Another grizzly bear killing in NW Montana-





  1. Mike Avatar

    ++“If you aren’t absolutely sure,” Anderson said, “don’t shoot.”++

    Seems to be fairly simple.

    I guess not for some people. Were they drinking? You have to wonder.

  2. chuck parker Avatar
    chuck parker

    “It’s not that hard to make the mistake,” said John Fraley, Region 1 information and education manager for Fish, Wildlife and Parks. “Depending on light conditions and the coloring of the bear, mistakes can be made. ”

    If we could give drug/alcohol tests to all the hunters who shot grizzly bears with a firearm, and all the hikers who used bear spray, I suspect a much much much higher percentage of the bear spray users would be stoned or drunk.

  3. timz Avatar

    “Lawrence Lefebvre of Bigfork was fined $135 and sentenced to six months in jail, which was suspended”

    Herein lies the problem, a slap on the wrist.

  4. jerry b Avatar
    jerry b

    chuck parker…am I reading this correctly…
    “if we could give drug/alcohol tests to all hunters who shot grizzly bears with a firearm, and all the hikers who used bear spray, I suspect a much much much higher percentage of the bear spray users would be stoned or drunk”
    Are you serious?????If you believe this, at least elaborate and back up this assertion with some credible facts or personal experience.

  5. JB Avatar

    Who goes hiking when they’re drunk?

  6. vickif Avatar

    There is a famous saying,,,,don’t mix gunpowder and alchohol…I have never heard on that says don’t hike drunk. But I have to say, most hikers I know are super healthy, very fit, and conscientious about the area they hike in. They wouldn’t hike drunk, because you are at an increased risk of breaking something and that is life threatening.
    There is a culture of drinking around the fire after a long day of hunting…not hiking.
    But the issue is not who drinks and hikes, but who leaves lead lying around for animals to eat. I don’t think we can blame that on hikers. The lead will have a repercussion, it is foreign to the diet of any animal…so it will not be good. But lead is a small part of the bigger issue…gut piles.
    Responsibility says if you kill it, you clean it…and that included bagging guts and getting them out. Then no bullets are left to eat.

  7. chuck parker Avatar
    chuck parker

    Hunters sure do drink at night. So do hikers.

    Jerry B–you forgot to ask Mike to back up this assertion about drunk hunters with some credible facts or personal experience. WOW!!!!! Anti-hunting, anti-gun bias perhaps?

    Personally, I’ve worked in several parks, including Yellowstone and Glacier–lots of hikers smoked dope at all times of the day and night. Kayaking while stoned is popular in Glacier Bay National Park. I’ve done a bit of hunting outside Yellowstone and Glacier, and, in my experience, hunters don’t drink during the day and hunt. Some drink. Some hunt. Not both. I never spent any time in the company of road “hunters;” that could be different.

    Timz–you’re right that the fine for mistaking a grizzly for a black bear is nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The concern is that if you jack up the fine until it hurts–say $10,000 and loss of hunting privileges for 3 years–hunters won’t report grizzlies killed by accident. Maybe it’s time to try big fines because the ol’ slap on the wrist is not working.

  8. Virginia Avatar

    Does this death bring the Greater Yellowstone Grizzly bear any closer to being re-listed? How convenient that these hunters just aren’t able to tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly, whether they are drinking or not.

  9. Pronghorn Avatar

    It’s time for a moratorium on black bear hunting. Problem solved.

  10. Ryan Avatar

    “It’s time for a moratorium on black bear hunting. Problem solved.”

    2 accidents in 1 year. Thats realtively minor IMHO. Don’t go overboard or anything :(.

    “Lawrence Lefebvre of Bigfork was fined $135 and sentenced to six months in jail, which was suspended”

    Herein lies the problem, a slap on the wrist.”

    He did the right thing and tried to atone for his mistake.. Raise the penalties and it will get SSS and no one will ever know.


    The lead thing is a little overblown IMHO. If lead in gut piles killed large quantities of animals then there would be no coyotes, black bears, cougars, eagles, etc.. But there are so obiviously its a minor problem, But a good divisive issue to piss off hunters and make things worse, by turning potential allies into adversaries. We should probably ban cars and self defense as well because those killed grizzlys this year.

  11. Mike Avatar

    ++Hunters sure do drink at night. So do hikers.

    Jerry B–you forgot to ask Mike to back up this assertion about drunk hunters with some credible facts or personal experience. WOW!!!!! Anti-hunting, anti-gun bias perhaps?++

    Chuck – when is the last time a hiker got drunk and killed a grizzly bear?

