What is it about the small Utah bear population and Utahans?

Man, 78, mauled by bear. “The man is recovering; the animal was shot and killed.”  By Brett Prettyman. The Salt Lake Tribune.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

9 Responses to Man, 78, mauled by bear in Utah

  1. avatar Jeff says:

    I guided trips in Deso-Gray and Dinosaur National Monument for 7 years commercially with Outward Bound, there are lots of bears in Desolation Canyon, I’ve seen them at Sand Wash (the put-in) all the way down stream to Wire Fence Rapid. This is extremely remote country and the deepest canyon in the Western U.S. The Tavaput Plateau is over 10,000′ high and the Green River slices right through it. Bears, cougars, mustangs, bighorn sheep, deer, and elk are all common. NOLS had a student mauled in the canyon around 2001 or so, needless to say I’ve slept under the stars dozens of nights without incident. We did have a bear walk down the shore and through our camp once and we hazed it out of the area, it sounds like they were fortunate to have the .45. In the past camping was banned at Rock Creek, day-use only for the hike up to the Rock Art panel up the canyon. I’d like to know where they were camping specifically, you could camp downstream of the homestead about a 1/2 mile on river right. The old homestead does have a few fruit trees that usually attract bears, on my last trip there was a sow with cubs hanging out there and berry filled scat was everywhere.

  2. avatar Brian says:

    So they shot the bear after it left? Food not hung from a tree? If they were in a national park they would’ve been fined. Bear 101.

  3. avatar Jeff says:

    It’s not a national park and there are few tree at camps as it is a desert canyon.

  4. avatar dave smith says:

    Can’t wait for the Bear Spray Cult to weigh in one this one.

    We all know sacred commandment #1: carry bear spray and know how to use it. This group of people didn’t carry bear spray. They used a firearm for self-defense. Are these mortal sins, veniel sins, or one of each?

  5. avatar Jeff says:

    Bear spray might have been a good option had they had it, though I’d never second guess someone being attacked for using a gun if they had one.

  6. avatar dave smith says:

    Jeff–A few weeks ago, a retired cop NE of Yellowstone Park got charged and injured by a grizzly, and when he responded by shooting the bear, he got mauled by the Bear Spray Cult. In Nov. 2007, former Montana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife, & Parks commissioner Vic Workman got charged by a grizzly while he was big game hunting and had a split second to react. He shot the bear. He got mauled by the Bear Spray Cult and the media.

  7. avatar Chance says:

    I always have a can of bear spray when i am in the back country but if i am camping with my family I always make sure to have the gun if nothin its peace of mind. if the spray doesnt work what do you do next… if the gun doesnt work what do you do… shoot again!!!

  8. avatar Mike says:

    Dave – the former cop in NE Yellowstone area was partying with buddies going on a shed hunt. They spread out 25-50 yarda apart, working a line and were staring at the ground for said antlers. The perfect situation to be caught by surprise and unaware.

  9. avatar dave smith says:

    Mike–“the former cop in NE Yellowstone area was partying with buddies going on a shed hunt. They spread out 25-50 yarda apart, working a line and were staring at the ground for said antlers.”




‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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