Grizzlies no safer than average bears.

“Grizzlies no safer than average bears: The Yellowstone park population is coming off the endangered list and might be hunted again.” By Bettina Boxall. Los Angeles Times Staff WriterThis story is about the delisting controversy too.

A thing I should point out is that while in principle and probably in actuality, there will be some limited grizzly bear hunting. Hunting ought not to be the problem with the delisting unless Wyoming goes nuts like they have on wolves. The problem is the secure protection of grizzly habitat.

I do worry that Wyoming will want not just have a hunt, but one to significantly reduce the grizzly population; but the long term problem is habitat loss with the dying off of the whitebark pine, the spread of whirling disease in trout, the decline of cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake because of lake trout, and potential threats to the army cutworm moths that provide an incredible amount of grizzly bear nutrition at very safe high attitude sites every summer. Of course too, the gas drillers are waiting to move in and the ATV riders are hoping to open up places to ride in the middle of prime grizzly bear habitat . . . . if only ATVs were edible, a lot of problems would be solved 😉

Grizzlies faced with loss of food potentially could do just fine if people let them eat their livestock, rummage their orchards and gardens, and raid their refrigerators, but that’s not going to be allowed.

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Related. Here is a story from back in 2006, that the Idaho Statesman recently re-ran. The life of grizzly bear 346. By Rocky Barker – Idaho Statesman






  1. MikeH Avatar

    This story makes me sick no matter how many times read it.

    Does anyone know what happened to the scum who did this?

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Yes. They were prosecuted and paid a hefty fine.

  3. elkhunter Avatar

    He should of known what he was shooting at before he shot. The Bowhunter seemed pretty sincere, but his friend is the type of person that gives honest hunters a bad name. Thats the first thing that every hunter should learn, is to know what your target is. Its sad that 2 bears had to die because of one mans irresponsibility.

  4. Denise Johnson Avatar
    Denise Johnson

    Mike H this execution and cover-up makes me sick too!
    The story was so well written that my eyes were filled with tears and I could hardly continue to read.
    The Island Park area is such a beautiful place and the 360 degree vistas from Sawtelle Peak are unparallel. The habitat so diverse and magnificently beautiful especially in spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.
    What I found incredible about 346 was her ability to co-exist with humans. The area is as developed as the story told.
    And sows don’t take too kindly to humans when they have cubs.
    My hope is that the grizzly will make it back to the area as well as wolves however it’s across the highway that is the boundary line from my understanding. So that makes them an outfitters dream.

  5. Monte Avatar

    It’s this kind of bowhunter that gives hunting and especially bowhunters a bad name. Not only did the apparent moron shoot a grizzly, he managed to hit it in the hindquarters. He ‘s lucky he lived through that error in judgement. The number of animals, particularly elk, that bow hunters mortally wound and do not find every season is a “dirty little secret” within the bow hunting community that needs some sunlight and healthy debate.

  6. Layton Avatar


    Would you care to elaborate on what you call this “dirty little secret”?

    I think that I’m pretty well informed on bowhunting in general and I only know of one really documented study on wounding and wounding losses. It was done in a closed environment, under controlled conditions (ie: no “BS” reports, just documented facts) with a known number of hunters and counted the shots that were taken, the critters that were wounded and the critters that were recovered. It did NOT support anything that you seem to be referring to.

    How about we get on with this “sunlight and healthy debate” that you speak of?? Would you care to cite some facts, or do you have any?? I’ll call your bluff, I think you are just blowing smoke without ANY idea about the actual facts!!

    Just because some jerk — didn’t know (or care) what he was shooting at — AND wasn’t good enough with his equipment to hit it in a vital area — does NOT indicate what kind of folks are really out there hunting. Don’t be an idiot!!


  7. Monte Avatar

    Layton, My comment was based on personal experience in the post bow season fields and forests rather than on “scientific” evidence. Your somewhat extreme response indicates that I hit a nerve. I wonder whether the study you refer to is really reflective of the general bow-hunting public? I would encourage people to do their own research on this topic, because I do think, as I stated, that there is a need for debate on this issue. The knee jerk reaction that I received from you is typical. I’m not attacking bow hunting, I just think the majority of bow hunters are more interested in covering up this ugly side of their sport than in correcting it. But maybe I’m just being an idiot. Wouldn’t be the first time.