  12. Mike Avatar

    ++The lead thing is a little overblown IMHO. If lead in gut piles killed large quantities of animals then there would be no coyotes, black bears, cougars, eagles, etc.. But there are so obiviously its a minor problem, But a good divisive issue to piss off hunters and make things worse, by turning potential allies into adversaries. We should probably ban cars and self defense as well because those killed grizzlys this year.++

    It’s not just about killing the animals. Lead poisoning can cause massive side effects and suffering. It’s a major impact on the ecosystem, and should be remedied.

  13. cobra Avatar

    I sure hope there’s not lead in the guts. Thats pretty poor shooting. As far as bagging the gut pile and hauling it out? Get real Vicki, I doubt you’ve ever pack framed an elk out or you would know how extreme that is. After 4 or 5 trips just about everyone I know is spent.

  14. vickif Avatar

    Cobra,It would be poor shooting, but not always. Even a right on shot can bounce around a bit internally. One would hope not, but it happens. There are also those who gut shoot an elk, and it runs for miles before dropping. Every hunter knows that blood trail dries up in a hurry, and after that,tracking the animal is darn hard.Why is it that if I think bagging and packing is the right thing to do, and you would consider it too much work…suddenly I have never hunted? Just because some people would do the easy or lazy thing, instead of the right thing, don’t assume we all would…or those of us who would choose to put forth the extra effort don’t know how to hunt.Anyone who drops a gut pile near their camp andmakes no effort to clean it is a goof, IMHO. I will give you that most of the time, we have pack mules to help out, but not always. Sometimes we would go out in spurts, because one or two of us filled our tags…but there were those fw occasions when we had so muchmeat to carry out that we had to go back two or three times to get the rest of our gear.Cobra, it can be done. And, if it is what is the best thing for the environment, it should be done. If you can’t hang…don’t hunt, IMO. That is like saying, oh my goodness…I knew I had to pay for my gas, but the card reader didn’t work, and I was running late for work, so it was too much to expect me to go in and pay for my gas.

    My oh my, no wonder people assume hunters are a bunch of polluting irresponsible drunks. I am sure you are a better person than that Cobra.

    The issue goes beyond lead…when you leave the gut piles, you habituate animals to frequent camp sites when hunting season rolls around. That is worse.
    If you are forced to leave guts…pick the lead out. If you are a good shot, that should be fairly easy to do most of the time.

    (I can send you a few of my uncles and my boys…they are great at packing stuff in and out, as long as you do all the cooking and set up of camp;) )

    Yeah, lead may be a bit over blown. But it can be a problem. I know a lady who takes in birds or prey and releases them when they are well. She tells me that every year during bird season (goose especially), she gets a ton of eagles and owls. They eat the birds that get shot, and end up sick. She tells me that lead poisoning is crippling and causes atrophy of the muscles…that has to be painful. The animals die of exposure or starvation, slowly and painfully. So it has some impact.
    But I really think if people were just a bit more responsible with their shots, and their clean up, it would be a non-issue.

    Getting hunters to stop using lead bullets-yeah right. We both know that won’t happen. But really, if they were a bit more concerned, the small extra effort would go a long way.

  15. Doug in Alaska Avatar

    I like Pronghorn’s idea, but given America’s primitive (dare I say “barbaric”) stage of evolution, eliminating black bear hunting probably won’t happen any time soon. Still, given the extremely small gene pool of the grizzlies involved and the risks that such small numbers imply for a healthy future population, any death of any grizzly for unnecessary reasons, such as being a misidentified target, is unacceptable. I have another idea, perhaps slightly less improbable than Pronghorn’s. According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and other authorities, the grizzly bear in the contiguous 48 states has been reduced to approximately 2% of its former range. How about restricting black bear hunting to the 98% in which there are no grizzlies known to be present? Or is 98% too restrictive for black bear hunters? (How could you justify requiring more than that?)

  16. Peter Kiermeir Avatar
    Peter Kiermeir

    How great, now you have an endless feast on stoned spray carrying hunters and drunken hikers with guns or was it the other way round? This friends, will also not save a single bear (nor a single hunter hiker). Any better solution that is somehow productive?

  17. vickif Avatar

    Perhaps we need to have a more extensive education program before granting bear tags.
    They use virtual videos with interaction to train police on how and when to shoot. Maybe we need the same type of excitement driven and fast paced training for bear hunters.

