Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles

Stay up-to-date on hunting, fishing and camping products, trends and news.

Boone & Crockett says NO to Electronic Hunting Gear

 

Outdoor Life recently posted an article that said, “According to an update on the Boone & Crockett Club’s Eligibility Statement, which took effect Dec. 1, 2021, the use of “sights with built-in electronic range-finding capabilities” and “technology that delivers real-time location data (including photos) to target or guide a hunter to any animal” are now considered violations of the club’s revered code of ethical conduct. Hunters who enter animals for consideration in the Boone and Crockett Records of North American Big Game must sign an affidavit swearing that they have not relied on these technologies, just as they testify that they have not violated other tenants of fair chase, including chasing game with motorized equipment, hunting inside high fences, drugging animals, or violating local game laws.”

It’s hard to govern ethics and I don’t envy the job that the Boone & Crockett Club has when trying to determine what is fair chase and what isn’t. It may seem easy to us today on where to draw the line, but I often wonder how far we would draw the line if we lived 100 years ago. The technology and cool hunting gear we get to use now, and even were able to use 30 years ago, would’ve seemed less than sporting to many that have come before us.

I’m not sure I understand the logic of not allowing rifle scopes with rangefinders. If rangefinders are legal, who cares where they are encased (in the riflescope, in the binocular, in a small handheld unit, etc.)? I do understand the reasoning behind not allowing transmitting trail cameras to be used during the season.  I have no problem with them when scouting, but during the season it is a bit too much in my opinion.

Therein lies the problem, though – in my opinion. We all have differences in opinion on many topics related to hunting ethics, yet there does need to be someone or some group regulating what is and what isn’t fair chase so that we all have a consistent standard. Otherwise, as it says in the book of Judges, “all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes”.

Continue reading
  450 Hits

Prohibit Hunting Bobcat, Lynx and Mountain Lion in Colorado

SB22-031 Prohibit Hunting Bobcat, Lynx and Mountain Lion in Colorado – Dave Shaffer

So, it looks like the Anti’s are at it again here in Colorado.

Bill SB22-031 has been introduced into the Colorado General Assembly which would prohibit hunting bobcat, lynx (already protected) and mountain lions here in Colorado.  It provides exceptions such as: unless immediately necessary to protect an individual from bodily harm, protecting livestock, etc.  Violation is punishable by a fine of $500-$2,000 or up to one year in jail and suspending the person’s hunting license for up to 5 years, among other things. Here’s the link:  https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb22-031

You may recall that back in 1992, the Colorado Black Bear Hunting Restriction Initiative (Initiative 10), was approved prohibiting black bear hunting using bait or dogs and between March 1 and September 1. 

Then in 2020, Proposition 114, a ballot initiative was passed directing the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to develop a plan to introduce gray wolves into Colorado, getting “paws on the ground” by 2023.  And just last month according to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) news release, https://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/News-Release-Details.aspx?NewsID=8030  CPW wildlife officers confirmed a wolf depredation incident has occurred on a domestic calf in North Park, near Walden Colorado.  

Continue reading
  613 Hits

Washington Spring 2022 Bear Hunt Update

GUEST AUTHOR: Brian Clintworth

Last month I wrote about the Washington Spring Bear hunt being cancelled in 2022 due to the Commission having a split vote which was driven by a couple of commission members that chose to ignore the science and vote with emotion.  Outraged hunters started several grassroots movements and made this a national issue.  Numerous podcasts and articles have been featured across the hunting industry in the last month and half.  A change.org petition has collected over 20,000 signatures, the RMEF has taken a stance in favor of the hunt and is encouraging its members to be active in fighting for this hunt. All these efforts have forced the commission to have a special meeting on January 21st to reconsider the 2022 Spring Bear season in WA.   

 

Now it is time for hunters to show up and make their voices heard loud and clear. I feel that if we are able to do this we will be able to get the Spring bear hunt back on for 2022. This will be an important victory as it will show that hunters will not just accept our hunts being taken away and will fight to keep them.  It is easy to submit comments to the committee. Click on the link below to do so. You can be assured that the anti-hunting crowd will also be making their voices heard on this. All written comments must be in by January 14, 2022.

The link to the submission form is https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/contact.

Continue reading
  543 Hits

Is Poaching Worth It?

