Death By Grizzly Bear!

44
Posted August 19, 2015 by Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief in General

Death By Grizzly Bear

The only reason I am even going to bring this up is because this issue is so close to home. A grizzly bear was euthanized after it attacked and consumed (i.e. ATE) a Yellowstone Park employee. This has drawn plenty of attention to the subject of predator management and the plight of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. As I sit here in camp after a long day on a mule deer scouting trip I can’t help but think about some of the facts related to this incident and some of what is really going on in the big picture with predator management and wildlife conservation as a whole.

The bear in question for this incident was a 20 year old sow. According to my research that is an old bear, who, if I had to take a guess either finally got tired of running from tourists armed with flash photography, or was in need of an easy meal to feed her cubs. Maybe even both are a little bit true but the reality is that she actually consumed a human and was likely to make more meals of hikers if she lived longer. What is worse is that all bears learn their behaviors from their mothers and she was teaching her young to eat humans. That is ultimately why this bear was euthanized.

Now what would lead an older bear to attack and eat a human when there is no previous record of incidents with this bear? My guess is that competition for food from other bears and even the wolves had made life a little bit more than she could handle. The northern Yellowstone elk herd has declined dramatically and is only starting to show improvements in numbers now that wolf seasons have been in play in Montana and Idaho for several seasons. This means fewer calves that are available for the bear to hunt and more predators who are fighting for them.

In the midst of all of this there have been several other incidents that haven’t made headlines. In Idaho a 2 year old male grizzly made the fatal decision to visit the backyard of some locals. The decision proved fatal for the bear when he charged the family and had to be shot by the residents of the home. Bad decision for the bear and even worse for the family and a pain for the game and fish officers who had to spend money and man hours to investigate the incident.

Those of us that hunt in griz country understand how to work around bears in their environment. However, the common hiker/weekend recreator may not. Five miles from Cody, Wyoming a grizzly bear has been making the rounds visiting trash cans. This is not a behavior that usually ends well for grizzly bears. Often times they end up being trapped and then moved to a more remote location or they end up being euthanized after having more than one incident.

A popular hiking destination 20 minutes from Powell was shut down in May and for parts of June this spring when 2 sows with cubs were found to be living there. This historically hasn’t been a place where sows raise cubs but when there is more than one raising cubs there one would assume they believed it to be a safe place to protect them from boars who kill them off.

The common denominator in all of these stories is that the bears are expanding their territory in search of food and sanctuary. If you want to have healthy apex predators who don’t have conflicts with humans you have to hunt them. If we want to see these conflicts reduced the time has come to hunt these bears and see them turn into the next success produced by the North American Model of Wildlife conservation. It has worked for every other species until the ESA gets involved , why not let it work for old humpy too?

GuySig-1

 

 

 

P.S. Make sure your subscription is current to EBJ! We will be drawing the winner for our Southern Colorado elk hunt soon!



About the Author

Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief
Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief

Following in the footsteps of his father, Guy has taken up the reins and is now at the helm of the Eastmans’ Hunting Journal and the Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal. A fine hunter in his own right, Guy has taken several trophy animals and has become an expert in trophy hunting as well.

44 Comments


  1.  

    I find it interesting that the ‘powers’ that be couldn’t be bothered to listen to us old hunters and fishermen when it came to predators. It’s a shame that the Gray Wolf was introduced into the Yellowstone system to (as the ‘powers’ said) help manage the elk herds and even take a few bison while they were at it. What these knuckleheads failed to understand was that the wolf doesn’t know about boundaries like state lines and park fences. Plus, wolves create packs, that create packs, that create packs ad nauseam. They, the ‘powers’, simply introduced them and let so-called nature take its course…which of course it did.

    The bears are then having to compete with wolves for kills. I actually saw two grays take on a mature grizzly bear and win! Just a couple of gray wolves defeated this bear and stole his kill and that is not an unusual tale. Of course, when the bear gets hungry enough, he’ll go for anything edible, including homo sapiens. It seems to me there are more and more instances of bears attacking humans nowadays than in the past. I may be wrong, but it sure seems that way. Bears are becoming a problem like they never were before, I think.

