Yellowstone grizzly sow might have killed 2 people. She is killed

The sow was implicated in the two Park deaths by grizzly this summer-

Finally two stories come together — the couple attacked near Wapiti Lake near Canyon and the lone hiker found dead by grizzly deep in the Hayden Valley. The Park Service decided it was done by the same female grizzly bear. Her earlier role in the death of one of the two hikers near Wapiti did not result in her death because it was thought likely she was defending her cubs. Here is our earlier story on the Wapiti Lake incident.

Exactly how the 59-year old lone hiker was killed by a bear is not known, but DNA evidence shows this female was there too.

Here is the story  Grizzly that killed hiker destroyed for possible involvement in 2nd hiker’s death. By Brett French Of The Billings Gazette Staff



  1. Virginia Avatar

    This bear was “there” along with many others. She is a scapegoat in my opinion, for the park service in killing her to please the public. My husband worked at the 1988 fires in YNP and he ferried the soil scientist around. The soil scientist told him what the park was doing to “fight” the fires was just to appease the public. Same motive – different scenario. They have provided no proof that she is the killer.

    1. SEAK Mossback Avatar
      SEAK Mossback

      I don’t envy public officials, particularly remembering what they were up against from public opinion and surrounding communities in the 1988 fires —- “Letting a national treasure, the crown jewel of our national park system go up in smoke while sending surrounding communities into economic ruin — out of gross bureaucratic incompetence and unfathomable fear to act!” Superintendent Barbee was treated like Ron Brown (former FEMA head) during Katrina. Remember the denigrating national editorials? “What did Bob Barbee do when a fire started in his kitchen? He lit a backfire in his living room.” Yes, the fires were part of a natural national park and were about as hopeless to stop anyway as the “empire of the bettle”, but they had to look like they were trying. We demanded it.

    2. Jeremy Bruskotter Avatar


      I’m not sure how much proof you would have them provide? Were it my decision, and I had an opportunity to prevent the death of some other hiker/camper(s), I would make the same call.

      1. Nancy Avatar

        And this is where it continues to go “round and round” when it comes to wildlife / human conflict and who should ultimately pay the price.

        Uninformed people hiking in obvious wilderness areas or wildlife doing what wildlife do, protecting their young against those uninformed people.

  2. Kropotkin Man Avatar
    Kropotkin Man

    The Party Line:

    Grizzly Linked To Hiker Deaths Euthanized

    By Public Affairs, Yellowstone NP
    October 04, 2011

    A grizzly bear sow and two cubs captured by Yellowstone National Park staff have been linked to the scene of the recent mauling death of a hiker in the Hayden Valley. Results from DNA tests obtained from bear hair and scat samples indicate the 250-pound, six- to seven-year-old sow was present at the scene on the Mary Mountain Trail where hiker John Wallace’s body was recovered on August 26th. This is the same bear that was responsible for the death of hiker Brian Matayoshi during a defensive attack on July 6th on the Wapiti Lake Trail. Rangers and an interagency board of review determined Matayoshi’s death near Canyon Village on the Wapiti Lake Trail resulted from a defensive attack by the sow protecting her cubs. “We will more than likely never know what role, if any, the sow might have played in Mr. Wallace’s death due to the lack of witnesses and presence of multiple bears at the incident scene,” said Dan Wenk, the park’s superintendent. “But because the DNA analysis indicates the same bear was present at the scene of both fatalities, we euthanized her to eliminate the risk of future interaction with Yellowstone visitors and staff.” The adult female grizzly was captured on Wednesday, September 28th; her two cubs were captured the next day and placed in the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. The sow was euthanized on Sunday morning. Grizzly bear cubs typically adapt successfully to captivity. Adult bears that are removed from the wild do not adapt well to captivity. In the Wallace incident, Yellowstone officials determined that at least nine grizzly bears were feeding on two bison carcasses in the area, including one carcass which was located 150 yards from where Wallace was hiking alone on the Mary Mountain Trail. Seventeen bear “daybeds” were also found in the same vicinity. Capture operations, reconnaissance flights, and DNA sampling and testing will continue through the fall. Any future management decisions will be made on a case by case basis for any additional bears that are captured and provide a DNA link to the scene. Hikers are encouraged to travel in groups of three or more, make noise on the trail, and carry bear spray. Visitors are reminded that park regulations require people to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from all other large animals.

