One of the most exciting hunting opportunities to come along is also one of the most difficult to get information about. Wyoming is accepting applications for its first grizzly bear hunt in decades beginning July 2, with an application deadline of July 16. Applications are accepted online only at www.wgfd.wyo.gov.
The regulations aren’t even posted online yet, but here’s what we know: There will be five resident licenses and one nonresident license available for this draw. The tags will be available for the Yellowstone ecosystem, but not valid in either Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Parks. Even within the hunt units, there may be closures around roads and other areas.
Nonresident applicants are required to hire a licensed Wyoming outfitter or to hunt with a licensed resident guide if hunting in a designated wilderness area. While there are lots of grizzlies outside of wilderness boundaries, much of this part of the state is wilderness, and a guide will be your best bet to successfully stalk the bear of a lifetime.
I personally hunted other game in this area in the fall of 2017 and saw an astounding number of bears. The success rate should be high, and there are enough bears around to be selective about the size of the bear you want to shoot. This will be no cakewalk, but with a good outfitter, you should see two to three bears a day.
Idaho is also taking applications for their inaugural grizzly bear hunt, but all of the initial tags will be for residents only. The Wyoming hunt is the only opportunity in the continental US for a nonresident to apply for a grizzly tag. The glitch here is that the hunt will certainly be contested in court by anti-hunting groups, and a court injunction could come at the last moment. Be prepared for a long summer of watching and waiting if you draw the tag.
Applications are $15, and successful residents will pay $600 for the tag, the nonresident tag holder will pay $6,000, making this the most expensive public draw tag in the country. And it’ll likely be worth it!
Remember too that the deadline for the Wyoming SuperTag raffle is midnight July 2 and that points-only applications for Wyoming opens July 2 and closes October 31.