Men hound-hunting black bear near Island Park run into a Grizzly with cubs

Bear bites back

Grizzly feeding on elk.  © Ken Cole
Grizzly feeding on elk. © Ken Cole

News Release – 6/28/09
Idaho Department of Fish and Game 

Three eastern Idaho bear hunters got an unpleasant surprise Sunday morning, June 28, when their hounds surrounded a female grizzly with cubs.

The bear took after the hunters, knocked one man down, bit him on the right arm and tossed him around.

The names of the three men haven’t been released.  All are from the Idaho Falls area and two are brothers.  The victim was transported to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg. He suffered lacerations to his right arm but no other apparent injuries.

Idaho Fish and Game officials are in the area looking for the bear. But they warn area residents, other hunters and anyone in the backcountry that the bear may be wounded and dangerous.

The three men were hunting black bears with hounds about 6 a.m. Sunday, on Bishop Mountain near Harriman State Park.

They released their hounds on a scent, and the dogs soon surrounded what the men thought was a black bear. When the men arrived they quickly realized they had a grizzly.

The bear charged. The men ran.

When the bear knocked the victim down,  his brother struggled to get his pistol out of his backpack. With the bear on top of his brother, he fired a shot from his .44 Magnum from five to eight feet away.

The bear let go, got up and ran off.

The man was not sure whether his shot hit the bear or not.

“We don’t know whether the bear was hit, if we have a wounded bear, a dead bear or an unharmed bear,” said John Hanson, Idaho Fish and Game regional conservation officer from St. Anthony.

The hunters reported they saw at least two cubs with the female grizzly.

Bear researchers are aware of a radio-collared bear with three cubs in the area. It is unknown at this time if it might be the same bear. But Fish and Game biologists are looking for a signal from a radio collar.

Officials with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service are assisting with the investigation.






  1. Bob Avatar

    I’m sorry to say but I do not feel sorry for the hunters who are using dogs.

  2. Dusty Roads Avatar
    Dusty Roads

    Too bad they weren’t smart enough to figure out whether they hurt the bear or that they had a “plan” in place for such an event ~ that being that the caught up with something other than what they were looking for… Can’t say I feel sorry for the victim considering what they were doing out there in the first place. Maybe they’ll find something different to do with their spare time.

  3. John d. Avatar
    John d.

    Looks like they really got in touch with nature, or rather nature got in touch with them. Likewise Dusty, perhaps it’ll be a case of once bitten twice shy?

  4. Ken Cole Avatar

    I’ve never thought about what would happen if hound hunters ended up chasing a grizzly but now it seems pretty apparent what happens when it turns out that you are chasing a grizzly with cubs. I am dumbfounded that hound hunting is allowed in known occupied grizzly habitat.

    Also, there is a story that I just read which indicates that the IDFG is planning on classifying grizzlies as a big game animal in Idaho.

  5. John d. Avatar
    John d.

    Great. When a problem comes along… shoot it.
    Such mentality does not provide fertile soil for understanding and respect to prosper.

  6. dave smith Avatar
    dave smith

    The IGBC’s April 15, 2009 plan that pretends to do something about high grizzly bear mortality while maintaining the status quo does not call for an end to hound hunting for black bears in grizzly habitat. If there’s going to be hound hunting in grizzly country–a policy I deplore–it seems like hound hunters could actually be required to use bear spray. “Expert” hound hunters know by the sound of their dogs when the bears are fighting a bear or have the bear treed. Fine, pull out your bear spray before getting any closer. If it’s a griz, spray it. If it’s a black bear and you decide it’s a “trophy” you want to kill, shoot it.

  7. william huard Avatar

    Hearing these stories makes me frustrated. There is no good ending for the grizzly. She may be dead, and now you will have cubs that will starve- if they are not killed by predators first. Allowing hound hunting in Grizzly habitat is irresponsible wildlife management- but what do you expect from a state that does not hold back it’s contempt for predators.

  8. jerry b Avatar
    jerry b

    “Hound hunting in grizzly habitat” What about all the lion hunting that takes place with hounds in griz habitat, especially in Montana? Is there a difference?

  9. william huard Avatar

    I think hound hunting in general gives the hunter an unfair advantage and violates fair chase rules, rules that are conveniently ignored. As for cougar hunting- the cougar is probably the most persecuted predator in the U.S.

  10. Tim Avatar

    have you ever been on a hound hunt. people that run dogs don’t do it to kill animals. its a sport of running trained scent hounds. that’s what its about. the opportunity to see an animal in the tree is just a benefit. You think its easy to try and trail dogs through these mountains? Have you ever hiked in these areas? I have an open seat in my pickup for anyone who wants to come in 2 weeks when my dogs are healthy again and when we get to the tree if we even tree one its never a sure thing you can tell me how easy it is. Any bear can turn an kill every single dog if it wants. I’ve seen it same with lions. and surprisingly the small ones are the most dangerous.

