Two hunters rescued in Beaverhead County by helicopter after ATV accidents

 

 

https://mtstandard.com/news/local/two-hunters-rescued-in-beaverhead-county-by-helicopter-after-atv/article_4bfee70f-3234-55de-adb4-fdd5571cff2e.htm

Two hunters rescued in Beaverhead County
The Blackhawk helicopter used to rescue a hunter in Beaverhead County is seen here.

Two hunters have been rescued in Beaverhead County after serious ATV accidents around the opening of general hunting season. Both rescues involved helicopters, one from the Montana Army National Guard and one from Life Flight.

According to Sheriff Franklin Kluesner II, the first call came in Friday at 12:27 p.m. The caller said his 58-year-old brother was unable to move after an ATV accident in the south end of the Gravelly Mountains. The men were scouting hunting areas for the next day when the accident occurred, Kluesner said. The caller hiked about a mile and a half from his brother to find cell service.

Kluesner said his office was able to help the caller determine his location coordinates through a cell phone app, which showed he was near Fossil Creek, over 60 miles southeast of Dillon — a two or more hour drive for emergency vehicles.

After learning their location, Kluesner said Life Flight was requested and a helicopter was dispatched from Rexburg, Idaho. Ground support was also dispatched, including a local search and rescue team and an ambulance from Lima.

About 90 minutes after receiving the call for help, the injured man was transported via Life Flight to a hospital. Kluesner believes the man is from North Dakota and is at a hospital in Bozeman as of Wednesday afternoon, with serious injuries.

Two days later, Kluesner’s office received three more search and rescue calls within a few-hour time frame. One was from a woman concerned about her husband, who returned back to his camp shortly after she called; another was from a group of people whose truck slid off of a road west of Lima, and were assisted by Bureau of Land Management rangers in the area; and a third resulted in a full deployment of local search and rescue volunteers, along with assistance from the Montana Army National Guard.

Around 1 p.m. on Sunday, the Beaverhead County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a woman who said she hadn’t heard from her 69-year-old husband since Saturday afternoon. The woman told law enforcement she had driven to his campsite Sunday morning, about 15 miles south of Dillon, but did not find him or his ATV. The man had planned to hunt in the area.

Kluesner said after his office spoke with the woman, Beaverhead Search and Rescue volunteers began a ground search for her husband while aircraft searched overhead. The hunter was not located on Sunday.

An expanded search resumed early Monday. At this time, Kluesner’s office looked at what other resources they had available. The search and rescue team decided to call the Montana Army National Guard, which promptly deployed a five-person crew via Blackhawk helicopter from Helena. The helicopter arrived in the area around noon.

At 1:30 p.m., the ground crew located the missing hunter, who had spent 44 hours pinned beneath his upside-down ATV in a ravine. The crew called the National Guard helicopter, which landed in the area, stabilized the man and transported him to Barrett Hospital and Healthcare in Dillon. Kluesner said the man is now at Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula with serious injuries.

In the last four years Kluesner has been sheriff, he said he’s seen a steady increase of ATV use in Beaverhead County. This has also led to an increase in accidents.

“We have a lot of areas where you can still use four-wheelers and side-by-sides, which have become very popular,” Kluesner said. “But they aren’t that stable and do have the potential to cause real serious injuries.”

Kluesner went on to say these injuries are especially concerning when hunters and other recreationists ride into the backcountry, where they become harder to reach and there is little to no cell service. He said his office was extremely lucky to have access to Life Flight and Montana Army National Guard teams to rescue the two injured hunters, and he is proud of the collaboration that went into finding them.

“Helicopters are invaluable in these situations. They (helicopter flights) are expensive endeavors, but there’s no price you can put on a human life,” Kluesner said.

 

Camel owner applies to house 2 black bears in Paradise Valley

Bear menagerie
A Paradise Valley business is applying to house two black bears in this facility.

A Paradise Valley company is seeking a permit to house two black bears in a roadside menagerie near Emigrant, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

The agency is seeking public comment through June 30 on an environmental assessment for the Mayfield Roadside Menagerie, north of Emigrant, owned by Jason Mayfield.