  3. mtn mamma Avatar
    mtn mamma

    17 day beds in the area & a bison carcass 150ft from the trail? Why was this guy hiking in that area & without pepper spray none the less. I think YNP needs to protect its grizzlies from the uneducated tourist!

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      mtn mamma,

      I didn’t see your comment until now, but very abundant bear activity on the ground and a carcass that a bear would defend, tell all but the details of the hiker’s death to me.

  4. rabsue Avatar

    What future lies ahead for the cubs ? Must be a better solution than the one the authorities chose this time round, because they’re not appeasing this member of the public!

  5. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I still can’t get over the fact that this man was alone in the Hayden Valley with no pepper spray.

    As someone who has backpacked and hiked alone in Greater Yellowstone grizzly country hundreds of days and written two backpacking guides to it, my comments are “for ‘Heavens sake’ this was in the Hayden Valley!” It is in the dead center of Yellowstone. I thought they taught children in their cradles about grizzly bears and the Hayden Valley.

    For “christ sakes,” it was the Hayden Valley, the valley of the bears and bison!! The Hayden Valley!! The Hayden Valley!! What doesn’t the Park Service understand about this?

    1. Daniel Berg Avatar
      Daniel Berg

      I think some folks just don’t take the time to consider the heigtened potential for encounters with large animals in an area like Yellowstone.

      They get used to hiking in areas near their home where they never have to worry about encountering a grizzly or a moose.

      They decide to do a little backpacking on their big trip to Yellowstone and don’t think about the potential conflicts until it’s too late.

  6. Mtn Mama Avatar
    Mtn Mama

    I think its a damn shame they killed the sow and took her cubs out of the wild. The grizzlies are so limited in their range and they are instinctually going to protect what is left of their habitat.It was a grizz being a grizz and she was killed because of it.

    1. Harley Avatar

      Well heck, why don’t they just close off all wilderness areas? Or better yet, only allow those that are ‘properly educated’ in. Stupid need not apply. I mean, you should have to take some sort of survival course to go into any of the parks, right? Ignorant city people shouldn’t even go near what they only pretend to understand. I’m sure every single wild animal attack or encounter could have been prevented. Right?

      Sorry, just frustrated. I fully understand there are the Tim Treadwells of the world out there, people who blindly go where they probably shouldn’t, but for the most part, I see a lot of disdain here for just about every injurious or fatal animal encounter.

      True story. Suburban woman outside in her suburban back yard grilling. Feels something snuggling up to her leg, thinks its the family dog and looks down to find a skunk. (I was laughing pretty hard when I heard this and had to give the woman a LOT of credit for not panicking!) She slowly backed up into her house and let her burgers burn until stinky decided to leave. So my question to you is, was this her fault, this encounter that, for some, could have gone south pretty quickly? Thank goodness she didn’t get sprayed, but how many people would have reacted that calmly? Sure, we see wildlife here in the ‘burbs, but we really do not expect such an up close and personal encounter!
      Ok, and two more questions, why in the world did the skunk do that? And for some reason, the number of skunks in Illinois has increased, rather dramatically. Why? The article just states they are making a comeback, but I’m wondering why, if anyone has an answer.,0,4102401.story

  7. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue

    In order:
    1. No disdain for injury due to wildlife. I made a deal with myself, that whenever I went into wilderness areas, I accepted what might happen to me, and I took precautions. I have camped in grizzly bear country, and once sharing a tent with a friend in Denali, while we were sleeping, had a grizzly sow and her two cubs pass within 50 feet of our tent as told to us by another friend.

    These bears are running out of habitat as the human population continues to encroach upon them. No, I DO NOT HATE HUMANS, but I submit, that these animals have a right to exist. If someone falls off a cliff in a National park, they don’t kill the cliff.

    As rarely as one might sight a bear or a wolf when in wilderness areas, think how often they see you, and you are none the wiser about it.

    As above, I accept the risk where I go. Ain’t the animals fault. One reason I don’t swim in oceans. I don’t accept the shark risk, as small as it might be.

    1. Rails to trails areas have become wildlife expressways.
    2. Expressways and tollways, where there are large open areas between opposing lanes. Same as #1 except for those unsuccessful at running the gauntlet.
    3. IDIOTS leaving food out at night for cats. Skunks, raccoons, and possums will feed there as well.
    4. Lawns. Monoculture lawns, due to herbicides, have become so susceptible to grubs, if not also treated with pesticides, become a buffet for skunks. They can tear an entire lawn up in a couple of nights.

