Paradise Valley hunter mauled by grizzly bear

This one may not have serious injury to the hunter-

I want to note that JerryB posted a version this story as a comment earlier, but it isn’t good to post an entire story because they are copyrighted.

Paradise Valley hunter mauled by grizzly bear. By Ben Pierce. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. One hunter seems to have been mauled briefly as the bear was running from the other hunter. Back in the days of good whitebark pine crops at this time of year grizzlies would be up very high, not down among the gut piles. At least I think this might be part of what is going on here.





  1. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    Over on the Ynet forum folks discuss a rather strange incident in Alaska under the headline “Men kill bear in front of wildlife watchers, troopers”. You might want to check out the article under
    I´m not sure if this has been noted here on this blog already (not too much time at the moment to stay tuned)

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Thanks Peter,

    I read the article, but didn’t get around to posting it.

    Thank you!

  3. Mike Avatar

    This is another problem with the hunting style. When spread out, you create a “net”, and will flush a grizly into anothern person.

    We really need to start looking at hunting in these areas.

  4. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Thanks Mike – where exactly would YOU like us to hunt? Maybe you could use some of OUR taxpayer money to STUDY the situation and then TELL US where to hunt.

  5. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson


    Concerning the theory of White Bark, until the bears in my area of the Park were habituated to gut piles they DID stay in the high country White Bark areas. But by the early 1990’s with the first shots in the Valley all those bears made a bee line to those intensive salt baited killing areas.

    One time on the south boundary trail…and on my way to another cabin, I saw eleven different griz tracks coming off the Two Ocean Plateau…all heading to the Yellowstone and the “killing fields”.

    I’d say by now, whether it is the Thorofare or north of the Park in Montana, all the bears are thoroughly habituated to gun shots…and I’d also say if the bear management knew how to relate collared bear movement, day bedding and outfitter illegal salts location they would see a direct correlation.

    But alas every biologist is too afraid to even think of doing this kind of assessment. It was difficult for them to even admit bears “tended to leave” Yellowstone during the elk hunting season. When my salt baiting- griz mortality connection case was full blown, the Yell. Bear office said, through the press, they saw no correlation.

    Only later did they supposedly come up with an “independent” substantiation to confirm this.

    Instead of getting to the nitty gritty of what is causing these bear maulings and deaths they focused on removing food sources in developed country. Yes, it was needed but nothing like addressing how hunters hunt in bear country. Number one is getting rid of bear habituation so bears do stay in White Bark pine country instead of flowing inmass to elk hunting areas.

  6. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    Talks with bears
    I am absolutely sure that nobody even remotely considers to curtail those precious and constitutional right to hunt whenever and wherever you desire. But could you imagine that maybe with a little brainstorming (maybe even with the help of some of YOUR taxpayers money – brilliant idea, I like it) a solution for those all too many hunter/bear conflicts could be found? Hunting with less colateral and bilateral damage! Or do you think that the current attrition rate of hunters and bears is acceptable?

  7. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    Talks with bears,

    To answer your question,

    One, In griz country you stay with every elk killed until you pack all of it out. No boning or quick quartering. The only thing left is the gut pile. If you can’t bring along the man power or stock to do it then you don’t hunt griz country. And if you think stock will scare away your elk so be it if you can’t figure out how to ride, lead stock or hunt at the same time. The private hunters in thorofare had to do just this…only in this case if they didn’t the outfitters busted up their hunt or drug the gutted elk all around when the privates went back for packing stock.

    Ya, and you say you can hang it in a tree. I have yet to see any elk hung in the field, on site, that is more than a token effort.

    Two, Any elk killed near a trail needs to have the gut pile drug more than a quarter mile off that trail. If this means you haul a tarp along so be it. This requirement is the Law in Bridger Teton Wilderness. They never enforce it however.

    Three, any spot where elk are killed needs flagging on the path 200 yards in each direction. Color of flagging needs to be universal for that week. Thorofare outfitters do this for their own guides in their own hunting territory. It needs to be extended to all hunting areas where Griz also occupy.

    Signs need to be posted at trail heads as to where every elk was killed and the date of that killing. If it is open flats with no trail head then a central location pull out where driving by hunters can see this location before heading out is a must.

    Enforcement on illegal salt baiting and signs showing where these illegal salts are needs to be identified at every pertinent trail head. The salting and thus concentrated killing areas (same as griz occupied salmon run areas) have to be known. The salting is hapening by every outfitter surrounding Yellowstone. they know where these high potential griz feeding and day bedding contact areas are, but do you think they are going to warn the privates? NO.

    I guess to summarize habituation has to cease. This means all of each animal, except the head, four lower legs and interior body gut pile, stays and leaves with the hunter. No variances given.

    Then communication of every kill site needs to be made available to every hunter or hiker using this area during hunting season.

    Lastly, once and for all get rid of the salt baited killing fields.