  11. monty Avatar

    Tim: but you still have one great advantage, a rifle that will shoot thru a brick wall. That makes it unfair!

  12. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    I stopped along the Trail Creek Road that runs from Sun Valley to Mackay a few years ago, when I saw a man standing by his pickup, pointing a radio receiver toward the mountains to the west.
    When I asked him what he was tracking, he told me he had radio collars on his dogs and was waiting for them to tree a bear. He then told me he was an outfitter and when his dogs got a bear treed he would go and see if it was large enough to interest his “hunter” who was staying in Sun Valley. If so, he would call him and keep the bear treed until the “hunter” arrived to shoot it. I suspect this non-fair chase type of hunting with dogs occurs often. Chasing bears with dogs during the summer when they have small cubs should be banned in all of Idaho. Outfitters like the one I encountered should lose their license.

  13. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.


    If running hounds is just a sport that allows “hunters” to only see the treed animal, then why not bring a camera instead of a gun?

    Who are you trying to bullshit?

  14. Tim Avatar

    I do bring a camera. That’s funny you say that because the the person who taught me to run dogs only carried a video camera. In fact in the four years i hunted with him we never had a gun with us. That was before there were wolves in the area. I however do carry a gun just for the wolves. I’ve been charged by sows with cubs and never fired a shot. I’ve had bears jump out of the tree with me next to them and never killed one. I’ve never killed a bear but had many chances. I do it for the fun of running dogs so f*** you!

    Tim has been suspended from making further comments on this blog. There is no need for this kind of comment to be made here.

  15. Tim Avatar

    That outfitter your referencing is doing it for the money. hes got some fat f*** from back east that doesn’t want to do anything but wants a rug. I only take people to ride along and who would like to see a bear.

  16. william huard Avatar

    Larry- I agree with your statements. With hunting numbers on the decline, Americans have the opportunity to CHANGE the way Wildlife Management occurs. Now you have all the decisions made by hunters. Anyone that questions a hunter’s ethics or lack thereof is labeled “an animal rights activist” as if that is a bad thing to try and protect against animal exploitation.

  17. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Bit testy this morning Tim?

  18. jerry b Avatar
    jerry b

    Tim….I’m curious. “I carry a gun just for the wolves”.
    Self-defense, or to protect your dogs?

  19. william huard Avatar

    When I voice my comments there are always people that say that I am anti-hunter. Just because I choose to not hunt does not make me anti-hunter. I get angry when cubs are orphaned due to a lack of responsible wildlife management. An example is Alaska, where the Board of Game is way out of bounds, allowing gassing of wolf pups in there dens, etc. Or down South where hunting clubs were purchasing coyotes from trappers and using them in contest kills called wildlife penning. There is no excuse for these egregious abuses of wildlife.

  20. dave smith Avatar
    dave smith

    Tim–Why do bears run from packs of dogs? Hound hunting might be a fun “sport” for you and the dogs, but I doubt the bears enjoy it. Especially cubs–one false step and the dogs tear them apart while they’re alive.

  21. Tim Avatar

    I get a little tired of hearing how easy and unfair it is. don’t knock til you try it. its also disheartening to hear those stories because then thats what everybody thinks about us. so now when you talk about hound hunting your going to think about that fat lazy guy waiting for the call in his hotel room instead of the tens of thousands of people that just want to listen to the sound of that music. It gives a black eye to the sport.

  22. Tim Avatar

    I carry it so if it ever happens that I’m at a tree that wolves come into i can protect my dogs. in the heat of the moment i could see where a person could get attacked but i worry about the dogs not myself. thats the only time in my opinion you could shoot them as you would more than likely not be able to protect them in pursuit. I’m personally hoping that if my dogs are out and i hear or see wolves i can fire a shot to scare them away and allow me to retrieve my dogs before the incident occurs.

  23. Ken Cole Avatar

    Tim has been notified that he is no longer welcome to make comments to this blog. This is not the Billings Gazette or the Idaho Statesman.

  24. hilljack Avatar

    I can’t understand why a hunter in grizzly country would not be better prepared for the possibility of finding a grizzly. I have never used hounds but respect the rights of those who do. When I moved to the South I was shell shocked to see guys hunting deer with hounds but that is a tradition there. Here in the west hound hunting is the only effective method of hunting cougars. Maybe this will get the message out to others to be prepared like the boyscouts say. Since the adrenalin was pumping maybe the guy missed his shot.

