Eastern Shoshone Tribe plans off-reservation hunting

by | Oct 17, 2019 5:00PM

h/t Alejandra Silva for the photo –  (L-R) Ladd Edmo – Fort Hall Business Council Chairman, Vernon Hill – Shoshone Business Council Chairman and Mike Garvin – Shoshone Off-Reservation Hunting Committee at the Wyoming Select Committee on Tribal Relations meeting in Fort Washakie on Monday, October 14th, 2019 where the plan details were shared

The Eastern Shoshone Tribe plans to exercise their right to hunt off-reservation which is guaranteed in the 1868 Fort Bridger Treaty. Established at the end of September, the Shoshone Off-Reservation Hunting Committee has been drafting off-reservation hunting regulations with the help of their sister tribe the Shoshone-Bannock (Sho-Ban) and the Crow Tribe.

Eastern Shoshone Business Council Co-Chairman Leslie Shakespeare shared the Supreme Court Ruling on Herrera vs Wyoming in May 2019 was a nudge for the tribe to begin discussions about hunting off-reservation. The ruling confirmed, “…hunting rights under the 1868 Treaty did not expire upon Wyoming’s statehood,” according to the case outcome found here.

 
 

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Shoshone Off-Reservation Hunting Committee member Mike Garvin said, “The biggest fear for non-tribal members is that it is just going to be a free for all. Go out there and slaughter everything. That’s the farthest from the truth.”

Mike explained, the tribe will regulate who, how and when people go off the reservation to hunt. There will be tags, a quota and a season. Similar to non-tribal member hunting. This is not for sport but for subsistence and plan to work with the state on conservation.

“The whole intent is to honor our ancestors. When they signed the treaty, they were thinking of the future. This isn’t an individual right for Shoshone people, this is a tribal right,” noted Mike.

The Sho-Ban Tribe, who have hunted off-reservation for over 10 years, the Crow Tribe, and Eastern Shoshone Tribe are working together to make sure the language in the regulations is consistent with each tribe. Leslie shared this will provide support from tribe to tribe to exercise their treaty rights.

There is not an explicit timeline for the regulations to be completed. Leslie said “We are doing our due diligence to have everything clearly defined. We want to make sure to do it correctly.”

Mike shared there is going to be a “rigorous” education for tribal members about hunting off-reservation. Covering everything from hunter’s safety to the treaty.

The Eastern Shoshone, Sho-Bans and Crow tribes are meeting in Jackson next week to sign a coalition for hunting off-reservation regulations.

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