Yes it does sound like that. So that means a total of three dead bears,right?
And once again, he had PLENTY of time to pull his spray out, take the safety off, make sure it was facing away from himself, aim at the bear(s) and fire away. Plenty of time. But why bother when you can kill them instead.
At this rate there won’t be any left. How many cubs left without mothers?
Has there been a shift in hunter experience?
Across the nation there has been a strong increase in the number of deaths and rescues in our National Parks. Way too many inexperienced folks out in the wild. There was a jaguar killed due to inexperienced folks in the field. Is this all part of the same trend?
What’s happening in other regions of the country? I bet the incidences of “friendly fire” are way up??
What kind of fines and jail time are these guys getting?
Jdubya – ever given a thought to the wind direction and speed and the effectiveness of the bear spray? Maybe the bears were downwind of the hunter therefore knowing he was there and they wanted a closer look – predatory behavior or they were upwind and did not know he was there and in that case the bear spray would be of little use. What was wrong with alerting the bears at a safe distance? We are told not to surprise them. By the way, the people with more facts than any of us, have determined this was a justifiable action – how about we move on?
Talks with bears, wanting a closer look is not predatory behavior, it is simple curiosity, curiosity does not mean they are predatory, in reading the small blurb, I would say, this would have been a situation to use bear spray, and I agree, not being there, and not knowing what the investigation team knows, I am only guessing.
You seem a bit slanted to saying animals are acting in a predatory manner, which is actually quite rare, predatory behavior directed at humans is really not that common, when you look at the whole picture and the number of hunter days spent in the field per year…
Save Bears – as I have stated before – most bears are not predatory towards humans or we would be discussing human/animal encounters resulting in harm to all parties daily. I am slanted towards humans doing what is necessary to be safe – not you or anyone else, even jdubya, actual knows what a wild animal is “thinking”.
Nope, even after all of my years working in the field with FWP as a biologist, I don’t claim to know what and animal is thinking, but based on experience as well as case study and histories, it does give me some insight into various scenarios that can and do happen, of course I have been a hunter for close to 40 years, including both wildlife and humans(army)
Save Bears – we all have our experiences – 28 years hunting, fishing, hiking for me. I and others appreciate your input so, I have a question for you. How is a reasonable human suppose to behave when confronted with a situation where a wild animal may attack and consume the human? Seriously, I have been around bears for years – none in all my years were close enough (that I knew of) for me to feel directly threatened so, I do not feel as though I can even comment or make a judgement on another persons reaction when truly confronted with that situation – being eaten alive is a tough issue.
I agree, being eaten is a tough issue, all we have to go on, is experience garnered over a period of years and the statistics based on encounters, which there is actually a pretty good database of information covering decades of human and bear encounters.
I don’t even think the forefront issue is the hunters having guns, the key issue is they didn’t have bear spray, understanding it is a product that could prevent a death, does not outweigh the protection of life, but it does give one another option that could prevent harm to either parties involved in the situation…at this point in time, there is no reason not to carry bear spray when hunting or hiking in bear country.
The expense argument no longer holds water, depending on where you live or hunt, the product can be purchased for reasonable prices, in fact a box of ammo for many of these guns costs more than the bear spray.
That said, I would not hesitate to shoot a bear, if the situation required the use of lethal force, but I would have the option because I carry spray..
Right at this time, it is a personal choice, but I know I have an option when in the field because I carry, it is simply another tool in my arsenal and I would not hesitate to use any tool at my disposal to protect my life or another humans life..
Saves – I am with you on getting everyone to carry bear spray – I never leave camp or vehicle without it – you just never know when or where you may need it. As I see it, we (FWP, Interagency etc.) need to “sell” bear spray a different way – instead of telling hunters that they need to throw down a gun for the spray (clearly this has been an ineffective campaign) they need to be sold on the usefulness of spray say as a second line of defense – most non spray carrying hunters will sight a large knife as the second line of defense – get them to think about that for a moment and then they may want to replace the knife with the spray. Replace the knife save your life.
Mike – 1. Ever heard of the facts – no mention in the article of the bears walking away or that they knew of the hunters presence before the bears becamed alerted by the hunter.
2. Agreed – most charging bears do speak as to their intentions.
3. Did you read somewhere in the article that the hunter did not have bear spray? Maybe he/she chose not to use the spray because of wind or he/she chose the most comfortable and dependable defense in a life threatening situation. Ask the hunters family about the emotional argument – human life first my friend.
++2. We do not know that these bears were going to eat the hunter. There are very few documented cases of grizlzies eating people.++
For the fun of it. I bought photographer, Jay Reeves, his last beer in Cold Bay, Alaska in 1974. I was working on a oil exploration crew fresh out of collage. Jay was rather a dumb shit in the first place camping on the fishing grounds along a salmon stream. Three days after he had left for the field are crew came in and the story was that his tent was torn down and they only found one boot.
My helicopter pilot was dispatched with who was ever in authority and after circling the campsite, about 400 yards from it a bear runs out of the brush and there were the remains of Jay. The pilot at the bar that night had to go over the evening events. The bear ate everything except the bones. The next morning the pilot told me to go over to a large standing plastic bag. I said what is in it and he said Jay bones. I left.