  18. Ryan Avatar

    “She tells me that every year during bird season (goose especially), she gets a ton of eagles and owls. They eat the birds that get shot, and end up sick. She tells me that lead poisoning is crippling and causes atrophy of the muscles…that has to be painful. The animals die of exposure or starvation, slowly and painfully. So it has some impact.”

    Either a lie or outdated as Lead shot has been banned from waterfowl hunting for over 15 years (best estimate as I do not have the information close at hand)

  19. Layton Avatar

    It was banned before 1980 sometime. That makes the goose season argument kind of stupid.

    Lead is still OK for upland birds (pheasants, chukars, grouse) tho.

    The other thing that people fail to see concerning the use of lead shot — or NOT using it — is the number of ducks and geese that are crippled by the steel shot. Coyotes and raccoons get fat on them in the winter months.

  20. Buffaloed Avatar

    Speaking of lead, I wonder what all of that lead in the bottom of the South Fork Salmon River is doing. Over on the Little Salmon I remember hearing that one of the vendors sold several tons of lead to the fishermen in 2001. Where did it go? To the bottom of the river.

    Food for thought.

  21. JB Avatar

    From dead grizzlies to drunken hikers and now lead shot, this thread has it all!

    (1) I agree with Ryan regarding the punishment; a slap on the wrist is appropriate for someone who tried to set things right.

    (2) I think Chuck Parker/Dave Smith should be given free license to hunt dope-smoking hikers, but only if he uses bear spray. 😉

    (3) I don’t like the idea of banning black bear hunting, but generally agree with Doug’s remarks.

    (4) Ryan and Layton have the right of it regarding lead shot. There no sense in going ban crazy until we have some evidence that there’s a problem. Keep in mind: (1) Lead has been used for a long time, (2) the number of hunters in the field is either stable or falling, depending on where you live, and (3) most hunters have reduced the number of days they spend in the field. All of these facts point to a lessening impact of lead (assuming there is an impact).

    Did I miss anything?

  22. vickif Avatar

    Layton and Ryan,
    I honestly have no idea if lead is used, I don’t bird hunt…I had a rather bad experience with a shotgun. But I am okay with taking your word for it. My son did point out though, he just watched a special on the nature channel a few weekends ago,,,,,they showed eagles dying from eating contaminated geese and ducks. I don’t know if it was lead shot.
    Maybe I will check into it more. But really, I think being responsible no matter what you use is a far better answer. I use lead bullets to hunt, I am not going to bash others for it. But if it does have a negative side, I am also okay with addressing it.
    I did ask about how lead poisoning effects people…pretty much the same as it does animals. So I doubt the lady was just lying.

  23. vickif Avatar

    Here is a small link that lists a bunch of other links on lead poisoning of birds

  24. Chris H. Avatar
    Chris H.

    Lead poisoning has (and is) a serious problem with endangered California Condors both in Cal. and the Grand Canyon Ecosystem. Since these birds are scavengers, the lead must be coming through this vector. It stands to reason that this problem is not restricted to the two specific areas I just mentioned.

  25. cobra Avatar

    I have guided in Colorado for elk and mule deer and have hunted successfully for over 35 years and don’t really think I need anyones relatives to help. Most of the elk I’ve shot 31, 27 bulls and 4 cows were boned out and packed out on pack frames by myself, it takes 5 trips back to camp for me to complete the task. So please don’t tell me I can’t hang. If however there is a need to dig out any lead from the bone out carcass or the gut pile I will agree with you that it should be done. I’ve never shot an animal close enough to camp to worry about any problems with bears or the like. People that do such are just askin for trouble and should know better. You should really take more care as to whom you are trying to talk down to, they may know just as much or more than you do about certain subjects. You should lso know that I’ve taken elk with bow, rifle and sidelock muzzleloader so I don’t really think I’m the typical hunter that you speak of and it kind of ruffles my feathers when i am assumed to be one. I strive for better and I’v taught my sons the same.

  26. vickif Avatar

    First of all, you were the one who started “talking down to” me. Which is not suprising given the ego you just threw at me. It’s funny how you had to credential yourself, it really wasn’t necessary.

    Frankly, I don’t care what you have shot an elk with. It could have been the same gun every year or just a camera, changing it up makes you no more or less responsible or capable in my opinion. But that’s okay, if that’s what you feel compelled to do, so be it.

    Please look back at your first reply to my original post and try to keep in mind though, you threw out an insult far before anyone else did. “Get real Vickif” came from your post, did it not? I’d say it had a definite tone of condesention, atleast on the receiving end.

