Unfortunately she had three cubs-

Choteau (show toe). This took place on the plains on the Rocky Mountain Front. Despite the mention of Teton County, it is Teton County, Montana not Teton County, Wyoming or Idaho. This pheasant hunter was from Alaska.

Story: Bird hunter kills sow grizzly north of Choteau. Choteau Arcantha.

The grizzly cubs won’t likely make it.

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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.

257 Responses to Bird hunter kills sow grizzly north of Choteau

  1. avatar Alan says:

    …hunting for birds in “the largest patch of thorny buffaloberry shrubs along the Rocky Mountain Front and a known fall feeding area for grizzly bears.” Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

  2. avatar Elizabeth Parker says:

    Terrible news.

  3. avatar Cliff says:

    You’d hope a hunter from Alaska would know enough about bears to take the precautions that could have prevented this. I wonder if he has the conscience to feel responsible for this tragedy brought about by his carelessness. We have all lost a great deal here.

  4. avatar Sven out of Ky says:

    What kind of bird shell was he using. (Must have been for one of those white tail buck birds)
    From animal watcher to another

  5. avatar chris says:

    Is it normal for pheasant hunters to use “a 20-gauge semi-automatic shotgun”?

  6. avatar jdubya says:

    20 gauge is about right. but this guy should not be allowed to hunt in the state for the rest of his life.

  7. avatar Carl says:

    12 gauge is more likely. Women or kids tend to use 20 gauge for bird hunting more than adult men do.

  8. avatar Ryan says:

    “20 gauge is about right. but this guy should not be allowed to hunt in the state for the rest of his life.”

    Why because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time? If you impose these kind of consequences then the old 3 SSS will come into play.

  9. avatar April Clauson says:

    Charge him! 100% wrong on his part. Poor cubs, hope they make it through the winter, zoo, uck! I can not believe the amount of grizzly killing from hunters. sorry hunter but I feel it is time to bury the hatchet on hunting. The people that hunt now a days do not have a clue what they are doing. Soon it will be hikers or children that get shot!

  10. avatar Anna says:

    Self defense? He walked right up on her with cubs in a dense berry patch, of course she would lunge at him.
    This is yet another disgusting story of unfairness in the
    world of the grizzly bear, she was bedded up not bothing
    a soul, then the next thing you know she’s dead.
    I sure hope the hunter got himself a bird.. he should
    be ashamed of himself.

  11. avatar catbestland says:

    April,
    I agree with you. With all these hunters loose in the woods it’s only a matter of time before hikers, campers, or children waiting at bus stops is killed by one. There simply are too many of them. It isn’t safe. Especially dangerous are those that have been brought in from the north. They are bigger and meaner than our native hunters.

    I will never understand why a hunter’s right to kill animals outweighs a nation’s right to healthy ecosystems which includes predators.

  12. I feel sorry for the 3 cubs that will either die in the wild or live their lives in a zoo.

  13. why carry pepper spray in a known grizzly area when you can claim self defense every time!

  14. avatar Craig says:

    April Clauson Says:”The people that hunt now a days do not have a clue what they are doing. Soon it will be hikers or children that get shot!”

    How did you come to this conclusion? Over reacting a little don’t ya think?

  15. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Cat,

    Without hunters and sportsmans efforts chances are you would not even have anyway near the amount of wildlife that we have today, I thought in your previous posts you stated you were not anti-hunting? Did you change your mind? I think your post could of had some sarcasm though its hard to tell through writing.

    April,

    You sound like the anti-wolf crazies in NM talking about wolves killing their children. Dont be so ignorant.

    Josh

  16. avatar jdubya says:

    I disagree Ryan. People have to learn to live with the consequences of his actions. If you can’t figure out a non-lethal way of handling such a situation, then you should not be there in the first place.

    Hunters and the regulatory agencies that oversee their actions have to come up with a paradigm shift where the hunter is responsible for what they do in the field. He did not have a license to kill a grizz and he had no business doing so.

    Obviously he had no other strategies for the situation: he did not cry out and alert the bear he was in the vicinity, he did not discharge his gun before entering the grass to also alert the animal and he did not have a way of protecting himself (pepper spray,etc) other than firing away with his 20 gauge.

    He should be fined for his actions and his ability to hunt in that state should be lost. You can’t give the bear back it’s life, so instead protect the next one from getting killed. If Fish and Game regulations had more bite to them, hunters would think twice about putting themselves in such stupid situations.

  17. avatar catbestland says:

    Josh,

    “Without hunters and sportsmans efforts chances are you would not even have anyway near the amount of wildlife that we have today”

    Don’t you mean without sportsmans’ efforts, chances are you would not even have anyway near the amount of “chosen” wildlife (dear and elk) that you have today?

    I don’t think wolves and bear fit into your equasion.

  18. avatar Wyo Native says:

    April what law did this individual break?

    This is still the United States of America, where we are entitled to to protect our lives when in danger from anyone or anything by using deadly force.

    I know you have more emotion for animals than humans, just like many others on this forum, but as long as we live in the USA this individual has done nothing wrong.

    There will NEVER be anyone convicted for killing an animal in justifiable self defense. Sorry to ruin your utopia.

  19. avatar Layton says:

    Soooooo,

    I guess what we have to do — if you folks have your way — is just turn everything over to the bears, or wolves, or tit mouses, or whatever.

    When the enlightened minds of some of the more radical elements on the “environmental” side come up with a scheme to move animals – whatever kind they happen to be – into an area people should just move out — right??

    Come on, get real!! I don’t care if they WERE “here first”. There was something here before them, should we bring THAT critter back? If we follow the “they were here first” philosophy that’s the way we’ll do it.

    The guy wasn’t doing anything wrong – for that matter neither was the bear – the guy, according to this report anyway, didn’t charge her, she charged him. Unfortunate, but it happened.

  20. avatar catbestland says:

    Josh,

    I have said before, I have absolutely no problem with someone hunting to put food on the table. I do however have a problem with “trophy” hunters. Perhaps because I live in an area where this type of hunting is prevalent. The other day I was parked next to a liquor store while an outfitter (I know he was an outfitter because his truck bore the name and logos of his outfitting business) was busy making several trips in and out of the store. By the time he had finished he had filled the entire back of his truck with cases of beer and and various liquors. Now I ask you, what was he or his clients going to kill other than the numerous cases of booze?

  21. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Cat,

    Hunters and sportsmen are responsible for securing millions and millions of acres of habitat for ALL animals, not just big game animals. Some of those very acres your precious wolves and bears are thriving on and doing very well and will continue to do well for a VERY long time. You know that as well as I do but you only choose to see what you want to see. You moch the anti-wolf crrazies for their uneducated rants, then you follow up with your own uneducated rant about hunters killing children? How is it different? Please explain for me..

    Thanks

    Josh

  22. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Cat,

    Now you have no problem with someone who hunts for food.. The famous anit flip flop. Please Cat spare me. I know your agenda and where your heart lies. As for the alcohol if an outfitter wants to drink beer or whatever alcoholic beverage he wants this is a free country, who are you to judge him because he drinks beer? Hell I hear many people on hear betting about drinking alcohol… You going to condemn them also? I trophy hunt Cat, have not killed a deer/elk in 5 years? Is that bad? I doubt you would truly even know the difference between your so called trophy hunter and any other hunter.

    Josh

  23. avatar gline says:

    wow just popped on here to see what was up and a negative argument again from – Josh? Josh how about slowing down a bit?? you seem to be quite emotional and angry.

  24. avatar ID_Paul says:

    jdubya said “If you can’t figure out a non-lethal way of handling such a situation, then you should not be there in the first place.”

    The bears sure don’t seem to attempt a non-lethal way of handling encounters. A human’s mere presence is not deserving of death by mauling.

    It’s too bad about the cubs, I hope they can be saved.

  25. avatar izabelam says:

    OMG..another dead bear because of stupid people. Seems like we have more and more uneducated, non caring people.(degree not necessary is education). I feel sorry for little cubs who lost big mom…who is going to teach them how to survive. Any moron can get a gun..what happened to a training?
    I am really mad right now….

  26. avatar gline says:

    Ryan and Josh: instead of going on the defensive and , defending your hunting sport, why not educate those hunters you know? rather than getting on here and being , well, defensive?? it gets old…

  27. avatar Wyo Native says:

    From the article:

    “east of U.S. Highway 89 and about 8 miles north of Choteau on Monday.”

    I have been through Choteau several times on my way to and from Glacier. This area is 99% private. The very small portions of public lands are state owned lands and there is zero federal owned lands in this area.

  28. avatar gline says:

    ID Paul – the difference is that we humans are on the Bear’s territory. This area is especially known as bear country… if you surprise a bear, esp a sow, her response will be to kill the threat. makes sense to me. How about humans move over for once?

  29. avatar Ryan says:

    Jbubya,

    If you had even the remotest clue what you were talking about you might have a point. The article stated neither knew the other was there, 40ft charging bear with maybe 1 second to react. He did what he had to to protect his own life. So what it would it be better if he got mauled trying to unholster his bear spray?

    April and Cat,

    It’d be nice if either of you actually did some research. One has a much higher chance of being killed by a car than in a hunting accident, (per capita) espicially as a Non hunter. Did you bother to ask the outfitter why he was buying so much booze.. That probably could have answered most of your questions instead of making suppositions.

  30. avatar chris says:

    It is possible to care about both the hunter and the bears, and concern for both justifies efforts to reduce such encounters in the first place. Walking quietly into areas with low visibility is necessary for certain types of hunting but entirely contradictory to avoiding a surprise encounter with a bear. This is an obvious and repeatedly occurring problem in grizzly country. To say the hunter did nothing illegal is correct and I’m glad he wasn’t hurt. To say he did nothing wrong is ridiculous. I understand and support the need to defend hunting in general against the animal-rights crowd. But it seems to me the onus is on hunters to ensure their hunting activities are more safe for themselves and bears.

  31. avatar ID_Paul says:

    gline – So it’s OK for a bear to kill anything that simply surprises it, but it’s not OK for a human to take any action necessary to save his own when he will be dead in about 2 seconds… just because he is in nature? I disagree that humans have the right to live only within city limits, or whatever you define as not being “bear’s territory.”

  32. avatar catbestland says:

    “As for the alcohol if an outfitter wants to drink beer or whatever alcoholic beverage he wants this is a free country, who are you to judge him because he drinks beer?”

    Hmm, Let’s see, what could possibly be wrong with a testosterone fest in the woods which includes men wanting to kill something (not for food) loads of booze and guns and ammunition??? They don’t let you drink and drive. They shouldn’t let you drink and shoot.

  33. avatar gline says:

    I think the point was that the hunter should know he was in bear country , should be more aware of this possibility ryan….

    “hunters would think twice about putting themselves in such stupid situations.”

    -Jdubya seems like a wise person to me. ethical. logical. If there is no accountability for this “hunter”, any hunter can act out this type of fiasco…

    Not so sure I would ask an outfitter why he had so much booze in his truck though, he may get a bit defensive…

  34. avatar gline says:

    that is black and white id paul and you changed my words around. the hunter could definitely use precautions, perhaps not go into bear country right after an especially hot summer right before winter comes to mind.

  35. avatar gline says:

    id paul, as I’m sure you know we have a lot more territory than bears do. We have recreational lands, forest land, parks, oceans for that matter. True designated Wilderness is about 1percent in the lower 48. Although, someone mentioned much land is private in this area where the sow was killed…. in my opinion, as an ethical hunter you should take precautions, follow procedure as jdubya said above and accept risk. Its not Disneyland for C sake.

  36. jdubya- your post made complete sense. Ryan and Josh have this delusion that they are the only people that know what they are talking about.

  37. avatar timz says:

    Damn, the bears good have gone up 2 zip on the hunters this week.

  38. avatar ID_Paul says:

    gline, I don’t see where I changed anything around and it’s about as black and white as your posts are. We appear to have polar opposite views about the rights of humans to be outdoors. I disagree that the human species should be relegated to cities or wherever it is you think we should stay, and that we somehow are interlopers and lose our rights if we go where animals live.

    Grizzlies are there all the time, not just after a hot summer. When can we go into “bear country”?

  39. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    I take offense to the real anti-hunting sentiment. I have a great deal of respect for predators and am an avid hunter myself. Things like this happen so fast, and the man did the right thing in reporting it right away. Dont be foolish and claim that soon hikers and school children won’t be safe, that is just plain silly.

  40. avatar ID_Paul says:

    Does anyone have any info on how long it takes to unholster and shoot the bear spray? Has anyone here ever had to use it?

  41. avatar Layton says:

    cat,

    Frankly, you are so far out of your tree that you couldn’t be reached with a rake!!

    First of all — not a lot of these “trophy hunters” that you bitch about would spend a lot of time hunting pheasants as trophies — sheesh!!

    Second, because an outfitter is buying booze is NOT proof that there is ANY drinking and shooting going on. Last I heard, there was NOTHING wrong with having a drink or two, or a beer or two, with dinner or sitting around a campfire AFTER a day of hunting!!

    “Testosterone fest”, “wanting to kill something (not for food)”, and this big drunken party you seem to think is planned is just a figment of your over active imagination!!

    He (this outfitter) could have several camps and he’s not going to screw around packing in a six pack, he’ll most likely pack in a case or two — or even three. Use your head just a tiny bit.

    izabelam,

    “A gun, and no training”, I don’t think so. If the guy could manage to shoot and kill a charging grizzly with a 20 gauge and bird shot I think he’s pretty well trained!!

  42. avatar jdubya says:

    Ryan, you said:
    “”If you had even the remotest clue what you were talking about you might have a point. The article stated neither knew the other was there, 40ft charging bear with maybe 1 second to react. He did what he had to to protect his own life. So what it would it be better if he got mauled trying to unholster his bear spray?””

    We are both going off of what was reported in that article. If he was pheasant hunting and entering tall grass in bear country, why not let loose a couple of shots in the air? Why not carry an air horn and let off a couple of blasts?

    If you assume the worst (yes, there is a bear in the tall grass in known bear country) and act accordingly (hunt with noise) then these sad events can be averted.

    Is there the possibility the bird hunting might not be so great? Sure, but all hunters I know tell me that it is being out in the wood and stalking the game that is the best part of it. When I fish, I don’t count the numbers of the sizes, I just enjoy the process.

    So does it really matter if he flushes a couple of birds out of the grass while alerting the environment he is present? Why not do it and avoid such an encounter in the first place?

    That is what I mean by a paradigm shift: hunters have to re-think what they are doing and how they are doing it. It is not that frigging hard.

  43. avatar gline says:

    Well, not surprizingly, you don’t seem to have read my post.
    you have said humans are regulated to cities twice now, I have not. Are you anti government too?

    I said to use precautions, that would include selecting areas that wouldn’t have bears for pheasant hunting. A human can always go to the grocery store. a bear can’t obviously- they are getting ready for the long sleep. How about some respect for your wildlife?? or is it all about you? cities and ALL land?

    I’m sure we don’t have polar opposite views about the rights of humans to be outdoors, just as we don’t have EXACT polar opposite views about anything else. I’m absolutely sure there are many thing we agree on about being outdoors, for one i’m sure we both like to be outdoors. You can’t speak for me because you don’t know me from “Adam”. My posts are quite reflective, I ask questions, and I also state my opinion. I provide factual data and references. I am not here to stifle anyone’s opinion, but I’m sure as heck going to state mine as I am compassionate about the remaining grizzly bears, wolves, wolverines etc that we have left in this crazy world- as i’m sure you are as well. (another commonality). You seem very defensive of this hunter, like you are emotional personally involved- which you are not. I see the defensiveness of hunters like this as a reaction- like you will lose something as a whole group… defending your reputation. This type of story needs to be aired, though, and we need to see good stories from ethical hunters as well. Just like we need to see GOOD stories about wolves for once, not just the evil killer murdering animals they have been scapegoated to be.

    Another one of those conversations but from what I see a large part of this polarization are stall tactics at real compromise.

  44. avatar Layton says:

    “Just like we need to see GOOD stories about wolves for once, not just the evil killer murdering animals they have been scapegoated to be.’

    Boy!! I agree on that about 1000%. Now, if we could just find one.

  45. avatar Carl says:

    Chris,

    Well said. It is all of our responsibilities to educate others. It is not only hunters who need to be educated. Last year I watched bird watchers harass an osprey on her nest until she finally her clutch of eggs. When I asked people to back off and quit getting so close I would get dirty looks and told to mind my own business. I was told one little picture doesn’t hurt but they weren’t looking at the cumulative impacts of the visitors. Many people I talked to did pay attention but others were more interested in their precious pictures than the disturbance to the bird. I find wildlife photographers to be very obnocious as a whole, especially the wanna be professionals.

    It is to bad this happened.

  46. avatar gline says:

    that was quite the funny answer layton, hope you are getting a laugh.

    There are lots of good stories about wolves….. they are just not published in the paper because of the conservative and rationally ignorant culture we have here. The newspaper would be vandalized…if they produced such good stuff.

