forth the numbers of bears has fluctuated. I would be inclined to question the hunt with you. Would you send me the link to your source of these statistics so I can read them?? The questioning of the hunt as to over population the scientific and wildlife management professionals would only be inclined to start the hunting if there is a harvest-able surplus available. With the statistics I recently saw here with the recent losses Hunting bears would be an additive mortality rather than a compensative mortality which my education in wildlife biology and management says a hold on the hunt would be warranted. The static numbers may though being an indication that the population is at carrying capacity as the recruitment of young bears being born each year is only being enough to compensate for losses from loss from non hunting caused deaths of bears! An age structure study of existing bears would shed more light on this. Forgive me for wanting the source of your numbers as I do not trust your numbers as much as you do not trust the facts generated by the professionals in the wildlife management agencies and what any of us killers might say.

Gregory Taylor

Mr. Graham! by the way, I hunt with archery gear at close quarters but I am sure you will have some opinion on that too!

Richard C. Bedford

AMEN!

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Chad guenter

Finally, more info is coming out. A 14 day hold has been put on the hunt. This leaves the Sept. 15 season in effect. If I had plunked down 6 grand for a tag and somehow had been drawn..... I wouldn't be letting some political hack stop my hunt. I hope some hunters are already out in the wilderness far from reach of news of this and fill their tag!

Most may have been out scouting for a week to ensure a good size boar. This news wont reach them

William Huard

That would make anyone who shoots a grizzly a poacher right?
Wyoming “sportsmen” (chuckle)
Don’t follow federal or state wildlife laws when man eating carnivores are involved!

Chad guenter

No not poaching, they bought a state provided tag, hunted during the state designated season. This "judge" acting at the last moment is not their concern if they are already in the wilderness getting ready to take their bear tomorrow.

Gregory Taylor

Once again the anti hunting crowd waits till the very last minute to pull into courts and waste the judges time and drag out a battle on whether bears of the brown bear species are threatened or endangered! Hopefully he will be educated enough to sort through the anti-hunters BS to see the population surveys,science and research behind the delisting and how other courts and higher courts have approved already and then ruled on the management plan submitted by each state.

.

Richard C. Bedford

THANK YOU, Judge Christensen. I cannot believe the selfishness of human beings. The worst species ever, who should be the ones culled.

Gregory Taylor

Mr. Huard there you go again? If they are in the woods already they have checked in with WY G& F Dept. and been issued a locator Device and required to check in to a hotline about the quota being open still or the season closed after one female mortality being reached. and I really am pulling for Mr. Manglson shooting as many "Grizzly" as he can this season whether the hunt continues as planned or not !

Gregory Taylor

Shooting with a camera I mean in respect of Mr. Mangleson's plans!! Good luck and be safe out there!

William Huard

Greg-
I responded to MR Guenter’s mindless comment that because a hunter is out scouting for their trophy grizzly if they don’t hear the news about the trophy hunt suspended that that makes an illegal poaching incident Legal somehow.
Just more Wyoming backcountry logic?
Wyoming is openly hostile to all carnivore species and many people feel that they should not have “management” authority over wolves and other native carnivores.
After all- the term predator status has way more to do with politics then science.
Can you cite any science that has been shown to justify killing a grizzly for their hide and body parts?

Richard C. Bedford

It seems you have an axe to grind and a gun to load! And, you have the unmitigated gall to complain! Your whining is ubiquitous and harsh. I hope for the day every state in the Union will ban this atrocity outright.

Gregory Taylor

Grizzly bears are NOT "Man eating Carnivores" to be correct you should call them "Man eating Omnivores" to avoid incorrectly labeling and hurt the cute and cuddly bears feelings !

