Original post by Outdoor Life
Mike Madel has been trapping, darting, and bear-proofing his way to an understanding with grizzlies for 30 years now. He knows every rancher, butte, and drainage, and a lot of the bears. He keeps a list of the names and radio frequencies of the collars on local grizzlies’ necks by his right hand.
Un-hunted grizzly populations are busting at the seams. In northwestern Montana, the grizzly population has been increasing by about 3% per year for decades. Around Yellowstone National Park, grizzly bear numbers have stabilized.
The bears in both populations are now numerous enough that a lot of them are expanding out into farm and ranching country. This flat land, river bottom expansion is a return to their historic habitat… but it gets them in trouble, such as when upland-bird hunters send their dogs into those ravines after pheasants or when ranchers go looking for missing cattle.
Ranchers are struggling as bears expand their habitat. It’s worth noting that the bears have been doing so well that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been trying to remove them from the Endangered Species List in the Yellowstone region for years and are now preparing to recommend that bears in the northern ecosystem be delisted as well.
So the question remains, are we ready to start hunting grizzly bears in the Lower 48?
Read the rest of the article here.