    Ask Defenders of Wildlife how many millions of dollars they gave ranchers to use non lethal means with wolves that saved lives of wolves, the precious livestock and ranchers money. Defenders is supported by citizens of the US….

  47. avatar ID_Paul says:

    gline, I’m going on what I see you post in this topic. Your posts seem to indicate deferring everything to the bears, references to “bear territory” and “bear country” – clearly demarcating that from “human country,” whatever that may be, so I figure you meant cities. I’m trying to understand exactly where you’re coming from on the topic, since I haven’t seen you post anything positive about people.

    I am defensive of a person’s right to take any action needed to protect their life and health in any situation. Most of the people on this board appear to think that avoiding the area and pepper spray are the only allowable options.

    I have a lot of respect for wildlife, including bears. However, I don’t accept your suggestion that we have less right to be there than them. Humans are just as native to this planet as bears are.

  48. avatar gline says:

    “I’m trying to understand exactly where you’re coming from on the topic, since I haven’t seen you post anything positive about people.”

    ok so are you referring to the one post from earlier today or all my posts in general now?? not sure…

  49. avatar gline says:

    I think you could benefit from accepting that you write black and white.. using words like all and nothing, “haven’t seen you write anything positive about people… you seem to be making us and them arguments in the arena of animals vs people …? you have to see that animals have much less space than we do.. that is so obvious. and if you are to label that as animal rights argument, think about why this grizzly should have lived. If this hunter would have taken better precautions? why is it important that we are on the conservative side with our actions re: grizzlies and other species? Its not about your rights. Its about how we steward our land.

  50. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    October 14, 2009 at 1:11 PM
    OMG..another dead bear because of stupid people. Seems like we have more and more uneducated, non caring people.(degree not necessary is education). I feel sorry for little cubs who lost big mom…who is going to teach them how to survive. Any moron can get a gun..what happened to a training?
    I am really mad right now

    …I’m not so sure what is so stupid about a man defending his life. Surely the hunter would have liked things to have turned out differently as well. And to refer to the hunter as non caring and stupid is a little harsh. How would you even know. If they didn’t care why would have they reported it???

  51. avatar Mike says:

    As more and more time goes on, I’m becoming convinced that hunting in grizzly bear habitat in the lower 48 is going to need to be ended.

    There’s simply too many people now. This isn’t 1950 and heading out on a hunt with pa. This is tens of thousands of people crawling and racing around every inch of two track, gun in hand pressing in on nature – trailer upon trailer of ATV’s and external gas tanks for even longer trips into the backcountry.

    I don’t know what this is anymore, but it’s moving further away from hunting and closer to encircling a zoo with an army.

  52. avatar bambi says:

    Mike, here in northwest Montana the roads you are talking about dont exist for traveling on with motorized vehicles. If you want to get into the woods for the most part you are going to have to walk, ride a horse or use a bicycle. In my travels I dont see every gated road over-run with recreationists. I have been told that the roads are closed to protect grizzly habitat and unfortunately in order to hunt you have to go where the animals live.

  53. avatar pointswest says:

    Below are links showing point exactly 8 miles north of Choteau, Montana in Google Earth images. This point of attack looks to be private farm land and well away from public land. It is over 20 miles away from forested mountain land and is well out onto the cultivated and privately owned plains of Montana. From the article, the attack took place in brush and so was probably along one of the nearby streams seen in these images.

    http://www.points-west.com/Temp/Choteau1.jpg

    http://www.points-west.com/Temp/Choteau2.jpg

    http://www.points-west.com/Temp/Choteau3.jpg

    I believe the hunter was very justified in his action and believe he was luck to have escaped with his life. I give you the following points.

    1. He was attacked by a bear with intent to kill or severely wound him.

    2. The article claimed the area was known grizzly habitat. Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming are, “known grizzly habitat” by some definitions of the this loosely defined term. Was this area shown as “known grizzly habitat” on a map published and freely distributed by animal rights groups? Please show me.

    3. It is very hard to kill a large animal with a 20 Gauge shotgun. Hunters know this. The hunter was very lucky to have survived this attack and was obviously unprepared for it.

    4. Some of you people sound as if this man should have given his life to this attacking grizzly so she could have fed her cubs. What about his family and his children?

  54. avatar Ryan says:

    “that is black and white id paul and you changed my words around. the hunter could definitely use precautions, perhaps not go into bear country right after an especially hot summer right before winter comes to mind.”

    Gline,

    Your right, neither should hikers either as they have been known to shoot bears that try to attack them. That rancher should have closed his ranch down and taken a couple months off (seeing as how this did occur on private property). The guy had a dog and was most likely making some noise (running dogs is noisey).

    “If he was pheasant hunting and entering tall grass in bear country, why not let loose a couple of shots in the air? Why not carry an air horn and let off a couple of blasts?”

    Jdubya,
    It’d be nice to know the rest of the story, He probably had no clue the bear was there.. (actually I’d be willing to be all the tea in china he didn’t know it was there) Maybe he’d shot not to previously (shotgun blast aren’t nearly as loud as high power rifles with regards to how long the sound travels) Walking around blasting an air horn would pretty much assure everyone I know no invite back. Shit happens and it was an unfortunate event.. But all of the anti hunting all knowing bullshit that gets thrown around on here afterwards hugely off putting. I’ve had numerous bear encounters, some that damn near ended badly, while wearing bells, making noise, and doing all the right things.

    Mike,

    Where have you been hunting at? Thats not what I generally see where I hunt at. Certain area can be overcrowded, but so are certain hiking areas, mtn biking area, OHV parks etc.

  55. avatar Sal_N says:

    “largest patch of thorny buffaloberry shrubs along the Rocky Mountain Front and a known fall feeding area for grizzly bears”.

    Duty, who interviewed the hunter, said it appears that the man and his dog were following a lane or game trail through the brush and came to a dead end in shrubs and berry bushes that were well over his head.

    A few issues to consider here:
    1) Land owner may not have told them about the bears as bolded above or the hunter ignored the warning he may have been given.
    2) Hunting birds when they are surrounded by bushes “that were well over his head”.
    3) The dog….how can a dog miss the smell of a bear? Or the bear missing the smell of the dog and human is the bear was down wind.
    4) The dog…don’t they usually lead by a few feet? Did this hunter have the dog at his side thus surprising the bear?
    5) The dog… did it run away when the bear charged?

    Don’t know how you hunt pheasant in such a field, normally bird hunting is done in such a way you can shoot the first as it takes off. And if I remember right they flush low and fast away from the shooter. This guy would not have known a flush from a bear passing gas.

    It may have been self defense, but this guy made a couple of grave mistakes that eventually got a bear killed. He did however tell authorities right away but I don’t know if that was due to the land owner insisting he does so that he/she would not lose the lease on that land and get fined or he followed the law.

    There are far better places in eastern MT to hunt pheasant that need not cross the path of a bear.

    I hope they can find a good home for those cubs; it is a tragic loss to have a dead female with cubs or no cubs.

    As for the back and forth between hunters and non-hunters, this is getting old. If we are all pro conservation [ie: bears, wolves and mountain lions etc..] and we continue this ugly back and forth that gets at time personal, the other side need only sit and watch everyone on this side implode. No wonder they don’t give an inch, they don’t have to.

  56. avatar jdubya says:

    I am not taking an anti-hunting stance. Hunt away. But learn how to hunt better. Accidents don’t have to happen. Know your territory, plan ahead, and walk into the woods with options on how to react if threatened.

    And if you can’t hunt responsibly, then maybe you should not be out there. Take yourself out of the game instead of causing an accident or making the gov’t step in.

  57. avatar pointswest says:

    Beautiful Choteau, Montana with Rocky Moutains in background.

    http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/24442866.jpg

    Bring your pepper spray!

  58. avatar Ryan says:

    “Don’t know how you hunt pheasant in such a field, normally bird hunting is done in such a way you can shoot the first as it takes off. And if I remember right they flush low and fast away from the shooter. This guy would not have known a flush from a bear passing gas.”

    Sal,

    In my expirience hunting dense cover (over my head) for phesants with flushing dogs, the birds generally fly straight up before they skim. I was wondering about the dog though, perhaps they were just trying to make it to another area to hunt or they were doing a drive to push the birds out of the cover for other hunters.

    “If we are all pro conservation [ie: bears, wolves and mountain lions etc..]”

    I don’t hate any of these critters, but I am for managing their numbers. I personally advocate against land grabs, habitat destruction, new roads, and pro water shed issues all of which IMHO are much more important than these few accidental bear killings or the wolf issues as they provide habitat for all wildlife and wild places from my kids to go visit someday.

  59. avatar Alan says:

    “….The bears sure don’t seem to attempt a non-lethal way of handling encounters…..”
    ID, I’d definately disagree with that statement. The vast majority of bear charges are so called “bluff” charges. That is also why “playing dead” is often effective in stopping a bear attack. The bear doesn’t care if you are alive or dead; all it cares about is that the perceived threat has been removed.
    Now I would agree with a statement such as, “There is no way of knowing whether a charge is going to result in an actual attack or a bluff,” but to say that bears do not attempt non-lethal methods of defense is just wrong. Indeed, they seem to do so far more often than hunters do.
    The bottom line here is that a bird hunter had no business in this thick berry patch, known grizzly bear fall habitat, looking for pheasants. This isn’t eliminating human activity in favor of bears, it is simple old fashioned common sense. When I’m out hiking in the fall, and I see berries, I instantly start thinking bear. I either avoid the patch altogether, or I make plenty of noise. It’s not brain surgery. My God, I’ve got pheasants in my back yard!! There are tons of places to hunt birds that aren’t grizzly country, even in Montana.

  60. avatar April Clauson says:

    I was just going to say that some of you folks did not read the article, or missed some stuff. I hike and camp and I have brains enough to know you do not follow a game trail with out making noise, and if the game trail ends in a berry patch that is above my head, I am turning around! And I know for a fact my dog would have alerted me to the bear, this guys dog must have a stuffed up nose. And I would have tried spray or just backing away with my dog before I shot it. He was not hunting smart so to say, and more and more hunters hunt this way, they are not taught or care to do it the right way. And by the way guess no one remembers the lady hiker that was shot by the 16 year old hunter that thought she was a bear……If you hunt please do it right, and protect our grizzlies, and wolves and any endangerd wild life, there are not many left in the world and hunter’s need to be more careful. And trophy hunting should be banned period in my mind.

  61. avatar pointswest says:

    “largest patch of thorny buffaloberry shrubs along the Rocky Mountain Front and a known fall feeding area for grizzly bears”.

    It sounds like misinformation propaganda to me.

    Why would anyone be hunding pheasants in a large patch of shrubs. Show me in Google Earth or any other map where this largest patch of thorny buffaloberry shrubs along the Rocky Mountain Front.

    The nice thing about computers and the wealth of information on the internet is that it is getting harder and harder to successfully lie to the public.

  62. avatar Alan says:

    Also, by far, the majority of maulings do not result in death. Since it would be so easy for a bear to kill a human if it wanted to, this also indicates that the bear was only interested in neutralizing the threat, not in killing it. When you stop and think about it, bluff charges and non-lethal maulings actually indicate that bears have a remarkable tolerance.

  63. avatar pointswest says:

    “The bottom line here is that a bird hunter had no business in this thick berry patch, known grizzly bear fall habitat, looking for pheasants.”

    Please show me on a map or even a written description where this, “known grizzly bear fall habitat” is. Please. It is crucial to the entire argument. It is a presmise to almost every claim people make against the hunter. Show it to me. Where is it? Who defined it? Who knew about it? Where is it written, recorded, or spoke of? I want to know more about this so I don’t get attached while I am pheasant hunting in typical pheasant habitat private farmland.

  64. avatar April Clauson says:

    Go read some nature books, animal books etc…get some education pointswest, any one that know about wild life knows the seasons, what they eat, where to find them, mating habits etc…..I am not a hunter but I know that berry bushes in the fall is one of the main staples of bears to eat before hibernation……..you better read up a bit before you go hunting!!!

  65. avatar Ryan says:

    April,

    Care to explain your definition of these statements?

    “trophy hunting should be banned period in my mind”

    Whats your definiton of trophy hunting?

    “He was not hunting smart so to say, and more and more hunters hunt this way, they are not taught or care to do it the right way.”

    Whats the “right way”?

    “And I know for a fact my dog would have alerted me to the bear, this guys dog must have a stuffed up nose.”

    Or what if your dog was upwind of the bear and couldn’t smell it or see it? Would it still alert you then?

    BTW, I read the article you mentioned. It was a horrible tradgedy, but it was a very rare occurance that a hunter kills a hiker by mistake.

  66. avatar josh sutherland says:

    April whats is the difference between trophy hunting and non-trophy hunting? Would I be required to shoot the first deer I see? Doe, fawn or buck? What if I passed up a small buck to kill a bigger buck? Would that be legal? Please give me a brief run down of how you would like hunting to happen!

    Thanks

    Josh

  67. avatar josh sutherland says:

    gline,

    Instead of getting on here and attacking something you know nothing about, please get some sort of education about hunting so as to sound ignorant when it comes to hunting issues… it gets old.

    Thanks

    Josh

  68. avatar Sal_N says:

    Ryan

    I can give you the straight up flush as I have seen them but that is about 25ft max from what I have seen. So in this case with bushed over his head, it would seem difficult to take a shot at a flushing bird before it is out of sight or know where it would fall once shot.

    The other thing I can conclude from reading the article is that no birds had been shot yet — my theory is based on the grizzly still being asleep.

    So this guy was moving rather fast rather than a methodical walk expecting a flush. Adrenaline was a big factor, so he was rushing through the brush thus the distance of 20ft from the bear as he was mostly looking a bit up while walking rather than forward. That would also explain why the dog was not ahead of him of his fast pace.

    Also he is using a 20gauge thus he is either a good shooter or too lazy to carry a 12 gauge. The bear was killed with the third shot as the article stated with the wad going into the bear. That bear was about on top of him as the wad on a 20gauge travels relatively short distances with high energy.

    Josh and Ryan

    How about a definition of a trophy hunt or hunter for others.
    Here is my attempt at it although I don’t take deer and elk too many problems with the meat from my point of view [chronic wasting disease and brucellosis].
    In my mind it is usually a hunter who is going to shoot the biggest “fill in the blank” of the species to keep the head as a trophy, the skin as a rug or blanket etc…. for his/her own satisfaction or for resale. The meat may or may not be consumed. Generally they are out of state (when they keep the animal) and in/out of state for resale. That is my understanding and experience with people who call themselves trophy hunters.
    You can still be a hunter while shooting and consuming a “trophy” animal.

    As for birds, most taxidermy birds I have seen around were farm raised in order to be a good specimen for the taxidermy process….like quails, chukar, pheasants, grouse etc…

    Now that I have digressed, poor bear, I hope the cubs are found a good home soon.

  69. avatar April Clauson says:

    Trophy hunting to me is when some one kills an animal that they do not intend to eat, just hang it on the wall or whatever so they can say they killed it.

    Right way to hunt is know the area, know what is in the area, why they are there etc…..so when you hunt you kill what you went after, a bird in this case, not a bear!

    3 weeks ago I went camping where I usually go in AZ, and it happened to be bow season for elk. I was not aware of it or I would not have been there. I saw men with small children riding around on atv’s carrying bows and such, One guy had 2 kids with him on a small atv looking for elk to hunt right off the road! saw 3 men right off the road with their rifles last weekend pointed up in a tree after a turkey, right by major camping areas! seems to me that the hunters are just not being trained right, and if they do not know the rules of hunting how are they going to teach the kids the right way? and will these people riding around on atv’s with small kids do the same with guns/rifles when the gun season is open? not all hunters are bad hunters, but it seems like the old hunting ways, tracking, hiding, scouting a few days ahead of time etc…..just is not there anymore….

  70. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Sal,

    Since I have a few heads on the wall from Mule Deer Pringohorn, and Elk plus ate every single ounce of meet from those animals how I am considered to be a “Trophy” hunter.

    If I kill a small immature buck or bull, say a two point, how is this any different than killing a mature animal other than age. The two point if not shot could grow into the biggest deer ever, but I wasn’t trophy hunting because I wouldn’t put the head on the wall.

  71. avatar Mike says:

    Ryan –

    Don’t think I am just singling out hunters. I’m also talking about other pressures. Backpackers, photographers, videographers, ranchers, extreme sports, loggers, miners, etc. The buzz and crush of humanity seems to inch into every single crack of nature. There’s really no place for animals just to get away freom that, and I’m wondering if we need to start setting aside small areas for that purpose within national forests and wilderness areas.

    This wasn’t a problem 50-60 years ago.

  72. avatar Save bears says:

    Well I can tell you the old ways are still there, I just got back from a day in the bush, tracking all day long in the rain, snow and wind, and I am wet, cold and asking myself if that was the smartest move! I was right on their tail, but never did get a clear shot, I knew there was a big animal in the group, and I probably would have shot him if I got a clear shot..didn’t use my ATV, didn’t drive the roads, but spent the day on foot, despite the difficulties it presented(I am disabled and have a tag to shoot from the road) But I can say, I am still satisfied, it was a great day!