    What I list above are the answers. Still want to hunt? Probably not, but what I list is exactly what all hunters did 50 years ago. Hunting now is lazy mans “sport”. Which are you?

  8. Elk275 Avatar


    “This is another problem with the hunting style. When spread out, you create a “net”, and will flush a grizzly into anothern person.

    We really need to start looking at hunting in these areas.”

    This could have happen to two hikers just as easy. These are areas that do not have a lot of hikers in the summer months. One thing is that horse hunters not do seem to have as many bear encounters as foot hunters.


    “Or do you think that the current attrition rate of hunters and bears is acceptable?”

    I have been in that county for the last fifty years. When grizzly bear hunting was curtailed the population increased and one is going to have incidents. There are more people in the mountains these days and more bears. It is just coming down to 6 billion on earth.

    Peter do you want your constitutional rights curtail such as being able to right on this forum. I like to hunt and that is the way it is and will be. The states control the hunting.

  9. Ryan Avatar


    While the article definately puts things in a bad light (ADN article) I’m glad to see some bears getting removed from that area (I guided on the Kenai for a bit and know that stretch well). Its always been a hot bed of bear activity there with numerous problems each year.

  10. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    Elk 275
    To again avoid any misunderstanding: Over the years I have always insisted on this blog that I do not have a basic problem with hunting (ok, i admit, with trophy hunting maybe :-))! If you like to hunt that is perfectly ok for me! But, as you say, with close to 6 billion on earth, we all cannot behave like hundred years ago – and this is also valid for hunters! And yes, this is also valid for America, where hunting seems more an obsession or a fetish! Good, leave everything untouched and just as it is and was. Let´s sacrifice some hunters and some bears every autumn. At least for the Griz that popular en-/de-list game could be started again. Cure the symptoms not the desease. Sorry for being cynical again but this seems to be exactly what everybody want´s.

  11. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    yes, could well be, thus I´m not sure if removing a bears is always the appropriate solution. Nevertheless what does however upset me and always trigger my cynism is how this oviously was conducted (just bad style): Move in, bang bang, move out! That might be perfectly legal but it leaves a bad taste.

  12. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Bob – ” 50 years ago everyone hunted this way” – substantial written and photographic evidence exist to the contrary – never allow facts to get in the way of a good story. ” Which are you ” – where I choose to hunt is generally several miles and many verticle feet from where the truck tires stop – no trails to be concerned with – all meat is boned out – when you return to the kill site the following year it appears the leftovers have been appreciated, nothing remains. According to you, I am a lazy hunter because I do not hunt with a group of people or own stock so that all of your requirements can be met. So be it.

  13. mikepost Avatar

    Bob’s comments about illegal salting are right on. It draws prey animals to concentrated sites and makes gut piles common in certain areas and thus habituates the bears even more. I have even seen guys selling salt blocks at outdoor sport shows designed to look like native rock material to avoid detection. There is no other reason for that and it should be illegal.

  14. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Peter – clearly, if we as a country choose to devote resources to promoting apex predators there will be collateral and bilateral damage. Difficult to say if the current rate is acceptable – your solution to ban hunting would certainly lower the rate of damage as would the removal of the bears. Not sure where you are headed on constitutional rights regarding the freedom to hunt when and where one wishes – ever heard of private property rights and state or federal game laws?

  15. Alan Avatar

    Why not delay the start of the hunting season a few weeks in these grizzly hot spots until bears start denning up? With all the snow being predicted over the next week, I wouldn’t think that it will be long now.
    Doesn’t snow cover increase hunter success rate as well? Seems like that is what I always read. Could be win-win?
    Just a couple questions for those who know more about it than I.
    Bob’s suggestions also seem to make a lot of sense. What is clear is that certain areas need to have special regulations.

  16. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson


    You may be the “perfect” hunter but a lot of your comrades are not. That is why I said in bear country ALL elk should be full quartered and hauled out. This needs to be done until carcass habituation stops. Then there can be adjustments made. Hunters “slob” caused the problem. They need to fix it.

  17. Layton Avatar


    “What I list above are the answers. Still want to hunt? Probably not, but what I list is exactly what all hunters did 50 years ago. Hunting now is lazy mans “sport”.”

    I’ve been around and an ACTIVE elk hunter for most of those 50 years that you talk about — emphasize the “talk”. Not sure what kind of a dream walk you have been on .

    BUT – in a word or two — bullshit!! I’m not nearly as verbose as you seem to be, but that should get the point across.

