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Montana stays on sidelines of reviving grizzly hunts 

Dennis Bragg photo (BOISE)- While Montana stays on the sidelines, Idaho is now joining Wyoming with plans for possible grizzly bear hunts this fall.

All three states have been analyzing the options for using limited grizzly hunts adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, now that the federal government has removed threatened species protection for the big bears. State wildlife managers say the hunts would be used to control bear populations, just as is done with other game.

However, the de-listing has been challenged in federal court by conservation groups and tribes. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks leaders have already indicated they will likely not stage a hunt this year because of the pending litigation, and the complexities of taking just a handful of bears. 

Wyoming is considering a draft proposal allowing hunters to kill up to 24-bears. And yesterday, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to start collecting public comments on a proposed hunting season near Yellowstone. The plan could be finalized in May.

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