We have all been privy to a poacher or otherwise unethical individual that continues to push moral boundaries and cross legal lines just enough to make you cringe or sometimes flat out turn them in for their dastardly deeds. Oftentimes it is someone that grew up shooting deer whenever and wherever to feed their families to satisfy a legitimate need but this once seemingly noble concept has morphed into something ugly. Ultimately, these people have no regard for law and worse yet, their fellow Americans. After all, the animals they are profiting on belong to all of us. 

Not only do we see celebrity hunters selling out just to keep a show going and their social media page popping, but we also see individuals develop a serial poaching habit…in the end, most are getting off with a slap on the wrist and a short ban from hunting at best. So to answer the title to this article, for many the answer could be, “yes” it’s worth the risk because the penalties are traditionally not enough to cause a reason to stop. I think we can all safely say that poaching convictions haven’t had enough bite and game agencies don’t have enough time to gather strong cases and slap these people hard enough. Perhaps there is hope! 

Recently, IDFG hit one of these cowards a bit harder than “normal” and although it might not seem like enough, it is definitely a step in the right direction. 

On December 14th, 2021 Paul D. Coward (such a fitting name) was convicted of outfitting/guiding without a license, unlawful possession of firearms, illegal hunting practices and poaching a mountain goat in Washington State. This shortlist was what IDFG was able to make stick. We all know this list is much longer if the full story was told. Sadly, the prosecution took place WAY too late, there have been over 23 YEARS of complaints against Coward and a three-year-long investigation before justice was served!

WHAT!!? 23 years of complaints, dang! However, on the upside, Coward’s hunting privileges were revoked for 10 years in 48 states, and he was handed 90 days of jail time to be served in three separate sentences during the month of September of 2022, 2023, and 2024! This is to keep him out of the woods during his peak poaching season. All that and $16k in fines! Not bad, I particularly like the September sentences. 

Continue reading
  684 Hits

A SOLID breakthrough in Performanc


The CX (Copper alloy eXpanding) bullet from Hornady represents the most advanced monolithic hunting bullet on the market. Its optimized design offers extended range performance, greater accuracy, high weight retention, and deep penetration.

 

The post A SOLID breakthrough in Performanc appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

  605 Hits

Eastmans’ Hunting Journal Updated: EHJ 189

CONTENT COMING SOON…

 

The post Eastmans’ Hunting Journal Updated: EHJ 189 appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.


  389 Hits

Utah Outlaws All Trail Cameras

The time has come in the state of Utah. Yesterday, January 4th, the Utah Wildlife Board met and were set to vote on whether or not trail cams should be outlawed on public land. Due to a split vote of the board, the chairman cast the deciding vote to ban all trail cameras for the use of hunting on public and private land from July 31st to December 31st beginning in 2022. The provision stated that private landowners can still use trail cams to monitor their property but they can’t use it for the intention of hunting. This vote follows suit with other states out West banning trail cameras during hunting season, namely Arizona and Nevada. This vote came after a survey was sent out to more than 9,000 license holders to see what they thought; 57% never used a trail camera and around half thought that they should be illegal. Around two thirds of the respondents thought that wireless transmitting trail cameras should be illegal. 

This ruling also makes it illegal for outfits to sell trail camera photos with date and locations for animals to the highest bidder. This issue has popped up the past couple of years where we have been seeing people capturing trail camera images and selling the coordinates to hunters. The public survey showed strong support for that to be illegal. 

Thermal imaging devices were also made illegal during hunting season and they cannot be used two days before hunting season opens and two days after hunting season closes. You can’t use thermal imaging devices to recover an animal you shot either. 

 

We are seeing a turning of the tide in the western states regarding technology usage for hunting. Is this a slippery slope or is it a move in the right direction? 

Continue reading
  414 Hits

GIANT 200 inch buck! Hunting Trophy Mule Deer

Go trophy mule deer hunting with Ike Eastman on this Beyond the Grid by Eastmans’ episode. Ike is focused on hunting for a buck that passes the 200-inch mark. He may have finally found a deer that meets that mark. Now it’s a game of cat and mouse to outsmart the mature wise old buck.

The post GIANT 200 inch buck! Hunting Trophy Mule Deer appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

  356 Hits

Disturbing the Winter Range?

This topic brings up a long list of thoughts and opinions…What exactly does disturbing the winter range constitute and if or when is it okay? We live in a free country, right? Why can’t I get out and enjoy the outdoors whenever and wherever I please? Well, here are some thoughts to ponder and I personally think both the animals and us freedom loving Americans can have our way if done correctly! 