Any person wishing to keep, in captivity, one or more wild animals for the evident purpose of exhibition or attracting trade must first secure a Roadside Menagerie Permit from the state of Montana. A USDA Class C Exhibitor’s permit is a prerequisite for permitting.

The facility has been built and is ready to receive the two bears and will be operated in conjunction with Camel Discovery along Highway 89.

The facility has an interior and exterior portion. The interior is constructed of poured concrete for the floor; partitioned cages constructed of welded wire and pipe; insulated walls; and water, electrical and gas services. The interior has ample room for food preparation and veterinary care if needed.

The exterior fencing is constructed of chain link fencing with four strands of charged electrical wire along the top. A secondary fence within the primary fencing is made of four strands of charged electrical wire attached to t-posts.

The proposed menagerie is in near proximity to the owner’s residence and doors and gates are to remain locked at all times to prevent escape of the bears or entry by unauthorized individuals.

The environmental assessment is available on FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov. Click on the News tab and choose Recent Public Notices.

Comments can be submitted online or mailed to Attn: Mayfield Roadside Menagerie; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Enforcement; P.O. Box 200701; Helena, MT 59620.

Bear Attacks Hunter Near Hungry Horse Reservoir

Attack apparently a “surprise encounter” in a very brushy area between hunter and bear

https://flatheadbeacon.com/2017/09/25/bear-attacks-hunter-near-hungry-horse-reservoir/

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports that a bear attacked a hunter along the East side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir over the weekend.

FWP is investigating the Sept. 24 attack, which took place in the Twin Creek area near the reservoir. The hunter who was attacked – an adult male – was apparently involved in what FWP is initially calling a “surprise encounter” in a very bushy area.

The man was injured, and drove back with his hunting partner to a hospital for medical attention. The two did shoot at the bear during the encounter, and the bear ran off.

The Region One FWP Wildlife Human Attack Response Team was dispatched to the area immediately upon notification. Details about the attack, including the type of bear involved and the injuries the victim incurred, were not yet available.

Grizzly committee to vote on delisting strategy for northwest Montana bears

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National Elk Refuge grizzly bears
A grizzly bear sow and cubs roam the National Elk Refuge south of Grand Teton National Park. Grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have been removed from federal Endangered Species Act protection and handed over to state wildlife agency management in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee meets in Polson, Montana this week to consider last steps toward removing Montana’s largest population of grizzly bears from the Endangered Species List.

IGBC members meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to possibly adopt the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem conservation strategy, the blueprint directing how state wildlife agencies would manage grizzlies if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delists them.

FWS has already removed about 700 grizzly bears in the three-state area known as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the endangered list. Wyoming Game and Fish Department has proposed selling hunting licenses for at least 22 grizzlies this fall. Idaho has a quota of one male grizzly for hunting. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks commissioners opted to skip a grizzly hunt in 2018 over concerns that pending lawsuits against the delisting might block a fall hunt.

On Friday Idaho Fish and Game Dept. announced its system for a grizzly hunting lottery, with applications accepted between June 15 and July 15. The drawing is limited to Idaho residents with a valid state hunting license who must pay a nonrefundable $16.75 application fee and prepay the tag fee of at least $166.75. Unsuccessful applicants will get their tag fees refunded.

About 1,000 grizzlies live in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which spreads along the Rocky Mountains from the Canadian border with Glacier National Park south almost to Missoula. They are considered geographically and genetically distinct from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem bears.

If the IGBC members approve the conservation strategy on this week, it may form the basis of the federal delisting rule set to be published later in 2018.

“It essentially commits the agencies to follow the spirit of the conservation strategy,” said IGBC spokesman Dillon Tabish. “This isn’t the end of the public opportunity to comment. Any actions they (the participating agencies) would have to take must follow public process.”

FWS Grizzly Recovery Coordinator Hillary Cooley said the final delisting rule remained a ways off.

“We’ve got an initial draft, but it has a lot of review to go through,” Cooley said on Friday. “We don’t have a specific date right now, other than by the end of 2018.”

Cooley explained that while the IGBC executive committee’s endorsement is important to the federal rule-making process, the individual agencies, such as the National Park Service, state wildlife managers and Blackfeet and Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal governments, sign separately.