    Suburban areas have become a perfect storm for an exploding skunk population.

    1. Immer Treue Avatar
      Immer Treue

      Sorry, but this was in reply to Harley

    2. Harley Avatar

      Laid out all neat and orderly!

      So Mr. stinky came up to here because he wasn’t afraid or was looking for some of those burgers maybe?

      I’m having a hard time equating the cliff to a bear, sorry! As I said, there are just some plain stupid people out there. But even when there are true accidents, it’s rare that I see anyone here say, wow, what a tragedy for that person. It’s usually, wow, what a tragedy for that animal. And they go on and on about how the person should have done this or done that. In some ways, I think it was pretty commendable that they didn’t kill the bear after the first attack. The bear does have a right to protect it’s young.
      Another question. The lions of Tsavo. Should they have been allowed to live or was killing them unnecessary? (btw, that has to be one of the creepiest exhibits at the Field Museum in Chicago! maybe it’s just because of the stories I read, or they way the lions are posed, but still…Their eyes creep me out lol!)

      1. Harley Avatar

        Oh, sorry, I should have made it clear, the mostly city dweller in me often thinks along the lines of, what the heck were those people doing out there when I do hear a tragedy. I myself would probably never attempt something like that unless I was with someone very well versed in wilderness safety.

      2. Immer Treue Avatar
        Immer Treue

        Cliff statement is just an analogy, and you know what can be said about analogies. The animal doesn’t have anywhere else to go. I guess when we have over 300 million folks in this country, and comparatively so few grizzly bear, or for that matter wolves, folks are entitled to their opinions, on either side of the issue. Bottom line, the critters are going to lose one way or the other.

        Weren’t the lions of Tsavo responsible for over 20 deaths? Got a taste for rail workers.

        1. Harley Avatar

          Yeah, they determined it was around 35 people. Lots of theories on that one. Made for a good movie!

          When my son was younger, we were lucky enough to get an over night stay at the field museum, which was kinda cool but we bedded down among the animal exhibits and some of the littler guys did not sleep well. My son thought it was awesome though. The Tsavo lions however were in an area that was off limits for sleeping quarters.

  8. SEAK Mossback Avatar
    SEAK Mossback

    I think the NPS does a pretty good job of deciding when to remove an animal, given there is a strong chance she was directly involved in the deaths of two hikers in a relatively short period, in Yellowstone (where hikers usually aren’t killed by bears every year or even every decade). The other night I listened on the radio to a former prison psychologist who recommended for or against parole describe two classes of prisoners: those we are angry at and those we are afraid of. It’s very important to distinguish between the two. We should not rationally be angry at wild animals that misbehave by our standards in the same way as humans.

    As with humans, however, we need to recognize there are rare individuals out there that we should be very afraid of and act accordingly. Frank Dufresne, in his book No Room for Bears, calls them the “25th grizzly”, suggesting there are 4 out of 100 in that species. I don’t think it is close to that high, because I have only run into one — a sow with a yearling in an uninhabited area with few enough visitors (no tourism, occasional visiting commercial fishermen and bear hunting guides) that removing her was not a great concern, but I was extremely glad that it was the one field location where I stayed that summer that had at least a flimsy plywood cabin to sleep in because I would not be here if I had been alone in a tent. I learned later that my predecessor guarding that location (Canoe Bay in Pavlof Bay, Alaska Peninsula) from creek robbers had a very similar experience a few days before with the same bear (we were pretty sure!) during the daytime in an abandoned USFWS cabin a mile or two away with two substantial glassless windows that she tried alternately climbing through while he desperately tried to dissuade her. His experience sounded even more exciting than her trying to rip through the walls in complete darkness into my tiny, flimsy shack with a hollow core door and wind-driven rain streaming across the floor. Not habituated nor using normally expected instinct — apparently just nuts . . . . and dangerous.

    1. Linda Jo Hunter Avatar

      Seak the only bear I saw in Alaska that I thought was truly dangerous was a very small black bear mother with two cubs. For some reason she was fierce beyond belief and I watched her run a brown bear off a cliff. This brown bear, a almost grown male bear that was twice her size, ran into her on a ledge and tried really hard to appease her by standing his ground, averting his eyes and even giving her room by backing up very slowly but she just attacked. Fortunately I was in a boat, watching this whole thing from a relatively safe position. She didn’t stick around after that and we never saw her again all summer. I think she was that once in a while bear you hope you don’t meet.