    Furthermore, you were the one who said packing out guts was too much work. Not me. “after four or five trips just about everyone I know is spent”. I commend anyone who packs an elk out-I know how much work it is, first hand. I was never cut slack for being a small female…I did the same work as anyone else did, or I couldn’t hunt. I was always fine with that.

    If you assumed that I had no clue about hunting, you were wrong. But no harm no foul.

    I didn’t treat you like a “typical” anything. I don’t think hunting can be generalized, though many folks do. I am always on the side of responsible hunting, and try very hard to help those who think everyone who hunts is an illiterate drunk who shoots trees when game is not found, and leaves his messy crap behind for nature to contend with, see a different side of hunting and hunters.

    I didn’t tell you that you couldn’t hang, I said “IF” you can’t don’t hunt. I meant it for anyone who would be more concerned about a little extra work than doing the right thing. If you took it personally, well, I am sorry you chose to, but that was your interpretation, not my intention.

    Look Cobra, I didn’t talk down to you or anyone. I simply explained where I stood and why, you chose to get your feathers ruffled. I was actually being a bit relaxed about the situation-and offering help (note the wink at the end was followed by a small hunting joke -most men I know recognize that it is often joked about that women do the cooking at camp-sorry for the over sight in assuming you would too), It was not literal, maybe you need to look back at my post and see it was not a hateful one…

    Maybe Cobra, you should try to take more care and not come across as so condensending too. This one could go both ways, as you are just as guilty as the one you accuse.
    You perpetrated the crime first-just look back.

    By the way, most people I know have taken game with bows, rifles and muzzle loaders…that is not untypical. My father, brother, sons, one daughter and uncles all sport that title. I have never done it. I have used a couple different rifles, but never a bow(have shot one-just never shot anything with it). I don’t care for muzzle loaders (which is not to say I cannot shoot one, I can) the smoke takes too long to clear, and I have had several shoulder surgeries which make it a bit too hard for me to have enough pull on a bow to take a responsible shot. I can shoot very well with less pull-but that would be a risk I would not take, period.

    I really tire of the massive hate surges that you get whenever you disagree with someone else’s take on things around here…geez, people may disagree from time to time, that is normal.

    And by the way, when you threw out the “get real” comment, I was a little “ruffled” myself. Rightfully so in my opinion.

    Listen, I was not intending to insult you. I am sorry you felt the need to insult me, or at very least try to skold me like a small child.

    I apologize for any insult you felt I gave. I honestly was absolutely not trying to ruffle your anything. I was just simply stating that I feel we all have a bigger responsibility to do what is right. So, if we know lead could be harmful, we have a responsibility to do the right thing, even if that requires one more trip. And given the recent debates about bears habituating themselves to finding hunters and their gut piles…I say we should stop leaving the gut piles too. I know I will, but that is a choice I make because I feel it is my responsibility to do the right thing. Disagree, or not, it is my opinion, and I will not apologize for having given it, though it was not intended to offend you.

  27. cobra Avatar

    Guess I jumped the gun, sorry. I’ve always had pride in the way I hunt and teach others to hunt. I still think carrying out a gutpile is extreme and I for one will not. There’s been many days when my pack is more full at the end of the day because of picking up other peoples garbage, mostly along roadsides on the way to and from where I park but some of it is from places I hunt where I swear I was the only one ever to have been there. I would say most of the time my slugs end up on the off side of the animal against the hide or somewhere in the neck. Most of the time it ends up in the boned out meat and I find the slug during butchering, we generally look for our slugs to see just how the bullet held up after impact and how well it mushroomed. I think there are a lot of animals that do get some good out of the gut piles and carcass so if there was a bullet in the guts I would not be afaid to try and find it no matter where it was. Once again I’m sorry for jumping like I did but I’m sure most guys and gals would rather fish through the gut pile to find their slug than pack out a gut pile and to pack out a gut pile seemed to me a little bit to far out there. As you said before your relation hunts. Have you asked them what they thought about packing out a gut pile? I guess I probably have some weird ideas myself, after butchering I’ve always taken te trimmings and bones back close to where I harvested the animal because it seemed like a waste to just take them to the dump. It seems to me that by taking what we can’t use back to the woods at least some of the animals are getting some use out of what’s left, guess I’m as crazy as you thought I was.

