Thank you for your interest in protecting large carnivore hunting. Unfortunately, the bills below did not get assigned a committee in the ’23 Legislative Session and will not be brought forth for consideration.
Anyone familiar with the controversial conversations surrounding predator hunting likely has heard the language of “trophy hunting” being used to deny its place in sporting heritage today. The Wyoming Wildlife Federation, American Bear Foundation, and fourteen other hunting and trapping groups are working to change that with two important bills this legislative session.
The goal? Not only will this put the perception of hunters in a better position to DELIST the grizzly bear, and keep the gray wolf from RETURNING to the Endangered Species List.
These bills also remove all doubt that Wyoming hunters value large carnivore hunting and treat these animals with reverence and respect so this hunting heritage may continue well into the future.
First is HB0217 – Trophy game animal-change to large carnivore game animal, which takes aim at the often malaligned “trophy hunting” moniker that is unfavorable to many. Recent studies have shown Americans largely favor hunting “for meat” to the tune of 84% support, however, only 29% support the notion of trophy hunting. The growing disconnection between hunting for bears, lions, and wolves and how it is portrayed make this a bill that is forward-looking towards improving the public perception and therefore overall protection of hunting large carnivores.
When the grizzly bear was relisted in 2018, it largely came after a flood of anti-trophy hunting headlines from those who disagreed with the state management of the grizzly bear. This effort removes the basis of that argument.
Next is HB0247 –Trophy game animals-wanton waste, seeks to shore up additional arguments that hunting large carnivores is not only for hides and skulls. A requirement to remove edible portions from the field helps demonstrate in actions, the respect that hunters have for these animals.
Pair the “Trophy Game” moniker with an outdated requirement to only harvest the head and hide of “Trophy Game” animals and you fuel the perception of large carnivore hunters as elitist, unethical, and wasteful. This adds to the pushback against the delisting of the grizzly bear, the institution of bear hunting, and of large carnivore hunting in general.