      1. JEFF E Avatar
        JEFF E

        I have an a family member who took part in tagging salmon in Alaska along one of the tributaries of the Copper river. It was a fly in camp with a log structure to cook in and get out of the bad weather but most of the people slept/lived in tents because the log cabin was not big enough for every one. Started out with about 20-25 people and as the summer wore on ended up with about 6-8. They were given one shot gun with slugs in case of bear trouble but never did have to use it although there was one black bear that came close to having its ticket punched.
        I don’t know if I would feel safe however after wrestling fish all day, for all summer and then go sleep in a tent at night.

      2. JEFF E Avatar
        JEFF E

        it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog.

        Guess that old saw applies pretty much across the board

  9. Virginia Avatar

    For the past five years, my husband and I have trying to hike as many YNP trails as we can each season. We were on the Mary Mountain trail earlier this summer, never saw a bear (not saying there were not any around), we hiked up The Thunderer three weeks ago, saw sign of black bear, last weekend went on Sepulcher and did see a bear running away from us. We always both carry bear spray and we agree that we are responsible for whatever happens to us on those trails. That is the risk we all take. The bears’ risk is that we will be on the trails, interfering with their lives. The Park Service seems to be in a quandary about what to do about the bears. There is uncertainty every day wherever you choose to go and no one can insure that you will be safe. I would still rather take my chances in the wild with the animals than in the city with the “other animals.” Stay home if you aren’t willing to risk it!

    1. Linda Jo Hunter Avatar

      Virginia you seem to have hit on a important issue and that is that the Park Service is in a quandary . . the pressures of humans who want a wild experience without experience in the wild is huge for them, plus many park service personal I have met recently in other areas don’t seem to have much experience with bears and are afraid of them personally. How can the park service educate tourists on proper behavior around bears if they don’t have the experience themselves. . they can just go by the book but without conviction and first hand knowledge this is just like so much other meaningless information passed on.
      I don’t have a solution for the problem except that perhaps they should be transferred through an Alaskan position something during their early career.

      1. Jay Avatar

        Your comment reminded me of a Park Ranger a friend and I came across in the east Glacier NP–we’d just set up our tents and were relaxing by the lake when we heard her coming up the trail. She was making such a racket to alert bears that we probably heard her from 4-500 yards away. After a brief conversation (in which she told us she was nervous because of bears), she went a little further to set up her camp. We happened to come across her setting up her tent while heading out for a afternoon hike–I yelled hello to let her know we were coming, and she damned year jumped through the roof of her tent. This ranger was so terrified of being in the backcountry around bears that I have no doubt she was miserable every minute she had to be out there.

        1. timz Avatar

          Nothing tops the two Forest Service employees who had to be airlifted out of Bear Valley (I believe) because they heard wolves howling.

      2. SEAK Mossback Avatar
        SEAK Mossback

        Actually, in the days before pepper spray it was pretty exciting hiking in parts of Yellowstone that had the higher grizzly densities. Not that we very often saw them, as there were far fewer than now (based on the non-duplicated sows with cubs index) but that was part of it — they existed mostly in our imaginations and the tracks they occasionally left on trails. Your plan was preferably to get up a tree fast, or failing that, to play dead. It added to the mystery and excitement in a way, but obviously was not for everybody. Not that much has changed, except that now at least when outside the confines of your tent you have a solid plan in a spray can.

        Of course, we took great care with food when camping. When I got my first field job in Alaska hiding at the mouths of salmon streams, my boss and coworkers were somewhat amazed, although also a bit impressed, that I insisted on being fastidious in keeping food away from where we slept, even though there was no place to hang it anywhere with nothing bigger than alders. The bears had plenty to eat, and even while moving in abundance all through the area, and never bothered our eating site with freeze dried food and light cooking stuff. Generally, the idea in Alaska has been keep it right with you and protect it. My old boss brings his deer taken during long solo hunts on Admiralty Island right in his nylon sleeping tent so he can keep an eye on them and butchers them in the evening, so they’re all ready for the freezer when he gets home. The only time he thought he really had trouble turned out to be a big sea lion roaring outside. Of course, he has had close calls trying to get deer back to his tent — one involving returning at dawn for a deer shot in late evening and finding a very vocal brown bear in the vicinity. He quickly shinnied up a tree and yelled and waited until all was quiet and then finally ventured down, following the path of a descending magpie to a mound at the margin of a muskeg, with a hoof protruding. He managed to recover almost half his deer and spent tedious hours back in his tent late that evening, separating meat from dirt.