Really I don’t see the agencies telling anyone to throw their gun down and use the spray, I see them saying carry the spray and give yourself the option, I only see it as one option to save your as well as the bears life, I have seen some detractors saying the agencies are advocating throw your gun down, which they are not, they are simply saying it is an option, and ultimately, only the individual in the situation can decide what the appropriate action should be.
On this particular situation in this thread, when I hear 50 yards(150 feet), not in a charge to begin with, I would have to say, this would have been enough time to deploy spray without throwing a gun down, even at 25 yards with a bear in charge, you could deploy. The key is, there were no options, he was not carrying the extra tool that could have prevented the death of a bear, I advocate carrying, I have never said don’t shoot if the situation requires it, of course again, that is a personal choice. If you don’t carry, you have no options when a situation happens.
Saves – the word here and other places is that spray is more effective than a firearm – therefore one can follow that to mean use the spray instead of the firearm. Inside of 30 feet how many options of defenses would one have with a charging bear? I would submit that there would just be no time or space to “try” the spray first – even in perfect wind conditions the effective defensive range is just too small. Am I missing something about the hunter not having bear spray??????
I have used spray twice in my life, both within 30 feet and I am still hear talking about it, I am a very good shot with my guns, with my years of hunting as well as the military and I would not have had the option without the bear spray, it worked, and I can only go based on my experience.
That said, when I was deployed in 1991 in the gulf and ended up taking a bullet to the hip, I can say with all honesty, I wish I would have had a tool like the spray, because my M16 defensive shot was not well placed and hence I got shot, I honestly think looking back on it, a 30 foot cloud of irritant would have produced better results than a 5.56mm bullet…
It is simply another tool, and we used tools based on the situation, do I know for a fact, it is more effective? No, do I think it can be just as effective? With a resounding positive, I can say yes…
Here we go again! Just pull up any of the other threads after the other bears were killed, and you won’t have to bother commenting or waiting for comments on this one. As I said before: We’ll all scream and argue ourselves silly for a couple of days and then move on………….until the next bear is killed.
“Why is it a nightmare that a human being is home safe with his or her family?” Because there is another dead bear. Because there are more cubs left to starve or freeze to death this winter. Because so many of these instances can be avoided. Maybe not this one, certainly not every one. But many can. We all know that something can be done. We may not agree about what, but we all know that something can be done. We (the humans) are the ones with the brains, the logic, the reasoning power. We are the only ones in this equation who are capable of doing something. We choose not to. That says a lot about us as a species.
Perhaps the next hunter will not be so fortunate. Perhaps it will be he/she lying in a pool of their own blood instead of the bear. Will anything be done then (other than finding and killing another bear)? Or will even that be another argue, bicker and forget session?
Save Bears: I agree with all of your comments above. When I say, “screaming” I mean it figuratively. We all know that Ralph doesn’t allow folks to raise their voices.
When I say, “something can be done” I mean proactively. Require hunters to carry spray, education, push back hunting seasons etc. I could not agree more with your point about spray being an “option” (to use, mandatory to carry). If you don’t have it, you can’t use it. Sometimes it might be the right tool for the job!
++Mike – 1. Ever heard of the facts – no mention in the article of the bears walking away or that they knew of the hunters presence before the bears becamed alerted by the hunter.++
The story painted a picture of the bears going about their business *until* the hunter shouted and waived his gun.
++3. Did you read somewhere in the article that the hunter did not have bear spray? Maybe he/she chose not to use the spray because of wind or he/she chose the most comfortable and dependable defense in a life threatening situation. Ask the hunters family about the emotional argument – human life first my friend.++
I think that is going to change in the future, Save Bears. As humans began to encroach more and more into habitat, and as the population of earth skyrockets, I think that rare animals will be seen as a more important life than a single human. That’s a very controversial thought, and I am sure it will rile many feathers but it’s simple physics.
I don’t think we are there yet with grizzly bears, but if these kinds of encounters continue to happen, there will be a day when a single grizzly is considered more important than a single human.
I think it depends on the bear. Many on this thread might remember grizzly bear 264 who used to haunt the road between Norris and Canyon in Yellowstone for years; hunting elk calves and nursing cubs near the road? She was a perfect example of a bear very used to people that never caused a problem, even when some ideot tried to pet one of her cubs! A lot of folks wept when she was finally hit by a car, including me.
I know that given a choice between that bear getting hit by that car or one of the hundreds of tourists who constantly pressed her for a picture being hit………..weeelllllllll.
It’s simple physics and a healthy dose of reality. If there are 20 billion humans on earth, and 100 grizzly bears in the lower 48, you can bet that at some point the life of a rare animal will be considered more important than a single human. This is absolutely what WILL happen if we continue to overpopulate and infringe on all the wildlfe habitat. It already is in some ways. These grizzly bear shooting stories seem to be garnering way more outrage and sympathy than they used to, while every day human gun caused deaths seldom get noticed unless they are of a larger scale(Ft. Worth).
It’s not a really a shocking prediction if you think about the future and really look into our sprawl and development patterns.
I see your point, Mike and as you said, you will get strife for that comment. Think about the 600 gorillas left in Africa as compared to millions of people on the earth. Gorillas don’t have a chance.
