Alert: Help us stop Wyoming and Idaho from opening trophy hunts on Yellowstone grizzly bears

By on April 19, 2018 with 31 Comments

Wyoming and Idaho’s aggressive plans for the trophy hunting of the remaining 700 or so Yellowstone-area grizzly bears this year are unscientific and – unless stopped — will set bear conservation back by decades.

No one knows how many grizzlies are now living in the Yellowstone area, but we know how many have perished in the last three years. We’ve seen record-level mortalities, and 175 bears have died directly from human causes, because of actions by poachers, cattle ranchers and elk hunters. Adding a trophy hunt will increase poaching and produce a conservation and cruelty disaster — especially for the smallest bears, the dependent cubs.

When trophy hunters take out the big male territorial bears, younger males vie for the dead bear’s home range and mates. They kill the previous sire’s cubs, and sometimes his females too. Also, if a trophy hunter kills a mother bear, her cubs, dependent upon her for up to four years, could be doomed to starvation, predation or exposure.

In June 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prematurely yanked federal Endangered Species Act protections from Yellowstone-area grizzly bears and handed management authority to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Immediately, Wyoming and Idaho wildlife officials launched plans to allow heavily-armed trophy hunters to legally kill up to two dozen grizzly bears.

Highly sentient and familial, and, in many cases, human-habituated, grizzly bears have only their wits and fleet feet to save them, while camouflaged hunters wait with high-powered scopes and weapons over fetid bait piles to kill them.

Raspberry (left) and Snowy are a mother and son pair of grizzly bears who live on the eastern edge of Yellowstone National Park. Their lives would be endangered by a trophy hunt. Photo by Wendy Keefover/The HSUS

Federal and state governments have allowed monied special interests (the Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation) to trample upon the values and wishes of the majority of Americans who want to see Yellowstone-area Great Bears and their habitats protected for future generations,

Thousands of wildlife watchers can photograph the same grizzly bears for years in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, but not if they’re hunted. According to at least three studies, Wyoming’s local economies benefit greatly because of eco-tourism, and wildlife watchers spend nearly twice as much as hunters do. Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks bring in millions of dollars each year. One study found that tourism in Wyoming brings the state nearly $9 million per day. But if one person kills a bear — just to pose with it for a portrait in order to post on social media and then display a bear-skin rug — that act robs us all of the enjoyment of seeing these magnificent animals, while diminishing the grizzly bear population, and the ecosystem.

In a new study, an international team of biologists found that charismatic species such as grizzly bears and African lions face extinction because, in part, the public believes that these majestic animals are automatically protected from human exploitation. But that is simply not the case because most large-bodied native carnivores do face extinction. Another new study, this one from Canadian biologists who worked to shut down the British Columbia grizzly bear hunt, demonstrated that 60 percent of scientific decisions made by governmental entities are not based upon the hallmarks of sound science, including rigorous population analyses, measurable objectives, basic evidence, transparency or independent reviews from outside scientists. Instead, governments often make poor decisions purely because of political pressures.

You can help protect grizzly bears. Submit written comments to the wildlife agencies in Wyoming and Idaho. Contact Gov. Matt Mead of Wyoming and Gov. Butch Otter of Idaho and tell them bear conservation should trump privatization of a public resource—one that literally brings millions of dollars to their states annually. Wyoming will accept comments until April 30 and Idaho until May 3, so please act now.

Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

Subscribe to the Blog

Enter your email address below to receive updates each time we publish new content.


Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Kathleen O'Sullivan says:

    I am absolutely sickened about the thought of killing the grizzly bears. They must be protected. This makes no sense. Just look at the economics of tourism in Yellowstone–attributable to the grizzlies. This killing is totally cruel and inhumane and must NEVER occur.

    • Autumnbreez says:

      I agree with you completely. Bears are part of our ecosystem. We help them so they can help us. Stop the abuse and cruelty. Better yet, do to them wha tthey do to the bears, See how they would like that.

  2. Kathleen O'Sullivan says:

    I am absolutely sickened about the thought of killing the grizzly bears. They must be protected. This makes no sense. Just look at the economics of tourism in Yellowstone–attributable to the grizzlies. This killing is totally cruel and inhumane and must NEVER occur

  3. Sherry Bell says:

    I can’t believe in this day and age this would happen – almost as if the government wants to eradicate all the animal species – so we will not have any beautiful creatures left in the wild. I am dumbfounded that they could even think this is a good and sound decision. This is a National Park – meant to preserve the lands and wildlife, not a hunting ground !!! Shame on you U.S. Fish and Game Wildlife Service – you’ve just created a catastrophy which must be reversed now before it is too late

  4. Nancy Telese says:

    Shocked that the government wants to allow hunters or trophy hunters to murder grizzlies in Yellowstone territory This is horrific and has to be stopped

  5. Calista says:

    No trophy hunting on bears or any animals. Animals are God’s majestic creatures. if you want to hunt, hunt peers who will fight back. Hunters are mindless beings with no values and make decisions not based on science, but their own need to feel macho.