  18. Alan Avatar

    Talks with: Here’s the thing: This is a big country. Huge. There are hundreds of thousands of acres of prime elk, deer, moose, pronghorn, bighorn habitat that is not also grizzly bear habitat. People have many amazing forms of transportation that will take them hundreds of miles within a matter of hours. People have also been given by God (or Nature, or whatever you believe in) the power of reason, and incredible abilities to solve problems.
    Grizzly bears, on the other hand, are making a last stand in the lower forty eight, in a few relatively small (comparatively speaking) areas, after having been wiped out in 98% of their former range. They can’t jump in their car and move. They can’t reason. They can only continue to do what they have done for millions of years.
    Now I don’t think that this has anything whatsoever to do with
    “constitutional rights regarding the freedom to hunt when and where one wishes” any more than saying that you cannot hunt in Yellowstone or a city park does. You are also already restricted as to “when” you can hunt by hunting seasons.
    What this is about is whether or not we, as human beings, are “humane” enough to make a few adjustments in a few areas to preserve a few of these great symbols of wilderness.
    Are we the advanced life form that we seem to think we are, able to solve any problem in a single bound, or are we just killers driven by instinct; so incredibly selfish that we are unable to share what little remains of grizzly (or wolf, for that matter) habitat?
    That is what is truely at issue here. What kind of species are we, really?

  19. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Alan – I agree with most of your point, however; you see it on this website and others ” a few adjustments ” would never stand – many want big adjustments and they have a powerful force on their side – the Federal Government. As the “few adjustments” were deemed successful they would be expanded – a tough road to travel.

  20. Alan Avatar

    “-many want big adjustments and they have a powerful force on their side – the Federal Government.” If that were true, changes such as those suggested by Bob, or changes to the hunting season (or changes to hunting areas) would have already been made.

  21. April Clauson Avatar
    April Clauson

    Well said Alan, I have suggested the same on many occasions, yet as you can tell some folks just care about themselves, no matter what the cost. Sad…..

  22. Elk275 Avatar

    The more that I read this blog and similar blogs the more I believe that there are those who want the federal government to control all wildlife. The state have historically have controlled the wildlife and have done the best that they can.

    The constitution expressly gives the state the authority to manage their wildlife.

    Amendment X

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

  23. Jay Avatar

    Maybe not all wildlife, just the species deemed “undesirable” (i.e., not a deer or elk that sells lots of tags).

  24. Ryan Avatar


    On that we can agree..

  25. Alan Avatar

    “The constitution expressly gives the state the authority to manage their wildlife.
    Amendment X
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
    I understand where you are coming from, Elk; but I don’t see where this “expressly gives the state the authority to manage their wildlife.” Remember that the “people” are represented by their elected officials, both state and federal.
    Be that as it may, I don’t necessarily want the federal government in charge of “managing” wildlife. Look how they have “managed” predators in the name of the all mighty cow.
    The feds slaughter tens of thousands of animals and birds every year. Rarely do you hear ranchers or hunters complain about federal meddling when WS flies in and wipes out an entire wolf pack from the air because they killed a couple of sheep.
    Montana, for example, actually has a pretty good track record
    in “managing” wildlife, with a couple of glaring exceptions, most notably bison.
    But when the American people have a vested interest in a particular species; such as grizzly bears, wolves and even bison for that matter, because they have spent millions in taxpayer dollars (whether those taxpayers lived in Florida, New York, California or Montana), then I think that the feds have a responsibility to those taxpayers. We are, afterall, The United States of America, one country under God……, not a conglomeration of independent countries. Our representatives spent our money, from all of us, to protect these animals. It is now their job to do that.
    When it all boils down to it, hunters and ranchers in the area are small special interest groups.
    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” We the people (the majority), whose money was used to protect these animals, have illustrated time and again in polls that we want these animals running free in the Northern Rockies.
    Now you can say, “Put them in Central Park, then;” but we all know that isn’t going to happen. We all know that the habitat isn’t there, it’s here. This is the last, best place. Now maybe at some time in the future, wolves and grizzlies might be able to be re-introduced to isolated areas in California, Colorado or some other state; but we have to save them here first. If we can’t save them here, how are we going to save them there?
    For anyone who complains I would say, “Go live a year in Los Angeles.” You will happily return and learn to live with the bears, wolves and bison. Those lucky enough to live here live in one of the most beautiful, wild places left on the planet. A place that would not be nearly so special without these magnificent animals.

  26. JB Avatar

    Alan, Elk:

    States have the authority to manage wildlife in the absence of conflicting federal legislation. There are numerous examples (e.g. migratory bird treaty, endangered species act, wild free-roaming horse and burro act) of the federal government asserting its authority. When the federal and state legislation comes into conflict, the Supreme Court has made it clear that federal authority reigns.

  27. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    With the many state sovereignty cases around the country right now, I think we may see a change in that in the future..

  28. Elk275 Avatar


    So you want the federal goverment to manage wildlife?

  29. JB Avatar

    SB: I very much doubt that, given that the Federal government draws its authority directly from the constitution.

    ELK: I don’t see where my desires are relevant at all, but since you asked, no I don’t want to see the federal government manage wildlife. Rather, I would like to see a system of funding wildlife that is not so reliant on sportsmen (and women) and, more to the point, a system of management that is not so hell bent on catering to them (e.g. Missouri’s Department of Conservation).