    Now, I know that the wolf is native to this country. I’m not even completely against wolves, but by introducing them we’ve fouled up the natural order of things that was set in motion when the wolf was eradicated back in the very early 19th century. After the wolf’s demise, the other animals thrived and sometimes died of starvation but a balance was achieved in the lower 48. Things where going along pretty good. Hunting was good. Fishing was good. People were spending money doing both in my state [Idaho] and other western states until the wolves began harassing the elk, deer and moose. The hunting got so bad in the central part of my state that most of the guides in the area simply closed their doors [and they are still doing it from what I understand when I talk to some of my guide friends]. What a shame that was…and a costly one for the state.

    I hope people will heed the warning you put forth in your essay, Guy, they should…but will they? Probably not. So, we all have to band together regarding the issue of predators in our states if we are going to do any good at all. We can’t just have a few of us ‘Crying in the Wilderness’ and the rest of us staying silent. I’m a hunter. I’m proud to have been a hunter for 60 years. I believe in animal conservation, but not by introducing a specie that no longer belongs in the lower 48 states.

    Thanks Guy for continuing the fight

    John Belville




    •  
      Kevin

      John,

      Well said! You are spot on! The wolf reintroduction would have been OK if they had stuck to the initial plan of something like 28 breeding pairs for recovery. Instead, animal activists kept moving the goal line until we had way too many wolves. Like Guy says, the grizzly and wolves need to be managed just like any other game species.




    •  
      Brandon

      Mr. Belville,

      I respect your point of view and think local knowledge should definitely be considered in these matters.
      I am confused about your comment: “I’m not even completely against wolves, but by introducing them we’ve fouled up the natural order of things that was set in motion when the wolf was eradicated back in the very early 19th century.”

      How can you say that eradication of wolves was the natural order of things? Wolves were here before we ever were. Wouldn’t the natural order of things include the presence of wolves and the ecosystem benefits that they provide?
      To clarify, I am not against having wolves on the landscape but I believe they need to be managed by state agencies for sustainable populations just like deer, elk, and moose are managed.
      I could argue that there is no “natural order” anymore. The world we live in requires some kind of management for wildlife because we, humans, have changed the world. We build roads and houses on winter range, cut off migratory routes, kill wildlife with our cars, and pay for depredation of ag fields. We are dealing with it constantly and we still make decisions that benefit only humans without regard to the amazing wildlife that surrounds us and that have requirements for survival that we may not fully understand.

      Along those same lines, which species doesn’t belong in the lower 48? Wolves? Grizzlies?
      Don’t they both belong? Humans eradicated them because we see predators as competition for our own needs. We didn’t like that competition so we tried to eliminate it. The truth is, there can be a balance and there can be a place for wolves and grizzlies but they should be managed just like we manage other wildlife species. I think that is Guy’s point. Part of the problem is that there was such an abundance of wild ungulates (deer, elk, moose) at one time that we now make comparisons between today’s herds and those herds. That’s not fair because it is a different world now. State agencies need to adjust their big game management objectives in light of the fact that there are apex predators on the landscape to have more reasonable herd size objectives. Predators are not going away. Conservation groups will fight to keep them around, but I question their real motivations.
      But, that’s a topic for another day.

      Thanks for the posts everyone. These are always interesting topics to discuss and get more insights on.

      P.S. If you haven’t done so, I would recommend reading Aldo Leopold’s, A Sand County Almanac. It’s a good read.




      •  
        Joe

        You missed his point on the “natural order of things”. What he said was “the natural order of things that was set in motion when the wolf was eradicated”. You see we eliminated the wolf and they were absent for long enough for a new “natural order” to form. Nature adapted to a land with no wolfs and that became the new order. Now we reintroduce the wolf and this new balance that was created is thrown out of whack.




        •  
          Brandon

          Ok. That makes sense…sort of.
          I find it interesting that we call it a “natural order” when there is nothing natural about it. In my opinion, if human management intervention is necessary then there is no natural order anymore. We try to preserve what we think is the natural order as best we can and that’s all we can do at this point. But, I think the natural world is better off with apex predators as a part of it. Managed (not eradicated) by humans just like the other wildlife species are.




          •  
            shootbrownelk

            The Canadian Grey Wolf that was introduced is not the same wolf that was present in the Rockies before elimination. It’s a much larger wolf…and is an illegally introduced invasive species. There are too many of them.They need to be removed again.
            This is 2015, man has taken over their place in the food chain. Now even the Grizzlies are feeling the effects of the Clinton Gangs reintroduction folly.