  25. mikepost Avatar

    It is funny how Tim’s unfortunate use of profanity (sort of) got him kicked off instead of just warned not to do it again. I hate to see folks with different perspectives removed. There are times when I feel that the people on this blog have such a incestuous focus on issues that a good hearty debate is discouraged. Yes Tim was wrong to use the “word” (even if it was never spelled out!), and yes he has a prespective that most here do not agree with, but I think that makes him even more of contributor to the debate if he would agree to refrain from the bad language. We had another example just last week on this blog where someone who did not agree with an argument on issue asked to have the opposing person removed…thats not good for any of us. I for one want to here every side, however outrageous, because I like to know how the opposition thinks. Can’t have a meaningful debate without at least two different perspectives.

  26. hilljack Avatar

    it is funny how many people are interested in this post but I can find anything on the Ralph Maughan site about Karen Noyes in Newport Oregon who was recently found guilty for feeding black bears. Did that story not make it onto the site (geographic?) or is the wrong type of story for this site.

  27. Ken Cole Avatar


    I made the call and I agree with most of what you say but the tone of debate here and elsewhere has become less about issues and more about personalities. I will consider reinstating Tim’s privileges if he promises to be civil but I have little patience with that kind of statement being made here. I would make the same decision if it were someone who shares my viewpoint as well.

    This is not a place where anything goes. I’ll leave that for those other sites.

    You will notice that people with opposing views are allowed to post here regularly if they have something that adds to debate but when the line of civility is crossed there isn’t much tolerance.

  28. Mike Avatar

    I like the fact that Tim doesn’t shoot the animals, only observes them. We need more people like that and less like these actual houd runners who shoot fish in a barrel up in the trees.

  29. Tim Avatar

    To all,

    I apologize for the language I used in the above comment. This is not a place for those type of comments and therei s no excuse for it. This is a place for all to enjoy and debate civil matter. Again I apologize to everyone who reads and writes in this blog.

  30. Ken Cole Avatar


    Apology accepted. Let’s keep it civil here please.

  31. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    having been late to the party and trying to catch up who was it a little while ago that said “arguing with (a regular poster here) was like arguing with a box of hair”
    I guess I missed that public apology.

  32. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Ken, this is probably a stupid question, but why is Idaho classifying grizzlies as big game when there is no season on them? This is in regard to that article link you posted. I am in favor of hunters needing to pass identification courses if they hunt black bears in grizzly habitat.

    William, why do you say mountain lions are the most persecuted predator in North America? I think wolves are much more so. People do not seem to have the deep seeded fears and beliefs about mountain lions, at least not that I have heard. I am a hunter and agree with what you said about orphaned cubs, gassing of wolf pups, and contest killing. That kind of behavior gives a black eye to the hobby.

  33. mikarooni Avatar

    The grizzly should never have been downlisted in the first place, too few animals to ensure long-term genetic bandwidth. The species is trying to recover in a relatively limited area around YNP and there is plenty of other territory to hunt. Hunting is unnecessary, especially under these conditions and especially if the hunting crowd truly believes that wolves are already decimating the game populations anyway. Relist the bear and exclude hunting from the recovery zone until the population gets large enough to reliably support more occasional take; it’s just that simple.

  34. izabelam Avatar

    How about ethical and fair hunting?
    Is chasing the bear with hounds fair? Is killing sorrounded bear fair?
    Is baiting bears fair?
    Or did hobby or food hunters did this before and we just now discovering all the tactics and are able to talk about on the blogs and web?

  35. Ken Cole Avatar

    Jeff E,

    I do remember that and I thought that I did apologize. The comment that I was responding to had absolutely no context to it and I thought at the time that the person was just repeating sorry old comments. It wasn’t apparent that the person was just copying and pasting an article or a passage from some other source. There was no link provided and I thought the words were their own but strangely familiar. I do think, however, that arguing with the person whose words were pasted would have been similar to arguing with a box of hair.

    Was it Izabellum who posted the comment I was referring to? If so, I apologize.

  36. Ken Cole Avatar

    Izabelam, I apologize.

  37. mikarooni Avatar

    It’s interesting to see the term “hobby hunting” used here. It strikes me that this term “hobby hunting” very accurately characterizes both the silly nature of hunting bear in general and hunting one species of bear in these areas where another species of bear is still in recovery …actually only “alleged” recovery in my opinion.

    On the one hand, claiming to hunt any species of bear for food is ridiculous at best and dishonest at worst; bear meat is unbelievably greasy and bear have such a high prevalence of trichinosis, much worse the pigs, that it must be cooked far beyond palatability. Anyone claiming to find it to their taste is only playing a childish “I dare to eat what I can eat” sort of competition. By comparison, dog is much better.

