Researchers blame grizzly deaths on hunters, climate change

Grizzlies are expanding their range due to the death of whitebark pine and they increasingly get shot-

Researchers blame grizzly deaths on hunters, climate change. By Matthew Brown. Associated Press

Fortunately the evidence seems to be that their population around Yellowstone is still growing.


  1. jdubya Avatar

    Hunters need a gun mounted can of pepper spray with a forward mounted trigger. Might be too confusing for them, though, and they would end up spraying the inside of the cab of their truck.

  2. Linda Hunter Avatar

    I saw this quote in the article – “It’s kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing. All you see is a big bear coming at you full speed,” I keep reading and seeing comments like this from hunter incidents. As a hiker and bear observer I don’t understand why a hunter, who is tracking, aware, moving slowly and being one with the environment does not see signs of bears, the bear itself or the warnings that bears typically give before they charge. Why do they always seem to be surprised at the last second?

  3. Steve C Avatar
    Steve C

    Linda, the surprise might be from all of the Bud light.

  4. Craig Avatar

    I’ve walked up on numerous Black Bears while hunting and never saw any sign until I came up on them.

  5. Allen Avatar

    You need to read the account of the attack on Leming by the Cody newspaper. He was calling in a bull elk for his Dad. The bull spooked and he looked behind him and saw the grizzly charging him. He did not not have time to shoot with his bow and instead ran toward his Dad who shot the bear with an arrow as it passed him. It knocked the son down and mauled him before the arrow killed it. The son weighed 230 pounds and fought the 500 pound male bear with his feet while on the ground, which was the right thing to do in a predatory situation. Both of them had left their guns and spray at camp. As a former grizzly research biologist, I have been charged by both grizzlies and black bears which appeared rapidly and unexpectedly. I managed to scare them away with gun shots. Now grizzlies are zeroing in on gun shots in hopes of getting a carcass or gut pile.


  6. counterbart Avatar

    Linda–hunters aren’t “tracking.” Most hunters–and hikers–don’t see bear until the bear is already coming at them in full charge.

    jdubya–I’ve hunted with a double barrel shotgun with 2 triggers for more than 40 years. Nothing confusing about them. One trigger for the more open choke. Game flushes close, use the open choke. Further out, pull the trigger for modified choke.

    If the IGBC wants more hunters to use bear spray, it’s real simple–show them how. There are 6 commonly used rifle carries. Give a demo on how to use bear spray with each of the commonly used rifle carries. The IGBC won’t do it because it can’t be done in a safe, timely manner.



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