          •  

            Honestly why is it that everyone never considers “man” part of the natural order? Are we stupid enough to exclude “us” as humans as part of the natural order? Why.. do people think we are outsiders as far as the natural world goes? Where we not here on this planet for a long time just like all of the other animals? Some just got smarter and better than other species! For me I just do not understand why people seem to say we are not part of the natural order. Did someone just drop us off on this planet and let us go? I believe we are part of the natural order and the only species that have the intelligence to make a difference so all of us can survive! We are the only part of the natural order that actually provide assistance to help other species to survive. And that would be through all of the organizations “we as hunters subscribe to.. buy buying memberships to said organizations” and turning the money over to a state wildlife agency! And the same can be said for fishing Organizations! I cannot see why all of the folks that always say we are not part of natural order. We in fact are the ones as Sportsman And Sportswomen that actually take all of this and weigh it out so we can support all game species to survive! We have a vested interest! Without longevity we would not be able to hunt or fish and enjoy the lifestyle we were either brought up in or learned on our own! Sorry I really think we “are” part of the natural order! Bob.




            •  
              Brandon

              I agree, Bob. Humans are most definitely part of the system…a MAJOR part of the system. I never said we weren’t. We are so much a part of the system that we have created it through our past actions and now the system requires our constant attention. The problem is that we don’t fully understand how oir actions will impact the world and everything in it until we do them. Then we are stuck in a cycle of acting and reacting
              Adaptive management, if you will.
              The world around us, the plants, the animals, the microorganisms, the water, the air, are all nexessary for our survival and the survival of everything else. We may think that a certain critter can go extinct or be disposed of without ramifications. That’s short-sighted and very pretentious on our part. All living things serve a purpose. And, as you said, we have a responsibility as “the most intelligent species” to help all the others, as well as ourselves, survive.

              So, good points. I enjoyed your comment.




            •  
              David

              I’ve been saying this repeatedly as well…we are absolutely part of nature lol. If you look at the actions of other predators (like lions for instance) they act in a similar manner…they will kill another predator if they can without hesitation if its in their territory. A pride of lions completely changes the order of things where they live. My point being that it’s completely natural for us hunters to want the game to be “all ours”, and goes against our natural instinct to share with other predators.

              With so many moving to cities, and having no interaction with anything other than domesticated animals and humans they have lost touch with their instincts. Also learning behavior by TV shows and movies that give them unnatural views of wildlife, and the reality of how the planet works. I was just watching a video of a young lion and a baby gazelle that was titled “lioness adopts baby gazelle”…LOL…the lion was just playing with it’s food before eating it, but so many people think that this lion actually adopted and planned to care for the baby gazelle.

              All that said we absolutely have a responsibility to maintain the wolf population now that they’re reintroduced (a mistake IMO) to a healthy level. It will probably mean that the bear population will have to be reduced to make way for the wolves. It will also mean that humans will have to reduce hunting some as well, and this is probably where some of these people were going with this (this=wolf reintroduction).




          •  
            AL

            THATS THE PROBLEM YOUR . SOUNDS LIKE A TREE HUGGER TO ME




            •  
              Brandon

              Really? That’s your contribution, AL? Thanks for adding that wonderfully articulate snippet. Just to be clear, that was me being SARCASTIC.

              If you define a tree hugger as someone who loves the outdoors, loves to hunt, fish, and camp, supports the conservation of wildlife, and is willing to hear other’s opinions, then I guess I’m a “tree hugger”.
              I love trees, too! Dare say I’ve even literally hugged a few.

              Next time, bring something constructive to the conversation.




  2.  
    ddick@zoominternet.net

    Very good articles and should make one stop and think about this issue.




  3.  

    I totally agree with you.




  4.  

    Guy,

    Submit your article to various media outlets–post to facebook, twitter, etc., I totally agree, and Oregon is the next state to have to deal with this.

    Thanks for a great post–get it in front of the general public!