    I will add, I don’t know anyone that “trophy” hunts birds, they eat them.

  73. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Sal,

    The “Trophy” hunters you refer to are few and far between. A “Trophy” hunter IMO is someone who chooses to hunt and kill a mature animal regardless of species. I eat everything I kill just like WYO Native. I also rarely kill deer/elk because I pass up younger animals waiting for a more mature animal. I would bet 90 percent of the hunters out there shoot the first buck/bull they see each year. If everyone trophy hunted you would see healthier populations also. Thats just my view on it though.

    Josh

  74. avatar pointswest says:

    “.you better read up a bit before you go hunting!!!”

    April…you better read up. And you should look at the images I attached. The author of that article was twisting the facts. It was not some large known shrubby area of grizzly habbitat. I was acreek bottom with patches of shrubs. These creek bottoms are all over the West and any can be called grizzly habbitat. These shrbby creek bottoms run through the towns. Look at the image of Choteau I attadched.

    But I will again ask you where or what this hunter should have read. You seem to be so knowlegeable, lets see you find something that the hunter should have found that warned him there might be grizzlies out in the farm country where he intended to hunt pheasants. Go on…tell us. It is easy to tell someone he should read up. Let’s see you find this infomation this hunter should easily have found and have read up on prior to hunting. It is so easy…you do it just to show all the lazy and stupid hunters how easy it is.

  75. avatar Sal_N says:

    Wyo Native,

    if i classify you by my definition you are a hunter as are most of my friends in MT and they occasionally mount the elk/deer they eat.

    and I also said “You can still be a hunter while shooting and consuming a “trophy” animal.”

  76. avatar Craig says:

    I’ve shoot Spike Elk, Deer and big 6×6 Elk,4×4 Deer have shoulder mounts of the big ones and European mounts on the small ones. I have a ton of Birds mounted ,Pheasants,Ducks, Geese ,Quail, Chuckar, Grouse,Sage Hen ect. I’ve eaten everything I’ve shot and never hunted on a game farm of any sort.
    I look to shoot the bigest Bull or Buck but it doesn’t always happen that way. So am I a Trophy hunter Sal-N? You don’t even make sense in what you are saying.

    “Generally they are out of state (when they keep the animal) and in/out of state for resale”
    WTF are you talking about? So local hunters only kill to sell the animal they don’t eat it huh? You have know clue about hunting do you!

  77. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Mike,

    Where I hunt I rarely ever see another person. Thats why I usually hunt wilderness areas or areas with limited vehicle access. On my elk hunt last year I hunted 12 days and only saw one other hunter the entire time. I saw hunters on the road, but never ran into another soul in the backcountry and was into elk/deer every year. What state do you live in? I live in UT

  78. avatar Ryan says:

    Killing big game animals and selling them is illegal in almost every state, taxidermy is about the only thing that is legal to sell.

    It’s kind of ironic when you read the literature about trophy hunting in Africa, countries that allow it have plenty of animals.. Countries that dont have had massive reduction of total animal life.

  79. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    whos to say that the smaller bucks/bulls/rams don’t have the same genes as the older ones, who generally grow larger. You just can’t tell because of age.
    The danger I see in it is that a doe or cow may wait untill there second cycle to breed if an impressive suitor is not available during the first. In that case the offspring has less of a chance to pack on the pounds for winter.

  80. avatar pointswest says:

    “I am not a hunter but I know that berry bushes in the fall is one of the main staples of bears to eat before hibernation……..you better read up a bit before you go hunting!!!”

    Your ignorance is showing April. Not all shrubs produce berries. Not all berries are edible. Not all edible berries are still on the bush in fall. If an area has edible berries, it may not be withing a grizzly range. In fact, probably 75% of the FARMLAND in Montana is not within a grizzly range.

    This attack was reported to have been in a patch of buffaloberries and it is true that buffaloberries are edible and are available in the fall. But this was over 20 miles out onto the plains. There were probably not any grizzlies there just a couple of years ago. Futher out on the plains from Choteau, there are not still not any grizzlies yet.

    But how was this hunter to know all this?

    So what are we going to do, spend a lot of tax dollars warning and educating hunters on the progress of the range expansion of the grizzlies and where they might encounter them. How about you extreme animal rights activists flipping the bill for some of this?

    This guy was from Alaska. In other articles I read, he said he would not have had time to drop his gun and reach for pepper spray. He did the right thing.

  81. avatar Ryan says:

    Mike,

    I have read those studies, in alberta (where the sheep study is from) there is OTC sheep hunting which will lead to smaller size. If you read the record books, entries have been increasing from across North America due to better management. As for the african elephants, while nice to blame hunter.. Rampant ivory poaching from the 60’s through early 90’s probably played a much bigger role in this.

  82. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Mike,

    Areas in states that have been managed for “Trophy” of “Large Antler Size” have been extremely successful in the past decades. Look at the areas such as the Paunsaguant, Kaibab, Book Cliffs, Monroe, Dutton, Fish Lake, or Manti in Utah, or Little Mountain, Pine Mountain, Greys River, or the Hoback in Wyoming. These areas have not only continually produced increased numbers of “Trophy” animals but almost every year the size of these animals have been getting larger. Management style, nutrition, and water have way more to do with antler size than hunters eliminating a few choice animals during hunting season.

    Another fact that Anti-Hunters always leave out in regards to “Trophy” hunting is the fact that an animal has the exact same genetics when they are young with small antlers as they do when they have matured and their antlers have grown large. Someone who has killed a small bull such as a spike, may have just killed the largest antlered elk that mankind may have ever seen but we will never know. Also a male ungulates have most likely passed on their genes many times before they have ever reached antler maturity. Dominant males are not the only ones passing along their genes during breeding season. While the dominant male is defending thier position many females end up being impregnated by younger males. But as an outdoor enthusiast I am sure you already knew this.

  83. avatar pointswest says:

    I think it would be so interesting to see some of these anti-hunters in a grizzly charge. If they were handed a gun and had pepper spay clipped to their belt, how many do you think would drop the gun and reach for the pepper spray in a grizzly charge?

  84. avatar catbestland says:

    Layton,

    First of all, I said NOTHING agout trophy hunters shooting pheasants, only that I have no problem with hunters who hunt for food, sheeesh!!! It’s called comprehension. Take a course from Evellyn Woodhead. Or just lay off the booze.

    Second of all, there IS something wrong with drinking while handling firearms. If it isn’t against the law to drink while hunting, it should be. That alone would empty the woods of half the trophy hunters. I have walked up on numerous camps where so called hunters have had spent a few days and a few cases. It would take a bulldozer to clean it up. No figment.

    He (the outwitter) bought a truckload of booze during hunting season. You do the math. Or do you need help with that too?

    Maybe it is you who is so “high” up a tree (or barstool?) that you can’t be reached with a rake.

  85. avatar Cordell says:

    April,
    Here’s a quote from you – “3 weeks ago I went camping where I usually go in AZ, and it happened to be bow season for elk. I was not aware of it or I would not have been there.”
    My question – By your rationale, you should’ve done research on where you usually go camping. Isn’t it you’re responsibility to know what is going on in the area? If you are so afraid of hunters, you should have knowledge of season dates. You harangue the hunter in the article for not knowing the area.

    Another quote from you – “Right way to hunt is know the area, know what is in the area, why they are there etc…..”
    Shouldn’t you know the area you camp in? ie. Hunting season dates

    One more quote from you – “Go read some nature books, animal books etc…get some education…” How about yourself? How about reading your local Big Game Hunting Guide from your local DOW?

    You, April, are responsible for your own safety, just as this hunter was responsible for his.

  86. avatar Sal_N says:

    Craig,

    Please read my post to Wyo Native, or re-read my earlier post, that should help answer your question.

    Josh,

    Thank you for your post, glad you stated your own view of this argument, hopefully now people can use your input when asking you questions or having a polite conversation with you.

  87. avatar pointswest says:

    Bear Attack! Quick! Drop your gun and reach for your bear spray or you might hurt the bear!!!

  88. avatar April Clauson says:

    ok, Cordell, you are right on that one! Since I do not hunt I do not keep track of when they do hunt! Guess I better! At any rate my camping is done till next spring/summer. I do not want to risk my dog or myself with hunters in the woods.

  89. There are all kinds of hunters, with all degrees of ability, and kinds of motives.

    As for those who don’t hunt, there are all kinds of reasons.

    It would be nice if people would carefully distinguish.

    In this case and a number of others in Montana, things are quite different than Yellowstone. We are talking bird hunters, not elk or deer hunters. These 4 bears were out on the plains, something unique that pleases me a great deal, but it is not so unique that folks shouldn’t be wary when entering a big berry patch in October.

  90. avatar Cordell says:

    Cat,

    I believe you said you are in CO. Have you read the CDOW Big Game Guide? If you haven’t here is a snippet you might be interested in: It is unlawful to – Hunt under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance.
    If you know of a violator – report them.
    If you are not just making assumptions and baseless accusations – report the violators. Take action. If you see something that is illeagal, it is your responsibility to report it.
    Outfitters have the same responsibilities to keep a clean camp as any other camper. If you see a violation – report them.

  91. avatar Cordell says:

    April,

    I’m not sure, but if you’d check the guide you may not have to wait until the spring. If you know what season is open, if any, you’ll know when you or your dog may be in danger from those dastardly “hunters in the woods”

  92. avatar josh sutherland says:

    April,

    We would appreciate that.

    Cat,

    What proof do you have that they were planning on getting drunk and hunting? How do you know that there drinking was not limited to after hunting hours and back at camp? You dont know do you… You know what they saw about ASSumptions… :) Once again Cat your idea of “trophy” hunters are very far and few between. You are more than welcome to come out and see if you can hang with me on my “trophy” hunt. I sure as hell dont drink, hit the trail at 5 AM hunt till way after dark get back, eat a nasty freeze dried meal. Then do it all over again. Its harder than you make it out to be…. :)

  93. Many hunters drink around camp at night. So do backpackers, kayakers, dirt bikers, anglers, etc.

    The important thing is to not be impaired during the day. That includes a hangover.

    I do recall that Dick Cheney shot his friend with 20 gauge shot, and he had had a least one drink.

  94. I’ve been out the hills all day. How did this get on trophy hunting? I think it was a pheasant hunt?

  95. avatar catbestland says:

    Bigbrowntrout,

    “Dont be foolish and claim that soon hikers and school children won’t be safe, that is just plain silly.”

    Of course it is silly, Just as silly as sayint that children waiting at school bus stops are in danger of being attacked by wolves.

    Cordell,

    You’d better believe I report them. I also report hunters who are hunting after dark, hunters on private property, anything I can report them for, except for mistaking cattle for elk. I live in a very popular hunting area. They’d better tow the line around here.

  96. avatar Save bears says:

    Ralph,

    I just got back in from hunting today, and your guess is as good as mine!

  97. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    Cat,
    Lets be serrious, to think half of hunters are stumbling around the woods with firearms is absurd. You probably saw the outfitter buying supplies for the season. Hunters pay big bucks for a service. That service usually includes food and drinks. Like many other activities folks may wish to enjoy a drink after a long day on the mountain. Many outfitters pack in for the season-hence the amount. Dont be ridiculous

  98. avatar Save bears says:

    Cat,

    I will go you one further, I even report them when they “Mistake” cattle for elk..sure glad we have people like you that make people participating in a legal activity to “tow” the line..

  99. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    Cat, I’ve never once mentioned anything of wolves attacking school children. And for your info, I have spent the last 10 years guiding wolf and bear watching tours. I am not only an avid hunter but a predator advocate as well. How many days have you ever spent in the field????

  100. avatar Save bears says:

    Of course I have reported anti hunters for illegally interfering with a legal hunt as well, so go figure.

  101. avatar pointswest says:

    “These 4 bears were out on the plains, something unique that pleases me a great deal, but it is not so unique that folks shouldn’t be wary when entering a big berry patch in October.”

    I grew up in grizzly country and if I had been hunting in this area 20 miles out onto the plains in Montana and someone did not specifically warm me that grizzles come down these creek bottoms, the thought of a grizzly would never have crossed my mind.

    I wonder how many people around Choteau were aware that grizzlies were comming down these creeks 20 miles into the plains and only a few miles from town.

    I wonder how far they come down the creeks in Idaho. If one came 20 miles down Fall River, it would be in Chester. How many people around Chester think of possible grizzly attack went entering brush? Should they all start carrying pepper spray?

    When they start coming 25 miles down the Teton, they will be in Rexburg. Maybe we should start warning people around Rexburg to start carrying pepper spray before entering any of the many brush creek bottoms in Madison Country.

    We can tax hunters to pay for the warnings.

  102. avatar Save bears says:

    It is amazing how many times, I read on this blog “don’t get me wrong, I believe in hunting” but it just not seem that way sometimes….

  103. avatar Ryan says:

    April,

    http://www.azgfd.gov/pdfs/h_f/regulations/HuntingRegulations.pdf

    Here is the Arizona regulations, all states are availiable online. I think its funny that you worry your dog might get shot, as I have not heard of that happening with any sort of regularity probably about as common as the 200lb wolf. I would work primarily on avoiding general season hunts or draw hunt with lots of tags. The true LE tags shouldn’t be a worry for you (Sheep and antalope).

    BTW, I read your little overview you made alot of assumptions in it that aren’t worth responding too. Just as an FYI it sounds more like mid day people activity as most elk hunting, espically during archery season occurs first light until mid morning and in the late evening skipping out on the heat of the day. The guy was most likely out having a good time with his kids as bringing small children on an elk hunt is a little too physically challenging for most. As for the turkey guys, you should have turned them in if you witnessed them killing the turkey as it is illegal to kill a turkey with a centerfire rifle and fall turkey season didn’t open until 10/2.

  104. avatar Jay says:

    Pointswest–the guy attacked by a grizzly a year or two ago was mauled essentially just outside a spread out subdivision outside of what town I can’t remember. It shouldn’t be news that that area is grizzly country.

  105. avatar Ryan says:

    It is amazing how many times, I read on this blog “don’t get me wrong, I believe in hunting” but it just not seem that way sometimes….

    Save Bears,

    I just laugh when I read that anymore, because the hunters they reference seem about as rare as the easter bunny. I liked it better when a Spade was a Spade and 99% of hunters were called “cabela’s queens” and drunks atleast it made it easier to believe some of the comments that were made.

  106. avatar catbestland says:

    browntrout,

    I wasn’t referring to your saying that wolves will attack school children. But to the ridiculous claim made by anti-wolfers (especially in NM) that they have to build enclousures to keep their children safe from wolves at bus stops. Don’t be so defensive. FYI, I am in the field and on the trail a great deal of the time.

  107. avatar Cordell says:

    Cat,
    you said “Of course it is silly, Just as silly as sayint that children waiting at school bus stops are in danger of being attacked by wolves.”
    So, does that make it OK? Do you think that saying something so “silly”(your words, not mine) does anything to further your “cause”, whatever that may be.

  108. avatar catbestland says:

    Cordell,

    In case you couldn’t tell, the very first post I made on this thread was made in jest, comparing the ridiculousness of the anti-wolfer claims of giant northern wolves that would eat our school children to claims of giant northern hunters who might kill our school children. The point was to emphasize how silly anti-wolf claims are. I’m not trying to further any cause just poking fun at some of those claims. I guess humor is lost on some.

  109. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    As more and more time goes on, I’m becoming convinced that hunting in grizzly bear habitat in the lower 48 is going to need to be ended.

    I’m starting to wonder. Or maybe it needs to be on limited basis with people who can pass bear identification courses.

  110. avatar pointswest says:

    Maybe we could get wolves and griz in Helena and have the whole ecosystem in the suburbs.

    http://www.points-west.com/Temp/Helena.jpg

    Think of all the gas it would save since people would not need to drive to the Park anymore.

  111. avatar pointswest says:

    “As more and more time goes on, I’m becoming convinced that hunting in grizzly bear habitat in the lower 48 is going to need to be ended.”

    Please define “gizzly bear habitat.” That could mean anything from areas within 50 miles of Yellowstone and Glacier to all of the western states.

    Why don’t we do the most economical things first like getting cattle off public lands that are good grizzly habitat before we put such hardships on so many people.

  112. avatar Cordell says:

    Cat,
    No humor lost on me. I think a lot of what you say is hysterical. (I guess both definitions would apply here – panic stricken and highly amusing)

  113. avatar catbestland says:

    Where was this guy’s dog? Don’t they use dogs for bird hunting? Wouldn’t the dog have warned him about the bear?

  114. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Matters what direction the wind is blowing. If it was in his face then the dog should of smelled the bear. I would imagine though in head high grass there was not much of a breeze..

  115. avatar pointswest says:

    “Pointswest–the guy attacked by a grizzly a year or two ago was mauled essentially just outside a spread out subdivision outside of what town I can’t remember. It shouldn’t be news that that area is grizzly country.”