  30. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Save Bears,

    I think the Supreme Court will put these state sovereignty 10th Amendment cases to rest pretty soon.

    If they uphold the states rights positions (unlikely) this country will split apart pretty quick because the truth is we Americans don’t like each much another more.

  31. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    At any rate, it doesn’t have to come to this. People talk about bringing in the federal government because they hope it will force the MT FWP Commission to do something. I don’t know that they will, but if enough people get mauled and bears killed, FWP might think of some creative modification of the hunting season, rules, area, all, or some of these.

  32. JB Avatar


    As a follow up…

    Frankly, I think the number of conflicts between hunters and large carnivores is surprisingly small. So long as hunters are willing to take the risk and predator populations are not adversely affected, I don’t really see a problem. However, there is no question that when you put grizzly bears and people in proximity with few controls that people and bears will be killed from time to time.

  33. Elk275 Avatar

    I was out eating lunch and I have to start working; All of us have house payments, insurance and cedit cards to pay. But….

    This thread is about incident with a mauling in Paradise Valley. One of the problems with Paradise Valley is access. The valley is 60 miles long and there are approximately 10 access points on each side of the valley, therefore hunters are condensed into about 20 access points. There is no block management land in the valley and all landowners are into commerical hunting and fishing. Where is there is access the hunter densities per mile/km are going to be higher than national forest lands. This a thought.

    This is a result of building a railroad to Yellowstone National Park as the government rewarded the railroad every other section of land.

  34. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    We will have to disagree, I will wait to see the outcome of these various actions..The results will be interesting to see…

  35. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    Based on what I see going on all over the country, I think the states have split apart…

    “we Americans don’t like each much another more”

    what does this mean?

  36. Elk275 Avatar

    This was a bill that separated hunters and hunting organizations and pitted them against each other. This allowed the states to detirmine who got what hunting licenses. If the western states can get this bill pass what else could we do.

    Please Read: Respecting the traditional authority of individual states. The regulation of wildlife has traditionally been within a state’s purview. It is in the best interest of the state and federal governments to ensure that states retain the authority to regulate wildlife.

    August 2005 UPDATE: S.339 IS LAW.

    Senator Reid attached the bill to a budget resolution and successfully negotiated its passage out of the Senate and on to the desk of the President where it was signed into law. One Nevada hunter called Senator Reid “The man who saved hunting in Nevada.” That’s one hunter’s view, but it not just a brag, Reid’s fast action has impacted hunting in the West forever. Resident hunters who do the huge share of conservation for our big game animals can now count on traditional state control of wildlife management.

    Please also see Nevada info in detail from the NV Dept. of Wildlife.


    Reaffirmation of State Regulation of Resident and Nonresident Hunting and Fishing Act of 2005 (Introduced in Senate)

    S 339 IS

    109th CONGRESS

    1st Session

    S. 339

    To reaffirm the authority of States to regulate certain hunting and fishing activities.


    February 9, 2005
    Mr. REID (for himself, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. STEVENS, Mr. NELSON of Nebraska, and Mr. ENSIGN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

    (See this link )

    History behind the legislation:

    Congress was given the power to regulate interstate commerce by Article I of the Constitution. This power to regulate has been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court to also give Congress the power to regulate activities which negatively impact interstate commerce, commonly referred to as the “negative” or “dormant Commerce Clause.”

    The Court has cited the dormant Commerce Clause when denying the states the power to unjustifiably discriminate against or burden the interstate flow of articles of commerce. If a state regulation has a substantial effect on interstate commerce, then the subject matter of the state regulation, which could be regulated by Congress under the Commerce Clause, becomes subject to the dormant Commerce Clause.

    Congress does have the power to specifically exempt a state regulated activity from the dormant Commerce Clause. In 1890, when the Supreme Court decided that the regulation of alcoholic beverages lay beyond the reach of the states, Congress promptly overrode that decision with the Webb-Kenyon Act. Thereafter, the Court upheld Congress’ authority to commit the regulation of liquor imports to state authority.

    Motivation for legislation:

    The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded that a state recreational hunting regulation substantially affects interstate commerce such that the dormant Commerce Clause applies and ruled that state laws that distinguish between state residents and non-residents for the purpose of affording hunting and related privileges are constitutionally suspect. Although the Ninth Circuit found the purposes of such regulation to be sound, the Court questioned the validity of tag limits for non-resident hunters. The Ninth Circuit ruling has spawned litigation in other states, and several pending lawsuits threaten each state’s wildlife regulatory authority.

    What the Bill Would Do:

    The bill creates an exemption to the dormant Commerce Clause in order to give each state the right to regulate access to hunting and fishing. This is done by a renunciation of federal interest in regulating hunting and fishing. The reasons for creating this exception include the following:
    Allowing states to distinguish and/or discriminate between residents and non-residents ensures the protection of state wildlife and protects resident hunting and fishing opportunities.
    Protecting the public interest of individual states’ conservation efforts. Sportsmen and local organizations are extremely active in the conservation of fish and game. They support wildlife conservation through taxes, fees, and locally led non-profit conservation efforts.
    Respecting the traditional authority of individual states. The regulation of wildlife has traditionally been within a state’s purview. It is in the best interest of the state and federal governments to ensure that states retain the authority to regulate wildlife.