  28. chuck parker Avatar
    chuck parker

    While people here are offering pie in the sky theories on how to save grizzlies by placing a moratorium on black bear hunting, making elk hunters to bag gut piles, and letting grizzlies kill hunters forced to rely on bear spray, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee has calmly been discussing how many grizzlies hunters in the Greater Yellowstone Area should be allowed to kill:

    IGBC Summer Meeting minutes, 6/19-20/2008, Greater Yellowstone Area:

    Allocation of “discretionary mortality” – CSmith

    if non-discretionary is below sustainable limits, the rest is “discretionary” – those bears could be removed from ecosystem without negatively affecting population
    • bears could be hunted
    • BLarson: at what point in time do you determine that there is discretionary mortality
    • CSmith: IGBST would document discretionary mortality available by end of calendar year. EX: if mort. threshold in 2008 was 40 bears and only 20 were removed via non-discretionary. Those 20 bears are, in effect, “in the bank” and available for removal in 2009. Jurisdictions could then meet in Jan. or Feb. to set quotas for 2009.

  29. Peter Kiermeir Avatar
    Peter Kiermeir

    Soso, people are offering pie in the sky theories……now enjoy a good laugh on people trying to solve a problem not in the usual american way, means “walk in with a gun in hand”. Something better to offer besides cynicism and the default remark on bear spray?

  30. chuck parker Avatar
    chuck parker


    Problem: the fed and states are planning to hunt Yellowstone grizzlies ASAP.

    Solution–Peter, what’s your plan to save the bears? What can you offer us other than the default and nonsensical slogan that hunters should carry bear spray and know how to use it. That’s not going to solve the problem Peter.

  31. JB Avatar

    My ideal solution would be to re-list grizzly bears throughout the western states as endangered under the ESA. (This may actually be possible given the court’s recent ruling in the case of Western Great Lakes wolves). It is an utter travesty that we have–what 2,000 (?) grizzlies in all of the contiguous 48 states, while the tiny island of Hokkaido in Japan has ~3,000 brown bears (and a human population density over 65 people/KM).

  32. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I think the courts and/or the new administration is going to defeat the efforts of these 2 deep red states to do something like this.

  33. chuck parker Avatar
    chuck parker

    JB–grizzlies were “threatened,” not endangered. Are I the only one here with credible facts? As far as lawsuits, the feds and the National Wildlife Federation are ready and waiting. Here are a few facts from the IGBC summer meeting, 2008:

    CServheen – Yellowstone litigation update
    • GYA population delisted in Apr. 2007
    • 3 separate lawsuits currently
    • EJ representing WWP, Sierra Club, NRDC, JHCA, &
    • individual suing us – he is a lawyer filing on behalf of himself
    • those 2 cases were moved to 1 judge’s court
    • Greater Yellowstone Coalition sued in Missoula a few months later; we asked that they be combined and it was denied
    • DOJ attorneys working on these cases. We’ve been joined by States, NWF, and Safari Club
    • must respond to briefs this summer
    • no decision expected before the end of the year
    • we feel we have a very good defense
    • ad. reg. mechs under the CS; incredibly strong science; continuing mgmt coordination via Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee

  34. SAP Avatar

    Chuck – I’ll let JB speak for him/herself, but grizzlies could be re-listed and given endangered status. I know at least one set of comments (not mine) on the delisting rule back in ’06 actually included a petition to do that.

  35. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Chuck and SAP,

    Thanks for your comments.


    Regarding JB, I’m sure he knows grizzlies were on the threatened list in the Greater Yellowstone. Threatened species are listed and delisted too, not just “endangered species.

  36. chuck parker Avatar
    chuck parker

    JB/SAP/Ralph–So you want the feds to re-list Yellowstone Area grizzlies as an endangered species? “Threatened” grizzlies were de-listed because all recovery goals for grizzlies were met, but the feds should now relist Yellowstone grizzlies and classify them as endangered species because??? there are 3,000 brown bears on Hokkaido, or what? What’s the rationale for relisting Yellowstone grizzlies as a threatened or endangered species?

    Phase 1 of delisting “threatened” grizzlies in the NCDE was the beloved $5 million DNA population study. One more year of results from a different study that does population sampling will give the feds that data they need to finish their plan for delisting. They should finish the study, of course, because science is holy, holy, holy. Or, as people said about the sacred DNA population study, the information is good to have. But even if the data from the sacred DNA study and the other population study tell us it’s fine to delist grizzlies, and it’s time to delist grizzlies, the feds should ignore the data and reclassify grizzlies in the NCDE as “endangered.” Is that right? Is that what you’re asking for?