    Was it the guy on Rammel Road near Driggs, Idaho? It was like 100 yards from his house. He heard his dogs barking at dusk and went outside to see what they were barking at. Like a totally uneducated imbecile country bumpkin, he was not carrying pepper spray. He needed to be air lifted to Idaho Falls after the attack. It took him six months in the hospital (probably $200,000 in medical expenses) to recover and he is permanently disfigured. My Aunt and cousins know him.

    Before this incident, there was a grizzly cub that was sleeping on a nearby porch. People chased him off but he kept coming back. The people living in the house were afraid to do anything with the bear. I think the Fish & Game chased it off and it came back again. I never did hear how it finally ended. The Fish & Game probably killed it. It was probably an orphan abondoned by it mother. They do that. They sometimes abondon their cubs if sick or during a bad year and leave them to die.

  116. avatar Jay says:

    That’s the incident. Seems like there’s enough sightings and incidents that EVERYONE that lives in the GYE should be aware that grizzlies can be just about anywhere.

  117. avatar pointswest says:

    I have to make a correction. Timothy Henderson who was attached outside of his home near Driggs was only in the hospitall for a few days. I guess my memory is slipping.

  118. avatar pointswest says:

    Here are some Google Earth images of where Timothy Henderson was attacked outside his home at 60 W. Rammel Rd, Tetonia, ID.

    http://www.points-west.com/Temp/RammelRd1.jpg

    http://www.points-west.com/Temp/RammelRd2.jpg

    I am all for preseving wolves and grizzlies but believe the answer is to perserve some large areas for them and manage these areas primarily for wolf and grizzly habbitat. These areas can by very large, maybe 10 or 20 million acres total or even more if other states become interested. But I believe it unethical to allow these animal to roam to wherever they want to go. Those who believe this is possible are dreaming.

    There will eventually be limits to where they are allowed to go. They will not be roaming the suburbs of Boise or Helena. The question will become where will we allow them to roam.

  119. avatar gline says:

    There you go with that zoo concept again pointswest…

  120. avatar gline says:

    “Many hunters drink around camp at night. So do backpackers ….” I’ve often thought it would be nice to have some wine with dinner after hiking all day, however the thought of more weight in my pack dissuades me from carrying in the booze, especially in droves…
    My question would be do you think the outfitters with huge amounts of booze in their trucks are actually hiking in 6-10 miles?

  121. avatar Mike says:

    ++I grew up in grizzly country and if I had been hunting in this area 20 miles out onto the plains in Montana and someone did not specifically warm me that grizzles come down these creek bottoms, the thought of a grizzly would never have crossed my mind.++

    Even someone with the most limited understanding of the rocky mountain front ecosystem there in Augusta/Choteau knows that grizzly bears come out onto the prairie.

    The hunting party was simply uneducated.

  122. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Gline,

    They have horses…. Which I would imagine are capable of carrying booze 6-10 miles. Arent these obvious questions?

  123. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Mike,

    What if it was someone from AK??? :) Thats where the hunter was from. I think this was just a horrible accident, I am sure the last thing the hunter wanted to do was encounter a charging grizzly bear while hunting pheasants carrying a shotgun loaded with bird shot. Its a sad situation and could of ended alot worse with the hunter losing his life…

  124. avatar Mike says:

    And going back on my further points of humans really starting to “vice down” on wildlife, wether backpacker, photographer hunter, etc.

    The reason why hunters end up getting the backlash for these incidents is because when people from the other activities have enoucnters, rare animals don’t die.

    Why is that? Why is it that thousands of hikers, photographers, tourists, birdwatchers infiltrate the woods every year, but all the “grizzly X was killed” stories revolve around hunters?

    Fact:

    When you own a firearm, you increase your chances of being killed by a firearm

    Fact: When guns are around, things die

    This is why.

  125. avatar pointswest says:

    “Even someone with the most limited understanding of the rocky mountain front ecosystem there in Augusta/Choteau knows that grizzly bears come out onto the prairie. ”

    Everyone knows there 20 miles out? How about 30 miles? Are they at 30 miles out? How about 40 miles?

    How long have grizzlies been 40 miles out on the prarie?

  126. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Mike so are you anti hunting and anti gun also? I dont understand your point… Would you rather the hunter was mauled or killed vs the bear dying? If he would of not had a gun there would of been a good chance HE died. Is that an acceptable outcome in your mind?

    One thing to consider Mike, hunters are active and being quiet at the same time that bears are hunting.. Hikers and backpackers are loud and more active during the day when bears are not active. So the odds of a bear encountering a hunter are going to be higher and these things will happen even with the most careful of hunter.

    One bit of advice though, if you want hunters on board for predator re-introduction then I would HIGHLY reccommend greatly reducing your anti-hunter setiment and anti-gun setiment. Cause if you were talking about grizz in my area, which I would not mind at all, as soon as I read you stating that hunting should not be allowed where grizz are because of hunter/bear conflict I would be fighting you tooth and nail to keep em out.. And the rural areas that bears would have the most impact on are high concetration of hunters. So I would assume you would want them as allies not enemies Not to mention the VERY FOCUSED and EFFECTIVE hunting groups that would be all over the issue if they felt you wanted to end or limit hunting in those areas..You have to be able to have a middle ground Mike, and take the good with bad, so you can have a few bear mortalities yet actually have bears around, or you can alienate hunters and gun owners which would be your biggest ally.

    The biggest concern for bears though is not hunters, its public land ranchers… Hunters battle them all the time.. In fact they want tags to auction off here in UT.. Its a joke.

  127. avatar pointswest says:

    “There you go with that zoo concept again pointswest…”

    Who would call an area of 8 million acres a zoo? These areas would not need to be completely enclosed. There may only need to be some fencing to control migration and travel from some areas and to keep developed areas safe from the dangerous predators. Only someone with an extreme viewpoint would call this idea a zoo.

    Barriers to travel are very common in nature…the ocean for example, is a barrier. Is America a zoo because animals are not free to walk to Europe? Should we build a new land bridge to free the animals? How ethereal you are in your ethos!

    I can guarantee that some of the extreme viewpoints we hear from in this and other blogs will fail utterly. Sooner or later, some very ugly news story is going to come out, public opinion will swing, and the lawsuit party will be over.

  128. avatar pointswest says:

    “it would be nice to have some wine with dinner after hiking all day, however the thought of more weight in my pack dissuades me from carrying in the booze”

    You can take a little half pint of 190 proof Everclear, mix it with a double bag of coolaid, and it kinda tastes like Thunderbird.

  129. avatar Mike says:

    ++Mike so are you anti hunting and anti gun also?++

    No, I’m pro common sense, pro proven factual data.

    ++I dont understand your point… Would you rather the hunter was mauled or killed vs the bear dying? If he would of not had a gun there would of been a good chance HE died. Is that an acceptable outcome in your mind?++

    I don’t think the bear being shot three times in the head is an acceptable outcome because the hunter was uneducated on the most glaring and obvious fact of the rocky mountain front ecosystem where he was hunting. When people are stjupid, rare animals die – especially if they have weapons. We make a mistake, they die. We screw up, they die. Since the penalty is the death of a rare creature, I’d like to think that we can voice harsh criticism and enforce better education measures, and CERTAINLY show a higher level of self awarness unlike this hunter.

    ++One thing to consider Mike, hunters are active and being quiet at the same time that bears are hunting..++

    That goes back to my point a bit…..Maybe it’s time to block hunting in certain sections of habitat in grizzly country. “Being quiet and active” is not compatible with the bear safety guidelines in grizzly country.

    ++ Hikers and backpackers are loud and more active during the day when bears are not active. So the odds of a bear encountering a hunter are going to be higher and these things will happen even with the most careful of hunter.++

    So you admit then that hunting in grizzly country is detrimental to the bears and more likely to get bears killed……

    ++
    One bit of advice though, if you want hunters on board for predator re-introduction then I would HIGHLY reccommend greatly reducing your anti-hunter setiment and anti-gun setiment. Cause if you were talking about grizz in my area, which I would not mind at all, as soon as I read you stating that hunting should not be allowed where grizz are because of hunter/bear conflict I would be fighting you tooth and nail to keep em out.. And the rural areas that bears would have the most impact on are high concetration of hunters. So I would assume you would want them as allies not enemies Not to mention the VERY FOCUSED and EFFECTIVE hunting groups that would be all over the issue if they felt you wanted to end or limit hunting in those areas..You have to be able to have a middle ground Mike, and take the good with bad, so you can have a few bear mortalities yet actually have bears around, or you can alienate hunters and gun owners which would be your biggest ally.++

    I’m not into politics or appeasement at all, just science and doing the right thing. You make some good points. I’ve been pro hunting my entire life, and still am. But there is something to be said for tens of thousands of guys screeching off into grizzly country(often times drunk) with their extend-o trip ATV gas tanks pressuring in on every last drainage.

    I’m not anti-gun either, but I am pro facts. You increase your chances of death by gun by owning one. You increase your chances of killing wild animals by having one. These are simply facts. Things die when guns enter the picture, no matter how well intentioned someone may be.

    Backpackers make noise. Backpackers don’t kill grizzly bears. Hunters don’t make noise, hunters do kill grizzly bears.

    There’s a problem here.

    My feelings on hunting seem to be changing with human overpopulation, Josh. You probably don’t get a really good glimpse of it in Utah. I respect your right to hunt, but at the same time, I respect physics. It’s just not the same anymore. There’s too many people and not enough true wildlands.

  130. avatar Mike says:

    ++Everyone knows there 20 miles out? How about 30 miles? Are they at 30 miles out? How about 40 miles?

    How long have grizzlies been 40 miles out on the prarie?
    ++

    For as long as the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana has existed. This is common knowledge and widely reported. A hunter is supposed to have even the most basic understanding of the ecosystem, but many don’t. Instead of reading about the land they walk, most drink around campfries at night.

  131. avatar pointswest says:

    “For as long as the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana has existed. This is common knowledge and widely reported. A hunter is supposed to have even the most basic understanding of the ecosystem, but many don’t. Instead of reading about the land they walk, most drink around campfries at night.”

    Mike,

    At one time, there were gizzlies all over Montana. They were in every part of the state, the mountains, the vallyes, and even all the praries. Then settlers came and began shooting them because they were a danger to their livestock and to the settlers themselves. It reached a point to where the only grizzlies left were in the confines of Yellowstone Park and in Glacier Park where it was illegal to shoot them. There were perhaps a few wandering around the periphery of these Parks until they too were shot.

    Or this is how history tells it. What you are now telling us now is that this is not correct and that grizzlies have always been out on the prairies of Montana as far out as 40 miles east of the Rock Mountain Front. Am I understanding this correctly?

    I want a pound of that shit you’ve been smoking because it sounds like it is pretty good.

    Also, just for your infomation, Mike, grizzlies have not been around “as long as the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana has existed.” The Rockies started forming 100 million years ago when the only mamals on the planets were small rodents.

    Thought you’d like to know.

  132. avatar bob jackson says:

    Hugh Glass, the Mt. Man, was mauled by a griz and left to die by Jim Bridger. Hugh suprised this bear in a thicket while travelling through what is now eastern South Dakota. It was the eastern border of then griz range. Don’t know that he should have been on alert because he didn’t see many around but at the same time it was ingrained in him from all his travels in core griz country.

    Being aware and on guard is a relative thing. Where I patrolled, the SE corner of yellowstone was of the highest density for bears. When leavingthe cabinin the middle of the night ( worst time to suprise a bear) I put either my 45-70 or 44 on ready, banged on the door first in case a bear was on the porch, then opened the door and said something like “here bear”. Then I stepped out a couple of steps and shined the spotlight in a 270 degree arch (don’t ever shine the light right away because if the bear is suprised it goes right at that light). After that it was talking and shining all the way to the outhouse.

    Then the most vulnerable part came…opening that door because there was no protection on my backside. (he pasture buck and rail funneled bears along this path to the barn, the place they went because of the smell of oats).

    Ater this it was a cake walk back to the cabin. Still talked and shining the light all around but the suprise element wasn’t as high.

  133. avatar bob jackson says:

    Somehow I hit the “submit” button.

    What I was going to continue with was if that was daytime or even just after I turned out the lantern the same event would have meant I felt like I could have just as well been back here on the farm, even though I knew at least every other morning I could see fresh griz tracks on the trail going between that outhous and the cabin.

    Same for away from the cabin. It still was a lot of bear contact area but I divided it all up to degree of suprise encounter.

    The highest was patrolling just inside the park line, maybe a 100 -200 yards in or so,in tall grass. This is where the bears day bedded after gorging on all those elk carcasses left at the illegal salts just outside the line. If on foot I may divert a quarter mile around these tall grass, open woods areas. If on a horse I always let him go at his pace, not mine. He had to be able to sense all around him. My horse could just about find where every bear was bedding, always waiting for the winds, and he would veer maybe 50 yds around any bear he became aware of.

    I’d say if any hunter was looking through glasses on the mt. above they would have thought it was a very comical sight…. a horse sometimes travelling straight at 2 miles per hour then slowing down to one fourth that speed, then walking gingerly around imaginary obstacles. If the killing was high that day, maybe 4-5 elk dead (and hundreds of pounds of meat left) in a half mile of boundary then one could expect 8-10 griz daybedding in THEIR safe zone, not mine. It was quite the weave, I can say that to patrol these bedding areas.

    With the guy bird hunting I doubt he would have the same thoughts of awareness as if in the same spot hunting elk. Just him and his dog and harmless birds. He blew it, of course, just like I would have if going to the outhouse without protection with all those bears around. Who knows if one of those is a bear who had been wounded by a hunter just a mile from my cabin?

    But it is all realitive and I’m sure Mr. thought he didn’t have a care in the world that day….until it hapened. I agree with whomever is posting about numbers of people. We just have too many and means chance encounter for one in Hugh’s day means 1000 higher chances today in what remains of bear country.

  134. Pointswest,

    That was kind of silly comment. When we say an animal is or isn’t native to an area, we assume we aren’t going back 100 million years.

    Maybe you’ve missed the posts on the grizzly bears of the Rocky Mountain Front, but for at least 20 years they have been venturing out onto the plains. In the area around Choteau, people just assume there are grizzlies in the stream bottoms between town and the Front, especially in the spring and fall.

    Now grizzlies are moving further eastward. Regardless of whether there are grizzlies, most people know that berry patches is where bears are likely to be.

  135. avatar Teresa says:

    My 2 bits…. Hunting and the hunter has changed over the past 50 years since I was a kid and going out with my dad. We hunted for meat. We NEEDED to hunt for meat. We were poor. Most of the hunting I see nowadays is for sport. So someone can buy a big expensive tag, hunt, or guide and go kill some beast they would never consider eating just to say they killed it. Then they can have their picture taken with their ‘kill’ to verify the great white hunter they are.
    So now another beast and her offspring are taken from the gene pool …. out of season. The continuation of this type of “hunting” will deplete the wildlife resources to the point that even the great white hunter will no longer be able to brag about his conquest.

  136. avatar richie says:

    Hey I do not have the experience you ladies and gentleman have, but aren’t you supposed to carry bear spray, and if you see a bear move back and make noise. Did this hunter do any of these things ,ban him and a big fine for two years,let him come back but make him think next time. This is bad she was only protection her cubs. Now are they making a real effort to trap the cubs, I have real questions about this. Hey look people get tickets for trash,stop lights,parking tickets, you tell me this guy kills a bear with cubs and gets away with nothing, bull, seems to me this is a pro hunting world, at least in this part of the country.

  137. avatar Save bears says:

    Teresa,

    He was not hunting out of season as there is no hunting season on Grizzly bears, he was hunting for birds. There were no pictures taken of the hunter with the bear and it was immediately reported to the proper authorities.

    Richie,

    Yes, it is a very pro hunting world in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, in fact Montana amended their constitution, that guarantees the residents of the state of Montana the right to hunt.

  138. avatar Save bears says:

    And just to say, I am not in favor of Grizzly bear hunting, and never will be in the lower 48 as I don’t feel there is a strong population base, and with current trends don’t figure there will ever be..

  139. avatar Ryan says:

    “The continuation of this type of “hunting” will deplete the wildlife resources to the point that even the great white hunter will no longer be able to brag about his conquest.”

    Teresa,

    Nice comment, but the facts clearly go in the opposite direction, big game populations are generally stable or increasing (depending on species) due to the efforts put in by hunters in the early years.

    Richie,

    I’m pretty much sure he didn’t have time to do any of the things your supposed to, from what the story said. Everybody love perfect world scenarios, but thats not the case here. From what I have read he did what he had to do to protect his life.

  140. avatar nabeki says:

    Another example of Grizzly Heaven and Grizzly Hell. Several years ago there was an editorial written in the Hungry Horse News, with that title. The point being Grizzly Heaven is where there are no humans and Grizzly Hell…well you get the picture.

