Charges in grizzly bear death near Ditch Creek (WY)

Although this has been discussed in comments on other threads, here is the news story-

Charges in grizzly bear death near Ditch Creek. By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole Daily.

This bear might have been the cub (now a sub-adult) of locally famous grizzly bear 399.

Although this story has already been discussed in some comments, I think it merits a full post.





  1. jdubya Avatar

    What a piece of crap this guy is. He should lose hunting rights for the rest of his life. For those of you that scream about the uselessness of pepper spray, this would have been a PERFECT opportunity for it. This story really pisses me off because the bear was killed for no reason. The wrong carnivore died that day.

  2. DumOleBob Avatar

    This hunter got a real break for on the Saturday he killed the bear the grizzly was listed in Wyoming as Trophy Game Animal, and not on the Federal Endangered Species Act. Thus he faces only the charge of taking an animal without a license. Of course on Monday, two days later, the Grizzly went back on the Endangered List! Grrrr…

    No matter what fine this fellow has to pay the important thing is to send a message to everyone visiting bear country – especially hunters.

    Everyone – Carry and use bear pepper spray as your first line of defense.

    If you see any bear sign be extra cautions, make noise, be alert, circumnavigate and just the heck outta there
    If you see bear sign anywhere near a gut pile or downed animal, slowly back off. The bear has already won!

    Hunters – be absolutely sure of your target before you shoot.

    My thanks to Wyoming Game & Fish and the Teton County prosecutor for following through with the investigation and filing charges involving a topic, which is not always that well supported across the state by the public.

  3. Ryan Avatar

    Here is a better idea than Bear spray/Hunter bashing.. (hikers have done the same things). Learn Bear behavior, read a couple articles and or books and these incidents could be avoided. Blasting a round in the air would have most likely scarred this bear off, instead some alarmist retard probably put this guy on high alert with some dumbass story and provoked the shooting.


    “The wrong carnivore died that day.”

    Classy 🙁

  4. Jeff Avatar

    This is the perfect scenario that I mentioned to Dave Smith the other day and he conveniently dodged the question…. Pepper spray is appropriate in these “non suprise” encounters. He had the time to decide and he chose to use a gun because he chose to not to carry bear spray…This where the “bear spray cult” is correct.

  5. Craig Avatar

    jdubya Says:“The wrong carnivore died that day.”

    Bears are omnivores.

  6. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    Grizzly’s diet is omnivorous but there family is carnivora.

  7. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    Unfortunately, jdubya always thinks someone should die? As long as it is someone deemed to be against what is believed..

  8. dailyjacksonhole Avatar

    The park may have admitted they are sure its #615, read this press release:

    “The recent illegal killing of grizzly bear #615 by a hunter in the Ditch Creek area east of Grand Teton makes a compelling case for hunters to carry bear spray and be alert while in the field. Scientific studies indicate that bear spray is more effective than bullets in defusing a potentially life-threatening bear-human encounter; bear spray provides more effective protection for the hunter as well as the bear.”

    Note they do not say “might have been 615” they just say it was 615. Obviously we need to wait for the DNA results but there were no other nears in the area….

  9. DumOleBob Avatar

    I don’t see the National Park Service having any role in this since the incident took place entirely outside of their jurisdiction. I don’t know why they would have played any role in the investigation. I would be surprised to learn they know anymore than the general public.

    399 cub or not the tragedy is she was a sub adult female, who now will not add any cubs to the population. A serious loss! There were probably eight different grizzly bears (including the four member 399 family) seen in the three Ditch Creek Valleys during 2008 so who knows who this one belonged to. We may never know who her mom was.

    It appears the perpetrator faces a fine of not more than $10,000.00 nor less than $5,000.00, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Unless he can convince the court he acted in self-defense. Hopefully, he will get enough of a fine to make others think twice before hurling lead.

    On the plus side, for whatever reason, this fellow did voluntarily go to Wyoming Game and Fish rather than trying to hide his dastardly deed. Heaven only knows how many poached bears and wolves have never been reported or found in Wyoming.

  10. dewey Avatar

    We are fortunate that more Grizzlies have not been shot by “hunters” during the month of September, when many high country wilderness Elk seasons are open in Wyoming. Perhaps it was the unusually warm dry weather this past month. I dunno.

    The underlying current here is the high incidence of human caused Grizzly mortalities , especially breeding females. Here’s a quote from Louisa Willcox’s most recent blogpost ” Grizzly mortalities climbed, breaching allowable levels in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. (They were also only one female bear shy of breaching mortality levels in 2007.) “. The response from Fish & Wildlife to the alarming number of bears being killed a the hands of humans those years ? Move the goalposts and Delist the bear anyway. Chris Servheen kept ratcheting up the mortality quotas to prevent automatic re-listing. Judge Molloy’s admonition last month to USF&WS resulting in relisting them was a condemnation of Servheen/USF&WS ignoring their own findings .

    As I write this, it’s early October and the first real winter storm of the season is approaching just as Elk hunting season kicks into high gear. I’m somewhat concerned that more bears will be shot, some in self defense but possibly others at the hands of the ” Shoot Shovel and Shut Up ” cabal as a backlash to Molloy’s ruling and a widespread but erroneous belief that we have too many Grizzly Bears in the GYE already . The question above about the number of bears killed that are never reported is a valid one.

  11. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Dewey, there is always that risk of grizzlies being shot, but I think it maybe worse now that they are on the list and so many people think the area is overpopulated. I know plenty of people on the Montana side of the GYE who think there are too many bears because more have been sighted. I guess bears are not meant to be seen? Of course nobody ever said elk were overpopulated even though they are about the only animals that were.

  12. Linda Hunter Avatar

    ProWolf I love your statement:

    I guess bears are not meant to be seen?

    I guess not!

  13. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    It sure seems that way doesn’t it Linda?


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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