Gregory Taylor

Mr. Bedford! You cart out your dictionary now? My whining is "ubiquitous" (everywhere and "harsh"?? how can that be Mr. Bedford? Your whining about the bear hunting is incessant,misinformed and irrational along with emotionally invalid ?? Your not even able to come to the conversation without wish harm to others by "turning the barrels backwards" ! If you can't look at the situation and avoid thinking that Humans are selfish and should be culled remember you are one of these humans and if the Super Volcano erupt these hard fought for Grizzly Bears will not be threatened or endangered but most likely be extinct along with you or I being around to discuss who should be culled from the human species!Selfish in this matter is thinking you should dictate that hunting should be universally abolished because you and others find it distasteful, immoral, selfish,and whatever else you choose to try to incite emotional hate of hunters and others that utilize or natural resources in ways that you disagree with. That is very selfish to do. Hunters are one of the many multiple uses, and by policy the federal and state agencies by law must be managing our lands for. Like it or not humans have evolved with hunting as required to survive and thrive. Mankind has the attachment to nature by hunting and gathering its food stuffs to live. So who really is being selfish?The sportsmen and women that hunt and fish that could care less whether you are a hunter (and actually would rather you do not!!) and do not try and force you to hunt! Or is it selfish to be telling hunters and hunting should be abolished everywhere because you do not agree with it? Hmmm ! Think about !!!

Gregory Taylor

If they are hunting them in FULL knowledge of the ruling it would be considered :"poaching" by most people. The actual term regarding this is a game law violation is the taking or attempt to take a protected species (as in this case) during a closed season. The word poaching has a wide interpretation of what it means and not as a legal term. As poaching covers the criminal act of the pursuit and taking wildlife by illegal means outside of set season dates, exceeding bag and possession limits, and at contrary to Laws and considered as unethical and not being fair chase. Depending on the violation it may be treated as a felony or misdemeanor. Poachers are truly despised and revolting to hunters and sportsmen and women.

Jay Westemeier

Poaching is obviously not despised by Mr. Guenter. This mindset is shared by far too many so-called sportsman. While they believe they are helping their cause, they place a very large black eye on the entire hunting public.

Richard C. Bedford

Charge them with felony! Plain and simple!

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Paula Dee

At least it would have been fair to allow for the female bears already killed this year, but "management" couldn't be bothered to change the numbers allowed. Everyone is salivating at the thought of killing a grizzly, but maybe you'll have to wait a bit longer. I do have to admit I don't understand the bloodlust that makes people want to kill for trophies, not to supply their families with meat for the long winters. Hunting for that reason - I have no problem with that. Don't bother piling on - I feel the way I feel, and am not about to change my mind.

Ken Chison

I am just thankful that our current President has been appointing , conservative, level headed judges so this nonsense will hopefully be curtailed in the future. Antis know how to shop for a judge.

Richard C. Bedford

God forbid! I can hardly wait for the next election. Hardly!

Chad guenter

Wow, so surprised...…

Political hacks wearing robes making decisions about wildlife management.

Glenn Graham

Ha Ha. Like delisting the bears and allowing the killing hasnt been about politics? The delisting was illegal on lots of grounds - like ignoring climate change for one. The government and state pushed it through regardless.

Ken Chison

Climate change! Should have known that word would come up. I thought it was global warming back when Big Al invented it. Just change a couple words then no matter what happens (weather) we can blame it on coal. Those of us that even have a small amount of knowledge know that that is a hoax. You have brutal Winters, like two years ago. And you have below-average winners like last year. That's why the average it over 30 years. Nothing to do with what owl and Leonardo have lied to you about

Glenn Graham

Almost funny if it wasnt so sad.

Gregory Taylor

Climate change what a farce!!! the major issue with these bears is no where near the bears concern! Changes within the bears habitat is the fragmentation and human encroachment on the vital habitat needs year round. Pine Bark Beetles have created fuel sources for an increase of forest fires that are reaching catastrophic sizes and frequency. Poor food crops of the Miller moths for the bears. Lower elevation developments for the housing of people that can afford to build removes land from habitat the bears prey needs bring man/bear conflict to in.creased severity and frequency. So tongue in cheek ( a dripping with sarcasm ) I now propose that we create hatcheries and farms to raise Miller Moths for supplementing this important bear food source for Grizzly bears

Comment deleted.
Gregory Taylor

Yes I have a major problem with the loss of habitat for wildlife. Do live in Jackson Hole?

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