The federal delisting rule sets mortality limits for how many bears may die before Endangered Species Act protections might be re-imposed. The conservation strategy guides local wildlife managers in how to avoid that situation.

“If a state or tribe decides to hunt at some time, that’s their business,” Cooley said. “What matters to us is they stay within the mortality limits, no matter what the cause.”

The strategy has received extensive criticism of its methods for measuring bear population trends, habitat quality and allowance of hunting opportunities. Mike Bader, an advocate for keeping grizzlies under ESA protection, said the new strategy appeared legally vulnerable.

“They’re just rushing this through as fast as they can,” Bader said on Friday. “I don’t think they’ve dotted the i’s or crossed the t’s on what the grizzly bear needs.”

Bader noted that seven NCDE grizzlies have died in the past few weeks, including four that were hit by vehicles on roadways. He said the strategy made overly optimistic assumptions about how fast grizzly numbers are growing, which could prove disastrous if conditions change unexpectedly.

A federal judge in Missoula has scheduled an August 31 hearing on challenges to the Greater Yellowstone grizzly delisting. Wyoming’s proposed grizzly hunting season starts right after that, and could be derailed if the judge rules to keep the bear federally protected or requires more time for review.

One issue the lawsuit raises is whether FWS can remove protection from some distinct population segments of bears (such as the Greater Yellowstone) without dooming recovery in smaller areas such as the Cabinet-Yaak or North Cascades ecosystems. A similar lawsuit involving delisting gray wolves around the Western Great Lakes ordered FWS to take a much harder look at how removing protections from one population segment might affect the others.

Tabish said the final 144-page strategy has an appendix with about 60 pages of responses to past public comments. Tuesday’s meeting will further discuss how the NCDE and Yellowstone ecosystem bear populations might link in the future.

The executive committee plans to tour the National Bison Range and some other parts of the Mission Valley affected by grizzly activity on Wednesday.

Montana outfitter pleads guilty to illegal mountain lion hunts

In one of the snowiest years on record, crews are working overtime to clear the streets. (David Murray/The Tribune) Wochit

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The owner, operator and outfitter for a Plains big game hunting business pleaded guilty on Tuesday in federal court to illegally offering mountain lion hunts in areas in which he wasn’t permitted to offer such pursuits.

Ernest Jablonsky, of Big Game Pursuits, changed his plea as part of a deal signed earlier this month. As part of that deal, prosecutors agreed to drop two other charges, including conspiracy to illegally hunt and kill mountain lions, and false labeling, as well as a separate case, which stemmed from another illegal mountain lion hunt from the same year.

Jablonsky’s case at hand was filed after authorities learned he had offered to take two Wisconsin men, including co-defendant Jeffrey Perlewitz, on a mountain lion hunt in December 2013. According to court documents, Jablonsky did not have a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service to legally guide such hunts on national forest lands, according to court documents.

“I took Mr. Perlewitz where I did not have permits to take money for it, and he paid me for it,” Jablonsky, 51, told U.S. Magistrate Judge John Johnston on Tuesday.

More: Outfitter, clients accused of illegal Montana mountain lion hunt

More: Montana outfitter to plead guilty in illegal mountain lion hunt case

Court documents state Jablonsky also told the Wisconsin hunters to tell Montana hunting officials that they didn’t use a guide or outfitting service. Additionally, Jablonsky allegedly did not report the hunters when he turned in his own industry reports.

His sentencing has not yet been set.

Perlewitz is now the last person indicted on related charges to have not accepted a plea deal, as court records indicate he is expecting to take the case to trial.

Montana Decides Not to Hunt Grizzly Bears this Year

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) has decided not to hold a Yellowstone-area grizzly bear hunting season this year. This is welcome news and makes a lot of sense. We applaud the agency’s decision and want to do everything we can to work together to avoid any need (or excuse) for a grizzly hunting season in the future.

Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) “delisted” grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem—an area that includes portions of southwestern Montana, northwestern Wyoming, and northeastern Idaho. This means that in those areas, Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears have been removed and the states could now hold limited hunting seasons.