  8. Layton Avatar

    Why is it Monte that ANY time that someone who doesn’t worship wolves advances an opinion it is “knee jerk” or “anecdotal” ? Yet, when one of the “I love the wolf” persuasion advances some cockamamy theory it’s considered gospel??

    You come with a comment that says “The number of animals, particularly elk, that bow hunters mortally wound and do not find every season is a “dirty little secret” within the bow hunting community that needs some sunlight and healthy debate.”

    And then you say “I’m not attacking bowhunting” in just a word (letter) or two — BS!!

    Come with some facts — put up or shut up!! You make the accusations, let’s see what you have.

    Sure you hit a nerve. I’m a pretty dedicated bowhunter and I take a lot of pride in the time I spend learning and practicing what I love to do. I won’t sit still for someone coming with a blanket condemnation like you do with your post.

    You and some other posters here (kt?) would have the world believe that any hunter – but especially the ones that use bows – just run around in the woods willy nilly and shoot stuff in the butt for some kind of a perverse thrill — that is NOT, never has been, never will be, TRUE. No matter how many lies, rumors and how much innuendo (isn’t that an Italian suppository?) you use.


  9. SAP Avatar

    Layton – It sounds like you’re a conscientious bowhunter, and I respect you for that. Bowhunting is tough, even with today’s amazing equipment.

    For the most part, good ethical hunting comes down to DISCIPLINE, whether you’re using a rifle, bow, atlatl, or a a stick. Don’t take a shot you can’t make. Don’t take a rushed shot. ONLY take shots that you know will hit the vitals, and hit them well. [no need to tell you that]

    I think most bowhunters are miles ahead of most rifle hunters in the field these days.

    Rifles and scopes allow a lot of really unskilled slobs to take wounding shots. An elk gets away from them because they made a bad, off-hand shot with the .270, but they blame the caliber and come back next year with the latest shoulder-bruising “short mag” or some other marketing gimick.

    The drawback: the new rifle kicks like a mule, and Mr. Wannabe is even LESS inclined to practice than ever. The result is, he simply expands the range at which he can maim and wound more elk. Nice work.

    I guess, from an ethical perspective, we have to recognize that, if we assume equal skill in shot placement, an arrow will always kill slower than an adequate bullet (excepting fluky shots to the eye or spine).

    But, the other side of the equation is that hunting with a bow dramatically reduces your chances of getting ANY shot. In that respect, bowhunting provides a far “fairer chase” than hunting with a scoped rifle. It’s a trade-off, and maybe a good one if the archer exercises DISCIPLINE and JUDGMENT.

    I was going to say that I hear from outfitter friends about wounding loss during archery hunts (by their own clients) , and that same outfitters also speak of finding/killing bulls with gangreated wounds and arrows still sticking out of them.

    Then again, though, that’s sort of an unfair measure. I killed a cow elk in 05 that had an extra bullet in her. Have also seen more three-legged cow elk than I care to remember, and I know that wasn’t done with an arrow!

    We can’t see a bullet sticking out of an elk like we do an arrow, so perhaps we over-emphasize arrow wounds and downplay the obviously far more prevalent sloppy shooting with bullets.

    Monte, if your point is that we have to CONSTANTLY be honing our skills, and putting peer pressure on fellow hunters to be skilled and ethical and to take their responsibility seriously, then it’s well taken.

    It’s a huge responsibility when you put your eye to the sight or nock an arrow. That animal is not their as your target or plaything, you are taking part in a sacred circle of reciprocity.

    If you can’t take it seriously, and are more worried about bragging rights back at camp or down at the tavern, then get your meat from the store and take up golf.