I like to think of endangered animal species as important as me, not more important. Because I am one of a kind, no one like me. Many many more humans than griz bears than humans that is for sure, but I am one of a kind. So is that grizzly. I would hope we don’t have to get to the point that one individual’s life is more important. But I suppose we are in a way…
The world population is 6 billion people. When wolves over populate their food supply they regulate the birth numbers. Humans will do the same or nature will regulate us.
I have lived out here all my life and every year there are grizzly bear shootings and the bears have been increasing in the last 30 years. A little male grizzly hunting would be good for the population. Anytime that I have been around hunted bears in Alaska they know a human can be their demise. They leave now.
++These grizzly bear shooting stories seem to be garnering way more outrage and sympathy than they used to, while every day human gun caused deaths seldom get noticed unless they are of a larger scale++
The reason that bear shooting stories seem to be garnering way more outrage and sympathy than they use to is because of the INTERNET. If one goes to 24 Hour Campfire or Monster Muley the same thing happens in reverse. There was a story of a man who shot a wolf out of Lolo, Montana this weekend and 50 people cheer him on.
++I see your point, Mike and as you said, you will get strife for that comment. Think about the 600 gorillas left in Africa as compared to millions of people on the earth. Gorillas don’t have a chance.++
Right. Basically what I am saying is that one single grizzly bear being killed in a population of 100 will be looked at as an entire species going extinct versus the life of one human. In the larger scheme of things, is one human life more important than an entire species of animals? This is the argument that will transpire when we become even more overpopulated and smash down into the last wildlife habitat. 200 years from now, as people look around them in the endless, hundreds of miles long sprawl, more sympathy will be garned for the last few bears than for hunters. It’s an incredibly easy prediction to make based on a simple, basic understanding of human psychology.
Hey, if that position riles people, so what? So does global warming. And I find that people who are offended by the talk of this sort of thing don’t like to be thought of as animals themselves, even though we are.
++ like to think of endangered animal species as important as me, not more important. Because I am one of a kind, no one like me. Many many more humans than griz bears than humans that is for sure, but I am one of a kind. So is that grizzly. I would hope we don’t have to get to the point that one individual’s life is more important. But I suppose we are in a way…++
Yes, you are right. There’s no one like you or I, or the other posters here. We are lucky to be alive! The question we have to ask is, has our science caught up and allowed us the ability to find out of there was no other bear like the grizzly that was shot in the Cabinets? Nope. Or how about even an elk? Again, no.
oh yea, Mike I think about these types of questions everyday. I am not in the slightest offended by your post. I find it refreshing. I totally agree with you about those that are offended may not think of themselves in the same light or equal to an animal (makes them harder to eat! but we are carnivores most of us)
And before the PETA diss comes up again, you don’t have to be a member of PETA to think that way. I have a problem with a lot of things PETA does, but they have also done a lot of good, for example videos of downer cows… who wants to eat a downer cow? disgusting. I don’t think PETA members give a rats arse what people think, or they wouldn’t be doing it. they have a cause…anyway I digress sorry.
Mike I dont know if you are a religous man at all, but I am, and I dont think my moral code would allow me to place the value of any animal over the life of a human. Srry, other blogs that would be more sympathetic towards you and gline’s ideas..
When the human population becomes around 20 billion people, what do you think will happen to grizzly bears in the lower 48? Do you think their numbers will grow? Come on.
Speaking the truth does not mean I need to adjust my priorities, Save Bears. The truth can be uncomfortable but so be it. If overpopulation conintues, there will be a time when a species is considered more valuable than one human life.
++Mike I dont know if you are a religous man at all, but I am, and I dont think my moral code would allow me to place the value of any animal over the life of a human. Srry, other blogs that would be more sympathetic towards you and gline’s ideas..++
Josh I think you are offended because you don’t like the idea of being an animal. You are fooled by the “bling”.
I believe in God, and I respect other religions. That said, why didn’t Noah make a human ark when the great flood supposedly came? That is after all in the book of genesis.
++oh yea, Mike I think about these types of questions everyday. I am not in the slightest offended by your post. I find it refreshing. I totally agree with you about those that are offended may not think of themselves in the same light or equal to an animal (makes them harder to eat! but we are carnivores most of us)++
Well I believe it is our duty to question what we are doing regardless of “tradition”. I eat meat and flyfish. I hurt and kill animals through my own behavior. But does that mean I need to turn a blind eye to everythng? Of course not. Increasing self awarness and asking questions is what moves civilization forward instead of backwards. The crowd out there who argues for status quo due to tradition just because “this is how we did things in the past” is a backwards thinking group of people.
There are many questions out there that rile my fellow conservationists which I have asked before:
1. At what point does a species become more valuable than a single human?
2. Can you really be a conservationist and own two homes?
3. Can you be a conservationist and fly around the country all the time in private planes?
There are a ton of these questions. By addressing them we become better humans, better stewards of the earth.
You guys can keep wondering, it won’t happen…sorry, I am just as bothered by the shootings, but living and working in the affected areas, it would be political suicide to try and close these areas, especially since they are expanding every year, it would be taken as a back door approach to end hunting, ain’t going to happen..
I’m not saying I am for closing too many areas for hunting, but there needs to be something done about this because there seem to have been quite a few deaths in lots of places. I know this would go over like the proverbial lead balloon but what other options are there aside from requiring the use of pepper spray? I also have to question why this guy got so close to the bears.