IDFG recently sent out a reminder for us two-legged meat eaters to ease-up and let wildlife rest-up. I have actively researched and written outdoor articles for over a decade, I can safely say that over the years, research has pointed towards backing off and allowing animals to rest providing positive results. This can be applied to deer resting near highways and neighborhoods being bothered by pets or overly curious people. Bucks dropping antlers while being pushed by over ambitious shed hunters, to mountain goats and bighorn sheep hanging at lower elevations and being pushed around by snowmobile riders/backcountry skiers. 

These examples and many more highlight real issues for big game animals and their overall health and sustainability. Wildlife in general need a rest during the winter season. But more specifically, big game animals have recently pushed through the trials of summer and fall along with the physical perseverance required to get through the breeding season. After which they are often minimally equipped for a long winter ahead and that is not considering exceptionally hard winters that take a much heavier toll. Statistically during average winters about 90% of the adult deer survive, while in contrast roughly 40% of the fawns will die! And as to be expected, severe winters drop the rate of survival significantly. Thus, anything we can do to help during this season is an added benefit to overall herd health and viability

Here are some tips to consider while you’re out and about this winter:

If you are moving animals around because of your physical presence you are too closeKeep dogs on a leash or under controlSnowmobile and ski in areas that aren’t showing fresh animal sign. It’s easier for us to move than for the critters to relocate.When shed hunting give the animals space and don’t push them to drop or crowd them while you shed hunt.Roads become easy travel paths when large snow accumulations occur. Therefore, driving requires more caution than “normal”

These concepts may seem obvious to some, but each year there are issues that arise from the conflict between people and animals especially during winter and as the contrast between hunters and activists grows more stark we that truly carry the mantle of sportsmen and women need to sharpen our techniques, stay educated, stay involved and continue to pave the way for the next generation of hunters behind us. Enjoy the season, rest-up, practice lots and we’ll see you in a moment for application season. 

Continue reading
  596 Hits

Colorado confirms wolf depredation incident in Jackson County

GUEST AUTHOR: Dave Winchester

According to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) news release, https://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/News-Release-Details.aspx?NewsID=8030  CPW wildlife officers are confident in confirming a wolf depredation incident has occurred on a domestic calf in North Park, near Walden Colorado.  Walden is located at the confluence of numerous GMUs in northwest Colorado less than 20 miles South of the Wyoming border.

On Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021 a CPW District Wildlife Manager (DWM) received a report of a calf carcass on a ranch in Jackson County. The DWM responded and conducted a field investigation and necropsy on the carcass of the calf to look for evidence of pre-mortem wounds. “The results of this investigation indicated wolf tracks in the immediate vicinity of the carcass and wounds on the calf consistent with wolf depredation,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Kris Middledorf.

Today, gray wolves remain a state endangered species, and wolves may not be taken for any reason other than self-defense. Illegal take of a wolf may result in a combination of penalties, including fines of up to $100,000, a year of jail time, and a lifetime loss of hunting license privileges. 

However, Proposition 114, a ballot initiative directing the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to develop a plan to introduce gray wolves onto the Western Slope of Colorado, passed on November 3, 2020.  

Proposition 114 directs the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to:

Develop a plan to reintroduce and manage gray wolves in Colorado;Take necessary steps to begin reintroduction no later than December 31, 2023, on designated lands west of the Continental Divide; andPay fair compensation for livestock losses caused by gray wolves.

Based on public feedback and CPW’s expertise in developing wildlife management plans, the Commission is moving forward with a strategic phased approach that will facilitate robust stakeholder engagement in the early stages of the planning process.  CPW has formed a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) to oversee wolf reintroduction and management in Colorado. The SAG will represent diverse wolf management interests that will convene to support the development of the gray wolf management plan for Colorado. 

Continue reading
  565 Hits

CWD Goes Federal! Good or Bad?

The U.S. House of Representatives just passed H.R. 5608 the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act. This bill authorizes $70 million annually between fiscal years 2022 and 2028 to be divided equally between CWD research and management efforts. 

“Of this, $35 million will be dedicated annually for CWD research to develop testing methods, enhance detection efforts, better understand genetic resistance, among others. The remaining $35 million will be used for the management of CWD by prioritizing funding for state and tribal wildlife agencies that have the highest incidence of CWD, are demonstrating the most significant commitments to combatting CWD, are facing the greatest risk of new CWD cases, and more.”

