Idaho Fish and Game is gathering public comment next week on a proposed grizzly bear hunt. Many hunters favor the idea of a hunt, with certain conditions.
Brian Brooks is Executive Director of the Idaho Wildlife Federation. It represents 21 hunting, fishing and wildlife organizations across the state. He’s a hunter and has been talking to his friends about the proposal to hunt one male grizzly this year in Idaho.
Brooks says, right now, the science supports it.
“If we’re going to listen to that science, then one bear being harvested in Idaho per year will not affect the overall population,” says Brooks.
The Center for Biological Diversity has come out against Idaho’s proposal, saying a hunt would “negatively impact grizzly bear recovery.” But Brooks says hunters want guidelines to make sure the bear does not end up back on the Endangered Species List.
“It needs to be done in a smart way, in a sustainable way. No one wants to see the bear’s population go down,” says Brooks.
Brooks says dozens of problem grizzlies are killed by authorities each year and one could be specifically targeted for hunters.
He says the cost of the tag should also help with management practices like habitat restoration or reducing human/bear conflict.
Fish and Game is taking comments at meetings next Tuesday and Thursday in Idaho Falls and Boise.
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