If this keeps happening, sooner or later hunting will be shut down in these areas. If the bears shrink in population, they will gain more sympathy than for what is given to hunting. Lawsuits will be filed, the bear will be put back on the list in the Glacier ecosystem.
Thank god for the ESA, which overrides corrupt local politicians and instead fascilitates a commanding top down approach.
50 yards is actually not as close as you think, it is very easy in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to end up 50 yards(150 feet) from a bear, especially during hunting season, there are hundreds of hikers in Yellowstone and Glacier every year, that end up closer…to bears and other wildlife.
I have questions as to why, he was not carrying bear spray, but he was not as close as you guys think he was…and I am pretty sure bear spray would have resulted in a completely different outcome to this encounter..
Ever with the deaths the last few years, the population is GROWING every year..the population is not shrinking at this time, every grizz death is a tragedy, but we really need to keep things in perspective and the bear population is growing and inhabiting new areas!
What also disturbs me about these stories is that we often don’t know if the bears really charged. There’s no way to know 100% if a hunter just shoots a bear and then claims it was self defense to avoid any charges.
Also, how many of these grizzly shootings are even reported? I bet some hunters have no interest at all in reporting the incidents for fear of retribution.
We may not know the answers to those questions, but you can be SURE that for all the reported incidents, there has to be some out there that we never hear of.
This man put himself into a dangerous situation, didn’t he? Hunting is inherently risky, no? Isn’t risk part of the intrigue of hunting? He chose to hunt in grizzly territory, didn’t he?
There is very little information to go on and I admit my comments will include speculation, but it seems that, again, we have a situation in which a man was ill-prepared to enter grizzly habitat. This man drew greater danger to himself through his own actions. He saw two bears at 150 feet and didn’t recognize the most likely scenario, that he was looking at a female and cub. Why would anyone deliberately alert a female grizzly with a cub to his presence? I would think that every person on this comment thread would recognize that seeing two bears in the woods in the fall is a good bet you are looking at a sow and cub, which would prompt each of us to put our finger on the bear spray, steer clear & retreat. Why didn’t this man do that?
The only way incidents like this might lessen is for states to decide to get tough on education and accountability. To me, self defense is when you have no other choice. How this situation can be deemed self defense is just boggling to me. He HAD other choices. The actions he took
increased his danger. The grizzly paid the price of the man being ill-prepared, but how does it serve this man or his children or his neighbors and colleagues if he isn’t held accountable to the fact that this grizzly’s death was so utterly preventable?
I am glad he wasn’t injured but I can’t celebrate that he can “go back to his family” when the sow is dead for being a bear, unless the man is a remorseful and willing-to-take-his-punishment man, not a let-off-the-hook-so-he-can-repeat-his-mistakes-again man.
He may have claimed self defense, but it was also investigated based on the evidence on the ground, so his claims were not the only basis for self defense, the investigation team in NW Montana are a pretty good team and they have sided with the bears more often than they have sided with the hunters.
We don’t know for a fact it was a sow with cubs, based on the description it was probably a sow with yearling cubs, which have a very good chance of survival..if it was a sow with COY I would say, chances are they won’t survive, but with no further information, it is pure speculation at this point in time..
Believe it on not, you and I are pretty much on the same page, with most things…as I said, I don’t understand why this guy was not carrying bear spray as this sounds like the perfect storm for the use of bear spray…
Mike: just by the way I live I would say I am very “green” (there’s that word- or greenneck I should say) via the fact I have very little money. As well I try to live green. I would never have 2 homes. I would never waste money like many do. I would give a lot to environmental groups- more than I do now. just an aside. I am glad you are speaking up. Are you a state employee? biologist or something?
All we can hope is that people learn from this, and every instance where this happens. I’m sure there are accounts across the state of hunters running into bears at close distances, and both parties walking away unharmed. The problem is we only hear through the news about the maulings, and when bears are killed.-both very unfortunate.
I dont think closing areas because of grizzly habitat during hunting season is realistic. Much of Western MT is grizzly habitat. Plus public land access is limited already, closing areas for that are bear habitat would create much less ground than there already is. I hunt regularly just a mile from the area where the man was mauled on opening day in Paradise Valley. Do I still hunt there- yes, Am I extra aware of ravens, gut piles, wind direction, of course. I truly feel more of these encounters end in both parties walking away, we just dont hear about them.
Ladies and Gentlemen – where is the statement that the hunter was not carrying bear spray???? If he/she had the bear spray and chose not to use it, that is a decision he/she made at the time and he/she has been cleared by the investigating team.
with the uproar about bear spray now a days, I am sure if he had been carrying it, it would have been mentioned, virtually every single article wrote now a days, mentions if they were or were not carrying bear spray, what would make this one different?
++If someone encounters a bear and walks away and the bear walks away, their wife and friends hear about it, if it ends up with one party or another gets hurt or dies, the whole world hears about it..++
Lets not forget about the “shovel and shut up” crowd either. They are out there.
