Two individuals planning not to kill grizzly bears drew licenses for the historic grizzly bear hunt this fall. Up to 22 grizzly bears can be hunted this fall in the first hunt in Wyoming since the bear was listed as threatened 44 years ago.
Right before the license application period opened, the Jackson-based Shoot’em with A Camera campaign encouraged opponents of the grizzly bear hunt to apply for tags.
Tom Mangelsen, a Jackson-based nature photographer, was one of two opponents to get a tag. He said he planned to already apply but was happy to see the campaign increase the number of participants.
Mangelsen chronicled the life of the now famous bear “Grizzly 399” and co-authored a book about the bear. He said everybody owns the grizzly bears not just Wyoming.
“Wyoming would like to think that they...well, they have the right to manage wildlife but managing wildlife by killing things is not particularly management,” he said.
He said it’s time to rethink the way, wildlife is managed, in order to include conservationists who want to see an animal alive.
“The time has come [in] 2018 to really think about the value of wildlife for what it is to everybody. The public has the right to see bears and the hunters do not have the right to take that away from the public,” said Mangelsen.
Mangelsen said he hopes the justice system will intervene by putting grizzly bears back on the Endangered Species List. A hearing is scheduled for August, before the hunt is set to begin.