    On the other hand, acknowledging that you are only killing the animal as a “hobby” and with no intention of making any worthwhile use of the animal would seem to brand the hunter as unenlightened to the point of being marginally civilized, something lower than low, so low as to suggest a potential public safety problem and the need for mental health evaluation and far too low to be allowed free access to firearms.

    “Hobby hunting” …something to be done with toys …or like a child who uses a clothes pin to attach a playing card to the spokes of his bicycle to make it sound like a Harley-Davidson. I guess that could lead to a discussion of Harley-Davidsons and their “patented” sound.

  38. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    Before Tim responded to my above post with an F-you..I mentioned that if all they want to do is observe/photograph wildlife while participating in the “sport” of running dogs, then why don’t they just bring a camera….I should have continued that running a wild animal with a pack of dogs whether to observe, photograph, or kill it is complete B.S. Any true sportsman, photographer, etc….knows this.

  39. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    My main point is that those who live in glass houses………
    (which would be all of us, my self included)
    I do have to agree with not degenerating into gratuitous use of profanity however as it will certainly lower the level of discourse, but there are times when a well placed malediction will be just the thing to get the intended point across.
    Now back to our regularly scheduled show

  40. Jon Way Avatar

    why is it legal to hunt bears in June anyway. Are they hunted year-round (except when hibernating). That makes no sense

  41. izabelam Avatar

    Ken Cole Says:
    June 29, 2009 at 6:01 PM
    Izabelam, I apologize.

    Ken, you did not offend me. I said nothing until
    June 29, 2009 at 5:59 PM
    No worries. Life is good.

  42. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I agree with Jon. Why are bears hunted this time of year and in the spring? It seems like you are just asking for orphaned cubs.

  43. Craig Avatar

    I have know problem with people running hounds and have done it myself with friends, it’s a lot of fun but you better be in the best shape of your life! I do think running hounds in the spring in Grizzly country is really stupid or for Black Bears when they have cubs isn’t right! I think it should be a Fall or winter season only to help aleviate some of these type of problems! With Gizzlys expanding there territory it’s going to become more of a problem and the F&G better address this soon! I read the Idaho Fish and Game is looking at a Proposal: Reclassify Yellowstone grizzly bears as a big game animal in Idaho. A season for Grizzly here! How in the hell can they look at that when they are not even recovered here in Idaho? I really don’t understand their thinking on this one and said so in the question form for newly proposed Big Game rules! Here is the link incase any of you would like to comment!

  44. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Idaho has two take seasons for bear, fall and spring. It is illegal to shoot a sow with cubs no matter the time of year.
    you can use dogs at other times to run bear for training of the dogs.
    Where the fall take season overlaps deer/elk seasons one cannot use dogs.
    Bait stations can also be used to lure bears and this method seems to be archery hunters preferred way

  45. Craig Avatar

    Many Sows are shot because people don’t see their cubs especially coming into baits! I’ve done Taxidermy for over 15 years as a side job and believe me I’ve heard all the storys!

  46. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    hilljack wrote on June 29, 2009 at 1:29 PM

    “It is funny how many people are interested in this post but I can find anything on the Ralph Maughan site about Karen Noyes in Newport Oregon who was recently found guilty for feeding black bears. Did that story not make it onto the site (geographic?) or is the wrong type of story for this site.”


    I was unaware of this. Thanks for the URL. RM

  47. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Karen Noyes was doing what too many people do, and on a much larger scale. If this article is correct (it’s the first I have heard of it), she did endanger her neighbors and the wildlife she fed.

  48. Dusty Roads Avatar
    Dusty Roads

    Back to the bear hunting issue,

    I was in YNP a couple days ago and was heading up Dunraven Pass from Tower when I passed through a bear jam where a black bear w/cubs was the attraction then about two miles from there I saw something brown coming up over a rise to the south of the road. I thought it was a grizzly bear at first but as it became fully visible I realized it was a cinnamon bear, red black bear. I wonder how many of these bear hunters even know that there is such a thing and whether they can tell the difference quickly.

  49. dave smith Avatar
    dave smith

    Last year, black bear hunters in the Yellowstone region killed 5 grizzlies by mistake, and the IGBC’s response was more/better educational efforts. Why not try stiff fines? $5,000. Or $10,000? The argument against fines is that people who shoot grizzlies by mistake won’t report the incident. Instead, they’ll SSS. We won’t know whether or not fines work as a deterrent until we try.