I’ m a web designer and entrepreneur. I grew up enjoying the outdoors in the northwoods of Wisconsin and Michigan(including hunting and fishing). In the the 90’s I began reading Ralph’s postings on Usenet and was especially fascinated by “roadless areas”. This turned me on to seeking these vast landscapes. I ventured into the Nothern Rockies in the late 90’s and my heart has been there ever since. “grizz country” is a pretty special place. You can read my incoherent ramblings at my site, which is linked to in Ralph’s blog roll under “Wilderness Sportsman”.
I just hope these grizz cubs were not “of the year”. The Cabinets are a small wilderness area. I’m still amazed they have hung on there to be honest. These bears are also the best bet for recolonizing the Selway Bitterrot.
Yes Mike they are out there , and every single hunter does everything they can to ensure they are treated for what they are, criminals, despite your slanted view of the world, the majority are not criminals and they do care about wildlife..
Hunters don’t poach, criminals do, whether they have a hunting license or not, where in the hell did you get such a pessimistic attitude about all things outdoors…Christ based on your assessment, we should all shoot our self in the head and leave the world to the animals…
I would have to count up the number of griz deaths this year we have read on Ralph’s blog in order to count up the cubs who will not make it either. Is this an especially bad year for the Griz in your opinion Ralph? seems like that was the blog headlin the other day…
Save Bears – Why do you get so defensive? Your outloook that no one with a hunting license poaches is unrealistic. you know as well as I do that it exists. In fact it’s been well documented that some of the largest poaching cases are from licensed guide services.
It’s like you saying “a lot of hikers litter”, and then me getting mad about it. Why would I get mad about it? It’s true! There are bad apples in every crowd. The difference here is that the bad apples from the hunting crowd kill things.
Point where I said people with hunting licenses don’t poach, I said, hunters don’t poach, criminals poach, and I have never said a lot of hikers litter, in fact, I don’t remember making any comments on hikers, unlike you, who always has an opinion about hunters! The bad apples from the hikers groups are as responsible for getting animals killed as any other group of people, only they don’t do the killing..someone else follows through because of their actions..
Save Bears – part of the problem is you have created this fantasy bubble where poachers or those who break hunting laws are not “hunters” and somehow are magically excluded from that description. If they buy licenses and participate in the sport of hunting, they are indeed hunters.
You don’t have to change your mind, it is well set as your many postings have shown, and I could give a shit if you change your mind, as with your post in the thread about wolves, you seem to gloss over fact and allow emotion to rule your mind.
I have plenty of sympathy for all wildlife, which is why I chose a career in the wildlife field and stood my ground when my agency tried to get me to publish less than truthful information, that would have got even more wolves and bears “controlled” , I have said many times in this thread, that he should have been carrying bear spray and based on what I have heard, could have used it instead of his gun.
See I have worked in the field for many years, and no, I don’t have a bubble world around me, and am well aware of what goes on in the field, when they cross the line, they are no longer hunters and you still have not provided any verifiable statistics as I have asked before to prove your point..
Every driver breaks laws and some hunters break laws. When I am hunting I break the law all the time. I HATE hunter orange and I wear as little as possible. The law says 400 square inches above the waist and visible in all directions. Well my pack covers my back. One of these days I will be warned or cited: it is a very small fine.
It amazes me, that a “Web Designer” and entrepreneur, thinks he knows more than just about every scientist in the field of wildlife biology, which you have abundantly criticized, be it me, or any of the many wolf biologists, that have been quoted on this blog…
Save Bears: your posts on here seem to contradict one another one minute you are wanting extreme neutrality, the other you are voicing support for wolves and other predators. There is an Example just above… it is strange.
Which opinion piece of my mind are you referring to exactly? What facts am I glossing over? just curious.
I express the desire for neutrality when it comes to understanding each side of the issue, but I support wildlife and I support management of said wildlife, I don’t however support killing of grizzly bears, unless it is unavoidable to save a humans life and I will never support a grizzly hunting season…
lawsuits will never get rid of the hate that exists, only education can do that..
as far as you glossing, read my response about wildlife services in the other thread, what ever ruling Malloy makes, will not affect in any way what wildlife services does, that is a fact!
Why would you not support a grizzly bear season if there were enough bears to support it or if the habitat had become full. In some areas of Alaska one can kill two bears a season. It is one of my regrets that I did not kill a grizzly when I lived there. Hopefully a non resident will be able to hunt without guide, there is some talk about it to reduce the grizzly population or the expand the sescond degree family relationship to include uncles, aunts and cousins.
Montana had a grizzly season up until the late 80’s or early 90’s and if the season targets males early in the spring what is wrong with it? I would not want a season where a female easily could be killed. The same goes for mountain goats. I think killing a nanny is wrong and with a kid even worst. But to oppose a grizzly season when the available public habitat is starting to become saturated which it is, with the bears moving far out into the plains does not make sense from a professional stand point. Professional wildlife managers allow the hunting of surplus animals or in cases where the harvest will not effect the population. Montana has always hunted grizzlies until a few years ago and we still have bears and a bear population that is increasing.
There is to much emotion in all of this, if the population dynamics allow for a limited hunting then we should have a season. If not, then no season. If you worked out of the Bozeman office of the MFWP’s then several of your bosses believe that there will be a grizzly season within 5 years. I was drinking beer with several of them about 6 months ago — great fun except I drank to much then had to drive home — I never read my name in the paper but never again.