    •  

      I’ve often said — as of late — wait till Oregonians have to deal with wolves decimating their herds of Roosevelt and Olympic Elk [Washington]. Wolves and the problems they bring seem distant and non-problematic when you live where THEY are not. When you see the devastation that can be caused by a pack of wolves, you get a clearer picture why we don’t need them in the lower 48. I remember hunting up in the Locksa area of Idaho when we came across a field of sheep. Some were dead, but others were lying [barely alive] with chunks taken out of their hind quarters, and slowly dying from loss of blood. There were probably more than 20 of them in all. It was obvious wolves had done the damage [if you’ve ever seen wolf tracks you can easily discern them from dog tracks]. One of the guys in our group had a ‘Sat-phone’, so he called 911 while we waited for the “Powers” to arrive.

      The point is, wolves love to kill. The difference between them and say a bear or cougar, is that they continue killing when there’s no need. Very occasionally you’ll run into a bear kill that contains more than one animal or a cougar kill that has more than one, but that is seldom. The only bear story I can relate is one that had a very old bear killing pigs. I’m sure other people out there can relate more “bear stories”, but bears killing just for the shear joy of it? Not so often.

      I’m a nature lover just like nearly everyone I know. I love to hunt…not to kill, but to enjoy the outdoors and nature [course I do like the odd venison steak cooked over an open fire in a cast-iron pan with onions, garlic and spuds]. I belong to several animal conservation groups and put my money where my mouth is when it comes to conservation. What I don’t appreciate is someone who tries to ram their way of thinking down my throat when they don’t belong to anything or help financially their precious ideology.




  5.  
    Shayne Olsen

    Great article and so true. What do we have to do to get these folks to wake up and listen. None of this is natural behavior, the wild outdoors is not a petting zoo. How do we make this a national topic that can be heard and worked out?




  6.  
    Stan B.

    Great article Guy. The whole grizz situation takes a lot of the joy out of being in the woods. I had a grizzly STALK ME me a couple days ago just west of YNP, while making my way out of the woods well after dark while elk scouing. I first noticed his eyes glowing about 50 yards away in heavy covery. Despite yelling and banging metal, he kept watching me and would not move off. After 5+ loooong minutes of this standoff, I fired a shot over his head. To which he did, exactly, Nothing. At that point I got pretty uncomfortable. I began moving down hill, hoping to get to more open ground, and he paralleled me down the hill, never getting much closer, but never leaving. I didn’t know whether to peg him as predatory or grossly curious, but I did not want to end up with him in my face. I worked quickly / quietly down 100 yards to a creek bottom, and up a steep 75′ grassy side hill out into the open. He showed up a couple minutes later right on my tracks in the creek bottom where I crossed, but appeared to lose my trail. I was well above him and had good wind at that point, and left him behind, never to be seen again. Maybe this was the right way to handle this, maybe not, but his refusal to leave, and then following me, made me think there was no good to be had in staying if I could avoid it, especially in the timber with 20′ visibility. I’m not sure if this was the same bear I ran into last year twice in the same drainage, but this whole routine is getting old for me.




  7.  
    wakulla

    Mr. Belville,
    Another MAJOR reason that Idaho outfitters had to close up was IDF&G raised non-resident license and tag fees too high for the “low quality and quantity of animals in most of the state !

    Non-resident fees should not be “thirty” times the amount residents pay !




    •  
      Dennis

      wakulla. You can be sure the reason i quit hunting Idaho was because of the price of a non resident licence and tags. I hunted Idaho for almost 30 years.D R Lund




    •  
      shootbrownelk

      If the population numbers and overall trophy quality were high in Idaho, there would be no problem with selling tags. There are plenty of hunters with deep pockets. It’s much the same here in Wyoming. The Moose numbers here are also plummeting.




    •  

      I gotta agree with you. Ridiculous. You need to email and/or write and/or call Butch Otter. You might???? Get something done about it. We need more hunters to come to our state. We also need to get something done about the quality of game in our state. I was behind the “mahogany” planting in the Owyhees [deer can feed on mahogany, but not juniper]. The Junipers were sucking up all the water and…this is important too…the cows were eating up all the good grazing grass that the deer and elk need. BLM and the Forest Service need to do a better job of managing our resources that’s for sure. Good post, Wakulla.




