By Sarah Hale
Star Valley Independent
Via Wyoming News Exchange
AFTON — Around the country there may be less interest in combing the mountains for wild game. But, in Wyoming, that is not the case, according to Wyoming Game and Fish Director Scott Talbot.
“I am glad to report that the state of hunting in Wyoming is in very, very good shape,” he said. “We are seeing more youth hunters. We are seeing more women hunters. We are seeing more interest from our residents. We are seeing more interest from our non-residents. In some of our areas of hunting licenses we have seen an increase in applications anywhere from 20 to 40 percent. That’s great to say that our culture of hunting and fishing is alive and well. The flip side of that is that it is a lot tougher for some of us to draw a license.”
According to Talbot, the interest in hunting and the increase in hunting license applications comes at a time when the state is moving forward with setting Grizzly Bear seasons.
“As many of you know the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission passed the regulation to allow and move forward with state management of Grizzly Bears on May 23 in Lander,” Talbot said. “We have taken literally thousands of public comments on a statewide level and national level.”
“The Commission is going to move forward with a proposal for a bear hunting season this fall in northwest Wyoming,” Talbot continued. “I think the operative to that is that it is going to be a very conservative season. If people are interested in participating in that season, they need to go online and apply for one of those licenses.”
According to Talbot, there are two types of bear hunting licenses that will be available. One is a limited quota license for Hunt Area 7. Up to 10 licenses will be issued for that area.
“Hunt Area 7 is outside what we consider suitable Grizzly Bear habitat,” said Talbot. “It’s outside what we refer to as the demographic monitoring area. That is the area where we are managing for bears.”
“Inside of that area we will use a preference list very similar to what we used to use for bison,” Talbot continued. “Folks will be able to apply and then once the drawing happens we rank all of those applications in that order of preference and the top folks will actually be called by the department and advised of the opportunity to hunt a bear.”
According to Talbot, all Grizzly Bear hunting applications must be filled out online. The application dates will be July 2 through July 16.
“Anybody interested needs to go online and there are those two different opportunities to apply for a license,” Talbot said.