  50. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    I stopped in Yellowstone a few winters ago, somewhere near Floating Island lake and observed a group of people getting a hound ready to pursue something. When I started filming the procedure, a woman came over and told me they were going to tree a cougar and put a radio collar on it. I found out later that every cougar in the north end of the park was treated this way and collared. Chasing animals with hounds in Yellowstone, for any reason, is one of those things that should never happen.

  51. mikepost Avatar

    Tim, good man. Thanks for stepping up.

    Once issue that has not been addressed here is that one way to keep large predators alive is to instill in them a healthy fear of humans. Non-injurious harassment of predators in order to motivate them to keep their distance has become one accepted way to prevent human-wildlife conflicts. In California the mountain lion hunting moritorium, now over 20 years old, has resulting in many more human-cat interactions than previously reported. bottom line: there is not a lion alive today that has ever hunted, chased, or otherwise harassed by humans and they display a disturbing lack of regard for any human presence as a result. I do not necessarily advocate resumption of hunting, but something needs to take huntings place if these critters are to avoid getting into incidents that result in their “removal” for public safety reasons.

  52. Ryan Avatar


    I read about that a couple weeks ago. That area has been a hot bed of bear incidences, I hope they throw the book at her.

  53. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    They threw the book at her Ryan, they are making her vacate him house for 3 years….

  54. Alan Avatar

    Isn’t it odd how feeding a bear is illegal (as it should be), yet baiting one when hunting isn’t? It reminds me about when I had a friend (who happens to be a lawyer) visiting from out of town a while back. I took him over to the Shoshone National Forest and he noticed all the signs over there about $5,000.00 fine for approaching a bear within 100 yards (presumably that includes black bears). He asked if bear hunting was allowed in the Shoshone. I said I think so, for black bears. He said, “Wow! I’d love to challenge that in court! How can you hunt an animal that you can’t approach?” He said that if they ever start hunting grizzlies over there, he is definately taking it to court.
    I am not a hunter, yet I can respect my hunting friends who grab the old Winchester and head out into the woods in the fall to fill the freezer. But this business of running some poor animal half to death (especially when it may have small cubs) with hounds “for the fun of running the dogs” just seems like harassment to me. Have to wonder if this type of “non-injurious harassment of predators” is likely to make a sow with cubs more or less aggressive toward the next folks who come along?
    If someone just wants to see a bear, seems to me that they should take a drive through Yellowstone.
    This is the kind of thing that ticks me off when I hear some folks talk about how “cruel” wolves are when they hunt. Wolves use the tools God gave them to perform a function God intended for them. They are not capable (any more than the hounds are) of making rational choices and having a little compassion. People are.

  55. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Last year, black bear hunters in the Yellowstone region killed 5 grizzlies by mistake, and the IGBC’s response was more/better educational efforts.
    That is ridiculous. There is no excuse to mistake a grizzly from a black bear just as there is no excuse to mistake a coyote from a wolf. If you are not sure don’t shoot!

    Alan, that is strange how baiting bears is legal in some places but feeding is illegal.’

    Dave Smith, are you saying there is no fine for shooting a grizzly in Idaho?

  56. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Grdnrmt, thanks for the link. Nice to see grizzlies expanding their range.

  57. dave smith Avatar
    dave smith

    ProWolf–I think that, technically, you could be fined in ID, MT, or WY if you kill a grizzly by mistake, but as long as you report the bear’s death and claim it was an honest mistake, you won’t be fined. Anyone familiar with the statutes?

  58. Jay Avatar

    Broken Record Larry, are you for or against radiocollars? I’m just not clear about that, based on your countless rants.

  59. grdnrmt Avatar

    ProWolf in WY –

    You are welcome! See the pic? Between this and the two cubs spotted earlier in the season east of I-15 – very intersesting!

  60. grdnrmt Avatar

    whoops! interesting

  61. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    I am against radio collars on wildlife. You have implied that I would use a radio receiver to find collared animals to photograph. I wouldn’t stoop that low. I do, however, photograph the abused wildlife wearing these collars, that you seem to champion, and distribute photos of them to get the practice stopped. Taking photos of these poor collared animals is easy, as they are everywhere. Which radio collar company do you represent?

  62. izabelam Avatar

    All, how many photographers really care about animals they photograph? How many support groups who try to protect the wolves, bears (inlcuding polar bears) and bison. How many VOICE their opinion to protect our wildlife?
    How many? Larry is one of few who cares. I am a photographer also ,maybe not so good as Larry and I CARE And I agree that obsesive collaring is wrong. And I have pictures of elk, bison and wolf wearing collars!!!
    Poor animals. Let them be free.

