Although the Utah Wildlife Board approved changes to the black bear hunts, the only real difference is an increase to the number of hunts. Having no changes is a good thing for biologists. They will be able to better determine how the rules truly affect the bear populations. “The number of bears doesn’t fluctuate much from year to year,” Darren DeBloois, game mammals coordinator for the DWR, explains, “so it makes sense to keep the rules consistent and not change them every year. Keeping the rules in place for the next three years will give us a better, long-term picture of how the state’s bear population is responding to the hunting rule.” Bears live for a relatively long period of time, have fairly low reproductive rates and aren’t affected much by severe changes in weather. Having the rules in place for three years will give the biologists better long-term data to guide recommendations to present in 2021. If something drastic does happen to the bear population there are safety valves in place that allows the Wildlife Board to make immediate changes to the hunting rules.
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