    Crying shame this sow was killed for defending her cubs and her poor cubs are doomed to starvation or zoo life.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  141. avatar nabeki says:

    cat Says:

    “With all these hunters loose in the woods it’s only a matter of time before hikers, campers, or children waiting at bus stops is killed by one.”
    ——————————
    Did you ever hear about the case in Maine, when a hunter killed a woman in her backyard, he say’s he thought she was a deer. It happened twenty years ago. The hunter said he mistook the woman’s white mittens she was wearing for a white-tailed deer.

    She was the mother of twin girls just a year old. It was a tragedy that divided the state. People were up in arms on both sides.
    ——————————————
    Deer Hunter Is Indicted in Accidental Killing of Woman in Maine
    By LYN RIDDLE, Special to The New York Times
    Published: Saturday, December 9, 1989
    http://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/09/us/deer-hunter-is-indicted-in-accidental-killing-of-woman-in-maine.html

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  142. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Mike,

    Of course I realize animals die around guns.. That the point. And I just dont hunt in UT, I have hunted numerous times in CO, ID, WY and NV and have never seeen the mass amounts of people you talk about. They might be on the roads driving around but I am very rarely on the roads so that maybe why. The animals I hunt have plenty of space to avoid hunters.

    As far as not caring about politics then I am afraid you are in for a very disappointing fight with grizz re-introduction. You start talking about limiting hunting in those areas and you will lose 99 percent of all hunters that might have been on board. I know I am not willing to give up grouse hunting, deer hunting, elk hunting and other hunting activities because there are a few grizz in the areas and I would fight it tooth and nail to prevent it from happening. Like I said you need to be able to take a middle ground or the chances are very high you will not see predator re-introduction like you want. Be willing to accept a few hunter related deaths with grizz in exchange for actually having grizz around would be a GREAT middle ground if you ask me… But it seems that is not something you would accept. Obviously the states would need to implement hunter education programs to limit those deaths as much as possible.

  143. avatar nabeki says:

    Ralph says:

    These 4 bears were out on the plains, something unique that pleases me a great deal, but it is not so unique that folks shouldn’t be wary when entering a big berry patch in October.

    =========================

    I totally agree it’s wonderful to see grizzly out on the Front. After all they evolved on the plains. Sad, sad story but all too common.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  144. avatar jdubya says:

    Josh,

    Does this mean you are in favor of the re-introduction of the Grizz in Utah? All right!! And no, I’m not talking about the hockey team.

  145. avatar Save bears says:

    nabeki,

    Actually given the amount of hunter days per year, it is not all to common, yes, I agree mortality is to high for grizzly bears, but taken in percentage of hunters in the field every year, the percentage of incidents is actually very small.

    They are highly visible, but really small in percentage.

  146. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Jdub,

    I have no problem if they relocated grizz to areas in UT, obviously as long as people werent trying to limit my hunting opportunites. I would bet a large majority of hunters that dont have ties to livestock would support it also. It would be cool to see them and eventually have the opportunity to hunt one. I would have to change my hunting habits and be more careful and aware of my surroundings in areas that I know would hold bears. Hell we have lots of Black Bears and I have never seen one yet in UT, I have not seen a cougar in UT either. I am sure they have seen me though… I am not against wolves in UT either as long as we are able to manage them just like any other animal in the state from the beginning.

  147. avatar nabeki says:

    Save bears,

    The problem is losing a sow grizzly with cubs, in her prime breeding years. Grizzlies have very low birth rates. We just lost a seventeen year old sow with two cubs in Glacier back in August. Rangers shot the Old Man Lake Bear not because she was threatening anyone but because she was hanging around campgrounds. After she was killed her cubs were darted with tranquilizers, one subsequently died from an overdose of the drug. The other cub was sent to a zoo. We can’t afford to lose these valuable female grizzlies.

    The Old Man Lake Bear was not a “bad bear”. She was never aggressive or harmed anyone. She roamed between Morning Star and Old Man Lakes in Glacier National Park, which is prime grizzly habitat. Her only crime is getting too close to campgrounds. For that she lost her life and we lost a breeding female with cubs.

    Near Glacier over the years, many bears have been lost to the railroad. The train tracks run along the west to east border of the park. We’ve had major grain spills which attract bears. If that’s not bad enough, the railroad may drag their feet in cleaning up the grain and it ends up fermenting, which acts like a drug to attract bears to the tracks.

    Humans are the bears greatest enemy, no doubt, due to negligence, ignorance or malice.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  148. avatar Save bears says:

    nebeki,

    I am very familiar with all of these incidents, have read the reports and talked with many people involved in them, I still have quite a few friends that work for the agencies involved, so I still get access to the reports…I worked for FWP for quite a while, and in that capacity worked with many of the other agencies..

  149. avatar Carl says:

    Josh,

    I’ve been in some of Utah’s back country but not enough to known what areas could support a viable population. What areas could support one?

    I also wanted to point out the benefits that grizzly, black bears, wolves, coyotes,ravens, eagles etc. get at this time of year from feeding on the gut piles that hunters provide. Grizzlies are known to leave the Yellowstone National Park to feed on these at this time of year. Anybody know how this may be impacting grizzly numbers? What impact would it have on the population if this source of food was lost?

  150. avatar Save bears says:

    Despite the best efforts around, this particular incident was a life or death situation, I am really sad because it cost the bear its life, but with the close quarters situation, the only other outcome would have been a mauled or dead human..yes it is a big loss to the breeding population, but in the reports I have read as well as talking to those who investigated, there was no malicious intent, it was reported right away.

    As we have increasing populations of humans and increasing populations of bear who are moving into former ranges, it is going to happen.. When you sitting on the other side of a computer screen, it is very easy to second guess and condemn, when you are face to face with a bear, it can and often times is a whole different story and that is a fact of life..

  151. avatar Cris Waller says:

    “A hunter is supposed to have even the most basic understanding of the ecosystem, but many don’t.”

    Epitomized by the guy who shot the first wolf in the Bob Marshall Wilderness…

    “I don’t know anything about wolves,” the hunter said. “Zero. I’ve learned more about wolves in this past week [since he shot one] than I’d learned in a lifetime.”

    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_7a7b24b8-a8c2-11de-b51c-001cc4c03286.html

  152. avatar Cris Waller says:

    “I am really sad because it cost the bear its life, but with the close quarters situation, the only other outcome would have been a mauled or dead human..”

    I think the point is, the whole situation didn’t need to happen. There are plenty of other, grizzly-free, places to hunt birds. Berry thickets known to harbor grizzlies at that time of year aren’t appropriate places to do so. The hunters shouldn’t be there in the first place.

  153. avatar bob jackson says:

    Carl,

    There are direct losses with those Yellowstone bears leaving for “gut” piles and then there are the indirect habituation motalities a couple years down the road.

    When I wrote my govt. report explaining this mortality ….. that someone leaked to the press (and it ended up in every major newspaper in the country) in Thorofare alone we had 8 griz mortalities that fall. that was the known ones. And you have to double that figure to get a more accurate mortality figure.

    The habituation was the main problem I saw. Bears that always ran from backpackers before the outfitters started “Indian or Quick quartering” now were not getting off the trails the following years. Thus, in the following years any that left Yellowstone for developed ares on the N. fork or south to Moran were breaking into houses and then eliminated from the scene.

    I put quotes around gut piles earlier because bears would not leave the whitebark forests when there was only true gut piles. The coyotes, ravens and eagles would clean it up too fast for bears to make the effort. But leave 75 pounds of meat per average carcass and bears soon followed the gun shots.

    The problem is so bad now that the only thing that will change it is the law saying any hunter in griz country has to stay with the elk and pack ALL quarters (no boning out) then and there. If it means a guy has to bring pack horses along on that days hunt then so be it.

    As for the outfitters claims that the meat and gut piles gives bears much needed protein going into hibernation is like saying the drug cartels are good because they fund the community schools in the area.

    Outfitters and hunters are making the addicted bears and “a habituated bear is a dead bear”.

  154. avatar Save bears says:

    It was private land, so Cris, you now saying, that you are going to deny the private land owner? And no, this is not an area that has been well known for grizzly populations, they have been there, but rare, yes they are moving back into former range, which is a good thing, but it still is not normally associated with prime grizzly bear country..

    I own land in Montana and I am going to purchase land in WA an I will be darned if your going to tell me I can’t hunt on my own land, or I can’t allow somebody to hunt on the land, that I own and pay the taxes on..

    This was not a public lands issue….

  155. avatar Allen Schallenberger says:

    I lived in Choteau 1965-1979 and worked as the management biologist from Helena to Canada for 10 years and then started the first grizzly research there and did that for 5 years. There are a lot more grizzly bears there now than when I was working there perhaps too many. The town of Choteau has a population of about 1,781 and is 20 miles east of the mountains. Grizzly bears have been at the post office, grocery store, school grounds, in the city park and of course on all the edges of town. People are afraid to let their children play or fish in the city park due to the presence of grizzlies and mountain lions. Perhaps you have seen the pictures recently of four grizzlies near Simms 40 miles from the mountains, saw the one in the basement at the Hutterite Colony east of Augusta or read about the grizzly which moved 175 miles down the Teton River from the mountains and which was killed near Loma on the Missouri River for killing livestock.

    This adult female under discussion was a radio marked grizzly and FWP was not aware that the bear was in that plains buffaloberry patch. Normally it lived west of Choteau on two creeks. As you can see it was in an area of irrigated farming and both pheasants and sharptailed grouse are often found in that kind of habitat. I used to pasture some of my horses near there in the 1970’s.

    The main point that you should be aware of here is that the local citizens are fed up with all the bear problems on private land and in towns and will fight for their rights for a safe place to live and work. Those people abusing the justice system trying to stop grizzly bear delisting and prevent any hunting etc. are on the wrong track. I got the grizzly specialist program started in MT with a recommenation in 1980. Mike Madel has done an excellent job at Choteau for nearly 30 years however the time has come to thin out the bear populaton on the prairies and irrigated lands. The 68 year old hunter kept his cool and did the right thing.
    MT Grizzly

  156. avatar Mike says:

    Choteau and Augusta are dying towns. I am very familiar with them. I spent the night at the rest area there and you can bet when I got out of the car at 3 AM I was very, very aware of my surroundings and used a headlamp. The Rocky Mountain front and the Bob Marshall complex is probably the wildest area left in the lower 48.

    Moving and living on the front while complaining about grizzly bears is like moving to the desert and complaining about water.

  157. avatar Save bears says:

    Mike, a good many of these people that live in the area have been there for decades..

  158. avatar Mike says:

    ++“A hunter is supposed to have even the most basic understanding of the ecosystem, but many don’t.”

    Epitomized by the guy who shot the first wolf in the Bob Marshall Wilderness…

    “I don’t know anything about wolves,” the hunter said. “Zero. I’ve learned more about wolves in this past week [since he shot one] than I’d learned in a lifetime.”

    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_7a7b24b8-a8c2-11de-b51c-001cc4c03286.html
    ++

    Good post, Chris. As politically incorrect as this is, the truth is that for every good, educated hunter, there are 20 morons who have no idea about the ecosystem. Take for example the road hunter I ran into in the Lolo NF this fall towing three quads with extend-o tanks who had a bumper sticker “wolves! Smoke a pack a day!”. I was driving behind in and he was tossing cigasrette butts out his window.

  159. avatar bob jackson says:

    It appears Mr. A.S is trying to keep his “legacy” and popularity going with the local folks. Not too popular being a bear biologist, huh, when your neighbor treats you, by association, like dirt, huh?

    A.S. appears to be the same soul as seen duplicated in BLM and F.S. managers who wear the big buckle and go native.

    A.S. appears to fit the mold of the type biologist who waivers with a past life and a profession that goes on after he is gone. God, he says we need to “thin out those bears”. When does it stop? The only thinning that will work is when the last one is dead. There is no inbetween when it comes to agricultural or private lands, right, A.S.?

    I ask you to think of your beginnings, your goals and dreams for these bears, then come up with alternate solutions for man and bear to live together. It worked wih indigenous peoples whether they wanted it or not. what is different today? There still might be hope for you. Don’t end bitter as so many others of your ilk have.

  160. avatar Mike says:

    ++I own land in Montana and I am going to purchase land in WA an I will be darned if your going to tell me I can’t hunt on my own land, or I can’t allow somebody to hunt on the land, that I own and pay the taxes on..++

    Do everyone a favor and please do not build on either. We have enough second and third home sprawl across this country.

  161. avatar Mike says:

    ++I also wanted to point out the benefits that grizzly, black bears, wolves, coyotes,ravens, eagles etc. get at this time of year from feeding on the gut piles that hunters provide. ++

    Yes, the animals should be grateful for the lead poisoning they receive from hunters:

    http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/fact_sheets/pdfs/lead_poisoning_wild_birds_2009.pdf

    Grizzlies are known to leave the Yellowstone National Park to feed on these at this time of year. Anybody know how this may be impacting grizzly numbers? What impact would it have on the population if this source of food was lost?

  162. avatar Save bears says:

    Mike,

    I will do what I want with my land as long as it is legal and does not harm the environment, I don’t have a home on my land in Montana, but I will be building a first home on the new property in Washington. I don’t currently own a home, and have been living in a rental in ID doing some research, I am looking forward to having my own home…

  163. avatar Mike says:

    Chris –

    How about hunting grizz country birds in places where you actually have visibility? That would be a good start.

  164. avatar Mike says:

    I wasn’t talking about a main home, obv we all need that. But rather second and third homes which IMHO are ruining the west.

  165. avatar Mike says:

    I should also add second and third homes have already ruined the northwoods of the midwest.

  166. avatar Save bears says:

    No Mike,

    But you ASSUMED didn’t you!

    I can also tell you this, the home we are planning will be self sustaining and not on the power grid, I will generate my own power and will have my own water supply, I am actually hoping to build a large enough system to make them buy the excess power from me..

  167. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Mike,

    The one thing that bugs me about those who oppose hunting are all the scenarios pointing out all the horrible hunters.. I can tell just as many stories about the hikers and backpackers on the wasatch front that litter the trails where I hunt deer. They outnumber hunters 10:1. Or the idiot hiker I had to tell to stop trying to get close enough to a cow moose and her calf before he was trampled to death. I mean by relating that experience what are you trying to accomplish??? Please tell..

    Carl,

    I am thinking like maybe the Uintahs and maybe the Books.. THose are the two biggest wilderness areas that I can think of…

  168. avatar Virginia says:

    The only one who knows what really happened in this incident and in all of these other incidents when the bear dies, is the shooter and the bear. All of your speculation and what you think happened means nothing, there is no one to verify it other than the hunter.

  169. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Bob,

    You have such an eloquent way of alienting those around you.. What sort of positive conversation do you expect to have when you talk down to them and degrade all they do and what they stand for…. And then referring to others of his “ilk”???? You dont even know the guy!!!! Your only goal in that post was to start an argument…. You ride a high horse Bob, hope you dont fall off one day that will be a long fall!!

  170. avatar Save bears says:

    Virginia,

    You are 100% correct, but the people who report on these incidents are well versed in investigative techniques and are pretty good putting things together and come to a conclusion on what happened.. There is quite a bit of forensic training that goes into investigating wildlife incidents now a days..

  171. avatar Mike says:

    Hey Josh I don’t disagree with you at all. I would say the ratio is very close. However, the big difference is that when hutners get stupid, things die. When backpackers get stupid, they die.

  172. avatar Sal_N says:

    Save Bears & Allen S.

    The bear was a dead bear anyway and no one has mentioned that yet. If the hunter had not killed the bear, the bear would have killed the hunter or at minimum caused severe injuries. The MT FWS would have killed the bear. At least that is the way I see how the whole thing would have played out.

  173. avatar Save bears says:

    Sal,

    I disagree, there have been several times when a bear attacked that they have not been killed, the agencies are not quite so quick to kill bears because of an attack now a days, so your way of seeing things, is incorrect…just because humans are injured now a days, is not always an automatic death sentence for the bear..

  174. avatar Sal_N says:

    Save bears

    Very glad to hear that and to tell you I was wrong in my thinking.

    Will adjust and retool the thought process from now on.

  175. avatar Mike says:

    Josh – I doubt Utah is a candidate for grizz reintroduction. That goes back to my point about too many people crushing in on wildlife.

    The Selway Bitterroot and Frank Church is another thing.

  176. avatar Mike says:

    Looks like another bear incident is in the news:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_13551721?nclick_check=1

    Six brave hunters shot a black bear while it was in a tree. The black bear came down and attacked the shooter.

  177. avatar nabeki says:

    People need to be more cautious when hiking, hunting and just living in grizzly country. Many of these deaths could be avoided if simple precautions are taken. Just being aware of your surroundings. This guy was from Alaska, where there are lots of brown bears, so he should be bear aware.

    The worst grizzly loss in NW Montana was in 04. Humans killed thirty one bears that year. In 08 people killed 45 grizzlies around Yellowstone.

    It’s not always a bear attacking someone that gets it killed. Sometimes it’s just hunters shooting a grizzly during black bear season.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  178. avatar pointswest says:

    [[That was kind of silly comment. When we say an animal is or isn’t native to an area, we assume we aren’t going back 100 million years.]]