There’s an old saying, “follow the money” and it’s intended to ferret out the source of a fishy smell surrounding an issue and there is no bigger issue in wildlife management today than CWD. Therefore it makes sense that if the federal government was to “get behind” an issue it would be this one. It also stands to reason that by earmarking half of the $70 million to state and tribal wildlife agencies experiencing “the greatest risk” that states would ramp up their testing and searching for CWD so that they can get their share of the money to help prop up sagging budgets. The money trail is startlingly clear on this one. Want a piece of the pie? Start showing more CWD incidence. The higher the prevalence rate of CWD the more money the feds will throw your way. Things that make you go, hmmmm. 

Understanding more about CWD is not a bad thing and my hope is that states use this money to learn more about the disease before implementing drastic, half-baked and dangerously short sighted “management measures” like the culling of mature mule deer bucks on the winter range! Yes, that’s actually part of more than one state’s management plan that for now, has been stalled, thankfully. 

More knowledge and understanding is always a good thing but modern society’s tendency to base policy on emotion and feelings instead of cold, hard scientific fact is dangerous at best and could very well lead to the extirpation of the West’s iconic mule deer herds, all thanks to the boogeyman named CWD. We are seeing the dismantling of sound wildlife management practice all across the West from CWD cull hunts to demands for the closure of elk feed grounds due to the possibility of CWD contamination. What will this look like now that federal taxpayer dollars are dangling in front of state wildlife agencies? 

Continue reading
  1109 Hits

Montana FWP Changes Course to Privatize Elk Hunting

Well that didn’t take long! The FWP commission retracted their proposal to convert special draw areas to general elk hunting on private land in hunting districts in 411, 417, 426, 535, 590, 702, 704, and 705. FWP Director Hank Worsech defended the proposal saying it’s a way to address herd numbers and make it so private landowners could hunt their own property because they couldn’t draw a tag. There is a landowner tag draw already in place and you are eligible for it if you own 640 acres of land in the district. For deer and antelope you must own  160 acres to be eligible for the landowner draw. Would this change in law actually address the elk population problem on private land? Most folks say no, and it created quite the buzz in Montana recently with fears that this would only further privatize hunting in the great state of Montana.

Commissioner Pat Byorth argued against it saying the herd population numbers in those areas are outdated and noted that only hunter access is going to reduce the elk herds, not privatizing the hunting. State Senator Brad Molnar told the commission that the current proposal will do nothing to address the population objective as a whole and “the problem is, for this particular moment, that Gov. Gianforte appointed and the Senate confirmed an extremely slanted commissioner and director. And I expect nothing good to come out of your efforts for the next four years.” 

I will note that the elk management plan is being rewritten as we speak which could be good or bad for the future of public hunting depending on which direction it goes. In 2017, the elk management plan was rewritten and objectives were lowered statewide which is why all of the sudden all these districts across the central and eastern parts of the state were “over objective”. It largely has to do with landowner tolerance of animals on their property. So stay tuned to see what the new elk management plan entails in 2022. 

Source:

https://www.ktvq.com/news/montana-fwp-changes-course-from-controversial-elk-hunting-proposal-for-central-and-eastern-hunting-districts

Continue reading
  813 Hits

Wyoming’s Mule Deer Need Your Help

The Wyoming Game and Fish released a reminder to slow down on the highways and watch for poachers on Wyoming’s winter ranges this winter in hopes of protecting wildlife and especially the mule deer herd in southwest Wyoming. Every year hundreds of big game animals get hit on Wyoming’s highways and winter is the most prominent time for vehicle collisions because of the increased density of animals on the low elevation winter ranges. Slowing down even 5 mph is enough to make a difference in vehicle collisions and increases the duration of your reaction time to slow down. 

Game and Fish is asking to be on the lookout for suspicious activity around wildlife like harassment and poaching. Big bucks are more visible now more than any other time of the year due to the winter range being around highways and developed areas. As always, informants are anonymous and cash rewards are offered if convictions are made. 

