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Proposed Tri State Trophy Grizzly Bear Hunts

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:10 am
by TNBob
As you may be aware, May 2017 the Grizzly Bear was sadly and perhaps, tragically delisted from all federal protection under Federal Law Endangered Species Act. I for one, strongly oppose the ESA delisting for a host of various reasons far too numerous to delve into with this post. Suffice to say, if the delisting becomes final and then survives numerous forthcoming legal challenges, the fate of the grizzly bear will be void of federal protection or consequence with grizzly bear management surrendered to the tri state wildlife management agencies. In advance of the May 2017 Delisting, collectively MT, WY & ID already had an elaborate Tri State Agreement to sponsor legal self proclaimed "Trophy Grizzly Bear Hunting." This calls for two hunting seasons each year (spring and fall) and even calls for the legal killing of collared grizzly bears! Please note the hunting regulation defined as "TROPHY." For the record I'm not opposed to legal, ethical hunting. I am adamantly against Grizzly Bear hunting! Look what resulted from the cultures of the 1800's and early 1900's..the grizzly was killed off to the very brink of extinction. Be honest, nobody hunts, poaches or otherwise kills grizzly bears to "put meat in the freezer" as with elk, deer and other sustainable game. Grizzlies in the lower 48 should never be considered as "game." The overall grizzly population is exceedingly sparse, genetic low production/high mortality rates with compounded negative effects of habitat loss and a host of other natural and human related threats to their survival.

Allow me to digress to the debated wisdom in the first place of removing the Grizzly Bear from the ESA in and of itself. While I reject the wisdom and question the real Delisting motives as financial and totally drawn to advance narrow special interests, If the real data, though highly debated and counter argued, was sufficient enough to proceed with extreme caution to Delist, then it may make some sense to do so and accurately and objectively measure the impact of same. However, do so WITHOUT ANY TROPHY HUNTING provision. Hunting makes zero sense.

Consider the following; 1) the GYST grizzly population is "estimated" to be approx. 600 bears in a massive geological area. 2) biology and other wildlife experts opine that the grizzly bear population has an annual ten percent (10%) mortality rate, or about 60 bears a year lost through existing natural and human related interactions. 3) the reproduction and survival rate is far less than 10% per year. Now, add the forthcoming strain and effects to an already precarious population that will unquestionably follow when MT, WY & ID enact twice per year "Trophy Hunting Grizzly Bears" and well, you can see what the results will be. In addition to the hunting/killing factor, consider that simply removing all federal protection, prosecution and penalties from ESA protection will likely open the door for non hunting illegal killing grizzlies because there will be no fear of enforcement, penalties or consequences against poachers and/or others feel entitled it is their right to kill a grizzly. Do you not think that in addition to the harvested "legal" bears hunted/tallied, far more bears will be wounded, maimed and displaced by both trophy hunters and others without fear of federal action as a deterrent? This entire scenario will have devastating effects and perhaps, fatal repercussions to what now remains our national treasure. If you think this will have no effect on YNP and its grizzly population, think again! All this will have a profound negative effect on YST bear population. Once they cross a mere foot beyond those invisible YNP borders, as nature so dictates, they immediately become targets not only to rifles, but the big money special interests behind it all.... collared and all.

Want a glimpse into that future? Just look at the current! Please consider the following excerpts from a recent 2017 Jackson Hole News article. This data alone is startlingly (23 grizzlies killed since mid Sept alone) and doesn't even touch the forthcoming combined ill effects of loss of protection under the ESA loss and state sponsored Trophy Grizzly Bear Hunting regs. It's only the tip of the iceberg! If the realities of the above and below are of concern and is not your vision for the future, please get involved before its too late again and history repeats itself.

"A rough year for bears, people

Hunter sightings of grizzlies in the field have been few, he said, though their tracks and sign are being reported with more regularity. There was one report last week of a hunter’s left-behind elk meat being appropriated in the Antelope Flats area, though scavenging wolves were the likely culprit.

Around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem it has been a rough year for conflicts between hunters and grizzlies. A federal database that tracks deaths of the recently state-managed species shows at least 23 “known” or “probable” grizzly mortalities that are “under investigation” since the middle of September.

It’s not coincidental that the dates coincide with when big game seasons kicked off, drawing rifle-toting humans into the field.

In Wyoming there were “at least” 13 bear-human conflicts through Nov. 14 this fall, Wyoming Game and Fish said in a press release. It noted seven grizzly bears shot and four people injured."

Re: Proposed Tri State Trophy Grizzly Bear Hunts

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:32 pm
by billandkaren
Like you, I think this will have devastating effects on the grizzly population. It will take a few years, but I think we will be back to where we were in the 70's and start the cycle all over again.