  10. Linda Jo Hunter Avatar

    So Seak why is it that one person can just see a bear a long ways off and then in no time be dead and someone else can drag a bloody deer through the woods in front of the noses of a bunch of brown bears and live?

    1. SEAK Mossback Avatar
      SEAK Mossback

      I don’t know, Linda. Maybe just different luck. Phil has certainly pushed the envelope in various ways: running from brown bears, walking salmon streams alone without arms or pepper spray, getting between a sow and her cubs, dragging countless deer countless miles across an island with 1 brown bear per square mile, contesting ownership of carcasses in dense terrain and poor light, sleeping in a tent full of meat. But hey, he’s only 73. It may catch up with him yet . . . . .

      When he started with king crab research on Kodiak in the 1960’s, he shot two bucks far upslope on one of his first hunts on fresh November snow. He dragged the first down to the beach and then left his rifle there to be less encumbered bringing down the second. But when he neared the spot, he saw huge, fresh bear prints heading the same direction and actually followed for a ways after the point where he could see it had picked up the buck in its mouth and continued on with only a scratch mark from a hind hoof trailing off to the side. He momentarily gave up, but when on his way down he ran into his boss (another hard core eccentric), he asked if he could borrow his rifle to go up and try to get his deer back. The sensible reply was: “No, he’ll get you and I’ll lose my rifle”.

      1. Linda Jo Hunter Avatar

        I have long thought there is something we don’t understand yet about bears and the way they react to humans. . they certainly don’t react to all humans the same. . to them we are not a species they read about in a book and they don’t seem to generalize.
        After taking thousands of people to view bears I got to the point where I was watching how bears seemed to pick out one person in a crowd of twelve sometimes and “vulture” them. . it was almost as if they could tell what people thought of them. . like the pet cat that makes a point of annoying the one person in the room who is uncomfortable around cats. Sometimes as that person was leaving I would casually ask if they had had experiences with bears before and more times than not that person would tell me they were a bear hunter. But, that said, I had one teenage bear who just about wet himself when I brought a woman from New York out who had on Channel #5. . later I looked up the scent and they use beaver castor as part of the formula. This teenage male brown bear could not keep his eyes off her and was pacing the shore near where we anchored the boat. . finally he swam out towards us and I thought it best to move on. None of the people on the boat realized this was abnormal behavior for the bear so they just took pictures of the cute bear. Later that same day I had a different group with me and the same bear checked us out and noticing the one woman was gone he left without looking back.

        1. SEAK Mossback Avatar
          SEAK Mossback

          Linda —
          Interesting. They do have incredible noses and no doubt would pick up on beaver castor. I’ve seen lots of interesting behavior among individual brown bears, but have never been around enough people and bears at the same time to pick up any differences in reaction to different people. Most of us on our project must not give off too many negative signals. Going on 30 seasons on West Chichagof, nobody has been charged there and the most excitement was one in the late 1980s that jumped up and down and complained loudly before leaving when they stumbled on him sleeping on a mound with something dead in it. Its hard to tell how much is the personalities of people versus the bears unless you see the same ones with a number of different people as it sounds like you have.

  11. nabeki Avatar

    Out of 50 dead bears 2010/GYE,(two on the list died in 2009) 42 deaths were human caused, including 10 by hunters. We are terrible stewards. 50 dead grizzlies in one year. Disgusting.

    2010 Known and Probable Grizzly Bear Mortalities in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    50 201050 UNK COY 9 Aug 2010 Trout Crk, YNP Probable, natural, collared female lost 1 COY between 7/4-9/16. Mortality date is approximated.

    49 201049 F Adult 5 Nov 2010 Donahue Crk, GNF-MT Known, human-caused, self-defense by hunter, no evidence of young

    48 201048 F Adult 27 Oct 2010 Aldrich Crk, SNF-WY Known, human-caused, hunting related self-defense, human injury, female was accompanied by 2 yearlings

    47 201047 M Adult 24 Oct 2010 Lodgepole Crk, SNF-WY Known, human-caused, self-defense by hunter, hunter was unable to deter bear as it approached. Shot at close range.