  37. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Save Bears,

    There are a growing number of people put their party or ideology, or their occupation, or their religion above their national identity. They dislike Americans of a different ideology, religion, etc. more than they love their country.

    I am saying American nationalism is dying and that nation-state as such will only persist for a while more.

  38. April Clauson Avatar
    April Clauson

    I agree with Ralph on the fact that One Nation under God and Indivisible just does not apply anymore. too many foreigners here now and our own country/states/government will not even let us have the word God anywhere anymore, put up a cross and folks sue you over it. American are not out to help each other and their neighbors anymore, not everyone, but a big majority, is out for what they can have and not caring what the cost is to get it, weather it be land, animals, jobs, etc……I have been almost ashamed to say I am proud of America, cause at this point I am not!

  39. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    “……American are not out to help each other and their neighbors anymore, not everyone, but a big majority, is out for what they can have and not caring what the cost is to get it, weather it be land, animals, jobs, etc……”
    Which is just what Big business / wall street has been teaching us for years. Those entities have no allegiance to anything but themselves and America has been lapping that image up for decades. JMO

  40. timz Avatar

    I think the animal kingdom is rising up taking revenge. Check this out.

  41. JB Avatar


    S.229 was, in my view, “feel good” legislation (i.e. legislation without any teeth). The important piece of the bill is section three, which describes its limitations:


    Nothing in this Act shall be construed–

    (1) to limit the applicability or effect of any Federal law related to the protection or management of fish or wildlife or to the regulation of commerce;

    (2) to limit the authority of the United States to prohibit hunting or fishing on any portion of the lands owned by the United States; or

    (3) to abrogate, abridge, affect, modify, supersede or alter any treaty-reserved right or other right of any Indian tribe as recognized by any other means, including, but not limited to, agreements with the United States, Executive Orders, statutes, and judicial decrees, and by Federal law.”

    You can read the actual text of the bill here:

  42. Mike Avatar

    ++What this is about is whether or not we, as human beings, are “humane” enough to make a few adjustments in a few areas to preserve a few of these great symbols of wilderness.
    Are we the advanced life form that we seem to think we are, able to solve any problem in a single bound, or are we just killers driven by instinct; so incredibly selfish that we are unable to share what little remains of grizzly (or wolf, for that matter) habitat?
    That is what is truely at issue here. What kind of species are we, really?++

    Great points. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of the population shows a basic level of self awareness. Then you have a segment that just doesn’t care. Topping it off is a large group that is just completely oblivious – the primary reason it’s such a pain to get wilderness legislation passed even though it polls incredibly well.

    The more people remove themselves from nature, the more we slip away I think from a common bond and understanding. If half the people that took vacations to Paris or Las Vegas went to Glacier NP or Yellowstone(or any of the major national parks), we’d be much better off – *especailly* if they went tent camping and observed the night sky.

  43. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Part of the problem is that people who live in the same place as a special, but maybe sometimes troublesome animal, don’t see it as special.

    Likewise, people who grow in pretty places in America, I have noticed, often are just horrible when it comes to protecting them. A good example is the late Cliff Hansen, former Wyoming governor and senator, who grew up in Jackson Hole and whose praises were sung as he was just interred at age 97.

  44. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    speaking of mauling, a ten foot great white shark, and then a bigger one happened by,

  45. Mike Avatar

    Good point, Ralph. I’m from what is most probably the least scenic part of the country (Chicago), no joke. There are no hills here at all of any kind except for trash dumps(this is not an exagerration). There are few pines, so winter is bare trees. There are no wild areas at all(this is also not an exagerration). To get to a national forest, it’s five hours. To get to a roadless area, it’s six hours. The same for finding a cold water stream that holds trout.

    There is virtually no public land at all here except for southern Illinois which is at least five ours away(Shawnee National Forest). To get to a major wildland it’s 11 hours to Northern Minnesota and the world famous Boundary Waters Canoe Area. To get to a decent sized wilderness(40,000 acres), it’s 7 hours to Porcupine Mountains State Park.

    I can tell you that when I head west, even just into western North Dakota the scenery becomes incredible for me. TRNP blowes me away, even the ranch lands with all the hawks. Maybe I’m just not used to it, and that’s why, or maybe I’m just happy to see some scenery.

    You guys are lucky to have what you have out there. After visiting the rockies for a month this fall, I stopped back at a couple parks I hadn’t seen before. One of them was Wind Cave in South Dakota. I was shocked at how great it was – expecting just a fast, OK experience. There was a bunch of elk, mule deer, golden eagles, prairie dogs and other creatures in the largest remnant of the mixed grass prairie. This was mixed with large stands of ponderosa pine. I thought to myself, “If Illinois even had one place like this, it would be an incredible thing”. But it doesn’t.