    •  

      I got to disagree about the Non-resident fees Idaho charges. When compared with other states, Idaho competes quite well.
      Idaho: Deer tag = $301.75/Elk = $416.75
      Montana: Deer tag = $592.00/Elk = $846
      Wyoming: Deer tag = $312/Elk = $577
      Colorado: Deer tag = $351/Elk = $586




  8.  
    Joe

    Well said Mr. Eastman. What all the city folk who want a “natural” habitat don’t understand is that we are part of that and must manage it as such. We have been altering the habitat on this continent since the day the first American crossed the land bridge and continue to do so. Never at a more rapid pace than in the last 100 years when we have built strip malls and housing developments in habitat that is crucial to the same species that the wolves and bears prey upon. Now that the predators are finally running out of prey and their populations are unchecked, they are going to start going after the granola and north face crowd and then they’ll finally find out how well bear bells and pepper spray really work!




    •  
      Willie

      bear bells and pepper spray = dinner bells and hot sauce for Mr. Griz! Just like gunshots have become calls to an easy elk meal.




  9.  
    Rick Carosone

    I have read a lot on this attack but have yet to find where it states that the sow was targeting the park employee as a food source. Please steer me to that information.




    •  
      Joe

      It was documented across multiple media outlets that the park employee’s remains had been eaten, and more convincingly, cached away with branches and grasses. Which is purely predatory behavior. Sow protecting her cubs characteristically eliminates the threat (thus the recommendation to play dead) and gets out of dodge.




  10.  
    Mike M.

    Having lived in AK and hunted and fished in griz territory I have a healthy respect for this magnificent animal. Many encounters are just that but one cannot assume a griz will just walk away. They are unpredictable. Read Bear Tales by Larry Kanuit. I believe the re-introduction of grizzly bears (and wolves) in States like WA and OR are intended to reduce the elk and deer populations to ultimately reduce the numbers of hunters. Reduced opportunity to draw a tag and possibly be successful in harvesting an animal fits right into the plan of the anti hunters and those that oppose the Second Amendment.




    •  
      Mike O.

      Mike M.
      Just what I said when they introduced the wolves in YNP… If there are no elk to hunt why do people need guns?? Anti hunters and Anti gun people win!!!




    •  
      Lou fletcher

      I totally agree




    •  
      Edward

      MM your exactly right! If we think this was not a master plan by the left, then we ARE blind. The simple notion of reducing heard numbers, and defunding state DNR’s was not rocket science. The “anti” movement have used species shielding to reduce hunting all over the world. In the US, in Africa, in Canada. We need to unite with a one voice, or we will lose our most precious resource.
      Local western populations, MUST seek out their senators, and voice the obvious. The advantage the “anti” movement has, is that the majority of hunters do not live where they hunt. They bank on the disconnect, and they use it to their advantge, and they KNOW the DNR’s are losing money!

      They want alpha predators to take over all wild spaces, because the “anti’s” are eutopians, not outdoor people. They don’t enjoy, or take care of the wild spaces.
      Africa was disalusioned with pictorial safari business being worth more than hunting, and hunting was stopped in certain areas. When the truth became obvious that hunting $$ was in fact the engine behind conservation, game was damaged by poachers, and hunting $$$$ reduced for lack of game. Now areas a seriously facing loss of species.

      In the US, they want to close all wilderness areas, period. They stopped timber harvest. Enjoying the fires?? They will end hunting, and the unguates will be rare across the land scape. Don’t like non resident hunters? They will be gone soon!
      I don’t mean to pick on residents, but it has to be you that calls your senators, and start a fire, then we non residents can send money, and call our senators, and build a coalition.

      The equation is simple, we a a larger, more powerful lobby. We need to speak out now, and delist Grizzlies




      •  
        shootbrownelk

        I tried sending a comment to both our Senators, Barrasso & Enzi. They sent back BS form replies. They’re too busy trying to get title to all our federal (BLM & NFS) lands for Wyoming to be bothered by a sportsman.
        Ted Cruz is also on board for selling our Federal Lands to private interests….keep an eye on that guy. Our Senators & lone Congresswoman aren’t doing a thing about delisting grizzlies or wolves.




