October was a bad month for grizzly bears in NW Montana

October is always bad; this year worse.

Even so,  NW Montana grizzly mortality is low compared to that in Greater Yellowstone. It’s pretty clear to me that the Yellowstone grizzly needed to be put back on the list, just as Judge Molloy did. Fortunately, grizzly deaths are down this year in the Greater Yellowstone.

Grizzly bears fared poorly this October in Montana.  By Rob Chaney. The Missoulian



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  1. April Clauson Avatar
    April Clauson

    I was just reading this. So it looks like hunter’s have killed the majority of the bears. If they are not bear aware by now they never will be. Poachers will go to H—for sure. I doubt that any measures the wls or f&g do will help. They will not make folks use bear proof trash cans, they will not make them get educated when they move there, they will not make them take the food for the dogs & cats in etc….they need to make rules and fine people that do not adhere to them. Once a person gets a 500.00 fine for leaving the trash out for the bears to get they will remember or they will move back to where they came from, hopefully. Sad Sad SAd….

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    They were certainly able to get bear proof trash cans in the towns adjacent to Yellowstone Park.

    It’s NW Montana where I haven’t seen much during my visits there.

  3. nabeki Avatar

    This is an ongoing tragedy for the grizzly. Grain spills from trains are a big problem too, especially since the railroad doesn’t do a very good job of cleaning it up, hence more dead bears. The tracks run right though bear country adjacent to Glacier.

    It always goes back to Grizzly Heaven/Grizzly Hell. I don’t see anyway to stop it, since humans have such a poor learning curve.


  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I don’t think the grizzlies in Northwest Montana are doing so badly. I kept trying to point out that they are now splling out onto the plains, but commenters only wanted to write about pepper spray versus shotguns in berry patches.

  5. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    The good news, no humans have been killed by bears this fall.

  6. Cobra Avatar

    I’m only about a half an hour from the border of northwest Montana. My in-laws live in Thompson Falls and spend a lot of time in the bull river area and around Noxon. They’ve shown me several articles in the local papers over the last 2 or 3 years with pictures of grizzlies on peoples porches and in their yards etc. The over flow of bears seems to be coming into north Idaho as we are seeing more sign of them in the cda drainage year after year and f&g finally says in their literature that grizzlies may be encountered in the panhandle


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