    To be able to head out for a weekend, out your door to a nice wildland is a really cool thing.

  46. mikepost Avatar

    Ralph, I suspect you are right, but I don’t like it….

  47. emma Avatar

    Grizzlies injure too many hunters. Why? Montana Fish Wildlife Parks needs to figure out why so many kunters are injured, and then solve the problem.

    Closing areas to elk hunting while grizzlies are out and about won’t sit well with hunters, guides, and other businesses than benefit from hunting.

    All hunters (except archery hunters) are carrying guns, yet they still get hurt. Why? Is the problem that guns don’t work? Is that problem that hunters don’t know how to use their guns?

    Some hunters don’t carry bear spray. Why? There aren’t many cases when hunters have used bear spray. Why? Is the problem that hunters don’t know how to use bear spray?

  48. Peter Kiermeir Avatar

    Talks with Bears
    Certainly my English sometimes eludes me because you and maybe a few others on this blog think that I advocate a total ban of hunting. So here the clear statement again, that this is and never was the case. But: I take the freedom to challenge and question “Hunting” at every cost. You Americans have the constitutional right to hunt. It is not a privilege it is a right. Fine and accepted. Why is this the case ? I do not know for sure, I´m not so familiar how this elaborated (maybe somebody here could enlighten me) but I could well imagine that the body that formulated this right had in mind that in old Europe hunting was indeed a privilege to be performed only by the privileged with heavy punishment for the underprivileged if those attempted to hunt. Certainly they saw the need to grant this right to everybody out of the sheer necessity to feed a fledgling nation. But, is a right to hunt automatically an obligation to hunt? Certainly not! So why is it impossible to say: I, the legitimate hunter, voluntarily relinquish my constitutional right to hunt for a limited time period and/or within a certain geographical area for the benefit of wildlife (in this case bears)? Would these already be an undue and unacceptable curtailing of the constitutional right to hunt whenever and wherever you desire ? Ah yes, as an avid follower of this blog since it´s creation I have occasionally heard of private property rights. If I understood that correctly it´s the right to post such signs as shown on the wolf poaching thread :-))

  49. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I haven’t written about this, but the U.S. Constitution has never been interpreted to say that Americans have a “right” to hunt. Some state constitutions have been amended to make this a right in that state. I’m sure you know this, but American states are politically similar to the provinces of other countries or in Germany, the Länder.

    Nevertheless, American political discourse has been dominated by talk about about “rights” for a long time, due to the fact that early liberal political philosophers such as John Locke had great influence over the founders of the American nation-state. This is not say the average American has ever heard of Locke, or John Stuart Mill, but these early political thinkers’ ideas infuse the political culture.

    As a result when an American feels strongly about a political claim, they often assert they have a right or that someone else doesn’t have one a right. For example, public land ranchers have loudly proclaimed they have “grazing rights,” not a mere lease from the government, subject to modification or cancellation. They maintain this despite the fact the highest court has ruled otherwise, but American political argument requires that you continue to claim you have a right as long as you can convince some people.

    “Rights talk” goes far beyond land and wildlife issues. A current dispute is the plan for medical care reform in the U.S. President Obama has stated all Americans have a right to medical care. Many of his opponents have said no, medical care should be available only to those who have the money to purchase it.

  50. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson


    I imagine you are being understated when you say MFWP might get “creative” with hunting seasons etc. if enough griz get killed.

    I say this because it is so easy for anyone to see, then implement the measures necessary and still allow the same level of hunting. The folks at MFWP, Wyo. G&F and Idaho counterparts can see the problems. It is just anyone in these dept. (or Yell. or Interagency Bear Management) who care at all would be risking their careers to say hunters legally are now required to minimze unnatural food sources (carcasses included).

    Instead they push the peripheral issues…the trash cans near Cody etc.

    The bears become habituated in the back country THEN go to the front country with this habituation. It isn’t the other way around. No, it won’t take care of all bears and people habituation but it would go furtherest in minimizing these bear maulings and deaths.

    The points I stated about anybody familar with hunting and bears could figure it out. Every outfitter could put a plan together…except it would initially impair his livelyhood.

    They would go for part of it…packing whole animals out…even though they are the worst offenders …..because they know this would take out a lot of the foot hunter competition. But do you think they would ever want to divulge the locations of where they killed their elk? No.

    Every hunter would cry foul, if any part of their normal routine was impacted. Just look at Layton’s and TWB’s defensive posturing. But it is the change of hunters that caused this problem. And this change is a move to the lazy and uninformed.

    No indigenous hunter would have left the ribs, nor any Mt. Man or settler if they had the means to transport as we do today. The bones and connective tissue of the front quarter has more nutrition than any solid red meat on any animal. Those that had to depend on food for nutrition instinctively knew this because their body told them.