Re: Proposed Tri State Trophy Grizzly Bear Hunts

Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:16 pm
by Absarokanaut
I'm going to play Devil's advocate so please forgive the bluntness.

If 3/4 of the Grizzly population dissapears in just a few years as you fear it will not be from hunting; they would be RELISTED long before hunting could do it alone.

Pointing out the prevalence of human/bear confrontations is an argument FOR, not against delisting.

I'm worried about whitebark pine nuts and army cutworm moths a whole lot more than I am about human hunting but numbers recovered to more than TWICE the objective for delisting. After an incredibly harsh winter numbers are reported to have remained "stable." Whatever your prejudices against sportsmen that contribute the far and away greatest amount of money to wildlife management/conservation just condemning for condemnations sake without any address of ultimate numbers is not going to help your cause. If you can demonstrate that the population is going down to far, and it very well could in the coming years, then you have an argument. Until then since the species has been "recovered" for a couple of decades you can't expect to keep extending the field and continue pushing the goal posts; you're concern will continue to be viewed as emotional hysteria and you're not going to change very many hearts or minds.

The States have no interest in numbers going below recovery goals since that would take control away from them again.

Re: Proposed Tri State Trophy Grizzly Bear Hunts

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:20 pm
by TNBob
I respect, but disagree with some of your opinions and no sir, I'm not "prejudiced to sportsman" as you incorrectly stated. In fact, just the opposite. I don't know where you came up with that "3/4 decline grizzly population." I'm not "pushing the goal posts," my concerns reside with having a remaining goal post! Let's put it this way, the thin "recovered" population will unquestionably decline alone or more so in combination, with the effects of natural habitat issues and trophy hunting. I agree, there's no doubt, nor debate that the decline of whitebark pine nut and army cutworm adversely effect the vital seasonal nutritional needs of the bears. Thus the biological reason that YST grizzlies are found to have a greater and rising, percentage and higher proportion of meat (elk, bison) for protein necessity. In fact, your comments appear to fully concur that the grizzly faces ever increasing appreciable natural challenges and threats. I fail to understand reasoning that in addition to adverse and continuing natural effects, the forthcoming killing/trophy hunting of a genetically isolated island population of grizzlies is positive for all sides.

Let me ask you this. You all but admit that the grizzly population will diminish alone with the existing natural threats, much less with the direct and immediate, instantaneous reduced population of trophy hunting. How can approx. 600 of any species, Endangered or not, be considered "Recovered?" If there were only 600 elk left, would sportsman propose hunting the remainder as a positive for the species? If you read or understood my post accurately, I stated that I would accept the debate of recovery and "delisting" if it is accurate, reliable and non biased supported delisting data. If so, then go ahead and delist. Reverse federal ESA protection and turn over grizzly management to the states. However, in my opinion, introducing biannual trophy grizzly hunting should not be included at this time as effective management. The Tri State Agreement along with their state and federal representative and senators, gleefully endorse "trophy" grizzly hunting as a vital component of their new state management plans. Just read their collective self interest endorsements and in some cases, plans to further greatly expand hunting. Let's be honest here, the motives behind state sponsored "trophy grizzly bear hunting" is big money and local influences, not necessarily sportsmanship. In this situation, perhaps those two elements go hand in hand. It's all about state tax revenues, special interest groups financial gains and in many cases, individual vanity to kill grizzly bears. I noticed you never commented on the Tri-State Agreement as self declared "Trophy Grizzly Bear Hunting." Operative word..Trophy! Why? Because that's exactly what MT, WY & ID irrationally chose to promote as effective population management.

There is no "emotional hysteria" anywhere in this dialogue. The grizzly bear in the lower forty eight is no longer a "game" animal or species. They were at one time, both with and without protection or regulation. Thus the reason this North American iconic species through the years has been reduced to near extinction levels and habitiat. By all means, engage with responsible and effective sustainable management. However, killing them as state sponsored trophies with big revenues versus continued and adjusted federal oversight, management, protection is a recipe for disaster for the grizzly bear. Tri-State Agreement Trophy Grizzly Bear predicable as the fox guarding the hen house. The damage will be cumulative, the loss.....decades in the making. I'm not trying to change hearts and minds, but rather proffer factual attention to the likely adverse ramifications of state endorsed trophy grizzly hunting. I won't change minds or position, not my intention to do so. That's not important, protecting YST grizzlies from repeated trophy slaughter is. If conservation of the grizzly bear was really a sincere issue among sportsman and hunters, delisting just might make some reserved justification at this time. However, Delisting immediately followed by States biannual Trophy hunting is not conservation, extremely controversial with very predictable progression and outcome.