One tag offered in Idaho’s first grizzly hunt in 40-plus years
Idaho Fish and Game commissioners have approved a hunting season for grizzly bears in a portion of eastern Idaho, with one tag offered, according to a news release Thursday, May 10 from Fish and Game.
It reportedly will mark the first grizzly hunt in the state in 43 years.
Fish and Game will offer one tag for the opportunity to hunt a grizzly bear in a controlled hunt, random drawing limited to Idaho residents. Application period will be June 15 through July 15. Resident hunters who applied for any other controlled hunt in 2018 may also apply for the grizzly bear hunt. The hunt will run Sept. 1 through Nov. 15. No baiting or hound hunting will be allowed.
So why just a single tag?
According to Fish and Game, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming allocate available hunting opportunity based on the proportion of land each state has within the demographic monitoring area (excluding Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks where no hunting is allowed). Idaho has 8 percent of the land in the DMA, and in 2018, 8 percent of the total allowable mortality available for hunting represents one male bear, Fish and Game said.
The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear population has met federal recovery criteria since the early 2000s, and in 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took the population off of the Endangered Species Act list; Idaho will continue to manage the population in coordination with Wyoming and Montana.
The conservation strategy for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly population includes hunting as a management tool when the population is more than 600 bears. The 2017 population estimate is 718 grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone DMA, which encompasses suitable grizzly habitat in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. The DMA includes all of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, but no hunting will occur in either national park.
The population in the DMA has been stable over the last decade with annual population estimates in the monitoring area ranging between 694 and 757 grizzlies.