    The predators in Thorofare eat the front quarter before the hind and the suposed modern knowledgable hunters can’t see this as applicable to themselves or their families.

    So one gets all these honorable hunters either leaving the rib cage or “boning” it out. For the bears it would be like us eating the seed portion of a watermelon and leaving the inner core for the “undesirables”. They would be saying how stupid can you be. And all a hunter can say to this charge of being “moron twins” is “we are not twins” (from the movie Splash).

    The hunter has to look no further than himself to see the bear problems and then figure out the solution. Instead all he does is look forward to getting away from it all, not understanding how his primordial instincts need to be modified, and come up with a plan so his desire for wildness includes the elements that makes his urges legit…and this includes wolves and bears.

    What they are doing by yelling foul with those trying to promote existence of predators is no different than a race car driver promoting smaller horse power cars…driving consumer models ……at the Daytona 500.

    Yes, most hunters are the MORON TWINS. In fact, most don’t even know what being a hunter really means.

  51. Elk275 Avatar

    This could make some people upset. In 2000, I did a drop camp on the Yanert Fork which is a tributary of the Nenana River and across the road from Denali National Park. We were hunting moose and my cousin who is an Alaska resident had a grizzly licence.

    The outfitter/packer if you could call him that, as it took him over 6 hours to get 6 riding horses and 4 pack horse ready, told us to bring a couple of gallons of Clorax along. I bought some Clorax and we used several quarts around the camp parimeter. Today I would use a electric fence.

    On the first day out my cousin walked over a small hill and saw a grizzly and it was gone now. Less than an hour later, I shot a moose less than 400 yards from our camp and we boned the animal out and bagged it up and hung it high in a tree a hundred yards from are tent.

    I took a gallon of Clorax and pour it on the moose remains, we never had a bear touch the gut pile or bones that had been left behind. Weather it works or not in all cases I do not know, but it appear to work that time. Just a thought.

  52. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    The field level seasonal forest service guys, the ones administration (because they had such a big yellow streak going down their backs) in Jackson would not support, would buy Clorex for supposed cabin cleaning…and then go to the illegal salt licks and pour it around so the elk would not use these wilderness eye sores.

    It says something about govt. careerists who can do something about these kind of things but won’t out of fear for their jobs. It is the same for G&F, FWS and Park Service administrators…and just about all biologists.

    Most probably did the same sort of thing early in their public service life as those seasonal forest service guys did with Clorex, but slowly turned into that proverbial sack of sh.. they are. What it did to them was so evident from the “outside”. I could go down the halls of Mammoth ad min building those last years and one could figuratively roll those types with an easy sweep of the arm and back of a hand.

    I will never forget the head of bear management telling me he could have done something on his end if only I would have COME TO HIM and let him know of the salting – grizzly connection. This is after he had given support in the newspapers , of what I was finding, written up in govt. reports, (before Dick Cheney and politics entered in) and a year after it had spread all over the nations newspapers.

    Wouldn’t you think he could have contacted me? No, guys like him stay in the office trembling knowing or saying anything that might differ from the political whims of day means transfer to some urban Park.

  53. Layton Avatar

    Bobby, bobby, Bobby,

    “Just look at Layton’s and TWB’s defensive posturing. But it is the change of hunters that caused this problem. And this change is a move to the lazy and uninformed”.

    Let’s just make something very clear here. It was NOT “defensive posturing” on my part when I said that you were full of shit when you talk about “hunters used to pack out full quarters, etc. etc.” Nothing defensive about it — I think you are quite enamored with your own words — in other words YOU ARE LIEING THROUGH YOUR TEETH!!

    I used to be around outfitter’s camps all the time, I was in the hills more than I was in town where I lived. I have been in the elk hunting woods EXTENSIVELY for about 45 years now and I don’t believe I have EVER seen someone pack out an elk in the manner you describe and want everyone to take as gospel.

    Just because you say it Mr. Jackson, “don’t make it so”!!

    “No indigenous hunter would have left the ribs, nor any Mt. Man or settler if they had the means to transport as we do today.”

    This little gem of a quote is REALLY out in left field. “If they had the means to transport it as we do today”?? Seems to me that the odds of the these “indigenous hunters” having stock would have been much higher then than the average hunter having that same ability today would be.

    Get a grip Bob, you aren’t on “the thorofare” any more and maybe, just maybe your memories of those days have faded a bit. Everyone is NOT a slob and everyone does NOT use salt. Some of us still do it the honest way, even tho’ Saint Robert doesn’t think so.

  54. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland

    I would not want anyone knowing where I kill my animals. Thats all I need is every Tom, Dick and Harry hunting my spots after I put tons of time and effort into locating quality animals. I think dragging the gut piles and carcasses .25 miles from trails should be common sense though and that should be practiced.

