Anti-Hunting Activists are Attempting to Buy Grizzly Tags

In an effort to protect grizzly bears a group of anti-hunting activists have come up with a plan to take tags from hunters. Their plan requires them to entire the tag lottery and use a pool of money to purchase the tag if a member of the group wins.

According to the New York Daily News, by throwing their names in the hat activists hope to get their hands on as many of the limited number of licenses being issued by the state as possible.

Protest organizer Judy Hofflund and her team created a website and affiliated with social media accounts to spread the word about their hunting tag scheme, “Shoot’em with a Camera, Not a Gun,” and bought five days-worth of ad space in local newspapers to recruit like-minded people.

Since they began, Hofflund says they’ve raised more than $28,000 to help buy up licenses – which cost about $600 for Wyoming residents and $6,000 for non-residents.

All of this is perfectly legal. As long as the requirements are met, there’s nothing illegal about applying with no intention of hunting, Game and Fish Carnivore Supervisor Dan Thompson said.

“That’s their prerogative,” he said. “Honestly, like I’ve said throughout the course of this, I wish it could be viewed not as sabotaging the hunt but as contributing to grizzly bear conservation and management.”

But Thompson isn’t encouraging nonhunters to apply.

“It’s not something we’re condoning, people putting in just so they can take a tag from someone who is interested in the hunting opportunity,” he said. “But it’s going to happen. I know it’s going to happen.”

Outdoor writer Ted Kerasote, a longtime staff editor for the hunting magazine Sports Afield, is considering entering the lottery in protest. He also has come up with a plan to end the hunt early. I doubt any of the activists will have the stomach for it though.

“If the people who are opposed to the hunt want to be the most effective and be utilitarian about this, go out and shoot a female bear right away,” Kerasote said. “That would save the lives of at least 10 male bears in the [demographic monitoring area]. I know that’s a very harsh way of looking at things.”

I see this as a short term issue. They are motivated now but after the first few seasons, just like wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho, people will lose interest and the hunts will go on unmolested.