  63. Craig Avatar

    Though radio collaring seems cruel it provides very valuable information in game herd migration,summer range, winter range and how the animals adapt to changing climates, hunting pressure, and reintroduced preadators, that all have an effect on ungulates.
    So the few animals that have these provide a great deal of information that is critical in studying the ever changing wilderness and Human impact on them.
    Look at the Poor Wolverines they cut there stomach area open and insert a tracking device in them with batteries to track them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They have finally pulled there heads outta there asses and started doing more GPS collars, but they have killed many Wolverines using the old practice!

  64. Jay Avatar

    Larry, I once observed a photographer harassing wildlife to get a shot in Y-stone. It was terrible to see, such a thing should never happen in the park. All wildlife photographers are bad people. Does that sound familiar?

    Nope, I don’t represent a company, just a middle-of-the-road, non-extremist (such as yourself) that recognizes the fact that virtually everything known about wolves, lions, bears, etc., was learned due to radiocollars. All the wives tales and myths that you like to dispel using modern wolf biology? Guess where that data came from? Not from wildlife photographers, that’s for sure.

  65. Caleb Avatar

    Not all wildlife photographers or people who put radio collars on animals are bad people. Retarded idiots are bad people and unfortunatley there are billions of them out there. There is a line that can be easily crossed for both of these practices. All we can do is keep the idiots from abusing either of these. That is just the way it is.

  66. dave smith Avatar
    dave smith

    Jay–direct observation has contributed far more to our knowledge about bears than radio collars and telemetry. In particular, direct observation has debunked myths and misconceptions about bear behavior. More useful, practical information about bears comes from direct observation than radio collars.

  67. Jay Avatar

    I won’t argue observation is useful–particularly with bears, which are easier to watch than wolves or especially cats–but behavior is but one small aspect of wildlife biology. To say observation has contributed “far more” than with Vhf and GPS collar technology is a total stretch…if that’s the case, why don’t you ask the IGBST why they keep putting collars on bears? I’ll tell you why–you can’t get at survival, home range, habitat (on large scale), and a slew of other things without the use of radio locations.

  68. hilljack Avatar

    Alan, as for baiting vs. feeding the real issue is where you are conducting it. She was in a neighborhood not out away from residences. In states that allow baiting there are strict rules about the placement of bait and marking the area to warn others. I have never seen the need to hunt over bait or run dogs and have been able to take several bears using archery equipment. I think if more people understood the biology of the animal they are hunting they would find success without using methods that draw in animals. I still chase cats when I cut a fresh track but it is just me and my snow shoes. I have come close but have not yet harvested a cat.

  69. william huard Avatar

    After this story broke I called the Idaho Fish and Game and left a message for a supervisor to call me back. He called me back today and I voiced my concerns about the use of hounds in Grizzly habitat- He told me point blank that after this incident they are in discussions to ban the use of dogs in certain parts of Idaho where Grizzlies are present. I don’t know if you can trust this information or not.

  70. Alan Avatar

    That would be good news if true. I checked and am happy to report that the use of hounds to hunt bear in Montana is illegal, as is the use of bait to lure any game animal.

  71. Savage Avatar

    good for the grizz, hope she is ok!!!

  72. william huard Avatar

    He also told me that there was no evidence that the Grizzly was killed or injured in any way.

  73. tetonhiker Avatar

    Why is the world would they be hunting when so many COY are out there? Hope Mom and cubs are ok!

  74. red Avatar

    how about too each there own, what is wrong with hound hunting as long as it is within the game laws. you know maybe they should outlaw biking or hiking or maybe outlaw ever stepping foot in the wilderness. some people enjoy there hounds trailing there game, does that give anyone the right too knock what they do or even worse wish harm on them, get a grip, you dont see these guys lobbying against mountain biking or nature walking. if everybody would worry about what they are doing instead of what they think every one else should be doing the world would be a better place. if you dont like what these guys are doing then you can do yourself a favor and find something else to do or read. hey alan why dont you worry about your own issues instead of the game laws of montana, because im certain you are not a sportsman so it should not concern you in the least

  75. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    Red, why can´t you and the other “sportsmen” (a term that causes allergic reactions in the meantime) not let those lions and bears mind their own business instead of driving those scared animals onto trees for your very own primitive fun only? By the way it does not matter if you document your “kill” with a photo or a dead carcass – it´s the same meaning.

  76. Tim Avatar

    wow peter I didn’t realize that taking a picture of a bear in the tree and then leaving killed it. I”ll have to rethink my primitive ways and tell my caveman friends about it.