 

Source:

https://oilcity.news/galleries/2021/12/09/photos-tumbleweeds-invade-bar-nunn-after-relentless-winds-on-wednesday/

Continue reading
  764 Hits

Hornady RAPiD Safe Night Guard

 

In today’s world it seems that security is at the top of the list for most people. We are constantly searching for ways to keep our loved ones and our possessions safer and better protected. We see this in everything from home security systems to car alarms and personal information protection. It only makes sense that securing our firearms would be a top priority as well. 

In the past securing a firearm meant cumbersome gun locks or hiding them away behind the vault door of a gun safe. This is a problem if the firearm in question is needed for protection. Afterall, a gun that you can’t retrieve quickly and easily is useless, especially a handgun. Hornady understands this and has developed a line of products aimed at keeping your firearms secure while also allowing unfettered access to select people. 

The RAPiD line of safes from Hornady are well thought out and heavily constructed firearm containment devices that allow virtually instant access to your securely locked away weapon. The RAPiD Safe Night Guard in particular is designed to lock away a handgun from unwanted access while allowing quick access to authorized users via Hornady’s patented RFID technology. 

 

Continue reading
  561 Hits

Montana Eyeing Mule Deer Hunting Changes

Wildlife managers across the West are confronted with declining mule deer populations and Montana is no exception. With that struggle only getting more difficult the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission has proposed some changes to the general deer season in Regions 1, 2 and 3. 

In Region 1 the proposal is structured as follows. Mule deer bucks will be able to be hunted on a general license for the first three weeks of the season and the last two weeks will go to a limited permit hunt with a quota of 15 tags. Since Montana’s general deer season falls largely within the mule deer rut, the hope is that by trimming two weeks off of the current five week season, more bucks will be available to breed and grow to maturity. 

Region 2 already has permits in place but now the commission is seeking to shorten the season from five weeks to three

In Region 3 the proposal is to move HDs 380 and 392 to limited permits

There are other factors suppressing mule deer recruitment across their entire range in the West. Predation from overpopulated predators such as wolves, bears, mountain lions and coyotes is high on the list of concerns. Mule deer are often outcompeted by whitetail deer that are more resilient to hunting pressure and more adaptable. Mule deer also suffer widely from habitat loss and fragmentation and death by automobile thanks to human population growth. 

Continue reading
  402 Hits

Sheep Week in Reno is Back!

Help us keep wild sheep on the mountains. Wildlife conservation can’t afford to take time off. Wild Sheep Foundation’s annual Sheep Week will be virtual and in-person this year! Whether you travel to Reno or not, Sheep Week is better than ever with more sheep hunt auctions and raffles than last year. During the virtual event, visit with outfitters and manufacturers, join the live auction, chat with your friends and more from any internet-connected device. Bighorn sheep, Dall’s sheep, Stone’s sheep and wild sheep across the world depend on this fundraising.

The post Sheep Week in Reno is Back! appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

  368 Hits

Migration Corridors – Nevada’s Priority

The state of Nevada’s migration corridors is set to have a major boost in priority within BLM lands. The Department of the Interior sent out a memo outlining 13 action item points that will help migratory big game animals move from summer to winter range every year. This plan in particular will help mule deer who have oftentimes followed the “green wave” the farthest. Every spring the deer and pronghorns follow the snow line with the greenest most nutrient-dense food back to the higher elevations. Every year that gets a little tougher with fragmentation, competition and development all eroding the landscape.

This is also significant because Nevada has vast swaths of BLM land. These giant tracts will serve the battle grounds for preserving and ideally growing Nevada’s mule deer population. I’ve documented well in the Eastmans’ MRS the steady downward trajectory that the deer herd has faced in the recent past. These priorities will, over time, help be a boon for these deer herds and with a little luck I may be able to report stabilization and eventually growth in the areas where these management strategies have taken place. 

Of those 13 points here are a few that will likely make a huge difference: 

Development in migration and winter range habitat will be delayed during the winter or other crucial seasons. Fragmentation of winter range due to development would be avoided. Multiple points cover a variety of plant and habitat strategies that would over time improve winter range and migration corridor forage. Work with NDOW to identify fences that need to be removed or replaced with wildlife friendly fences. Other actions involving water sources can be read below in the full press release. 

All of these actions will be a huge win for Nevada’s wildlife. However, there is one major piece of the equation that is missing and honestly I don’t envy the job of selling to the public what must happen to fix the issue of wild horses. Nevada has been dealing with this issue for years and these, while beautiful creatures, exist on the landscape in such high numbers improving deer and pronghorn populations to match objectives will be tough. 