    That statement was just making fun of what he said…or the way he said it.

    [[Maybe you’ve missed the posts on the grizzly bears of the Rocky Mountain Front, but for at least 20 years they have been venturing out onto the plains. In the area around Choteau, people just assume there are grizzlies in the stream bottoms between town and the Front, especially in the spring and fall. ]]

    But it’s unfair to have faulted the hunter for not knowing there were grizzlies in the creek bottoms near Choteau.

    [[Now grizzlies are moving further eastward. Regardless of whether there are grizzlies, most people know that berry patches is where bears are likely to be.]]

    So they are just now moving past the 20 mile mark? So the hunter was on the edge of their range? He should have known this?

    I asked Mike if they were 40 miles our from the Front and he said they have been there forever (as long and the Front was there). I really doubt that. I doubt they are coming 40 miles out into farmland from the Front. I’ll bet it is a very few that are 20 miles out.

    I grew up on the edge of grizzly country and in 50 years I have never heard of a grizzly more than 5 miles from the edge of the timber. They might come down Squirrel Creek or Conant Creek but only a few miles. They seem to be very weary of farmland, of roads, and the sound of human activity.

    I do not believe they will come 40 miles into farm county unless they are in some starvation event. In Montana, I15 is about 40 miles out.

    Anybody can make up facts to villanize hunters or to villanize anyone not on board with their agenda. I get it. We are all going to believe that grizzlies are now to the east of I15 and the stupid evil hunter was “uneducated” and didn’t know. It was all his fault.

    I see how all this works now.

  179. avatar Mike says:

    ++But it’s unfair to have faulted the hunter for not knowing there were grizzlies in the creek bottoms near Choteau. ++

    Not it’s not. It’s common knowledge for that ecosystem.

    ++So they are just now moving past the 20 mile mark? So the hunter was on the edge of their range? He should have known this?++

    It’s the most single famous thing about the entire area. It’s famous for being the last place in the lower 48 where the grizz still wanders onto the prairie.

    ++I grew up on the edge of grizzly country and in 50 years I have never heard of a grizzly more than 5 miles from the edge of the timber. They might come down Squirrel Creek or Conant Creek but only a few miles. They seem to be very weary of farmland, of roads, and the sound of human activity.++

    That’s what makes the Front unique, and why it’s famous for bears wandering out. It is still wild enough and lacks the sprawl that prevents grizzly movement into their former range.

  180. avatar pointswest says:

    Do grizzlies ever get struck by cars on I15 Mike? It seems like some should if they have been crossing it since the Front Range existed in Montana!

  181. avatar bob jackson says:

    Josh,

    I hold biologists and law enforcement to a higher standard and this guy APPEARS not to be of that level. Just like an elk biologist should be fighting for them so should a bear biologist. This guy is not looking for solutions of coexistence just agues for eliminating near people.

    Thus, one looks for motives and his MO fits the description I described above.

    I had supervisory rangers like this. One time a long time ranger, very well liked by the local Cody community, rode with me back to Thorofare. I found out why the locals liked him.

    We did some easy patrol, just riding the trails outside the Park along the Thorofare, checking some private and outfitter camps making sure the hunters knew where the Park boundary was.

    It was a sight to see this “one of a chosen few” . It was good ole boy talk from he start. Then it was time for lunch along a sunny bank of that stream. He sees a couple guides glassing and snacking. Therefore wants to join in. I see nothing wrong except in this case it starts with both this guy and the guides agreeing there should be hunting allowed in the Park. As the guides get through with each wrapper they throw it aside. Doesn’t take long before this local beloved ranger is doing the same thing. Candy bar, potato chip (why even bring potato chips back that far?) bags, anything that could be thrown down on the ground this guy emulated.

    A couple years later I caught a couple guys with illegal camp and firearms because of this ranger. I had tracked to a camp set up and these folks had gone for the day. Looked like sheep hunters scouting and it was. Didn’t take long to figure where they were from because they had some nice white 1″ cotton rope out for pickets.

    The only one I know who goes to this trouble to keep horse legs in good shape is the Park. Figured no one in the area would have unless stole or just maybe it came from this ranger. Therefore it was easier to put the group together on a call out to appropriate trail heads and a check of license plates..

    After waiting all day they show up and try to give the buddy ole pal stuff. Then, of course it soon turns into how they got this rope. Said at first this ranger gave them a bit of rope at the entrance because they had forgot theirs. The rope showed prior use so I knew it was a bunch of crap. I also knew there was no reason the gate would even have any. Turns out good ole B….. went to supply and put on his areas account purchase of a whole roll of this rope and then gives it to the valley buds and tells them to pass it around to their friends.

    Talk of going native (the “bad guys” also had a 12 year old kid along who they wanted me to write the ticket to). And I knew what would happen once they reached the trail head…. get ahold of this ranger to get the ticket fixed…which they tried to do.

    When this ranger died hundreds of people from Cody went to his funeral. Quite the popular fella …..and someone who caused a lot of problems for those of us trying to carry out the law.

    That is why I talk of govt folks going native. It happens to rangers, biologists and game wardens. Not all, but way too many.

    What this biologist is capable of doing with his stand of wanting to “thin out” bears is to do like the Forest Service guys did at Dubois…choreogragh ranchers to resist Forest Service griz protection guidelines.

    Yes, I give my peers and biologist associates a lot of sh.. but never once try to undermine the laws of protection. If i overdo it so be it. It is what I stand for.

  182. avatar pointswest says:

    [[It’s the most single famous thing about the entire area. It’s famous for being the last place in the lower 48 where the grizz still wanders onto the prairie.]]

    What do they eat on the prairie?

  183. avatar Save bears says:

    PW,

    It is documented that they eat a wide variety of things, in virtually every ecosystem they live in, grizz will eat ground rodents, grasses, tubers, antelope, deer, elk, birds, etc.

    Grizzly bears are well adapted to virtually every environment in the US that does not have a large population of humans. They were in fact a plains animal before the white man started moving to the west…so there must have been something to eat!

  184. avatar bob jackson says:

    Pointswest,

    Why don’t you ask A.S. He’d probably tell you their diet consists of school children and handicaped ranchers.

  185. avatar pointswest says:

    Ok, trying to sound Socratic, Mike tell me about these grizzlies east of I15 in Montana. I did not know of them and they sound so interesting. Tell me the habits of these bears to the east of I15. What do they subsist upon? Have they adapted to eating wheat? Do they den in the farm fields? Do the ranchers feed them? What do they do when farmers cut the wheat with combines?

    This is such a festinating story. I cannot wait to hear more about it.

    I have conveniently linked a map showing the location of I15 and aerial photography so we may have some idea of the nature of the land to the east of I15.

    http://www.points-west.com/Temp/I15.jpg

    Thank you for taking the time to reveal these wonderful facts to me. I am uneducated to the ecosystem of the Front in Montana.

  186. avatar Save bears says:

    Well pointswest, I don’t know if your actually addressing me or Mike as I was the one that mentioned what they eat…as you said, your not well educated on the ecosystem of the front range in Montana, but I can tell you, it is not all wheat farms and there is a wide variety of food sources in that area..

  187. avatar Save bears says:

    Points West I am curious are you one in the same as the person who graduated from North Ashton HS in 1975? If so, we have actually talked in person in the past…

  188. avatar Save bears says:

    sorry that was meant to be North Fremont HS, in Ashton, ID…

  189. avatar catbestland says:

    Nabeki,

    Thanks for that info. I just checked out your site. Very impressive! Love the videos! Hunting season is in full swing here, I can tell by all the trash along the road.

  190. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Save bears-

    “I will be darned if your going to tell me I can’t hunt on my own land, or I can’t allow somebody to hunt on the land, that I own and pay the taxes on..”

    I own land in WA that I am going to build a home on as well. The government does all kinds of telling me what I can and can’t do on my own land. I can’t just put my septic field anywhere I want, can you believe it? I actually have to get *permits* to build my house- imagine that! I can’t blast the Bambis eating my fruit trees with a howitzer at midnight in May, I can’t build an auto repair shop in my back yard, I can’t plant a field full of tansy ragweed and knotweed, I can’t even build a subdivision! What is this world coming to?

  191. avatar pointswest says:

    Yes…

    I have an alternate email at perseus652@yahoo.com. Email me there and I will send my regular email address.

    BTW, There was a Valarie Bitner in here who I may have known at University of Idaho in Grey Loess Hall around 1979.

  192. avatar Save bears says:

    Well the area I am looking has a bit more flexibility Cris, I wouldn’t want the land you own, of course I have to get county permits, I have to have the septic planned out, I can’t hunt deer out of season, but guess what, I am in an un-zoned area that I could build an auto repair shop, I can also hunt and let anyone hunt where I am going to reside during a legal season, despite the fact, there could be an endangered species around. Why anyone would want to build a subdivision, is beyond me, I don’t want a sub division around me, that is why I am buy a pretty large section of land…sounds like your piece of land, is located in quite a more restrictive area than the one I am buying.

    Guess what I can even have a satellite dish on my property! Of course you passing judgment on what I do on my land, is a bit different than rules that have been put in place, and my answer to you was directed at you saying the land owner should not be hunting on his land..

  193. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Cat you crack me up with all your little sneaky remarks about hunters… :)

  194. avatar Sal_N says:

    Josh

    We have 2 to 6 inches of rain in 36 hours ending last night.
    Tomorrow the temps will be in the mid 80’s and Saturday about 90. What a great combination for opening day for Quails. Soft ground and good temps.

    Oh no!!!!!!!!!!
    Sorry wrong thread, I should not be talking about bird hunting here. This is the threat about a grizzly being killed not bird hunting or any other topic. Sorry my mistake, I have been reading most of the posts in the last 12 hours and missed the mark again.

    Okay, back to the point
    Sorry about the bear, hopefully the state/fed/USSA get find a home for the cubs. Hopefully not a zoo for a road side stop like on I-90 on the Bozeman hill

  195. avatar Mike says:

    ++Nabeki,

    Thanks for that info. I just checked out your site. Very impressive! Love the videos! Hunting season is in full swing here, I can tell by all the trash along the road.
    ++

    lol.

    The problem is not just related to hunters though. There’s a growing percentage of bad apples in all groups. But like Isaid, the other gorups don’t have guns and things usually don’t end up dead when there are conflicts. There’s simplytoo many people with too many interests pushing in on the last wildlands, including myself.

    I do photography and you should see what I say to other photgs in person when they practice poor ethics. The same thing I’m saying here about certain hunters. There is a real lack of self awareness from a very large percentage of the population concerning these matters, and as the popualtion grows it only gets more frustrating – from photogs who cause badgers to abandon dens with a litter to people who speed in the parks at dusk, dawn and night, to hunters who walk around with their heads up their behind, paying more attention to the cooler at night than books which contain local ecosystem information.

  196. avatar Save bears says:

    Mike,

    I will have to say, I agree, it is not just a certain segment of hunters to are assholes, the assholes comprise just about every segment of the population when it comes to wildlife issues!

  197. avatar Save bears says:

    And Mike,

    What is your solution to the population? Do we start a euthanasia program for humans? I have been in many areas in the Northern areas of the country, and I have to say, humans are really few and far between, I don’t see a whole lot of humans in many areas, which of course is why we see a lot of wildlife in those areas

  198. avatar dewey says:

    Same vein ; different tale. ( Dunno where or how to post a new thread at this site)
    ***
    Last Saturday morning October 10 , a 20-25 year old boar Grizzly was killed by a hunter north of Cooke City MT. The bear was mauling his hunting buddy at the time, in dense 6-8 foot pine. The two ” hunters” were stalking the bear and had every intention of killing it…they had Black Bear license tags, but had misidentified the Grizz as being a Black before it disappeared into the woods, and they after it. The first hunter all but stepped on the griz, and the surprised bear attacked and got a good hold on him. He hollered to his buddy to shoot the bear, and the other guy tried, but he hit the hunter instead, the rifle bullet going clear through the upper arm. A few more shots eventually killed the bear. The hunter was taken to Cody WY by ambulance, but details of this incident are not forthcoming.

    However, the Powell (WY) Tribune ( http://www.powelltribune.com ) was able to get the few details I’m reporting here. They quote the Park County MT Sheriff, Allan Lutes, as saying he’s satisfied the shooting of the person was an accident. No word yet in the media from US Fish and Wildlife agents or Montana FWP investigators.
    ***

    Well, define ” accident” . These two guys were hunting bear. They saw it and stalked it, with every intention of shooting it to death. And we are now one more bear down on the Human Caused Grizzly Mortality list for this year, which now stands at 22 grizzly. I hesitate to excuse anyone here on the side of it being an “accident” because (a) the hunters were specifically hunting bear and spotted one and began the pursuit , and ( b) the “hunters” misidentified the bear as being a Black when it was a Grizzly , and (b) not one word about pepper spray entering into the equation, only guns. I believe I heard an early report of this incident that said the bear did not immediately die but ran off wounded, which had authorities concerned. It was later found dead.

    The human victim is still in the Cody hospital , near as I know.

  199. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Sal,

    I am actually getting ready to do a little Chukar hunting tomorrow, my wife has a deer tag for this weekend so maybe she will get lucky and put some meat in the freezer. Good luck on the quail hunt.

  200. avatar Mike says:

    ++And Mike,

    What is your solution to the population? Do we start a euthanasia program for humans? I have been in many areas in the Northern areas of the country, and I have to say, humans are really few and far between, I don’t see a whole lot of humans in many areas, which of course is why we see a lot of wildlife in those areas
    ++

    Not sure if I take that response seriously, but a solution to the popuilation issue is immigration reform. This may horrify some peoplen coming from someone with mostly liberal views, but it’s true. It’s simply physics and I’m being dishonest to myself and conservation if I deny it. The U.S. would not grow it’s population if there was serious immigration reform. To think we will sustain our current wildands and wildlife if we triple our population is ridiculous.

    This is a very controversial subject but it’s true. Also controversial is my question, “can you be a conservationist and own two homes?”. If every conservationist had a main home and then a vacation home along or in a national forest, we would be self defeating. Sadly, this really is the case! How can a group of people who fight for grizzly bears develop and build infrastructure in their habitat for a vacation home?

    This is a point that really angers a lot of my friends. But the truth is it’s simple physics.

  201. avatar Mike says:

    Save Bears, you say you don’t see a lot of people up north, but I do. In the nothwoods of Wiscsonsin and Michigan, almost every lake is ringed by vacation homes. The road density is tremendous.

    In Montana this fall, there were endless parades of pickups down Rock Creek in the Lolo NF and in the Boulder drainage of the Gallatin NF. Most were towing ATV’s with extended range tanks. Gunshots could consistently be heard throughout the day. In town, sporting goods stores were meeting points for swarms of pickups heading out into various drainages.

    Sure, in some cases it may only be a few pickups, but when you consider the human impact, it goes beyond just where our feet reach. Via scopes, binoculars and camera lenses, we can scope out the deepest recesses of wildlife habitat and then advance towards that animal in order to shoot it or get the best possible picture. We are forever pressing and pushing. When you factor in our ability to drive, hike, glass the mountains, helicopter, radio and other things, we have this never ending penetration into the last wild places.

    This wouldn’t be so bad if the animals could finally be left alone in winter, but unfortunately most of the national forest lands are riddled with snowmobile paths. Even then we refuse to give some peace to the wildlands.

    I’d really like to see winter snowmobile access in most places ground to a hault in order to give the wildlands and it’s inhabitant s a break from our technology and swarm.

  202. avatar Save bears says:

    I agree on immigration, but that is another subject.

    As far as stopping people from using what they collectively own, I don’t think it is going to happen, of course, I spent very little time in the Lolo forest area, most of my time was in the Bob and the Great Bear wilderness areas, so I didn’t have to follow trucks and listen to ATV’s or snowmobiles. I think animals are pretty adaptive to changes around them, but I think the problem is in the education areas. As more people decide they like the wild areas of America, then the educational efforts need to increase, and I think that needs to be in the schools when they are very young. Your not going to stop human population growth anytime soon, so they need to be educated.

  203. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Pointswest, I would describe current grizzly habitat as the areas labeled as critical habitat in the wilderness areas. As far as suitable habitat, that is lots of wilderness areas in most western states.

    For those talking about grizzly restoration in Utah, what areas would be suitable?

  204. avatar gline says:

    I don’t hike with a gun, maybe i am different, but I don’t hike with a hunting rifle Ryan. If I were to take a gun in, it would be for a human in self defense.

  205. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Josh Sutherland,
    I believe that Cat was being a bit sarcastic when she said “With all these hunters loose in the woods it’s only a matter of time before hikers, campers, or children waiting at bus stops is killed by one. There simply are too many of them. It isn’t safe. Especially dangerous are those that have been brought in from the north. They are bigger and meaner than our native hunters.”

    Surely you have not missed the many comments on other forums regarding the potential danger, from wolves, to children waiting at bus stops. Just replace the two references to “hunters” in the above quote with “wolves”.

    catbestland, Thanks!
    I had a good chuckle from it. Well said, especially since the hunter was from “the north”.