  37. JB Avatar


    Thank you for the opportunity to clarify my statement. If you want to get technical, grizzly bears ARE listed as threatened, except in what was the Yellowstone DPS where they’ve been delisted (see: I was advocating listing the species throughout its historical range (i.e. where it occurred pre-European settlement) in the contiguous lower 48 states.

    (Q) Are I the only one here with credible facts?
    (A) No.

    (Q) So you want the feds to re-list Yellowstone Area grizzlies as an endangered species?
    (A) Yes! Now you’ve got it!

    (Q) …grizzlies were de-listed because all recovery goals for grizzlies were met, but the feds should now relist Yellowstone grizzlies and classify them as endangered species because?

    (A) Good question! Because they meet at least one of the five statutorily-defined listing requirements:

    (A) the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;
    (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;
    (C) disease or predation;
    (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
    (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

    Specifically, I would argue that the grizzly bear easily meets factors A, D, and E.

    (Qs) …the feds should ignore the data and reclassify grizzlies in the NCDE as “endangered.” Is that right? Is that what you’re asking for?

    (As) No, the feds should not ignore the data obtained in the studies. This data is crucial to our understanding of existing grizzly populations. Moreover, I believe this data could be used to make the argument that grizzlies are, in fact, in danger of extinction in a significant portion of their range, and thus meet the very definition of endangered species.

    “The term ‘‘endangered species’’ means any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range other than a species of the Class Insecta determined by the Secretary to constitute a pest whose protection under the provisions of this Act would present an overwhelming and overriding risk to man.” (16 U.S.C. 1531).

    The key phrase is “a significant portion of its range.” The grizzly bear meets the definition, and should be listed.

  38. vickif Avatar

    I can see why you take pride in how you hunt. You seem quite conscientious. Thanks for that.
    I don’t think you are crazy, I see a very distinct rationale to why you do those things. Hauling out innards would be a giagantic pain, and perhaps scattering the guts, etc. may have some environmental perks. I would just wonder about habitaution though. What could we do specifically about that? How could we disuade predators from equating hunters with free meals? That would be the biggest obstacle.
    Did I ask the relatives? Well, like anyone else’s relatives, I am sure I will get some whiners. The kids still listen and do what I say (they will eventually out grow that I am told-darn.) But my guess, the mules will do the majority of the work. Maybe if we put our heads together, we could come up with another option.
    Most people would rather look for a slug, I am sure. However, I think you and I may be a minority in actually doing so. My dad used to make me dig for them in Arizona, we’d go shooting at the river bed. We’d line up cans, fill them with sand, and target practice. But before we left, we had to count slugs, pick up cans, and gather everyone’s trash (most not ours-I also pick up trash where ever I go to this day). We finally started taking hay bales with bundles of news papers tied on because my cousin got stung by a scorpion while digging for slugs.
    I’d love to go see your neck of Colorado. I have spent the majority of my time in the northern, northwestern end. Things are so different there now, parts of it are hardly recognizable. The shift in elk is some what unexplainable, but I think it has a lot to do with warming and beetles.

    Again, I am sorry for any defensiveness I displayed. I guess I am just used to having to be defensive, I get razzed a lot for being a female…doing a manly sport. I also catch slack about being a “tree hugger” from hunters I know. I hope they some day catch on that you cannot hunt what does not exist, without being environmentally minded, we can kiss all this good-bye.
    (If I do go to your neck of the woods, do you guide as a business? I’d be happy to look you up or throw some business your way.)

  39. chuck parker Avatar
    chuck parker

    JB, As someone who once spent years dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” so I standing to file a 60 day notice of intent to bring suit against the NPS and USFWS for violating an ESA agreement concerning Yellowstone grizzlies, I sure do appreciate your condescending lecture; I learned soooo much. Are you the “individual” who will be joining Earth Justice in court for a lawsuit on the Yellowstone grizzly delisting issue?

    The sacred DNA grizzly bear population count was for one DPS–the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem only–so if bears are doing OK there they can be delisted, just like in Yellowstone. What’s happening throughout a significant portion of the grizzly bear’s range, or former range, doesn’t matter.

  40. vickif Avatar

    Chuck Dave Whatever Your Name is:
    Is there any reason, or good, that you hope to have come from your posts? What is your intention when you post here? Do you have a specific goal in mind?
    I am just curious.

  41. chuck parker Avatar
    chuck parker

    Well Vicki, when a hunter makes a mistake and shoots a grizzly, and some wise-ass who knows zilch about the situation insinuates the hunter was drunk, it only seems fair to ask if hikers who spray bears are drunk or stoned.