    46 201046 M Subadult 23 Oct 2010 Wolf Crk, BTNF-MT Known, human-caused, killed in self-defense by hunter, hunter used pepper spray initially, shot bear as it returned a second time.

    45 201045 UNK COY 19 Oct 2010 Crandall Crk, SNF-WY Probable, human-caused, COY of female that was killed in self-defense during hunting related incident.

    44 201044 F Adult 19 Oct 2010 Crandall Crk, SNF-WY Known, human-caused, killed in self-defense by hunter, bear followed hunter from elk carcass and approached to very close range on 2 occasions, was shot during second approach. Female was accompanied by 1 COY

    43 201043 M Adult 5 Jul 2010 Venus Crk, SNF-WY Known, natural, old aged radio-collared bear died at very remote location, no evidence of human involvement

    42 201042 F Adult 17 Oct 2010 Green Crk, PR-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated property damages and food rewards

    41 201041 M Adult 11 Oct 2010 Yellowstone River, PR-MT Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated food rewards by gaining entry to the Gardiner garbage collection site

    40 201040 M Subadult WY Known, human-caused, under investigation

    39 201039 M Adult WY Known, human-caused, under investigation

    38 201038 F Adult 7 Oct 2010 WY Known, human-caused, killed in self-defense by hunters, human injuries, female was accompanied by a yearling

    37 201037 M Adult 5 Oct 2010 West Yellowstone, PR-MT Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated food rewards and nuisance activity in the town of West Yellowstone. Bear was also in poor condition

    36 201036 UNK COY 2 Oct 2010 Lamar River, YNP Known, natural, wolves observed feeding on a COY grizzly by YNP wolf researchers, investigation of the site revealed only hair, no other remains

    35 201035 M Adult 4 Oct 2010 Sheridan Crk, SNF-WY Known, human-caused, killed in self-defense by elk hunter.

    34 201034 M Adult 29 Sep 2010 South Fork Shoshone River, PR-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for property damage and obtaining food rewards

    33 201033 M Adult WY Known, human-caused, under investigation

    32 201032 F Adult 24 Sep 2010 Diamond Crk, PR-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for numerous property damages and food rewards in residential area

    31 201031 F Adult 20 Sep 2010 Dry Crk, PR-MT Known, human-caused, management removal for cattle depredation and aggressive behavior

    30 201030 M Adult WY Known, human-caused, under investigation

    29 201029 M Adult WY Known, human-caused, under investigation

    28 201028 M Adult 7 Sep 2010 Horse Crk, BTNF-WY Known, human-caused, killed in self-defense by guide hunting moose with client.

    27 201027 M Adult 7 Sep 2010 Kinky Crk, BTNF-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated livestock depredations

    26 201026 M Subadult 4 Sep 2010 Crow Crk, WRIR-WY Known, human-caused, killed in self-defense at residence.

    25 201025 M Adult 13 Oct 2009 Arrow Crk, SNF-WY Known, undetermined cause, collar of radioed bear went on mortality between 10/6-21/2009, was determined to be a dead bear in September 2010, date is midpoint between last active date and date of first mortality signal

    24 201024 M Adult 29 Aug 2010 Badger Crk, PR-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated livestock depredations

    23 201023 F Subadult 19 Aug 2010 Brooks Lake, SNF-WY Known, human-caused, live removal for numerous food rewards and propety damage

    22 201022 M Adult 15 Aug 2010 Yellowstone River, YNP Known, undetermined cause, found dead 50 m from highway near LeHardy Rapids, no indications of vehicle impact, wound in abdomen suggests it may have been gored by bison

    21 201021 M Adult 15 Aug 2010 East Fork Wind River, PR-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated sheep depredations

    20 201020 M Adult 14 Aug 2010 Fish Crk, BTNF-WY Known, human-caused, shot at close range in self-defense near wolf killed domestic calf carcass.