  206. avatar Richie says:

    To all you ladies and gentleman you can hunt it’s your right, but it is a sad story.The hunter should have known about bear spray and really who knows how it went actually happened did he take a lie detector test. He got scared and the first thing he pulled was his gun naturally.Shoot first ask questions later right just like in the big city, people are not that much different no matter where they live. Like I said once before I bought a fog horn from a boat sales place, it could be heard for six miles in the ocean. I may be wrong but I think that would scare almost anything just a thought. I love to try non-lethal methods it’s just me. I really like guns but where I am from, they usaully cause the other person to die. See something always gets killed by guns target pratice is not that much fun, I get it.

  207. avatar Craig says:

    Gline, if you don’t hike with a gun then you are setting yourself up for trouble! There are just as many freaking weirdos out there in the wilds as in the citys! Best to have a form of defense no matter what! Gun or pepper spray but there are some freaking nutjobs out there

    !Joseph Edward Duncan had a hayday with a couple of North Idaho kids after killing his family and doing unemaginable things to them in a Montana camp ground. You are not safe anywhere… anymore! Take note, prepare yourself and defend yourself!l The world is a horrible place(fact) take part and defend yourself against illegal violence! You will never see it coming, but it’s presence is always there. Guns give you the upper hand in a violent situation!GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, IGNORANCE OF GUN TRAINING AND ANTI GUN PEOPLE KILLS PEOPLE.

  208. avatar Allen Schallenberger says:

    Points West
    You are asking some good questions so I will answer them. I recognized that the grizzly bear use of the prairie was unique and that is why I talked Nature Conservancy into buying the Pine Butte Swamp and Gleason Dude Ranch west of Choteau in the 1970’s. The swamp is actually a large freshwater fen with an abundance of plant species and shrub cover. Grizzlies love it and there are now about 100 elk using it plus lots of whitetailed deer, birds etc. On the prairie, grizzlies are closely tied to the rivers and creeks in that area for food and cover. They go back to the mountains to den in areas with deep snow and usually lots of tree cover. We found that some even den west of the Continental Divide. As far as the best bear habitat you won’t find much at all east of Choteau and Augusta and certainly not east of I-15. The plains are very dry and Choteau averages 12 inches of precipitation per year. Bears that are found in the poor habitat are often subadults which have been run out of the better habitat by larger adults.

    If you want even more details you should get a copy of the final report for the East Front Grizzly Bear Study by MT FWP April 1989 by Keith Aune Wildlife Biologist and his assistant Wayne Kasworm. Aune worked for me in 1978 and I recommended him to head the research when I went into ranching. That report should be available from your local library loan for a small fee.
    Each month grizzly food habits vary some on the front. When large males come out in March they are eating mammals mostly dead deer, cattle also domestic sheep, elk, bison, moose and black bears. Most of the cattle come from boneyards on ranches. Now the Dept. bear specialist has a program of cleaning up the cattle carcasses and hauling them to FWP WMA’s to keep grizzlies away from cattle calving areas. As spring approaches, grass, forbs and corms and roots become more important. Grass use is highest in May and forb and grass use are high in June and the same is true in July but also we start to see more insects in the food in June and July. Berries are the most important in August and September and highest in September with 70 per cent of the scat volume in berries then. Some berry use about 20 per cent occurs in October and a little in November. In October pinenuts made up about 55 per cent of the use with smaller amounts of mammals, grasses and roots. November is about 90 per cent mammals (gut piles and carcasses of hunter kills) and animals killed by the bears, berries a little and grass a little.

    Overall graminoids had an importance value of 37.6, shrubs (berries) 17.3, Roots/corms 13.9, debris 11.4, mammals 6.9, insects 6.1, forbs 4.4, pine nuts 1.5 and sporophytes 1.0. I appreciate your interest and desire to learn more.

  209. avatar Save bears says:

    Allen Said:

    “When I went into ranching”

    Duck Allen, Incoming!!!

  210. avatar Mike says:

    ++Guns give you the upper hand in a violent situation!GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, IGNORANCE OF GUN TRAINING AND ANTI GUN PEOPLE KILLS PEOPLE.++

    I agree and understand about the need for self defense, but the facts are you increase your chance of being killed by a gun if you own one. Your chances of firearm death are also much greater than being attacked by any animal.

    I’m not anti-gun, just stating the facts:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17922

    Overall, Branas’s study found that people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens. When the team looked at shootings in which victims had a chance to defend themselves, their odds of getting shot were even higher.

    http://www.wilderness-sportsman.com/wsblog/2009/05/27/the-odds-of-dying-by/

  211. avatar nabeki says:

    Cat,

    Thanks, glad you like the site! I still watch the videos myself…lol.

    I hear you on the trash. Same thing here, especially beer cans, which is scary.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  212. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Barb,

    I understood her sarcasm, I have read the many comments on this blog about the NM anti-wolf crazies. The funny thing was she was agreeing with April Clauson in the post above who was stating that hunting needed to be stopped before woman and children and innocent people were killed, and she was serious… April is basically the pro-wolf version of the NM anti-wolf crazies… Thats all my point was… Crazies on both sides. Thats all.

    Josh

  213. avatar Cobra says:

    People that own a car are more likely to get into a car accident.
    People that own a boat are more likely to be in a boating accident.
    People that own a motorcycle are more likely to be in a motorcycle accident.
    The list can go on forever. I’ll take my chances with my guns, cars, boats and motorcycles. There are safety classes for all these and people should take them.
    Mike, if you are not anti-gun I would be amazed.

  214. avatar Mike says:

    Cobra, the reason why that point makes sense is because people buy a gun to be “safe”, when the odds of them being killed actually increases when they own a gun.

    People don’t buy cars, boats and motorcycles because it makes them feel safer. Your comparison is faulty.

  215. pointswest,

    You might know a lot of about Squirrel, Idaho and the edge of the Greater Yellowstone Forest, but you don’t seem to know much about the Rocky Mountain Front.

    If you go to the point on the map your created at http://www.points-west.com/Temp/I15.jpg, I would hardly be surprised to see a grizzly bear.

    I guess you didn’t see the post of June 16, “Young grizzlies out on the plains, east of Interstate 15 in Montana.”

    And there was this Oct. 14 from Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

    Hunters Watch Out for Grizzlies
    Print Version Bookmark and Share
    Wednesday, October 14, 2009
    Headlines – Region 4

    The recent shooting death of a grizzly by a bird hunter near Choteau serves as a reminder that hunters along the Rocky Mountain Front should be aware that bears are out and active.

    “It’s best to avoid riparian areas with dense cover,” says Mike Madel, Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear management specialist in Choteau.

    “Hunt the edges,” he says, “don’t get into the dense cover.”

    A bird hunter killed a charging grizzly Oct. 12 after surprising the bear in thick cover about 8 miles north of Choteau and east of U.S. Highway 89.

    This year, grizzlies have been seen along the Marias River near Interstate 15, on the Sun River near Simms, and one bear even traveled along the Teton almost to Loma – 100 miles east of the Front. [emphasis mine]

  216. avatar pointswest says:

    OK Ralph. I give up. There bears have always been there. The stupid uneducated hunter hunting in farmland should have known.

    You win. He is an evil man for shooting the bear.

  217. avatar pointswest says:

    The thing is…if the bears have always been out at Chateau and even out to I15, why is the Montana FWP warning or reminding everyone that they’ve been spotted there?

    Never mind. I will loose. You cannot reason with people on a mission from God.

  218. avatar pointswest says:

    [[that is why I talked Nature Conservancy into buying the Pine Butte Swamp and Gleason Dude Ranch west of Choteau in the 1970’s.]]

    So there is a preserve west of Choteau for grizzlies. I guess this is why they are there. The one this hunter shot was only a few miles down the creek from the perserve…or that is what it looks like on the maps.

    [[As far as the best bear habitat you won’t find much at all east of Choteau and Augusta and certainly not east of I-15. The plains are very dry and Choteau averages 12 inches of precipitation per year. Bears that are found in the poor habitat are often subadults which have been run out of the better habitat by larger adults.]]

    Apparently some are starting to wander down the major river valleys where there is cover…according to Montana FWP warnings he posted.

    But it sounds like a wonderful place. You could probably sit on a hill with a spotting scope and watch the bears. I think more of the open type of habbitats should be preserved for this reason.

    I would like to see this Island Park country in Idaho preserved. He has many marshy wet and open areas where I think grizzlies would do well…particualry the east side of Henry’s Lake Flats. The Nature Conservancy already owns several hundred acres along the major streams. Most is already public land.

  219. avatar pointswest says:

    Until a few weeks ago, I tended to side with the pro-wolf and pro-grizzly people and against the locals around Yellowstone Park. But the extreme views and the pattern of pro-wolf and pro-grizzly people ignoring or twisting facts I find very disturbing. When a hunter is mauled by a grizzly, people here think it is funny and amusing and express delight and there is air of celebration. I find this really wrapped and will be thinking of it for years to come.

    I know there are some decent, compassionate, and intelligent people that post here but it will always be the extreme antisocial element who ignores, twists and even creates facts that defeats any arguments contrary to the extreme view. In other words, it is a waste of time to trying discuss things here. I have enjoyed reading and posting for the past few weeks but have quickly tired of it. I have gained a new understanding of the plight of the locals around Yellowstone who have grown to hate wolves and grizzlies. I do not agree with that extreme view either but am certainly more understanding of it.

    I will no longer be reading or posting here.

  220. avatar chris says:

    People can question a hunter’s actions without enjoying his or hers run in with a grizzly. In fact, the whole point of questioning human behavior in these dangerous encounters is to try and prevent such problems in the first place. In their zeal to defend hunting, there is a disturbing trend amongst SOME hunters to accept the status quo of hunter/grizz conflict. The stupidity of such a position, which all but condones hunters to be mauled, is astounding. Part of it is a knee jerk response to those who have an anti-hunting agenda. But that defensive attitude doesn’t prevent maulings or shot grizzlies. Where are the solutions from those who have the most to lose in terms of their hunting opportunities and their very lives?

  221. Pointswest,

    On your way out the door, read the description of the area where the bears were encountered. The story is at http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091014/NEWS01/910140301 in the Great Falls Tribune. Most relevant, “Three other hunters in his party were in the vicinity at the time, walking through an area known as Eldorado Grove — a large island of cottonwoods, riparian shrub fields and open meadows surrounded by grass and farmland east of U.S. Highway 89.

    With the best buffaloberry on the entire Rocky Mountain Front, it’s a haven for grizzlies who often bed down during the day in thick brush, said Mike Madel, a grizzly bear management specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

    A dozen grizzly day beds were found in the vicinity of the shooting, he said.”

  222. avatar bob jackson says:

    Pointsweet,

    Could it be you got on this blog to show everyone what you knew but then found out you were a “challenged” individual when it came to further indepth assessment of these matters? Thus going to the “other side” where this is not a problem?

    I did like your humor with the Nantook pulp book cover posting and you did a lot of fast research on the internet. It helped others know more of what the original post was all about.

    I, on the other hand, try not to do much of this, nor even try to put a persons name to the post on this site. It helps me be more “objective” and I don’t get hung up in dysfunctional alliances. Its hard to not notice the author of posts by the likes of josh and ryan, however. These two are so predictable however and it is kinda fun to “rebut” them since I was around these types for a lot of my work in rural areas….. as well as in my NPS job. What do you say you two, do you like more sheep stories or finding out bullets don’t arch up after leaving the barrel?

    But to go against my need to research peoples backgrounds, I did want to know more about A.S. since he seemed such a professional Judas to bear protection.

    A.S., if I am reading it right it shows you are or were part of “Save the Nothern Elk” group, the ones saying the wolves should be controlled as they are killing all the elk. Are you the same person or did I not research enough?

  223. avatar Layton says:

    Mike,

    “When the team looked at shootings in which victims had a chance to defend themselves, their odds of getting shot were even higher.”

    Lemme see here — I’m carrying a gun — a situation arises where I need to defend myself (maybe against a gun) — and I have a higher chance of getting shot than someone who did NOT get in the same “need to defend” situation??

    No kidding?? Gosh – that (probably govt. funded) study really made some astounding discoveries!! Rocket science at it’s best!!

  224. avatar Ryan says:

    Mike,

    Its a nice study, but Philly is a hot bed of gang activity, it’d be nice if the study delineated legal and illegal gun ownership.

  225. avatar Virginia says:

    I have read all 225 posts on this subject and I did not read one that stated anyone was amused by a person being mauled by a grizzly.

  226. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Bob,

    You confuse me with your posts… what are you talking about bullets arching up when they leave the barrel??? I am confused, when have we ever talked about bullets arching up after they leave the barrel?

  227. avatar Alan says:

    The overriding issue here isn’t whether this hunter did something wrong and was at fault. It isn’t whether any of us would or would not have done the same thing in his shoes. It certainly isn’t whether or not hunting or guns are good, bad or indifferent. I have several friends who hunt. Even though I don’t hunt, and am basically against hunting, I don’t hold it against them. I understand that a person’s values depend on where they came from. How they were brought up, by whom and where. I know that there are both ethical and unethical hunters out there. I think most of us would agree that that is true in any walk of life. I’m a wildlife photographer. I know guys (and gals) who would do anything for the shot; rules, courtesy or wellfare of the animal be damned. I also know guys (and gals) who would give up the shot of a lifetime if it meant going 3 miles per hour over the speed limit to get there, and to whom the wellfare of the animal is always preeminent. Good and bad apples on every tree.
    The overriding issue in this case is that this keeps happening. Bears keep dying. Hunters keep getting mauled. No one seems to do anything about it. We argue about guns (people are going to continue to own guns), we argue about hunting (people are going to continue to hunt), we argue about expanding bear habitat (hopefully it will continue to expand), we argue about whether you are more likely to get shot if you have, or do not have, a gun for God’s sake!
    Wildlife officials argue back and forth a bit, and in a few weeks it all dies down; we all move on…..until the next mauling, the next dead bear.
    There has to be an answer that does not mean ending hunting or killing bears. There has to be!

  228. avatar bob jackson says:

    josh

    Wasn’t it you that said a round from your Remington 300 RUM 150 grain only dropped 5″ at 380 yds.? ….. going at an undoable 3700′ per second (unless you want to kill yourself by over pressuring the case ….or do you mean adding a sabot with a .22 cal…which of course wouldn’t do for an elk)?

    Your RUM already uses twice the powder of a 30-06 and still only propells 400’/second faster. What are you going to do, go to a still faster burning powder which creates a lot more pressure?

    Your Remington 150 grain shoots with about the same drop as a standard 30-06 out to 300 yds (2″ difference) if both are zeroed at 200. After that your 300 is a bit better but it still drops 17-18″ with a hundred yard zero…. even more out of the barrels end. Now if you are zeroing at 350 yards you just might get that 5 inch drop. Of course one could carry this even further and say my 45-70 drops only 1″ if I zero to 800 yds and then shoot at a target 801 yards away.

    If it was you with the post on the RUM you did not know what you could load to and you did not understand ballistics. More than likely you read too much Remington company hype ..along with buds that extended this hype to push the stats “to where no man has gone before”.

    I think it would seve you much better to use a range finder at anything over 300 yds….but just don’t expect a 5″ drop.

  229. avatar Alan says:

    I see that in the additional information that came out about the hunter who shot his friend trying to save him, the hunter got only a flesh wound in the arm. The bear? Dead, of course.

  230. avatar SAP says:

    Virginia – maybe no one in this comment thread said they were “amused,” but someone wrote that regarding the other recent hunter run-in:

    http://wolves.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/griz-attacks-hunter-shot/

  231. avatar Mgulo says:

    Alan:
    Per your post above about there has to be an answer: there is – it’s called common sense. But you know what Mark Twain said about that….

    And yup, I am very familiar with grizzlies and other critters with large pointy teeth, experienced in ranching in country with pointy-toothed residents, a life-long hunter and have over two decades of experience as a wildife manager.

    Good luck w/that!

  232. avatar gline says:

    “When a hunter is mauled by a grizzly, people here think it is funny and amusing and express delight and there is air of celebration”
    Exactly who is doing this? haven’t seen anyone here or in my town that is “happy” a person is dead…. the point of emphasis from me was that (some) hunters need to be more cautious….