OK now, save bears. In my opinion, (sorry), I was not glossing over your expertise. I was expressing the fact that if wolves were protected (because of an injunction – my understanding of the injunction would be that wolves would be protected again if an injunction was issued) how in the heck could WS kill many many wolves as is suggested on this blog? That is a question, not glossing over for my benefit. You have me wrong in that regard. I have strong opinions on wildlife myself, but it doesnt mean I gloss over for my “agenda”. but think what you want.
As long as the dynamics continue the way they are currently, I won’t support a grizz season in Montana, and I don’t know that we will ever get back to a huntable population.
I hunted grizz in Alaska and took a very nice bear with a bow, so I am not opposed to hunting bears, but I think with the current political situation as well as lawsuit society, then throw in those who kill them just because they want to and to tell the establishment to go to hell, I don’t see it happening in my lifetime.
I did not work out of Bozeman, but know many of the people in that office and am happy to call many of them friends, but as with most friends, there are points we often disagreed about, there might very well be a season, but until such time as the dynamics change, I don’t support it..but again, I am not a bear specialist, I work in the bison and elk area, and interaction between those two species and predators…
I have expressed many times on this blog my concern for other endangered or threatened species besides wolves- wolverines, gorillas, griz bear etc. If we are to speak of all wildlife, we should really speak of problems with bees and frogs as well, for a start. Christ its all going down the tubes. (humor)
gline, it is called 10(j) experimental population, in other words, not important and wildlife services will not be effected by any injunction granted, they were not affected when the wolves were listed and even if Malloy issues an injunction they won’t be affected, they will be able to continue their killing in the name of ranching and ag industries, just as it was before they were delisted..there has been no actions filed or won, that would prevent them from “managing” wolves..
Yes I know of the 10(j), a little. I am thinking in terms of WS killing the wolves Idaho nobility wants to kill. The amount. if endangered, how could they do that. but I am going to bed. leave it to you folks…
Wildlife services are immune from any action occurring due to the court rulings and they are immune from any actions relating to the listing status, which has been the point that should be fought, not the legal hunting seasons, look back through the records and add up how many wolves have been killed by wildlife services, now look at the reports of how many have been killed by legal hunters…..and take a deep breath and say awwwweee.. BIG difference…
++It amazes me, that a “Web Designer” and entrepreneur, thinks he knows more than just about every scientist in the field of wildlife biology, which you have abundantly criticized, be it me, or any of the many wolf biologists, that have been quoted on this blog…++
Ae you sure we are reading the same blog? I’ve never done any of those things here.
“I have plenty of sympathy for all wildlife, which is why I chose a career in the wildlife field and stood my ground when my agency tried to get me to publish less than truthful information, that would have got even more wolves and bears “controlled””
I hope that eventually you’ll be able to tell us this story. I’m curious to see if it goes along with the mistrust I have in many MFWP policies and some of their employees.
++The emotion works both ways though. It’s not just from the grizzly “fans”++
Mike, I am a grizzly fan and it was to close for comfort last Saturday. University of Montana 9-0 and Ralph’s School ISU 0-9. In the last second’s of the game the Grizzlies kicked a field goal and won by 2 points. It would have been one of the greatest upsets in the Big Sky Conference. Now the Grizzlies are going to win the national championship in Dec.
When I attended the U of M from 71 to 74 I could have cared less.
Mike I am beginning to think you know less and less about hunting, especially hunting in the west. I would gladly meet you in WY for a hunt next fall if you like, and I will show you how the LARGE marjority of hunters really are. Hell I will even buy your NR antelope tag. Let me know. But your uneducated anti-hunting rants get old. Also I highly doubt 20 billion would be reached, there would be wars over food and water and resources that would seriously lower the population.
actually, I really don’t see anymore hate now, than has existed for generations, just now, they have more avenues to profess their hate and desires for control. Remember folks we are talking about wild animals in this day and age, in the past it was directed against “Wild Indians” but I don’t think it is growing, it is just maintaining itself…
I had just written quite a long paragraph on what you are saying save bears, but lost it somehow…… re: manifest destiny etc. and the culture of hatred of wolves and treatment of them as pests to begin with.
“It” will maintain itself, until such time as effective education is mandatory starting at a early age(Earth Science Education come to mind), as I have said, lawsuits don’t change hate, only education can do that, you may win a victory in court, but it will not change the minds of those you are fighting and it will always come back to bite you in the ass.
Reasonable well thought out education, can change the environment of hate and it takes time, tell someone they are stupid and they will continue to be stupid, work with them to help them understand and you have a better chance of victory
Not really, if you look at the christian belief the last days of earth will be very violent with wars, famine and all sorts of problems. I personally feel that wars will become more common as resources become more restricted. Especially water and food. Just look at Africa.
I do not believe in the Christian belief of the “last days” as fact. Seems like Christians are setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy for an excused environmental downfall..
Not to debate religion AT ALL, just want to illustrate there are more religions/opinions then Christian…. for ex. if you were to be Buddhist and believe in an after life here, you would not treat the earth with such disdain….
I’m not trying to start another hunter/anti hunter fued on this blog. But can someone please explain this to me. When children torture and kill animals for no reason than they want to do it, they are determined to be suffering from some sort of anti-social, or sociopathic mental or emotional illness. They are often treated with drugs or intensive therapy in hopes they will overcome these issues so they will not become a threat to society.
