Wildlife Photographer Draws Coveted Grizzly Tag for Wyoming’s Bear Hunt, Says ‘Hunters Do Not Have the Right’
OutdoorHub Reporters 09.11.18
A social media group formed around an anti-grizzly hunting movement is claiming a victory of sorts after one of its members announced he drew a coveted grizzly tag with zero intention of harvesting a bear.
The group, Shoot ’em With a Camera, was created around the time the hunt was originally announced. Their main goal: encourage those opposed to Wyoming’s scheduled grizzly bear hunt to apply for one of the limited (22) tags and then let it go to waste.
Tom Mangelsen, a Jackson, Wyoming resident and critic of the state’s proposed hunt, made an announcement on his Instagram page after learning he drew for one of the state’s coveted grizzly licenses.
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Serendipity! This morning I was absolutely floored to learn that I drew #8 in Wyoming’s grizzly bear hunt “Issuance List”, in all likelihood getting a tag. The odds of winning a tag were extremely low considering over 7,000 people applied. There are certain circumstances that would keep me from getting in the field, but if given the opportunity, you can be sure that I will be buying the $600 license and spending all of the allotted ten days hunting with a camera. With only one person allowed in the field at one time, hopefully the ten days I take up will save the lives of some of these amazing animals.
As Fox News reports, Mangelsen was No. 8 on the issuance list, and was one of just 10 hunters awarded a chance to take part in an important conservation initiative. He, along with all others who drew a tag, will be required to take and pass a mandatory Hunter’s Education training course before being allowed to take place in the hunt, but Mangelsen has already said he will be bringing a camera to shoot with in lieu of a firearm.
As evidenced by the roughly 7,000 people who opted to apply for a grizzly tag, not everyone agrees with Mangelsen or the activists.
When the hunt was first announced, a spokesman for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said science clearly supports the hunt, as the bears’ numbers have reached nearly 700 under the last 42 years of federal protection.
Grizzly bears were de-listed as a threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2017, however the National Park Service made it clear no grizzly hunts would take place within Yellowstone or Grand Tetons parks.