  6. Margherite DeSanto says:

    It would be nice if there was a link to fill out for your sending my info in a letter to the Wyoming government that handles these things. The only link here is to donate, and some of us can’t afford to do that, but can fill out the letters as stated above.

  7. Cecily Morris says:

    WHY ?
    This is not normal behavior- but then I refer to the HUMAN ? animal

  8. Linda Gallagher says:

    Yes, PLEASE SEND A LINK for us to voice our opinion & be the voice for these defenseless creatures. We need a link to Gov Matt Mead & Gov Butch Otter, as well as U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service & any other organizations involved. We need to act now as it will very soon be too late.

  9. Angela Carrillo says:

    We need to be protecting the beautiful bears, not killing them. All animals have their purpose on this planet and as different species, become extinct things get more and more out of sink. There’s a delicate balance, between the different animals and there habitats.

    For instance say coyote went extinct, it would have a terrible ripple effect. We would find ourselves with an over abundance of rats, mice, rabbits, skunk etc. All of which carry and spread disease and who’s numbers would very quickly get out of control, they would be running rampant. Once their numbers are out of control, they will spread more disease, have more unhealthy animals, their food sources will decline quickly. To name a bit of what would happen.

    I remember before I got my dog, my whole yard was ALL rabbit poop. It was disgusting and I seriously mean my whole yard and I have a big yard. We also had mice, rabbits, skunk, chipmunks and squirrels everywhere. However, now that we have a dog and we’re always outside, things have balanced out. We have gotten our yard back. Our dog doesn’t touch them, it’s just his scent everywhere now, along with my husband and mine. There needs to be a balance.

    If wolves (God forbid) went extinct, it would have detrimental effects on other animals and the environment. Wolves eat big pray, like elk, moose, ox, deer etc. If wolves were no longer around. The numbers of the animals they hunt would grow to outrageous numbers. That would mean the herds would become sicker, with to many older animals, because wolves go after the sick, weak and older animals. The wolves keep down the numbers of grazing animals, this allows for the grasses and trees to not become dirt and leaf less trees. The grazing animals move from one place to the other. Once they move on, the trees and grasses left behind will grow back. However, when the grazing animal herds, are allowed to become overgrown. The grasses and trees don’t get a break and the land becomes barren. Which is not good for anyone. The wolves keep down the numbers of sick and old animals, in turn keeping the the lands alive, full and able to sustain grazing animals. Keeping the grazing animals down, also keeps the water cleaner and higher. We can’t allow our animals to become extinct or even close. We need each and every one and we’re lucky to have them

    I’ll never understand what people get out of trophy hunting??? Does it make them feel special? Is it so they can show off thinking their cool? I just don’t get it. There’s also nothing fair about BAITING the bear, then shooting them from far away.

    Hunting bears is not okay. Especially, in a national park, what are you people thinking? These national parks are supposed to protect all animals in it. No, it’s not okay to hunt the grizzly bear, or any other animals in the parks or out of them.

    Times have changed, no one needs to hunt to survive. Go to the grocery store and purchase what you need. You don’t need a bear rug, you don’t need to feel cool because you killed a grizzly bear (I hate to break it to you, it doesn’t make you cool) especially when the whole process is cheating. Kill bear, while they’re eating strategically placed food. This makes me so mad and sad.

    Please, please, don’t allow bear hunting. Don’t allow our beautiful, majestic, intelligent, innocent, grizzly to be hunted, like they mean nothing. They’re are to few of them, they need to be kept safe. Save the grizzly bear, don’t kill them.

    We all need to come together and fight for the rights of our animals, let’s be their voice.

  10. Joan says:

    Contact Wyoming Game and Fish- Main office is in Cheyenne

  11. Joan T. says:

    Contact Wyoming Game and Fish- Main office is in Cheyenne

  12. Jody says:

    Have you people lost your minds Do not kill any animals that God created we need to stop this now and forever


    this should NEVER be allowed.. What are they thinking ??? why has this even come up?? Those bears are a national treasure .. leave them alone . I just cannot understand why they want to kill or harm every beautiful living creature . PLEASE stop this , it is an outrage .