When “trophy hunters” torture and kill animals for no other reason than they want to, we are supposed to accept their behavior as a “way of life” and a God given right. What is the difference? I truly want to know.
“Seems like Christians are setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy for an excused environmental downfall..”
This is so true, I have actually heard some “supposed” christians say, “Why worry about the destruction of the earth because God is just going to take us out of here,(in the rapture I suppose) so we might as well use it up.
How does this attitude reconcile with Genesis 1:25 where God says after creating the earth and the beasts of the field, ” And God saw what he had created and it was good”? and with Revelation 11:18 which says in part “The God of heaven will. . . bring to ruin those ruining the Earth” Maybe these so called “Christians” are Christians only in their own eyes.
What is trophy hunting? Trophy hunting in my opinion is a faction of 1% of the hunters. In all states and providences one is required to salvage all meat except on grizzly and cats and there are those who like mountain lion meat. In 2000, I shot a large bull moose in Alaska because I wanted the horns and the experience of the hunt, great trip. All meat was salvaged and I took home approximately 60 pounds of loin meat. My cousin gave away the rest of the meat between 4 or 5 families. These families did not have the skill or the finances to go hunting. In mid winter he called me and told me how important that meat was to the families that it was given to.
Less than 1% of a fraction of hunters are subsistance hunters. Regardless of how one pencils the numbers, subsistance hunting does not pay and the opportunity cost associated with hunting are greater than one can buy meat cheaper. Those who truely need the meat can not afford to hunt except in special cases where they can hunt out the back door.
Hunting is an enjoyment and it is my greatest enjoyment and I will shoot a large 6 point bull because of the horns over a better eating cow elk. The meat is all eaten the just the same.
Humans will destroy this earth, not the Lord. we will destroy it by over population, lack of food due to lack of resources, climate change due to our way of life, war, etc… why do you think they are trying to find worlds in outer space to put us on, hey, destroy earth now lets go destroy the solar system. Humans are greedy, self indulging fools that can not see the future due to the greed they have now. all me me me!!! If there is ET’s out there, they better come on down and either show us how to live right and bring the world back to what it was, or destroy us before we destroy their worlds!
Cat I thought we have hashed and rehashed this whole “trophy hunting” concept many times. They are a very small fraction of hunters, no one I know just shoots elk/deer and cuts the head off and leaves the rest… It rarely happens. But if all hunters chose to shoot mature animals you would see healthier populations in my opinion. I know you dont like hunting at all so I dont expect you to really agree at all with anything I say concerning hunting.
The Lord gave us the Bible so we can follow his teaching’s, we don’t. The Lord will take away what he gave if we disrespect it, and he will allow us to do it all ourselves, he knew and know’s that. He already gave his son up once to save us, now it is our turn, he won’t do it again…
It’s time the majority wake up and speak out for bears before struggling populations like in the Cabinet-Yaak disappear. It is insanity that we let this possibly genetically isolated population struggle at the brink while we entertain ourselves. It’s not a matter of survival the man was in that place, he was recreating. It is dangerous to be in bear country….if you go, you take the risk. That’s as it should be…that’s why it’s called “WILD-erness”. If you want a lesser experience go to Idaho’s Sawtooth’s or the Frank, or the Bitterroot. If you go to bear country you had better be ultra-prepared (with tools and education) and hyper-aware (with all senses firing, totally present-what better way to experience the moment?) or prepared to die or be seriously injured for your lack thereof (which seldom happens). But if your tools include a gun and you harm the bear there should be stiff consequences, self-defense or not. Our attitudes need to shift dramatically.
LIFE is precious…I don’t think GOD should be brought into this argument…anyones would surely abhor what we’re doing to this planet.
Egos at the door…it doesn’t take a biologist or someone with years in the field to see that hunters kill bears…bears rate of reproduction is slow…populations like the Cabinet-Yaak will never be self-sustaining if reproductive females are continually lost to hunters. It is doubtful this particular population will ever recover without augmentation, especially not if this keeps happening. Every reproductive female death here is tragic because majority public opinion is against augmentation to support recovery surrounding the CYE. It appears, for now, its best chance is to recover on its own. Which won’t happen without more protection, which means there needs to be more consequences for hunters, be it from the bear or from laws.
3.4 million acres of wilderness in MT and we can’t give this bear population a couple hundred thousand acres here in the Cabinet-Yaak to try and recover in? This area needs more rigorous protection. Insane is the only word to describe it… maybe one day as a population we’ll view it this way… just like we view slavery now.
I’m there Mike.
FYI- If I’m not mistaken this would have been the first documented grizzly bear attack in the CYE in the last 30+ years.
And how is hunting a trophy animal compared to a kid torturing and killing a cat???
Great point. Trophy hunting is done for the thrill of the kill, I guess some forms of killing are acceptable and some aren’t but if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck…it’s a duck.
Catbestland, if the shot is well placed the animal will not suffer. You also have to look at how many other animals die in the wild. It’s not too often that anything just dies of old age peacefully in its sleep. Predation and starvation are not pretty. Most hunters also don’t hunt just because they want to kill something.