Map showing the Greater Yellowstone Area grizzly bear “Distinct Population Segment” (blue exterior line). Grizzlies within this boundary have been delisted and could now be hunted (outside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks).Credit FWS

Wyoming plans to move forward with a grizzly hunting season this year. Idaho will likely discuss the issue during its Fish and Game Commission meeting next month. We are encouraged that, in the meantime, Montana has shown restraint and decided not to hold a hunt in 2018.

In her comments recommending against a hunt this year, FWP Director Martha Williams emphasized focusing on managing grizzly bears for long-term recovery and conflict prevention. She explained that FWP will be “continuing to work hard at responding proactively to bear conflicts and educating people and communities in grizzly country how to be bear aware.”

Indeed, FWP’s wildlife specialists have long worked with communities like Missoula to prevent human-bear conflicts. And the agency’s website has a veritable library of practical advice about living with bears, such as how to recreate safely in bear country, avoid bear attractants, and use bear spray.

Example of electric wire installed by the Blackfoot Challenge to secure garbage in a solid waste transfer station from grizzly bears in Montana’s Blackfoot Valley.Photo NRDC

This is critically important work for bears and humans alike. Emphasizing conflict prevention is the exact direction that grizzly bear management in Montana should continue to take, whether grizzlies are protected under the Endangered Species Act or not. In recent years, NRDC has collaborated with ranchers, conservation colleagues, and state and federal wildlife managers—including FWP—to reduce conflicts with large carnivores like grizzlies. We look forward to supporting and partnering with FWP in the coming years to do even more.

In the meantime, FWP’s decision not to hunt grizzlies makes sense for multiple reasons. After more than 40 years on the list of threatened and endangered species, Yellowstone-area grizzlies were removed less than a year ago. The population remains completely isolated from any other grizzly bear population. It also remains too small to ensure long-term genetic health. Rather than killing these bears as soon as we can, we should stay focused on helping them further recover.

In addition, litigation over FWS’s grizzly delisting rule is ongoing. Shortly after the final rule was published, a federal appellate court rejected an identical approach taken by FWS to delist Western Great Lakes wolves. As we’ve told the agency, this means FWS—as the Court required it to do with Great Lakes wolves—should rescind its grizzly delisting rule, start over with any proposal to delist Yellowstone grizzlies, and re-list the bears in the meantime. Until these legal challenges and shortcomings are resolved, it makes little sense to even consider a hunt.

Grizzly bears are Montana’s state animal. They are the emblem of our wildlife management agency. They are one of the reasons I feel so proud and fortunate to have grown up in this state—and so humble when I head into its mountains. We don’t need to hunt these magnificent creatures. Instead, by working together and being proactive, we can figure out how to protect property and keep livestock, and ourselves, safe in grizzly country. We can figure out how to reconnect Yellowstone-area bears with their nearest neighbors to the northwest. It will take work. But as Director Williams herself has reflected, “the honor of living in one of the few remaining states with healthy grizzly populations makes that effort more than worthwhile.”

Photo USGS

This blog provides general information, not legal advice. If you need legal help, please consult a lawyer in your state.

3 men plead guilty to illegal hunting of bull bison

http://nbcmontana.com/news/local/3-men-plead-guilty-to-illegal-hunting-of-bull-bison

Yellowstone bison

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Three men have pleaded guilty to the illegal hunting and wasting of bull bison north of Yellowstone Park.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that Jesse Darr, Ryley Heidt and Peyton Simmons, all of Park County, were sentenced in justice court Tuesday for unlawful possession.

Each was ordered to pay fines and charges totaling $2,605 and each will lose hunting and fishing privileges for four and a half years.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wardens found three dead bison on March 2 in Beattie Gulch, a strip of Forest Service land near the Yellowstone border.

The heads of the three bison were each removed and usable meat was left to waste. The skulls were skinned and hidden nearby.

The men were linked to the kills with help from a dog.

MT trapping season finally closed for the year…

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Trap Free Montana Public Lands

The trapping season on wolves in Montana closed Feb 28.
88 wolves have been reported trapped for recreational and commercial purposes this season.

Anti-predators say killing wolves saves elk.
FWP reports the 2017 Montana elk population estimates at 176,117. Almost double the management objectives of 92,000! FWP’s response: hunting seasons have been added, lengthened, cow tags, more tags….