  14. Sally says:

    Please don’t do this on public land. It is morally wrong and someone
    could get killed, in addition to the bear. This is not an example of your so called conservation.

    • Hunter "BearSlayer" says:

      First off, no one will get killed. This is why hunters take classes and have to pass to be able to hunt. Second how is this morally wrong? This is simply an opinion. What about domestic animals they aren’t even given a chance and die worse deaths than these animals do. At least as a hunter we make it a quick kill so there is nearly no pain involved.



  16. Wazoo says:

    As with wolves, most of the pressure comes from ranchers. Kill any and everything that might kill stock, because cattle/sheep are sacred. In the lower 48 states, they killed off all the wolves by 1960…and Bald eagles…and Grizzlies. Ranchers own the states’ governments and, as sad as it is, you can bet that a trophy hunt will happen.

  17. Maria smith says:

    No killing bears!!! Please save them!

  18. Maria smith says:

    Stop the massacre of bears and all innocent animals!!

  19. Jake Sant says:

    I feel like there’s a little bit of misinformation in this article. Neither the Wyoming nor Idaho hunts allow baiting or hunting sows with cubs. Also, a male grizzly bear will kill his own cubs in order to breed a sow. This hunt is being put in place to limit human and bear interaction.

  20. corinna says:

    Please stop trophy hunting of bears and other Animals. I understand if there is a problem with over population. Then other measures should be taken. Like relocation. Protect out natural resource.

  21. Trish turner says:

    No one has a right to kill.this has to stop now.leave animals to live their lives like meant to be

  22. Rosie says:

    I do not feel that the grizzly bear popuation is such that we can allow hunting of these creatures. The grzzly bear is a big economic boost for both WY and ID. If hunting is allowed it will put the grizzly bear population in a perilous position. We need these animals to maintain the balance in nature. Please do not allow hunting of the grizzly.

  23. Hunter "BearSlayer" says:

    Your comment of hunters are mindless barbaric creatures who should experience what it is like to be hunted is false. We hunt for reasons, not for trophy. There are some poachers and people who do hunt for trophy. The vast majority of hunters you are misunderstanding. We hunt for meat for our family. Overall, this is survival of the fittest. We are not as big or nearly as strong as a bear. We are smart on the other hand, rather being strong like them.


    I cannot believe that we have come to this! National parks have always been refuges where animals are protected, not hunted. Are we that money hungry we will destroy these beautiful creatures in their own environment. How blasphemous. I don’t know where our heads are or our hearts. The San Francisco zoo partnered with African countries to propagate safaris rather than hunting trips because a lot of the animals were on the verge of extinction. How come we do not get it in the United States? We do not get the news about environmental issues on the radio anymore. I am going to contact the SF Zoo, Yosemite National Park, the Mountain Lion Foundation etc. regarding this. I am a paralegal, teacher, author, and an actor, and I am disgusted with the lack of empathy in our world.


    I cannot believe that we have come to this! National parks are meant to be refuges for animals not hunting compounds. Are we that desperate for money that we will turn our backs on these God given creatures and allow them to be killed in their own environment with no warning. The San Francisco zoo partnered with African countries to promote safaris rather than hunting trips because many of their animals were on the verge of extinction. How come we do not get it in the United States? We are supposed to set the example. It is not too late to turn this around. I am sad about the lack of empathy in our world.

  26. Tandy Gray says:

    Now what can be done to stop this even though it has passed?

  27. DocDriscoll says:

    Let see if I understand this correctly, the “People” are not being heard because the wealthy ranchers along with other organizations such as the NRA want to manage an animal that was just short of extstintion because how they managed the animal the first time. There are several ways to manage living with these bears, but it takes change. Yep the Government that is new to over seeing these animals and Hunter’so are saying “We know what we are doing, you can trust us, if you can’t trust us, who can you trust?”. These animals belong to the folks of the state of Wyoming, and the United States, not just the wealthy.

  28. Joey Lindsey says:

    This is unthinkable and unacceptable!!! The Grizzly belongs to Americans. It is the will of the people that these magnificent creatures be protected from all threats and ignorant people who have no respect for sacred things.

  29. NOLAN VILS says:


Share a Comment

The HSUS encourages open discussion, and we invite you to share your opinion on our issues. By participating on this page, you are agreeing to our commenting policy.
Please enter your name and email address below before commenting. Your email address will not be published.