  233. avatar Richard Todd says:

    I’m in the interesting position of having hunted this exact property on Saturday and Sunday prior to the incident. Our group has hunted this property for the last 8 years and the two guys who ended up with the bear incident are usually on the property on Monday and Tuesday after us. (pheasant hunting opened in MT last Saturday). We also saw the bear and just luckily, the hunter closest to the bear had a dog who was aggressive enough to scare the bear off. Otherwise, either he or the bear would have been killed that day. This property is at least 20 miles from the Bob Marshal Wilderness and the Nature Conservancy Bear Unit. Why are bears there now? Because the population of grizzlies has exploded in their natural range in the mountains and the male grizzlies drive the moms and cubs out into marginal habitat. As long as this overpopulation exists, conflicts between bears and farmers, farm animals and hunters are inevitable. We hunt in an ethical safe manner and yet, sometimes bears are where you least expect them. When a bear stands up unexpectedly from its day bed 15 ft from you and charges, who would drop their shotgun and fumble for the bear spray? Several of us carry bear spray, and given enough time, we would use it, but it takes at least 15 seconds to get it out of the holster and deploy it. By then, you are dead. (A fact that some on this forum certainly would see as preferable to the bear being killed.) I am very sorry that the mom bear died. I am sorrier still that overpopulation led her away from her natural habitat into farmland where conflicts are inevitable. The only tool wildlife biologists have to control bear populations is hunting, and most on this board would find this distasteful, so the situation will persist and get worse.

    It is good to have someone comment who was actually there.The grizzly population is growing, and I think that is fine — great in fact to see some grizzlies back on the plains. If grizzlies are killed around the fringes from time to time that is to be expected and solves the “overpopulation problem” it would seem. How is it different than the results of a hunt?.

    Ralph Maughan

  234. avatar nabeki says:

    pointswest,
    Just as a parting note, I think most people on both sides are tired of fighting the same battles over and over. I’m pro-wolf and pro-grizzly because they’re just trying to survive in the most difficult of circumstances. They don’t have ulterior motives, which is the material point

    Frankly I’m tired of repeating the same things over and over and nothing much seems to change. Grizzlies are recovering but still being killed way too often and well wolves are constantly under the gun. In 2008 Wildlife Service killed 50 wolves for “control issues” in the NW Montana Recovery area alone, and 18 wolves were lost to human intervention of some kind. That’s fifty eight wolves dead in 08, almost the quota for the 09 hunt. I just want to know when this is all going to stop?

    It’s well known grizzlies roam the Front and hunters should be especially cautious in deep brush because the probability of a chance encounter is so much higher. Why take those kinds of chances?

    The problem I have with some people that live in grizzly and wolf country is they have such an arrogance that they just won’t consider taking precautions, it’s an ego thing with them. Then if they do something stupid or ill advised, the bear pays for it. If they are injured or killed the bear pays for it. It’s always lose, lose for the bear
    .
    I’m never happy to hear anyone was mauled or injured in anyway but I do get annoyed when people come to this state and don’t use common sense. Bears have as much right to exist here as people. This sow was defending her cubs, doing what a good mother should be doing. Now she’s dead one more breeding female is gone. Have they even found the cubs yet?

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  235. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Bob,

    You make me laugh once again, now to answer your questions…. :) I said my RUM drops 5 inches at 380 yards based off of what I zero my gun at. I sight in 3 inches high at 100 yards… Hence at 380 yards I am only about 5 inches low.. Now obviously I am aware that the bullets TOTAL drop would be higher than 5 inches at that distance, but thats not how I sight my guns in… Maybe you do.

    Here is a little chart for you my slow friend, read it for me and do the math.. Its easier than me arguing with you…

    http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/ballistics/comparative_ballistics_results.aspx?data=PR300UM5*PRSC3006C

    Now I reload, you can pull up your own ballistic charts on my reload if you want let me know and I will send you the data. These are just stock ballistics, and like you said you could reload your old 45-70 to AMAZING ballistics. But that must only work up on the “Thouroughfare”…:) ha

    Now for your assement on speed and energy, just using the stock ballistics the RUM has about 400-500 FPS faster, which is about 15-20 percent faster than the 06, but the energy is about 1000 ft/lbs higher, amost all the way out to about 300 yards, pretty significant. Now for your little drop chart you said about the 06 and the RUM read the link I sent you..

    Next time Bob when we are talking guns and ranges will I make sure to include every detail so as to not confuse you, needless to say the argument was about killing an animal humanely and safely at 380 yards and the answer is yes.

    Josh

  236. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Richard-
    “We also saw the bear”

    Out of curiosity-

    Was anything then done to warn people that there was a bear on the property? Others have said this was private property; presumably there was some way to control the entrance?

  237. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    It is sad this time of year to read about not only the dead bears but all the hunting accidents:
    http://www.all-creatures.org/cash/accident-center.html

    There are simple things that a hunter can do to be safer when in bear country but it is like blowing in the wind to bring these things up because there is no official agency which has the deep pockets to counter lawsuits if someone sues them because a tactic didn’t work. Hunters need to help each other, educate each other and do a better job of it. When entering a thicket with a possible bear in it you can crack a stick, knock two rocks together and wait. If there is a bear there it will normally move out. BUT, the big catch is that you can tell people things that work but there is no way to be there with them and make sure they get it right. I sort of think that Mike is right when he says there are just too many people in the west to hunt as usual. Some changes need to be made if hunting is to be viable in a changing landscape with much more density of people all over the place for all sorts of reasons. It isn’t just hunters who need to change either. . photographers, mushroom pickers, hikers etc. need to get much better information than the press has a tendency to hand out. I just got back from a world wide tracking symposium and people who take the time to learn to track are much, much safer, respectful and understanding of the wildlife. I highly recommend trying a tracking school in your area.

  238. avatar bob jackson says:

    Josh,

    It’s true that people usually sight in for a 100-200yd zero and that definitely equates to less PERCEIVED drop at further distances. It is still not actual “drop”. Again it is the percieved drop which is a big difference.

    And as you said, the REMINGTON comparison page shows the energy of the RUM is a good bit more than the ’06 at longer range (Level III loads are full power… you won’t be handloading more than a few % higher than that unless you like to hammer the bolt open after each shot).

    BUT, that comparison on the Remington page is SKEWED because it compares an ’06 zeroed at 200yds to a RUM zeroed at 250yds. Everyone knows the gun companies always try to promote sales of their newer calibers and this is one of the ways they do it…comparing apples with oranges.

    If you’re 3″ high at 100yds, depending on the height of your scope, your zero is likely at 300yds or greater. Even at 400yds, the 150gr ’06 has over 1400lbs of energy, which seems to be pretty well agreed by hunters, achieves the bullet expansion needed for hunting elk.

    Yeah, if you’re shooting over 400yards the RUM does have a distinct advantage in energy numbers. But the real “pudding” in the Ultra Mag designed CASE is the ability to lob high BC (heavy) bullets and keep them above sonic waaaay out there… in which case the 338RUM is a better choice than your 300R.

    And yes, there is 1000 lbs more energy than the ’06. But what you are quoting is at the MUZZLE. Hunters shoot very few elk with the barrel of the gun stuck in their rib cage. Maybe you do all your shooting of elk at game farms, however, and don’t want to miss…so the ellusive elk is tied up for you, ya thats it..

    And of course you obviously know the percentage of velocity loss is more than those guns with a “slower” round. Thus, the 300 RUM measured at 300 yards has a mere 700# more than the 30-06. That’s all fine and dandy but as long as there’s enough energy to get the bullet into the vital organs and make it properly expand (ok, the elephant hunters like solids because penetration takes priority over expansion when trying to bust through a thick skull instead of tear up heart or lungs), it DOESN’T MATTER what the energy number difference is. So, in summary; the RUM is flatter shooting than the ’06 but not by a huge amount, it does have more energy due to the higher velocity but the ’06 still has enough for elk hunting at over 1400#, and at any rate, a big caliber with less energy due to much less velocity than a 30 cal has been proven plenty of times to be the more effective stopping round for any dangerous game (bear, hippo, buff…).

    But, elk hunters don’t want to hunt with big bores and that’s understandable. A 300RUM, just like an ’06, will probably do the job on a charging house cat but not as well as a big bore. One just hears all this stuff like flat shooting Ultra Mag’s put out by the companies but even if they gave you straight up comparisons it still doesn’t make that much difference in the ability to kill.

    I will have to say when trying to solve poaching cases I was very observant of blow hairs and meat debri both at the entry side and also the exit. Elk were dead either way, …… mags and non mags, but the blow hairs were always bouncing back a couple more feet at the entry site and maybe 4-5 more feet out the exit. Thus it helped to determine who fired the shots that killed the poached elk…the guide or the hunter. Guides didn’t carry mags and most rich, fat hunters did.

  239. avatar Alan says:

    “Because the population of grizzlies has exploded in their natural range in the mountains and the male grizzlies drive the moms and cubs out into marginal habitat.”…….Richard above.

    “….Historically, they (grizzly bears) could be found from Alaska to Mexico, California to Ohio. The grizzly bear was once common on the Great Plains. However, human encroachment has forced the remaining brown bear populations to move to rugged mountains and remote forests that are undisturbed by humans.”….Defenders of Wildlife website.

    I would also be curious as to why, when there was an encounter with this bear just a few days earlier, nothing (apparently) was done to warn other hunters. This definately is part of the problem. All encounters with or sightings of bears, regardless how minor, should be reported to Fish and Game who should at very least post an area with warnings. With this additional information it becomes apparent how completely avoidable this was.

  240. avatar Cris Waller says:

    “I would also be curious as to why, when there was an encounter with this bear just a few days earlier, nothing (apparently) was done to warn other hunters.”

    Yep. I am still waiting for an answer to that question, asked yesterday.

  241. avatar Richard Todd says:

    The property owner in this case told us that bear had been sighted in this area. We went back to him and told him about our encounter. I’m sure the next group was also told of the encounter. We all know that we are hunting in bear country. Over the years we have seen bear scat in this area. My dog has a beeper collar with beeps every 30 seconds so I can keep track of her. I frequently whistle for her. we talk to the other hunters often. In other works, we do make noise as we move through the woods. The fact that over the years we have only had this one encounter is probably because of the noise we make. Hunting in this patch isn’t very productive since the heavy cover makes shots very unlikely, but after pushing through this cover, the birds have moved into ditches and CRP fields where hunting them is more successful. In the future, we will just hunt the edges of this cover, letting our dogs range in to flush the birds.

  242. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Richard Todd

    “In the future, we will just hunt the edges of this cover, letting our dogs range in to flush the birds.”

    Letting dogs take the brunt of the attack from mother grizzlies?

  243. avatar Richard Todd says:

    Barb-I love my dog more than you know, and I wouldn’t worry about her tangling with a griz in that cover-she is much to fast! (and she is a runner, not a fighter) But then, I’m sure you have never hunted and know nothing about it, so a conversation about it is pointless. I do know that to deny my dog the ability to hunt birds, a thing she was born and bred for would be to deny her the best times in this life.

  244. avatar bob jackson says:

    Todd,

    Just to let you know, one of the main reasons dogs are not allowed in Yellowstones back country is because naive dogs chase after a bear ….. and too late realizes what they are up against…Thus turn tail and with the bear right on their ass, run back to their master. Not a good scenario.

  245. avatar Richard Todd says:

    Dogs are not allowed off leash in any national park-they are non-native and disturb a lot of the ecosystem. I read quite a few bird hunting publications and have never seen a report of a bird hunting dog being killed or mauled by a bear (not that it can’t happen, but unlikely). Anytime you are out in nature you take some chances with injury, but for me, the rewards of bird hunting, climbiing, backpacking, and fly fishing are worth the risk.

  246. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    Bob, lets be serious. There are many reasons dogs are not allowed in the backcountry, not just because of bears. The chance of dogs running after anything becomes a problem. It my experience generally dogs will harrass a bear untill it tires and leaves. Havent seen too many bears willing to deal with bird dogs.
    The biggest risk with dogs in the park is the owners not picking up after their pets. That then becomes a great way for the wild dogs to get dieseses.

  247. I posted the comment below as an editor’s note to the comments by Richard Todd, who on October 17, 2009 at 5:26 PM wrote:

    “I’m in the interesting position of having hunted this exact property on Saturday and Sunday prior to the incident. Our group has hunted this property for the last 8 years and the two guys who ended up with the bear incident are usually on the property on Monday and Tuesday after us. (pheasant hunting opened in MT last Saturday). . .” Todd doesn’t seem like a man afraid to face a few risks during an outdoors adventure.

    It is good to have someone comment who was actually there.The grizzly population is growing, and I think that is fine — great in fact to see some grizzlies back on the plains. If grizzlies are killed around the fringes from time to time that is to be expected and solves the “overpopulation problem” it would seem. How is it different than the results of a hunt?.

    See these same comments to his full comment on Oct 17.Ralph Maughan

  248. I do have to question Richard Todd’s comment, “This property is at least 20 miles from the Bob Marshal Wilderness and the Nature Conservancy Bear Unit. Why are bears there now? Because the population of grizzlies has exploded in their natural range in the mountains and the male grizzlies drive the moms and cubs out into marginal habitat.” [emphasis mine]

    It’s my understanding from following dispersal of grizzly bears that most of the long range dispersals are male grizzlies, not females. A sow with 3 cubs is not an indicator of marginal bear habitat. It takes good food sources to produce 3 cubs instead of the usual one or two.

  249. avatar Ryan says:

    Ralph,

    In watching bears in AK, the sows with cubs, no matter how many were always pushed into the marginal areas. Whether it was on wolverine creek or brooks camp. The sows never had top billing. There is probably a decent food source there away from maurading Boars and thats why the sow was there.

  250. Yes Ryan, “marginal” is a relative concept here.

  251. avatar Richard Todd says:

    There are certainly berries there to eat, and I guess they can provide some sustenance for the Mom and cubs-although certainly nothing like the Alaska bears gorging on salmon before hibernation. They really need protein in the fall. There are sheep and young cattle that might be on the menu. I guess when you consider that these bears had to travel a fairly long way down a river drainage, crossing several roads including a heavily traveled highway right in front of this property, this makes me think it is marginal country. Also, as more bears are pushed out of wilderness into land that is populated with humans as well as animals, there inevitably will be more and more of these conflicts, and just as surely, some will result in a human’s death rather than the bear.

  252. avatar bob jackson says:

    Tod & BBT,

    Guys, I said “one of the major reasons” for dogs not allowed in Yellowstones BACKCOUNTRY is because they come yelping back to their supposed “master of the universe”. This is so. I know very well the other reasons why dogs aren’t allowed off leash in National Parks. I just think you took it a little too personal because of your dysfunctional bonding association with another species.

  253. avatar Allen Schallenberger says:

    Ralph,

    You asked how this was different from a grizzly bear hunt. There are quite a few differences. The last grizzly hunt on the Rocky Mountain Front was in 1991. It was set in early spring to target male bears of which there is a surplus. One male was killed on the upper Teton River, one near Haystack Butte and one on the Middle Fork of the Dearborn River. None of the hunters came close to being mauled even though the largest male weighing about 630 pounds was shot with a 30:30. It can be seen in the museum at the north end of Choteau.

    Hunting seasons can be used to target extremely aggressive bears or ones living in places where they cause lots of problems. Grizzly bear hunters would in most cases be more knowledgeable and better armed than the average pheasant, rabbit hunter or flatland grain farmer fixing fence. For example the last legal grizzly bear killed during the hunt on the Dearborn, was killed by a taxidermist who shot it in the spinal cord in the neck at 40 yards one time with a .270 bullet. He knew bear anatomy. I have rancher friends there who tell me they have grown afraid over the years to enter the dense aspen and brush patches on the mountain front to repair livestock fence on private land. That has occurred as the grizzly population has greatly increased over the years. One told me he used to love to fish the brook trout creeks on his place but he no longer fishes there due to the relatively large numbers of grizzly bears. He has spent a long life on the mountain front.

    On most grizzly bear hunts females with young cubs would be off limits. The age of the cubs in this case was not mentioned and they probably were yearlings or two years old. Madel indicated he thought they might go back to the den and survive.

    Allen Schallenberger

  254. avatar Richard Todd says:

    “Guys, I said “one of the major reasons” for dogs not allowed in Yellowstones BACKCOUNTRY is because they come yelping back to their supposed “master of the universe”. This is so. I know very well the other reasons why dogs aren’t allowed off leash in National Parks. I just think you took it a little too personal because of your dysfunctional bonding association with another species.”

    I take this to mean you are not a dog owner. Never occurred to me that I was in a dysfunctional relationship with my dog! But I guess if you say so, it must be true!

  255. avatar bob jackson says:

    Richard,
    I “love” our farm dogs. However, I know my feelings for them has a lot to do with me not being part of a well oiled extended family infrastructure civilization. Alas, I can never be a part of a pre whiteman hunter- gatherer tribe. Thus abnormal alliances, loyalties applied dysfunctionally…and one gets dogs needed as “mans best friend”. It affects me as well as you.

  256. avatar Richard Todd says:

    We have a common thread in that my setter is a farm dog. OK-our farm is only 5 acres, but Sage is the rulling farm dog of that acreage. He actually doesn’t come in our house (wife’s allergies). I’m sorry about no extended family for you-it is what gives my life meaning. I also count my 8 bird hunting buddies (my pre whiteman hunter-gatherer tribe) as part of my extended family as well. We have chased far and wide across our great wild areas (and not so wild areas) and have developed a bond that I hope you find in your life with someone. BTW-you should read “Merle’s Door” the best dog book ever!

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‎"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