    19 201019 M Adult 5 Aug 2010 Sheridan Crk, SNF-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for cattle depredation

    18 201018 F Adult 3 Aug 2010 Sheridan Crk, SNF-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated cattle depredations, 2 yearlings accompaning female were relocated

    17 201017 M Yearling 30 Jul 2010 Soda Butte Crk, GNF-MT Known, human-caused, live removal of yearling associated with human fatality and 2 other human injuries

    16 201016 F Yearling 29 Jul 2010 Soda Butte Crk, GNF-MT Known, human-caused, live removal of yearling associated with human fatality and 2 other human injuries

    15 201015 F Yearling 29 Jul 2010 Soda Butte Crk, GNF-MT Known, human-caused, live removal of yearling associated with human fatality and 2 other human injuries

    14 201014 F Adult 28 Jul 2010 Soda Butte Crk, GNF-MT Known, human-caused, management removal for human fatality and 2 other human injuries. Female was accompanied by 3 yearlings

    13 201013 M Subadult 13 Jul 2010 Crooked Crk, PR-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for numerous food rewards and aggressive behavior towards people.

    12 201012 M COY 10 Jul 2010 South Fork Shoshone River, PR-WY Known, human-caused, live removal of lone COY that was frequenting vicinity of ranch buildings

    11 201011 F Adult WY Probable, under investigation

    10 201010 F Adult 8 Nov 2009 West Fork Dry Crk, WRIR-WY Known, undetermined cause, collar went on mortality between 11/4-11/13 2009. Was determined to to be a dead in July 2010. No evidence as to cause of death was found

    9 201009 M Subadult 2 Jul 2010 Solfatara Crk, YNP Known, human-caused, live removal for repeated nuisance activity, property damage, and bold behavior in campground

    8 201008 M Adult 19 Jun 2010 Kitty Crk, SNF, WY Known, human-caused, management removal for human fatality.

    7 201007 M Yearling 18 Jun 2010 Iron Springs Crk, YNP Known, human-caused, accidental death during management capture operation. Bear had lost an eye and had numerous infected injuries inflicted by another predator and was in very poor condition.

    6 201006 F Adult 12 Jun 2010 Elkhorn Crk, GNF-MT Known, human-caused, mistaken identity by black bear hunter

    5 201005 F Adult 7 Jun 2010 Blacktail Crk, YNP Known, natural, likely predation by wolves, extremely poor condition and old age were likely contributing factors.

    4 201004 M Yearling 7 Jun 2010 Gallatin River, YNP Known, human-caused, road kill
    3 201003 M Subadult 2 Jun 2010 Spread Crk, GTNP Known, human-caused, road kill

    2 201002 M Adult 23 May 2010 Big Crk, PR-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for property damage and livestock depredation

    1 201001 M Adult 13 May 2010 Grass Crk, State-WY Known, human-caused, mistaken identity kill by black bear hunter

  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan


    There have been 33 grizzly deaths so far in 2011. It probably won’t reach 50 this year, but still pretty awful.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      Here are the data for this year. It doesn’t look like as many hunting deaths this year, although there are a lot of “undetermined” in the mortality list.