And consistent with nature’s response to overpopulation, we now have chronic wasting disease in Montana.
White tail deer are estimated at 235,316.
And the ones reported to be most likely affected by this lethal disease:
Mule deer at 386,075 up 20,000 since 2016. Increased 70,000 in just 5 years!

In Montana, we have 2,650,000 cattle and 230,000 sheep.
Basically, 2.6 cows for every one Montanan.
Less than 1% of all livestock mortality in the northern Rockies is attributed to wolves.

The number of wolves estimated in Montana “minimum count 477”. This is before the 245 reported killed by hunters and trappers this season. Hunting wolves closes March 15.

We have no quota for wolves in Montana except in three areas adjacent to national parks. Promotions to SSS, i.e. shoot, shovel, shut up, kill them all, poison, gut shoot, and run them over, are publicly prolific. Even when large rewards are offered, the plague persists and poachers go uncaught.

Wolves are a major economic lift to our state. Yellowstone National Park continues to break records with the main draw for visitors being wolves. These same wolves grown accustomed to people are targeted and easily destroyed once they leave the park crossing an imaginary line.

TFMPL supporters and many others recent requests to change or instill quotas or close areas for killing wolves in Montana were denied and for the next 2 years will remain status quo.

Science shows wolves operate as social family units, help keep prey species strong, and are our allies against disease such as chronic wasting disease.

But science isn’t what this is about anyhow.

Photo: Under fair use for educational purposes.

Montana outfitter to plead guilty in illegal mountain lion hunt case

https://uw-media.greatfallstribune.com/video/embed/99711074?sitelabel=reimagine&continuousplay=true&placement=uw-smallarticleattophtml5&pagetype=story

In the most recent case of poaching in the Great Falls area, three deer were shot and killed and left northwest of town. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks turns to the public for help in cases like this.Wochit

A big game outfitter reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors regarding illegal mountain lion hunting practices uncovered by authorities in 2013. He will be the fourth of five men charged in the matter to accept a plea agreement.

Ernest Jablonsky, a Plains outfitter with Montana Big Game Pursuits, is scheduled to plead guilty next week to federal charges related to an illegal mountain lion hunt in 2013 near Prickly Pear Creek on U.S. Forest Service lands, prosecutors said in court documents filed Friday.

In exchange, prosecutors said in court documents they will dismiss charges stemming from a February 2013 mountain lion hunt near White Sulphur Springs, when authorities alleged Jablonsky also committed illegal practices like guiding without a permit and telling hunters to lie to state hunting officials about his involvement.

More: Outfitter, clients accused of illegal Montana mountain lion hunt

Jablonsky, 51-year-old outfitter at Montana Big Game Pursuits, is one of five men indicted in 2017 on federal charges relating to the two hunts. After his change of plea hearing, scheduled for Feb. 26, he will join three of those men who have taken plea deals in their respective cases; one man continues to fight charges, according to court records.

According to court documents, Jablonsky summoned two Wisconsin men, including co-defendant Jeffrey Perlewitz, to Montana in December 2013, when he reportedly had an open schedule for new outfitting clients. Jablonsky, court records say, did not have the required special use permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service to legally guide or outfit mountain lion hunts on federal land, where he and the Wisconsin hunters drove his pickup around the remote roads looking for cat tracks on Dec. 13 that year.

James Day, according to court records, worked the hunt as a hound dog handler, and successfully treed a lion, which Perlewitz shot and killed with his bow. That day he paid Jablonsky $1,500 for the hunt, but when he checked his lion in with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks the next day, Perlewitz reportedly said he had only used the services of the dog handler, and that his hunt was not outfitted.

In his required report to the Montana Board of Outfitters, Jablonsky never listed Perlewitz as a client, according to charging documents.

More: From bighorn sheep to bears to birds, cameras capture wildlife using underpasses

The plea agreement in Jablonsky’s case has been sealed, but federal prosecutors in court documents wrote that Jablonsky is willing to plead guilty to unspecified charges in the case following the hunt with Perlewitz in exchange for their dismissal of a February 2013 hunt near White Sulphur Springs.

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Perlewitz is the only defendant in the case who has not taken a plea deal offered by federal prosecutors. In January, a judge granted a time extension requested by both parties to continue preparing for trial.

