Tuesday night, Cody residents had an opportunity to comment on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's grizzly bear hunting draft regulations for this fall.
There were no comments against the hunt, but members of the public expressed their belief that the draft regulations will permit hijacking of licenses, or buy licenses but not use them so that a bear is not killed.
Dan Thompson, the department’s large carnivore section specialist, also fielded a couple of questions about problem bears, and whether hunting will be used as a tool to eliminate them.
“Well, again, we're not going to be taking people out and saying, shoot that bear,” said Thompson. “It's, again, a once in a lifetime hunting opportunity and I think sportsmen should be able to decide how they want to hunt.”
Thompson said the number of bears killed, including problem bears and hunted bears, will be factored into the next hunting season.
According to the draft, up to 24 bears will be up for grabs between September 15 and November 15. Twelve of these bears can only be killed in what is known as the Demographic Monitoring Area or DMA, a part of northwest Wyoming considered suitable bear habitat. If two females are killed in this area, the hunt will automatically be over.
This meeting is part of a series of public forums throughout the state. Public comments can be made on the department’s website until April 30.