Grizzly bears south of Canada are protected as a threatened species under the US Endangered Species Act of 1973. However, the states Wyoming and Montana have limited grizzly bear hunting seasons as authorized under the act, but the seasons are currently closed pending clarification of the act through legal challenges in court and further actions by the states. Without state hunting seasons, killing of grizzlies is allowed only through official control actions or defense of self and property.
North of the Canadian border, grizzlies are hunted to varying extents in Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. Wrongful killing of a grizzly bear mandates a severe penalty of up to $20,000 in fines. Taking grizzly bears is being more liberally defined as court challenges establish that even habitat destruction can be interpreted as taking or killing.