  10. Bruce Boxall Avatar
    Bruce Boxall

    Bowhunters are retards

  11. elkhunter Avatar

    Bruce probably cause you would never have a chance to kill anything with a bow, cause you probably cant get close enough! 😉 I have bowhunted for years, I admit I have wounded game, everyone does at some time, but Layton is right, you need to know what you are doing to hunt with a bow, and some do give bowhunters a bad name, but i dont think it is a “dirty little secret” thats an exaggeration.

  12. Monte Avatar

    Just for the record, I am an avid hunter, have taken game in 5 states and two continents, and am a lifetime member of SCI. Yes, I also supported wolf reintroduction. I am not anti-hunting in any way, shape, or form. In every hunting discipline, there are those who are irresponsible and those who are responsible. I stand by my opinion of the bow hunting community. They are often represented as more responsible in general than rifle hunters, and in my experience that isn’t so, at least as far as recovering game is concerned. I respect ethical bow hunters, but there is a problem.

  13. Denise Johnson Avatar
    Denise Johnson

    “You and some other posters here (kt?) would have the world believe that any hunter”
    Layton- In KT’s defense, I have to ask…
    HOW many tiimes have you been shot by deer hunters and survived to tell about it?
    Since she has I would think she is entitled to her opinon.
    There are a lot of people who participate in this blog that are highly educated and respected. Please try to consider that even if you have differing points of view.

  14. Layton Avatar


    Anyone, no matter how far out if left field they might be, is entitled to an opinion. However, some are a lot more valid than others.

    In my experience around this old world i have found that, almost without fail, those that use this entitlement to broadcast generalizations and just plain BS are the ones that do NOT have any sort of validation.

    If kt has been shot by a hunter, I’m genuinely sorry about that — BUT I’ll wager a pretty good amount of money that it was NOT a bowhunter.


    We could argue this until the cows come home and you would not change my mind.

    So you are a hunter — so what??

    You have presented an opinion that I would submit is completely unsupported by ANY SORT of facts. I’m challenging you to put up or shut up — you can certainly talk the talk — do you have any sort of proof to walk the walk??

    PS. an SCI membership simply means that you have more money than the average guy (or gal) please don’t try to use that as some sort of a credential.


    “retards”?? Would you like to get into an IQ contest??

    Nevermind — I really don’t want to get in a dual of wits with someone that is only half armed.

    The fact that you have no input on the suject at hand betrays your lack of ability to comprehend it. Recess is over now — give the computer back to the nice lady and go back to your finger painting class.


  15. Monte Avatar

    Layton, I was merely pionting out the fact that I am a hunter in response to you lumping me in with people who think hunters “just run around in the woods” etc… Anyway, it’s been enlightening discussing this with you.

  16. chris Avatar

    The fairly recent increase in name calling and stereotyping is quite discouraging to those of us interested in this blog’s potential for rational discourse and information sharing.

  17. Layton Avatar


    Just one more time — short and simple — do you have ANYTHING (solid, NOT an “opinion”) to back up the accusations you make about bowhunters??

    Or are you just blowing smoke??


  18. Bruce Boxall Avatar
    Bruce Boxall

    Sorry for the childish comment, but I do think you guys should get another hobby.

  19. Layton Avatar


    I think you bring up a really good point — but — and I mean this in a non-confrontational way, please take it that way — would you prefer a place that just has ONE viewpoint?? I wouldn’t.

    As you have seen if you have been here more than once, I have a different viewpoint from a lot (most?) of the people that read/comment on this blog. Does that mean that I should go away?? Or would it be better to try and find some sort of common ground.

    I will certainly admit that there are points that are just not going to move on either side. I’m NOT going to give up my hunting — a lot of folks here are NOT ever going to think that lethally controlling even one wolf is OK in any way, shape or form. Those things are pretty much etched in stone.

    However, I think that there are probably SOME folks that are willing to look at more moderate stances. Maybe, through discussion here, some of those viewpoints might come to the forefront.

    For instance, I’m not in favor of a complete “wipeout” of Canis Lupis whatever, BUT I do believe that some sort of control is necessary before our big game herds suffer irreparable damage. That’s a stance that isn’t necessarily very popular among some of the folks that I hunt or associate with. My hope is that some of the more moderate “friends of the wolf” here might see that viewpoint someday.