The wild horse issue really becomes apparent in drought years like this one. Their ability to out compete their smaller competition for food and water is bringing the issue to the limelight. The solution is removing them, but will it be in a non-lethal form? 

Continue reading
  559 Hits

Arizona Update: OTC Archery Deer

Beginning in 2023 AZ will transition to a harvest threshold model of OTC archery deer. This means that OTC tags will remain available but that each unit will have a set harvest quota. When that quota is reached the unit will be closed. This follows the same model that our bear and lion hunts utilize. This will require AZ to utilize mandatory reporting, something that is likely to be expanded to all species at some point. This should provide better data for the state to utilize when planning seasons, as previously only 20-30% of surveys were completed.

Additionally, the commission has directed the department to explore ways to implement a 10% cap on Non-Resident sales of OTC archery deer tags. In 2020 non-residents made up approximately 11% of the total tag sales, the highest it has ever been. This won’t reduce the tags available to NR by much but will prevent the number of NR archery hunters from continuing to skyrocket.

 

The post Arizona Update: OTC Archery Deer appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

  616 Hits

Gear I Wish I Had Had This Year….

Pardon my long winded rant on this blog, however I feel that this PSA is necessary for every western hunter. Every year we pick our gear for every trip and we are glad to share how well we did picking the right gear for the trip. I am turning this around the other way this time, sucking up my ego! In this article I am going to share with you some of the wrong choices I made in gear and tell you what I wish I would have taken to better fit the needs of the trip that I was on. And what better time to share all of this than when the last late season hunts are wrapping up and the significant others are building their Christmas lists?!

Now let me also remind everyone that none of the gear pieces used failed or performed poorly, they did exactly what they were supposed to do. This is just a reminder that there are sometimes better tools than what we throw in the pack, sometimes it is bias towards our favorite pieces, sometimes it is ego, other times it is just that we hadn’t bought the ideal piece yet. 

Now let’s move on to the gear!!!!

I should have had the Kryptek Atilla II Jacket

It’s no secret that I am a hoody guy. They are a piece of kit that has always been a staple for me and the advances in technical clothing the last 10 years has made them even more comfortable. On a late October elk hunt with 28- 50 degree temps during the day, plus the humidity of melting snow a wide variety of conditions were encountered. The wind was also brutal in some areas, especially when the drifting snow played into the equation. The Atilla II would have been perfect to have underneath my wind layer jacket or vest depending on conditions.




Continue reading
  627 Hits

Grizzlies…The Fight Continues

Wyoming Senators Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso have stepped up as a tri-state coalition and four US Senators jump into the fight to delist the more than recovered grizzly bear. 

The grizzly bear delisting saga continues in the northern Rocky Mountain states. A new development has in fact arose as of late with a recent collaboration between the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho along with a coalition from Federal legislators in said states that places a bit more muscle and credibility behind the ongoing effort to delist the overpopulated predator in the region. A democratic federal administration will more than likely make this possibility nearly impossible, however it looks like the states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho are poised to make another run at a grizzly bear delisting in the next few months. A process that will neither be easy nor quick.  

The primary goal is for the states to regain control of the bears outside the scope of the protections encompassed within the confines of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The state of Wyoming in particular has aggressively engaged in this process for the better part of two decades with no avail as court case after court case has shut the effort down even after the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service themselves have agreed with the release of the species as “recovered”. All the while the population of bears in and around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has continued to expand well beyond the carrying capacity for the predator causing massive wildlife management issues and conflicts.  

The primary complaint or reason for the Montana judge and an appeals court panel to reject the move to “delist” was based on the risk of a lack of genetic diversity related to connectivity within the region’s bear populations. This new memorandum of understanding, which has yet to be agreed to fully by the states of Idaho and Montana, would create an agreement or pact between the states to open up the possibility of embarking on a relocation program between the not quite connected current populations throughout the states. Essentially, genetically connecting the Yellowstone bears with the Glacier bears in an effort to create a larger and more blended genetic pool in both regions. Basically, a good old fashioned bear swap. 

As a side note, the state of Montana has also recently begun to move forward with the process of a potential removal of the grizzly bear in the Glacier National Park region of Montana from the ESA as well. Northwest Montana is now experiencing many of the same negative effects and problems of an overpopulated grizzly bear population that we have witnessed in northwest Wyoming. 

Continue reading
  475 Hits