  55. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    Oh my, Layton,

    Such strong defensive words. Now we are getting somewhere. …at least that is when I knew the poachers alibis were cracking.
    On to the subject of hunters packing full quarters…long, long ago. Maybe even 30 years ago. Do you ever do so? Or in one of those outfitter camps do you see it happen now?

    How about some good ole organ meat? Do you see the outfiiters you pal around with pack this out? The last time I saw it happen the outfitter was grumbling of the hunter wanting the heart. So he looked around in the sand bar of the river, and there it was, a conglomerate pile of sand. He picked it up with both hands and it gurgled out more sand and blood as it hit the middle of the saw buck. Of course he did leave the ribs also to save on weight. But, of course he evidently didn’t have that much concern because the sides had so much sand on them it was hard to find a patch of red area. Sand weighs a lot. but then again a wreck or two on the way back to camp and most of it shakes off. Were these the outfitters you hung around with, buddy, ole pal?

    Yes, times did change on the edges of the Park through the years. When I was first there in the early 70’s all the outfitters wrapped cheese cloth around full quarters…and if it was warm they had packers on the trail next morning heading to the trail head. By the time I left a lot of pack horses had the quick quarters of two full grown elk on them.

    I have lots of photos to show of this. If you look up on the internet under “bob Jackson”, Park ranger you just might see some of those pictures. Or look through a few of your 2002-3 Bugle magzines. Had a story by Hal Herring called the “Salting of the Thorofare”. He flew the Thorofare and saw the salts. He quotes a very respected outfitter and outdoor author…and Coors Sportsman of the Year recipient, Tory Taylor where Tory tells of seeing all those elk carcasses with 75 pounds of meat on them.

    Or do you not believe a liberal magazine such as Bugle? Maybe try Field & Stream of about the same vintage. Or do youlean to True Detective or SWAT magazine (I was in the later one also..telling about a poacher or two (guides) I tracked down. In this last case they only took the cape and skull plate. Of course the Florida hunter was only giving them the $10,000 for these items…not the meat. so do you think these two long time guides ever thought of doing different to hunters that were legal?

    And as to indigenous hunters, most hunting was done on foot…and before the 1700’s they had only dogs to help. Ta Da.

  56. RE Chizmar Avatar
    RE Chizmar

    Allan, you hit it on the head — well said and sad.

  57. Layton Avatar


    I don’t know where you dredged up these “outfitters” you talk about — I haven’t seen them. As far as the sand thing goes, most of the guys that I have been around manti the packs up so there goes that theory too. You do know what a manti is — right?? Cheese cloth will keep blow flies off if meat is hung up but it doesn’t do much for packing.

    The heart and the liver usually come out with the first load on any critter I have a hand in packing.

    Not familiar with the magazines you say you starred in (Swat and True detective) but, if you were in them I’m sure they are (or were) sensational.

    Were you there in the 1700s too??

  58. Jeff Avatar

    I’m going to have to back Bob up on the use of this quick quartering technique at least regionally here in NW Wyoming. I know a number of local guys that do it and if I get my elk tomorrow I might try it…

  59. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland


    Bob is against quick quartering..

  60. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson


    And I am sure your outfitter buddies are a lot different than all the rest…that is they wash and bleach their MANTE’S before wrapping up the quarters of elk. The only baskets (panniers ….MANTE…and all the rest of those spanish origined names) and tarps I ever saw were soaked in old blood and grit. This is the system used by our sand man outfitter I posted above.

    Thus the old time outfitters who cared about meat double wrapped FIRST in cheese cloth and then used a MANTE or canvas pannier to cover this.

    There probably are a few more minerals left in the meat in your way of packing out meat, however.

    Your guys reminds me of an outfitter from Bozeman. His nick name was “peanut butter”. He got this name because he never would wash his hands, and the next morning to fix up some lunch for the hunters he would use those blood caked hands to hold the bread to make 2 peanut butter and jelly sanwiches for each hunter. That was it, just 2 P&J sanwiches for the entire day per person…and each remembered the hands that prepared these sanwiches.

    And I guess you aren’t going to sort through your hippie neighbors Rocky Mountain ElK Foundations Bugle magazines to find out outfitters (outfitters that gross $450-$500,000 in the seven week hunt) actually do illegally salt…so I will even give you the date….May-June issue 2000. Just look for the green cover with a bull elk in velvet (no, the elk is not wrapped in velvet and not puple).

  61. Layton Avatar

    Hey Bobby,

    If you are trying to point out that MANTI can be spelled either MANTE or MANTI — I get it.

    Personally I lean toward MANTI because (to me anyway) the closest origin of the word would be “mantilla” or “scarf or shawl” — that and the fact that if you want to buy some, most of the tack outfits call them MANTIs.

    But thanks anyway oh exalted one.

    By the way, has ANYONE ever done ANYTHING in the woods that would satify your God like standards??

  62. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    “Who is the best pilot (outdoorsman) you ever saw? Uh, you’re looking at him” Gordo Cooper from the movie “The Right Stuff.


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