    I do try to keep the discussion on fairly civil level, but when I get comments that tell me I’m a “retard” or that I’m some sort of a bloodthirsty fool that runs around in the woods shooting holes in things, it causes me to react (probably predictably) in the same sort of a way.

    Sorry for the long winded discourse, but I hope you can understand where I’m coming from.


    Why?? I enjoy it. I utilize what I harvest. I don’t do any damage to the resource. What’s wrong with the “hobby” I have.

    Maybe (obviously?) you don’t feel that way — could you explain your viewpoint to me?

    Are you a vegan or a vegetarian? Do you believe that meat grows, nicely wrapped in styrofoam packages, on a bush somewhere, ready to be picked and put on a grocer’s shelf?

    Other than those viewpoints, I can’t see why you object to what I do.


  20. chris Avatar

    I appreciate and understand where you are coming from. I do prefer a diversity of opinions but am annoyed by some of the childish attitudes on display here.

    I don’t think extremists on either side of the issues are doing wildlife any favors by refusing to compromise or understand where others are coming from. This includes people on this blog who call you names or stereotype hunters, so I hope you realize I wasn’t directing my comments solely at you.

    I like to understand an opposing viewpoint and agree with you that some moderate (and therefore more productive in the long term) viewpoints can arise. For instance
    I am in favor of wolf recovery but don’t think they should occupy every area they possibly could. I might like them to,
    but other people’s opinions are just as important as mine.
    “Compromise” is not a dirty word.

  21. Vicki Avatar

    Okay guys, I think I can say I am a middle-grounder here. I hunt and fish. I also support predatory reintroduction and recovery.
    I think there is plenty of room for wolves.
    I also know that eventually they will need to be managed- I just think that they should be a trophy hunt….not shot on sight.
    I know that wolves don’t eat every cow they see, or sheep for that matter. They don’t kill every elk they come across either!Contrary to what some people might lead you to think, they don’t hunt people.
    I know not every animal that is shot does NOT get recovered. However, I’d guess that most hunters would prefer a solid, safe shot over tromping through five feet of under-growth looking for the ones that get away.
    But to say bow or rifle hunters are better or worse than the other is like arguing over wether or not you say a mounatin lion or a cougar. They are there to do the same darn thing….hunt! Suffice it to say that, as with any population, there will always be the one hunter who is far from a true sportsman.
    Obviously. we don’t all share the same point of view. Otherwise we’d never bother to post here. But what we do share is a passion for the view we argue. That is what later , when used appropriately, becomes persuasion.
    I read some where once that the best way to win a debate is to use your opponents argument against him. I have never read that hurling insults and being unable to relate to others will change the world.
    Not all hunters are jerks, not all wolf-lovers are irrational hippies.
    The absolute only hope we have is that those intelligent and influential people who look hard enough can find a middle ground. Once having found it, they convince others that it is the right place to be.
    For all those folks on here who bash hunters, I would like to remind you….hunters and anglers (not the Sierra Club, or PETA) contribute the majority of funds that conserve habitat and wildlife. So like it or not, they help too!!!
    Likewise, sportsmen need to keep in mind that conservation helps assure future hunts. We “tree-huggers” want conservation above all else.
    No matter what half of the pie you lay claim to, it’s all the same pie.
    No one who cries at the thought of an animal being shot will ever like hunting. That doesn’t make hunting any less necessary. No one who hunts could do that if their fellow voters didn’t help conserve the lands that their intended game roam upon.
    I am always fascinated by the cooperation that seems to be nurtured here. And I also enjoy reading the varied views. I wouldn’t say anyone was wrong, until I heard their reasoning. I also disagree with other posters very frequently. But I a glad that there is a forum where people who aren’t paid by lobbiests can debate the issues at hand.
    Have a nice evenig all. And thanks Mr. Maughan!

  22. elkhunter Avatar

    KT was shot by a hunter?


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan