|Observing a grizzly bear from a tree stand while hunting black bears may be a unique and memorable experience, but if you are hunting over bait your observation must be reported immediately.
This reminder by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department comes as the agency, following its own established regulations, closed three black-bear bait sites for the remainder of the year in the Owl Creek drainage near Thermopolis.
According to Thermopolis game warden Tim Fuchs, "The purpose of reporting grizzly bear observations is to ensure that we do not habituate grizzly bears to bait sites and to prevent mistakenly killing a grizzly bear."
Fuchs said that the G&F realizes that in the short term, hunters are inconvenienced if their bait site is shut down, but in the long-term, reporting grizzlies will help the agency maintain its ability to manage black bears.
"We want to continue to use baiting and hunting as a tool to manage black bears, and as long as hunters continue to follow the established regulations and make the right decisions, we will," Fuchs said.
The regulations specify that the person registering a bait site, the person placing the bait or the hunter hunting over the bait, must report the observation of a grizzly bear attracted to a black bear bait site. And, the report must be made immediately following the observation.
Fuchs said the report should be made to the G&F or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The same reporting procedure is also required in the event that a hunter mistakenly kills a grizzly bear. In recent years, grizzly bears sightings have increased in the Owl Creek Mountains.
According to Fuchs, black bear baiting regulations specify where baiting may occur, what type of bait may be used, what bait containers may be used, and the number of bears that may be taken.
For more information on black bear hunting regulations, call a G&F office.
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