Trophy hunting wild animals that are taken through fair chase is one thing. Trophy hunting animals that are hand fed semi tame animals, bears that are killed over bait, those types of kills are what most people have a problem with. On one of the other posts on this website people are discussing fair chase bison hunting. Now theres an elusive animal for you. I saw on Buffalo campaign last year a young hunter that took almost a half an hour and I don’t know how many rounds to kill the bison through the montana hunt season. On versus they advertise Cmere deer which almost seems to be like baiting the deer, they are attracted to the scent and wander right into the ambush.
Less than 1% of a fraction of hunters are subsistance hunters. Regardless of how one pencils the numbers, subsistance hunting does not pay and the opportunity cost associated with hunting are greater than one can buy meat cheaper. Those who truely need the meat can not afford to hunt except in special cases where they can hunt out the back door.
Hunting is an enjoyment and it is my greatest enjoyment and I will shoot a large 6 point bull because of the horns over a better eating cow elk. The meat is all eaten the just the same.
Oh Snap! There it is..
The people that need the free meat can’t afford to hunt. Hunting is expensive……with tags, ammunition, rifles, equipment, etc. Hunting is a luxury sport. So what’s the difference between a hunter who kills a trophy animal and one that shoots an elk because I’m not seeing much difference? Sure the elk hunter may eat the meat but he could have gone to the grocery store and bought organic beef for the price he pays to hunt.
IMO, hunters hunt for the thrill of the chase and the kill. Secondarily they enjoy the meat largesse it’s a game animal or the pelt if it’s a trophy animal.
after seeing the way animals are killed in slaughterhouses i have even more respect for subsistence hunters that provide their own meat that they hunt. The hsus video last week showing two day old veal calves was very disturbing.
I have always enjoyed hunting and that is the way it is. If you don’t enjoy hunting then, that is very fine and it’s your choice and your feelings. More people are moving into Montana to enjoy the hunting and fishing than anti hunters are moving-in and that is unfortunate.
From reading your posts and blog you live around the North Fork of the Flathead. It is a beauiful place and I and many others love Polebridge, Montana, I have not been there in many years. Montana is hunting county and it will be many years before that is going to change. Montana has the highest per capita sale of hunting licenses and the third highest per capita gun ownership in the United States. The current local and state government is going to listen to your thoughs and ideas but things are not going to change in Montana for a long, long time. If you don’t like it get elected as a state legislator induce legislation and get it passed.
If you live around the North Fork of the Flathead then you live in Flathead County. I am a blue dog democrat and it suprises me the conservative people in your county.
++So what’s the difference between a hunter who kills a trophy animal and one that shoots an elk because I’m not seeing much difference? Sure the elk hunter may eat the meat but he could have gone to the grocery store and bought organic beef for the price he pays to hunt. ++
If what we do is legal then I am not telling you what to do and I do not expect to be told what to do. I love reading this blog, but I get the feeling that a number of people would like to see all fish and game under the control of the federal govenment. There are also a number of non resident hunters who feel the same way.
watching any of those slaughterhouse movies will turn you into a vegetarian
That’s for sure. I’m a veggie and that’s what turned me. Have you read the great book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Foer? It’s about the food industry, factory farming and the struggles that we ex and current omnivores make about our food choices.
Unfortunately you are right about that cat. I’ve been lucky enough to drop most animals I’ve gotten with one shot. I do agree that one thing that is better about hunting is that the animal not only has a chance to escape but also dies “with its boots on.” I’d be lying if I said I don’t struggle with the idea of hunting at times.
I beg to differ that it’s cheaper to go to the store for meat than to hunt. If you hunt out of state and pay for guides I can see it being more expensive, but there are alot of people out there that do hunt for the freezer. I like big racks also and I’ve taken some very nice bulls and bucks in my career but it’s hard to be a trophy hunter with an empty freezer and no work.
We are lucky up here though because we do hunt right out the back door or no more than 15 minutes away to the really good hunting.
I love living in Northwest Montana and don’t spend my time proselytizing to my neighbors about the evils of hunting. I wouldn’t have many neighbors talking to me if I did…lol.
BUT I’m angry and disappointed about the wolf hunts. I started the blog as a way to give back to wolves and try to help them in any way I can.
I’m completely aware Montana is a panacea for hunters and that will probably never change. Many people do move here for hunting opportunities but also people move here to view wildlife. We are the ones who are underrepresented. We have Wildlife Services blowing away our predators and other wildlife in the interest of agriculture and the states managing ungulates for hunters.
Now we have the states killing off wolves for no reason. Many, many people in Montana and Idaho enjoy viewing wildlife, that’s why we live here. Wolves are such money makers in Yellowstone. Eco-tourism is big business but the states don’t seem to get it. They seem to be listening to a few interest groups that have always had their way and think that’s the way things are always going to be.
You may be right that Montana won’t change in significant ways in the near future but the wolf hunts have people outraged. Most of America want wild wolves and not just little fragmented populations, managed to the point of having little influence on the ecosystems they inhabit.
I’m not telling you how to live your life or stop hunting. We don’t live in a perfect world. But the worst thing the states could have done was to start hunting wolves so soon after their delisitng. It looks petty, mean spirited and gives hunting a bad name especially with all the celebrating and slogans, like “Smoke a Pack a Day”. I’m afraid it’s polarized people even more with wolves stuck in the middle.