The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved plans for a hunting season on one male Yellowstone area grizzly bear.
The hunt will take place between September 1 and November 15, 2018.
According to ABC News, the Fish and Game Department will hold a random drawing for one Idaho hunter for the grizzly tag. Under the Department’s regulations, no baiting or hunting with hounds will be allowed. If the hunter successfully kills a grizzly, they will not be able to reapply for future grizzly tags.
The announcement comes ahead of a May 23 meeting by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to finalize their grizzly hunting plans. It also comes after seventy-three scientists sent a letter to Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, calling on him to halt the regulations and have an independent panel review the state’s grizzly data.
The letter voices concern that the state is moving ahead with a plan that would negatively impact the Yellowstone area grizzly bear population and threaten their long-term survival.
Earlier in April, officials with Idaho Fish and Game held a series of meetings in Idaho Falls and Boise to discuss the hunt.
Yellowstone area grizzly bears were delisted from the Endangered Species List in June 2017. The states of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho assumed management of the species in August 2017. Unlike Wyoming and Idaho, Montana has declined to host a hunting season this fall, citing ongoing litigation against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A coalition of environmental, conservation, and animal advocacy groups are suing the USFWS, alleging the agency did not use the best available science when determining the bear’s status. The groups also allege any hunting would put the population at risk and add to already troubling levels of grizzly mortality in the Greater Yellowstone Area. A hearing in those suits is scheduled for August.
In December 2017, the USFWS announced it would revisit its grizzly decision. In late April, the agency announced it would not change its ruling.