    Then someone says the problem is obvious–the hunter only got a minor fine of $135. I pointed out that hefty fines might just lead to SSS, and lo and behold, some folks agreed.

    See what happens when you have these discussions. You put in your 2 cents worth about lead poisoning, which is such ding-dong nonsense I didn’t think was worth discussing, so I didn’t. But hey, I’m not the only one here and other people did discuss it. Have at it.

    When people make statements that don’t strike me as accurate, I ask questions to see if what I’m being told is true. Or I provide credible facts that suggest their case is weak and see if they respond with facts of their own, or come out swinging with personal insults.

  42. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The most important thing that merits the relisting of the grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone as “threatened”, or its first time listing as “endangered,” is the collapse of the grizzly bear food sources.

    USFWS was told this time and time again, and it has all come to pass.

    1. The demise of the cutthroat trout runs up the Yellowstone Park rivers and streams due to the infestation of whirling disease and the voracious illegally introduced lake trout in Yellowstone Lake.

    2. The demise of the whitebark pine.

    3. The coming demise of elk with chronic wasting disease. How many times did we warn those Wyoming Game and Fish jerks about this!!!!@!!!!!!

    4. The bear ought to be relisted; and I think they deserve to have it hurt (WY Game and Fish and the politician troglodytes)

    The mistaken shot or self-defense take by hunters of grizzlies is largely a side effect of the above, especially the disappearance of whitebark pine. The bears are trying to develop an alternative food supply, and to them elk guts seem just fine. However, the result is more hunter incidents, and I don’t choose to talk about pepper spray versus guns again.

    Please don’t

  43. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    Did I understand you correctly, you are notifying that you are going to file a suit against the NPS and the USFWS, I just want to make sure I understand your meaning and intent, as your grammer has taken a downturn the last few days. Your sentence structure has not been real clear, so please clarify..


  44. vickif Avatar

    Fair enough. But you still didn’t answer what you hope to accomplish, or goal you would like to achieve?

    I don’t agree that two “wise asses” are better than one though. One wise ass is far more than necessary.

    However, the man who shot the bear may have made a mistake, and he seems to have shown responsibility and regret for it. Should we fine him more? No. What we should do is push forward efforts to end poaching and prosecute people who are less honest than this man was. It is no different than how we treat our own children. Reward them for being responsible even when it is difficult…punish them more severely when they don’t take ownership of their own messes.

    Lead poisoning is ding-dong non-sense, in your opinion. But many experts would state otherwise. It is a matter of perception and value. Pish poshing away what others find relevant or worthy of fighting for is a recipe for disaster. The under dog often rallies support because people feel drawn to their loyalty to their values, and then when the stronger competitor should win hands down…an upset happens-the under dog becomes the champion of his people. (Our new president elect is just one example.)

    Perhaps, they come out swinging because you have a way of making people feel very defensive. (Fight or flight?) I have seen you throw some insults too. I guess the playing field is pretty even then.

    You have a tendancy to lump people into groups that are polar opposite. Hunter or hiker, your ally or idiot…I’d say that is a bit short sighted. But perhpas it is your intention to be provacative? Couldn’t they have similar views, or atleast have some common goals? Why do you figure they are always opposing one another?

    I am not trying to be abbrasive, it just always makes me take pause and think when intellegent people alienate others instead of inspiring them into logical thought or actions.

    At any rate, thank you for replying. Have a good evening.

  45. JB Avatar


    I’m very glad you appreciated my “condescending lecture.” It strikes me as ironic that you would criticize anyone on this blog for being condescending, but hey, that’s your prerogative.

    Chuck/Dave said: “The sacred DNA grizzly bear population count was for one DPS–the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem only–so if bears are doing OK there they can be delisted, just like in Yellowstone. What’s happening throughout a significant portion of the grizzly bear’s range, or former range, doesn’t matter.”

    You’ve missed the point entirely. The DOI’s interpretation of the ESA is constantly evolving. The court’s recent decision in regards to the Western Great Lakes wolf population brings into question the FWS’s use of DPS policy (POLICY NOT LAW) for delisting endangered species. This could prove fruitful ground for a suit. Additionally, should the Obama administration chose to abandon the Solicitor’s deeply flawed interpretation of the “significant portion of its range” phrase, then one could make the argument that the griz is in danger of extinction throughout a significant portion of its range (i.e. the contiguous 48 states).

