Grizzly bear

Wyoming approved the state’s first grizzly bear hunt in 44 years during a May 23 meeting in Lander. The judge's decision delays this hunt. The judge's decision delays this hunt.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen is delaying the start of the first grizzly bear hunts in decades in the Rockies by two more weeks, according to the Associated Press. 

Opponents of the hunts in Wyoming and Idaho asked the judge Wednesday for another two-week delay while the judge considers whether federal protections for grizzlies should be restored.

After a hearing in Missoula, Montana, last month, Christensen initially put the hunt on hold for two weeks. That order was set to expire today, and hunt opponents argued that state officials could immediately allow bears to be killed.

Wildlife advocates and Native American tribes say bears living in and around Yellowstone National Park face continued threats to their survival.

The U.S. Interior Department in 2017 declared the animals no longer needed federal protections. Up to 23 bears would be allowed to be killed in the hunts.

Opponents of the hunt lauded the judge's decision Thursday. 

“We are gratified Yellowstone’s beloved bears are once again safe from trophy hunters’ bullets,” said Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director for WildEarth Guardians, in a statement. “We look forward to the judge’s thoughtful resolution of the deep flaws with the feds’ removal of protections from these imperiled bears.”

Likewise, Matthew Bishop, an attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center issued a statement, saying: “There is simply no need to rush into a grizzly bear hunt, with potentially devastating consequences for this iconic species, when the merits of that hunt are being reviewed in federal court.”

This is a developing story, follow the News&Guide on Hole Scroll, our website and Facebook for updates.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Managing Editor Rebecca Huntington at 732-7078 or

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(10) comments

sean henry

i don't have a dog in this fight but, why the discrepancies between the morning paper and this article online which has less info. i.e. the judges own words ?

J Love Staff
Johanna Love

Great question, Sean. This version with the comments is an early, digital-fast version of the article. The Associated Press pushed another, more complete version, later in the day, which is the one we printed in the Daily. That one is also online here on our site:

Glenn Graham

The Feds rammed through a deeply flawed, unpopular and ill-considered delisting program that either ignored or distorted the science, then the state rushed to start a hunting season the very instant they could, which was the plan all along. I dont believe anyone is surprised that the hunting is being stopped while the illegalities of the delisting are being reviewed. The predictability of the hunt being stopped is the reason Montana didnt even bother to organise a hunting season.

Tim Rieser

Ready yourself for lots of posts from blockheads that think the justice system is somehow rigged to prevent them from hunting or this is judged legislating from the bench. They don’t understand that the justice system is usually fair and always deliberative. As I said: blockheads.

Chad guenter

Mr. Reiser: You defend the justice system that imprisons more human beings than any other country on earth. A justice system that feeds the Private Prison Industrial Complex. 99% of judges have become politically biased hacks with no regard for the Natural Law this country was founded on.

The judge in this case has no "standing" to order this hunt closed. Emotion and politics is guiding his decision.

Chad guenter

The Political Just-us system on display.

Marion Dickinson

So is this going to keep being "delayed" until hibernation? Meanwhile a griz is eating apples a few blocks from Wal Mart in Cody.

Jay Westemeier

Hope it enjoys the apples.

Pat Sides

is "wal mart" in danger , are you?

Gregory Taylor

Walmart is creating a problem not the bear it is eating for winter!

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