      33 201133 M Adult Oct 2011 PR-MT Under investigation
      32 201132 M COY 29 Sep 2011 Sour Crk, YNP Known, human-caused, live mangement removal. COY of mother involved in 1 human fatality and known to be at the site of a second
      31 201131 M COY 29 Sep 2011 Sour Crk, YNP Known, human-caused, live mangement removal. COY of mother involved in 1 human fatality and known to be at the site of a second
      30 201130 F Adult 29 Sep 2011 Sour Crk, YNP Known, human-caused, management removal of female with 2 COY. Bear was known to have caused the death of a hiker on 6 July in a defensive reaction to a surprise encounter. Bear was also known to be present (from DNA) at the site of a second human fatality on 25 August.
      29 201129 2011 ID Known, under investigation
      28 201128 M Adult 20 Sep 2011 Wind River, SNF-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated cattle depredation
      27 201127 UNK Adult Spr/Sum 2010 Cabin Crk, YNP Known, Undetermined cause, based on remains bear appeared to have died during the spring or early summer of 2010. Samples collected for determination of sex via DNA
      26 201126 F Adult 2011 BTNF-WY Known, human-caused, under investigation
      25 201125 M Adult 11 Sep 2011 Sunlight Crk, PR-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for livestock depredation and management history of property damage
      24 201124 UNK COY 2011 SNF-WY Probable, human-caused, under investigation
      23 201123 UNK COY 2011 SNF-WY Probable, human-caused, under investigation
      22 201122 UNK COY 2011 SNF-WY Probable, human-caused, under investigation
      21 201121 F Adult 2011 SNF-WY Known, human-caused, under investigation
      20 201120 F Adult 2011 SNF-WY Known, human-caused, under investigation
      19 201119 M Adult 9 Sep 2011 Bear Crk, PR-MT Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated cattle depredation
      18 201118 F Adult Sep 2011 Gravelly Range, BDNF-MT Known, human-caused, under investigation
      17 201117 M Adult 28 Aug 2011 Green River, BTNF-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated cattle depredation
      16 201116 UNK COY 25 Jun 2011 Pickett Crk, BLM-WY Known, undetermined cause, remains of a COY that had been dead several months found and reported. Date of mortality is approximate.
      15 201115 M Adult 24 Aug 2011 Strawberry Crk, BTNF-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated cattle depredation
      14 201114 F COY 8 Aug 2011 South Fork Shoshone, PR-WY Known, human-caused, management live removal to Cleveland Metro Zoo, was accompanying mother when she obtained anthropogenic foods on numerous occasions
      13 201113 M COY 8 Aug 2011 South Fork Shoshone, PR-WY Known, human-caused, management live removal to Cleveland Metro Zoo, was accompanying mother when she obtained anthropogenic foods on numerous occasions
      12 201112 F Adult 7 Aug 2011 South Fork Shoshone, PR-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for obtaining numerous food rewards at private residences, was accompanied by 2 COY
      11 201111 WY Known, undetermined cause, under investigation
      10 201110 M Subadult 1 Aug 2011 Bridge Crk, YNP Known, human-caused, management removal for numerous nuisance activities and food rewards associated with a campground escalating to aggressive behavior towards humans to obtain food
      9 201109 F Adult 27 Jul 2011 Wagon Crk, BTNF-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for cattle depredations and prior management history for anthroprogenic foods
      8 201108 F Adult 18 Jul 2011 Buttermilk Crk, PR-MT Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated food rewards in a campground and at residences
      7 201107 M Adult 16 Jul 2011 Fish Crk, BTNF-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for repeated sheep and cattle depredation
      6 201106 F Adult 11 Jul 2011 Skull Crk, WY Known, human-caused, road kill
      5 201105 2011 WY Known, human-caused, under investigation
      4 201104 M Adult 2 Jun 2011 Tangle Crk, YNP Known, human-caused, road kill
      3 201103 2011 WY Known, human-caused, under investigation
      2 201102 2011 WY Known, under investigation
      1 201101 M Adult 7 May 2011 Grass Crk, State-WY Known, human-caused, management removal for breaking into cabin.

      1. nabeki Avatar

        Ralph…frankly I was shocked @ by the 2010 numbers. I’ll be interested to see what the “undetermined” turn out to be for 2011. We can’t afford to lose this many griz every year.

  13. Alan Avatar

    Just the other day a friend and I were hiking in the Park when we came upon a large herd of bison congregated near a small pond about a half mile away. We kept an eye on them as we continued along the trail, when suddenly two young bulls began tussling and one chased the other in our direction. Here comes this huge bull running straight at us like a freight train. Fortunately there was a huge bolder near the trail (no trees) that we could get behind as these two big guys started fighting on the other side no more than fifty feet away. Then one chased the other around to our side where he stopped and stared at us as we tried to get around to the other side, and then the other bull came around and they both ran off.
    This just shows how quickly a seemingly safe situation (a herd of bison getting a drink a half mile away in this instance) can turn very dangerous very quickly in Yellowstone. The average tourist doesn’t have a clue. To hike without taking even the simplest of precautions, like carrying bear spray, is reckless. The Park Service should require it, at least on some trails. Most of the time nothing happens and you are perfectly safe, most of the time the bison stay over by the pond or simply wander slowly in your direction, most of the time the elk could care less, most of the time you don’t even see a bear, or if you do it runs away; most of the time you don’t slip on a wet rock crossing a stream and crack your skull open too. People need to know that sitting in a cubicle 50 weeks a years doesn’t prepare them for two weeks of hiking with grizzlies and bison.
    If this female was such a “killer” why did she simply lift the wife up by her pack and drop her in the first instance? One has to wonder if she was just a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Too bad for the bear. Too bad for the guys that got killed too, but they were thinking, reasoning human beings who should have known better. The Park newspaper, hiking guides and signs at the trailheads all screamed at them: Do not run, carry bear spray. The first victim, for sure, ignored the first; and they both ignored the second.


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