  77. dave smith Avatar
    dave smith

    Red/Tim–Do you think bears, especially cubs and female bears with cubs, regard being chased by hounds as fun and sport? How the heck would the bears know whether you’re going shoot them with a .30/06 or a Cannon camera? When cubs chased by hounds fall from trees, do the hounds call a time out and let the cub climb up the tree for photographic opportunities, or do the fu!$ing mutts tear the cubs apart?

  78. Brian Ertz Avatar


    I don’t think Peter objects to taking a photograph of a bear in a tree. I think Peter is legitimately concerned about the harassment of wildlife to get it in the tree.

    Think of it this way – if someone set their dogs on a young child for hours in a forest, then approached the yound child in a tree, took a photograph & left the child alive — would you continue to maintain that the sole standard by which to judge whether the conduct was ethical or not – whether the sentient child was harmed or not – was whether he/she was left alive in the tree ?

    now consider – if a child feels pain, both physically & other-than physically and we decide that it is ethically wrong to arbitrarily inflict pain on that child because we can empathize & would not want it to happen to our children – or ourselves – then where is the line where it becomes ok to similarly inflict arbitrary pain to another sentient being – wildlife – both physically & other-than physically ?

    is it that they’re not human ? ok. then say that. but don’t pretend that the ethical standard is about whether a thing dies or not.

  79. Tim Avatar

    That’s it. They are not human. What does our species do to help any animal. We genetically mutate them then try and cure it to help ourselves. we raise them then punch a hole in there head and slaughter them for food. I don’t think any animal enjoys being hunted or trapped or followed around Yellowstone having its picture taken all day, but we don’t do it for them its for our own enjoyment. You may not want to admit it but everyone is mistreating an animal somewhere.

  80. red Avatar

    you people are the reason this country is the way it is, i cant wait for things too get real bad to the point where people have to take care of themselves and fend for what they need. ever hear of only the strong survive, i know where you fruit loops will be. dont worry i wont be back on here again, you make me sick

  81. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Bye, Bye Red…LOL

  82. Tim Avatar

    Don’t worry everyone I’m still here. Dave i have never had a cub fall out of the tree so i couldn’t tell you what would happen. Next time I’m out i will ask yogi if he likes the exercise. Try to keep it civil buddy that’s what makes us human.

  83. Alan Avatar

    Compassion also makes us human, or at least humane.
    As a resident of Montana, all of the laws in this fine state concern me. Actually I am a sportsman. I play basketball, softball and an occasional game of tennis. Sports everyone. I do not consider harassing wildlife a sport. If you want to run dogs, take them out to a football or track field and run them until they drop. If you want to photograph (or just “see”) a bear, go to the zoo or take a ride in Yellowstone. I love to photograph wildlife, but the absolute last thing I want a picture of is a magnificent predator cowering in a tree in sheer terror.
    Finally, the issue of baiting vs. feeding had nothing to do with where it is conducted. If I have a cabin far from neighbors, it is still illegal for me to put food out for bears. A fed bear is a fed bear. If a hunter puts out bait and the bear escapes without being killed, and there is any hint of human scent around or on that bait, it could become a danger later in the same manner that a fed bear might become a danger.
    The bottom line though is what is and is not ethical. A hunter already has a tremendous advantange by carrying a high powered rifle. Using hounds and putting out bait take the “hunt” out of hunting, regardless of how physically challenging the pursuit my still be.

  84. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    don’t go away mad red(wing), just go away

  85. Tim Avatar

    I disagree Alan that a high powered rifle gives you the advantage. it gives us humans the ability to compete for food with nature. we have no sense of smell, sight, and compared to any other animals small physical abilities. I would like to see a person kill a bear with a knife or a spear. you could sit in a tree with your bow and wait for one to wander by but without anything to attract it i wouldn’t hold my breath.

  86. dave smith Avatar
    dave smith

    Tim–my apologies for being “uncivil” (barbrous, lacking in courtesy) by referring to “fu!$ing” dogs tearing apart bear cubs for the pleasure of hunters. To use a favorite term of that erudite former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, “gosh darn” dogs tear apart bear cubs for the pleasure of hunters. Now I’m not uncivil, but the hunters are pretty gosh darn fu!$ing barbrous, wouldn’t you say?

  87. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I think red’s “me versus you-weak-people” perception explains why wildlife issues are difficult and how they are tied into larger social controversies.

    Personality plays a role too. There has been research and discussion for years that certain kinds of personality are attracted to specific social views and from there, social movements.

    I have long believed that there are a fair number of potential fascists in the United States, but no one has really gotten them organized.

  88. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    You have dog’s trained to trail bear, ( a subject I am neutral on now), and as I understand it there is every likelihood that when on the hunt your dogs could be as much as 1/2 mile ahead of you in obviously mountainous terrain. So in your considered opinion what Would happen if a cub fell out of a tree amongst your dogs?