  46. chuck parker Avatar
    chuck parker

    save bears/dave parker

    It could be my grammar and sentence structure, but it could be your reading and comprehension.

  47. cobra Avatar

    Really the only reason that we looked at slugs was because we reload and would like to see how well new bullets reacted, we didn’t think aout the lead issues much at that time, however if it was found to cause a problem I would try to find the slug. Anymore I rarely gut a large animal, I usually just start skinning and baging quarters, loins and filets meat with game bags, especially if it’s warm during the firt part of rifle season or the archery season. A few years ago I pcked up a capson rope winch and it works great in certain areas but sometimes it’s faster just to get the pack frames,
    I left Colorado about 20 years ago, we lived on the western slope on the side of Grand Mesa, at the time it was great deer and elk hunting, an awesome place to grow up. I guided during my vacation from the coal mines. The local outfitter needed a hand so I figured what better way to spendmy vacation than being in the woods. I couldn’t hunt while guiding but I was usually done by that time anyway. I met some good people guiding and I met some that should of never came out. We moved t North Idaho and when we got hereit was the way Colorado used to be, but it’s changing also. As far as the bears go I don’t have a ot of experience with the grizzlies other than a year in college in south east Alaska. Blacks can be a pain also when it comes to getting into your elk or deer. We’ve had a few tmes when a black bear got into our elk if we had to leave it in the woods over night, in fact one of the guys that work for me had that happen this year so he got the bear also. Maybe they should shoot all the grizzlies they see with bean bags or rubber bullets everytime they see one no matter where it is to make them more cautious around hunters and hikers. Might work, might not, but might be worth a try. Hunters need to be able to protect themselves while there hunting be it spray or lead it their choice as to what there more confident with. I don’t know if fish and game know where all the bears are before the season or if it’s even probable but it may be a way to save some hunters and bears.

  48. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Who the hell is Dave Parker, you keep saying that, I don’t know, and have never known a Dave Parker? You really have me mistaken with someone else…

    And thank you or answering my question.

  49. vickif Avatar

    The Mesa is still beautiful. I’ve been to several parts of Idaho, and plan on visiting this summer too. The landscape every where is changing. It makes me miss “the good ole days” and I am only 39.

    Maybe the bean bags are an idea worth exploring. I know I have been told to divert wolves by scaring them and throwing rocks. Maybe we need to ‘habituate’ bears to the reality of human interaction, one generation at a time.

    I doubt we could pin point bears, but, like I have said before, we can require people who hunt to get educated about bears, habitat, and the whole nine-it might help.

    What a spectrum you have had. Coal mines and hunting….one adventure at a time huh?

  50. chuck parker Avatar
    chuck parker

    delisting and grizzly food

    Yellowstone cutthroat trout. The US Fish & Wildlife Service argues that the grizzly population kept growing even as the trout population declined and hit bottom. Ditto on whitebark pine.

    I want to argue that these high calorie food sources contributed to high grizzly numbers. It may take a decade for the bear population to gradually decline as a result of these food sources disappearing. But there’s no way to prove it and it won’t show up as simple cause and effect.

    When grizzlies were delisted, about 30% of the population lived outside the “Primary Conservation Area.” Those bears were protected by the ESA listing. So losing ESA protection means a 30% drop in the grizzly population over time. The feds argue that the agencies–largely the US Forest Service–have policies in place that will protect the habitiat for bears. I think that’s a crock.

    If I was in court trying to get Yellowstone grizzly bears relisted, I’d point out that the feds juggled the books and used new math to magically increase the bear population and make delisting possible. One day, sightings of 48 sow grizzlies with cubs gave us 450 bears. The next day, sightings of 48 sows with cubs gave us 650 bears. No way the feds can explain that to a judge. In delisting documents, the original paper explaining the new math was something like 198 pages long. About a year later, the FWS did a simplified version that was about 68 pages long, and required a Ph.D in math from Harvard to understand.

  51. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Yes Chuck,

    It is a crock, and the USFWS can turn around and relist the grizzly bear as threatened and expand the primary conservation area.

    It may take a few years, but we have a new Congress and a new President and there will be a new head of the USFWS. Dave Hall is toast. Members of the Senior Executive Service will be reassigned.

    There will be a new Forest Service Chief after a decent interval. There will clearly by a new Park Service Director.

    I think Suzanne Lewis will be replaced as Superintendent of YNP.

  52. vickif Avatar

    One can hope, maybe the new Super will place the inhabitants of the park atop their list of priorities.


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