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Increasing Wolf, Grizzly Bear Populations Present Challenges for Ranchers, Hunters

posted Sep 18, 2018, 11:51 PM by chloe owens

8/16/2018, by Rebecca Colnar

Increasing wolf, grizzly bear populations present challenges for ranchers, hunters

Hunting season can't come quickly enough for some ranchers and farmers whose livestock have had meetings with sharp-toothed adversaries this summer. Wolves, grizzly bears and even mountain lions sometimes find calves, lambs, sheep and horses worthy of their attention, often with devastating consequences, perhaps worse this year than in the past. Some wildlife groups called on the Wyoming Game and Fish to amend its fall grizzly hunt to exclude the Demographic Monitoring Area — the core of the Yellowstone ecosystem habitat where grizzlies are counted annually to ensure the species persists there after a 2017 female death was recently confirmed, said Angus M. Thuermer Jr., a writer for Wyofile. Wildlife groups said this year's discovery of four grizzly bears that died in 2017 — including at least one critical breeding-age female — meant the numbers had exceeded a threshold and should stop hunting in the DMA this fall. But state Game and Fish Department director Scott Talbott wrote last month that collaborators had expected news about additional deaths so the numbers were not surprising. The long-term survival of the grizzly bear is not in question, he wrote…"Wyoming also authorized a hunt of grizzly bears outside the DMA where as many as a dozen additional bears could be killed. The six groups, including Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Wyoming Untrapped, WildEarth Guardians and Wyoming Wildlife Advocates recently were protesting only the core-area hunt," the Wyofile story reported.