  89. Tim Avatar

    IMO we all need to take a hard look at what freedoms we have and try to protect them even though we may disagree they are what make this country what it is. I know im not going to convince any of you that hound hunting is fun but its my freedom passed on over hundreds of years. Think about it next time you have a ballot in your hands. There might be something that affects you on it and i bet all of us would like our neighbors to think about us. But don’t worry eventually we will be left in a country bound by laws and we can sit here and talk about the fun we used to have.

  90. Tim Avatar

    Jeff i think we all know what would happen and fortunately its never happened to me. Sometimes bad deals happen but no bear hunter is looking for it to.

  91. catbestland Avatar

    I sure that post civil war white ex-slave owners sat around talking about what fun they used to have bartering, beating and bedding unwilling and frightened slaves too but thank God that is now against the law.

  92. Alan Avatar

    People survived for tens of thousands of years before rifles existed. Ancient man certainly used spears and knives successfully against bears. A bear can’t kill you from the other side of a meadow. I don’t suggest that hunters give up their guns, they are more humane than most alternatives, but they are definately an advantage.
    Whatever happened to the lost art of tracking? Heck, I do it with my camera. I find fresh tracks and follow them (not bear but deer, elk, fox etc……same principal). That’s what hunting is all about, whether with a camera or a gun. Your skills against the animal’s skills at eluding you. If you are using hounds, the hounds are hunting; you are just a spectator.

  93. Brian Ertz Avatar


    ok – they’re not human, so there’s a different ethical standard. now – how would you feel about someone beating your dogs ? or how about putting them into a gunny-sack and sounding off a loud horn for a half hour ? would that be wrong ?

    would it be wrong because the dogs are your property ? or wrong in its own right, because its an arbitrary infliction of pain/suffering ?

  94. Linda Hunter Avatar

    Wow . . Dave I finally figured out why you hate pepper spray so much!! If you and I talked in person we would probably find out we agree on many things. Imagine that. Back to the hound hunting subject . . there are many guys who I have met in the woods who believe that you can’t find a bear if you don’t bait or run dogs. They are the ones who have lost their natural skills just like Tim says . they think they must use high powered rifles and dogs and bait to get game. I have to point out that I ( a woman with no gun, dog or bait) can find a bear easily without any of that stuff. I track and have taken the years it takes to be able to see bear sign. I found one yesterday that I have been tracking for a few weeks. The bear was surprised to see me there but neither one of us had to interrupt our day because of the encounter. (no I didn’t take a picture) I also can see what other people do in the woods when they think no one else will “catch” them doing these illegal, cruel and just plain stupid things. People are selfish no matter what “sport” they are doing there are very few who only harvest what they need, don’t litter and put things back the way they found them. There are hunters, fisherman, mountain bike riders, horseback riders, and hikers who make messes and destroy stuff for the fun of it as well as people in little jacked up trucks who just have to put their mark on the land. Fixing people as a whole is too much of a project but I will just say that many people would be surprised what a very clear story they leave behind.

  95. dave smith Avatar
    dave smith

    Linda–I think we’d agree on almost everything, and champion ethical conduct around bears.

  96. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    Good morning everybody. That´s the trouble with the time difference, only a slim chance for a spontaneous response. Upon reading again what I said it became quite clear that the meaning was a little bit misleading. To be more precise:
    If you go out with dogs and drive a scared animal up a tree, it does – from a psychological view – not matter if you shoot it dead with a rifle or if you take a picture of the living animal. You always document your “kill” and the proof of your dominance over that animal (preferably predator of course).

  97. blaise Avatar

    I’m not into hounds and bears, but I’m am an avid outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman. It seems to me that there is an adundance of hypocrisy here – let me explain. Most people who find working with hounds or hunting distasteful, do so out of concern for the wildlife. No arguement there, except these same people golf, live in new sub-divsions, shop at mega-malls, travel to and from large airports, work or develop business/retail parks and so on. It is non-debatable that DEVEOPMENT and LOSS OF HABITAT is the overwhemlming factor in wildlife decline. If you use hounds and tree a bear, you have just pissed off ONE bear – if you build a sub-division, shopping mall, airport or golf course, you have just lost an entire HERD, or ALL bears in the region. A local freeway just added in my neck of the woods is responsible for vehicles killing 51 deer just in the past six months – all meat lost also. So while I can appreciate folks disliking hounds harassing bears, I wonder why your passion and compassion doesn’t apply to your golf game or shopping excursions in places were an entire herd has been wiped out (?).

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Brian Ertz