Perlewitz was indicted on Oct. 23 on charges including conspiracy to illegally hunt and kill mountain lions, illegal sale of outfitted mountain lion hunts and false labeling; in total, he could face a possible 15 years in prison and more than $250,000 in fines.

Day, the dog handler, pleaded guilty on Dec. 19 to the illegal sale of mountain lion hunts, which carries a possible five-year prison sentence and a maximum $250,000 fine. His sentencing has been set for April 3.

Mitch Theule, a guide with Montana Big Game Pursuits, pleaded guilty on Feb. 12 to aiding and abetting the interstate transport and possession of an illegally killed mountain lion, which carries a possible one-year prison term and maximum $10,000 fine. His sentencing has been set for June 13.

Theule’s case stems from the February 2013 near White Sulphur Springs, when Jablonsky, Day and Theule reportedly brought Richard Ceynar, of North Dakota, mountain lion hunting on national forest land where Jablonsky did not have the permits to outfit or guide.

According to court documents, the four men, and an unnamed associate of Ceynar, went hunting on Feb. 7 and late that afternoon treed a lion near the top of a steep mountain. Day and Theule reportedly went up the mountain by snowmobile, while Jablonsky and Ceynar got stuck on a different route. As Jablonsky and Ceynar traveled to the tree on foot, they communicated with the others with two-way radios, charging documents state.

When Ceynar shot the treed lion, it was past legal shooting hours, according to court documents. Additionally, authorities say Theule had illuminated the lion with a headlamp while Ceynar shot.

Like the case with Perlewitz’s hunt, Ceynar reported to FWP that his hunt was not outfitted, according to court documents. And when the North Dakota hunters paid Jablonsky for the hunt, the memo on the check read “two elk hunts.” Prosecutors allege they did so at Jablonsky’s direction.

Ceynar pleaded guilty on Dec. 22 to conspiracy to interstate transportation and possession of an illegally killed mountain lion. His sentencing is set for April 6.

Montana won’t recommend Yellowstone grizzly hunting this year

Grizzly bear (copy)

Grizzly bears were protected from hunting for mover 40 years while listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Public Domain/Neal Herbert via NPS

Not this year.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Thursday that it won’t ask the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission to approve a hunting season for the recently delisted Yellowstone grizzly bears this year.

The bears were protected from hunting for more than 40 years while they were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Those protections were lifted in 2017, which opened the door for a potential hunting season. 

In a news release, FWP director Martha Williams said the decision is meant to reinforce the state’s commitment to the grizzly bear’s long-term survival.

“Holding off on hunting for now, I believe, will help demonstrate our commitment to long-term recovery and at the same time allow us the science-based management flexibility we need,” Williams said.

FWP will make the recommendation to its governing board at its next meeting Feb. 15.

The announcement comes weeks after Wyoming Game and Fish gained permission from its governing board to draw up grizzly bear hunting regulations, the first time since the 1970s that either state has had the legal authority to do so.

Removing Endangered Species Act protections for the bears gave more management responsibility to the states of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. Prior to the delisting, each state had to create a framework for a potential hunting season, which was included in the final conservation strategy.

Part of the strategy is meant to limit the number of bears that are killed by humans. It created a level of “discretionary mortality” based on a population estimate. An agreement lined out before delisting split the allowable bear deaths between the three states.

The official government estimate puts the Yellowstone grizzly population at about 700 bears. Greg Lemon, a spokesman for FWP, said the allowable deaths for the three states was calculated to be 17.

Wyoming gets most of the allowable deaths, with the numbers this year being 10 males and 1 female. Idaho’s allowance is one female. Montana’s allowable mortality is 0.9 females and 5.8 males.

Montana will still retain its portion of allowable deaths, meaning the numbers for the other two states would remain the same whether the state decides to hunt bears or not.

FWP cited the ongoing legal challenge to the delisting as another reason it didn’t want to propose a hunting season.

At least five separate lawsuits over the delisting were filed by environmental groups and Native American tribes. They argue the bears shouldn’t have been removed from the list because the animals still face threats from climate change and shifts in their diets that result in more human-bear conflict.