More than 7,000 people applied for the opportunity to be drawn for one of 22 available grizzly bear tags in Wyoming.
“The drawing odds are going to be very low,” Renny MacKay, Wyoming Game and Fish Department spokesman, told the Jackson Hole News & Guide. “There definitely were a lot of applications for very few licenses.”
The grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has recovered since being listed as endangered in the 1970s, and the population has met federal recovery criteria since the early 2000s.
Animal rights and environmental groups filed litigation to stop the planned hunt. If it goes forward, the plan is to distribute up to 10 tags to hunters who may seek grizzlies in six interior zones. The remaining 12 tags are for hunt area 7 where managers want to reduce numbers by using hunting as a management tool.
“This is the same process we’ve been using for years, and it’s a random process,” said MacKay. “We definitely stand by that we’re going to do this ethically and fairly. Everyone who enters legally is going to have an equal chance of drawing.”
The drawing is scheduled to take place on August 2.
(Photo source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)