It’s time to think about bears again

It’s springtime and, of course, the bears have come out of their dens

Many newspapers, TV stations and other media in wild or rural country are now running articles pointing to the obvious, bears are no longer hibernating.

The stories are coupled with warnings about putting your bird seed out of reach, securing smelly attractants, and being careful if you encounter a female bear (a sow) with cubs. Then there is a rundown of last year’s headline conflicts with bears. These seem to be of great interest to people, and a reason for running a story.

Really running into a bear and having trouble though, is a faint and unrealistic worry for most people. Perhaps the interest is really a diversion from the truly awful threats most Americans now face such as medical crisis and inadequate insurance, loss of their job or regaining employment but at low wages, loss of their home, trying to secure an adequate education, paying back student loans, and the usual multiple of personal problems we always face.

So let’s think about bears.

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Typical story: Bears Stirring and Searching for Food. Wildlife officials remind residents to clean up attractants to reduce conflicts. Flathead Beacon. By Dillon Tabish.






  1. aves Avatar

    There’s always some good info in these articles that may help save some bears if only readers payed attention. It would be interesting to know what the average reader retains from these articles: how to live safely with bears or the dramatic details of conflicts with bears? I’m betting on the latter.

  2. Craig Avatar

    This story about the guy and a cougar/black bear shows complete ignorance! What the fuck are you doing 40′ from a Bear and her cubs? You are looking to get mauled! I’ve walked up on many Bears eating chocke cherries while Elk hunting and backed off with no problem. But watching a Sow with cubs at 40′ is really not smart, and the Author of the story with the”When Robert Biggs finished gazing at a cute, cuddly family of black bears and turned to continue on his day-hike in northern California on Monday, he thought he was safe.” that is plan ignorant shit! You see this all the time in National parks and articals like this don’t help! “Cute” “Cuddly” REALLY? people believe that shit and you see it in Yellowstone! People who are not used to Wild animals think are parks are like a ZOO and are ignorant to the dangers!



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