    •  

      I totally agree that the introduction or bills passed to not hunt top predators as in California with the cougars is actually the goals of anti hunters to dwindle the number of tags issued which eventually will mean reduce the numbers of hunters. In Calif there is no other top predator as in the cougar. The top issue I hear around bow shops or other types of hunting shops is the depredation of California’s deer herds. I personally have seen the decline in areas that I use to hunt years ago. No signs, or tracks. Places that held mature bucks. A few weeks ago I read an article where the Nevada game and fish were having a problem with Calif cougars coming over the line and dwindling their deer herds. The area was across from X6b. As a state that knows how to manage their herds, they are actively hunting those cats coming over. Cats numbers are climbing and the deer herds are suffering at an alarming rate.




  11.  
    Jeremiah dellinger

    Guy, you are the man, I truly enjoy everything your right about. I am 15 and have been hunting my whole life, you’ve helped me learn what conservation is and what hunting is all about. The I’m not a subscriber just cause of $$ but when I see one at the store I get soooo excited to pick it up. I live to hunt and hunt to live. Thankyou Jeremiah




  12.  
    Don K.

    Great essay, Guy! I totally agree with you. Mike M. is right: grizzly’s are unpredictable. Another great read is Scott McMillion’s “Mark of the Grizzly” which contains eighteen true stories about grizzly attacks on humans.




  13.  
    Gary

    Brandon& Mr. Belville,I agree with you both and think there could easily be a healthy balance.We and I have villianized the wolves because they have decreased the herds we conservationists have worked so hard to build.Then theres the Ranchers who are takeing a hit every animal they lose.Its just sad that lawyers and Animal rights activists have started a war between Apex predators and Conservationists/Hunters.Here in California The mountain lion has ruined the deer hers in certain areas and when the wolf gets her these whackos will be trying to give them a hug,but thats another topic also.
    Keep it up Guy and long live Eastmans HJ& BHJ




  14.  
    David Williams

    Perfect explanation! Spot on!




  15.  
    offroads

    Great article and many great points made.

    The part missing from the discussion is that many that want the wolves and grizzly in their natural place don’t live in the places they want them reintroduced.. But live in areas that wolves and grizzlies had previously been as well. Wolves and grizzlies covered much of this continent. If they want them reintroduced. Lets start with their home towns and let us know how it works out for them. Us that live in the rural states are not the only ones that have displaced and changed the historical migration and feeding areas for all animals This is a example of not in my backyard.

    We were sold a line of crap when they started the introduction of wolves and how many breeding pairs and management would be handled. They kept changing those numbers as bad science. If it was so bad why wasn’t it bad at the beginning??? EAsy answer it was to get their foot in the door then do complete the master plan. We can never trust any group of these groups.

    We just had a timber sale that included input from and “agreement from one of these groups. All they did was pass inside info to another group so they could sue to stop the sale. They would rather see it burn. We can’t even sale salvage logs.




  16.  
    Aaron A.

    I have enjoyed reading all these different discussions! I only hope some of these “groups, individuals” (non hunters/indoorsman) would be some of the eyes and ears that read and listen to these discussions and at least some of these poor decisions will and have impacted most of the west. We must educate on the risks (impact on the states in all topics) to more people; make them see the poor impulsive decisions made that have impacted so many states over the past decade. Many people talk the talk on these topics as if they know or have felt the impact but in reality they never walk the walk to actually make a call, or write a letter so these devastating impacts will not continue throughout the west. These “groups” do a great job of tugging on heart strings and scare tactics, raising money for lawyers; why cant we (outdoorsman, outdoorswomen/agriculturists) do a better job and make these impacts close to home as they will be soon enough for all recreationalists of all types. I don’t mean to sing to the choir, just hope we can be proactive and not always reactive in the future! as once their (the groups) door is open its really going to be hard to slam shut on many or all of these impactful issues for us outdoorsman, outdoorswomen when impact is in place 90% of their goals are already met and they win. In reality if good decisions are not made we all lose.

    Educate our young folks. Make sure they know what will be lost if they just sit back and wait to see how their heritage/wildlife/public lands, 2nd amendment, etc. are effected!




    •  

      Aaron, I had a conversation with a so-called ‘animal conservationist’…short form: Greenie. His argument went like this…

      “Wolves were here before we set foot on this continent and they belong here today. You murderers of animals keep yelling at us and telling us you are helping conserve animals is patently stupid. All you people want to do is kill, kill, kill with your fancy high-powered rifles. You even go out in people’s ranches who grow game animals and have “shooting bees” and the animals have nowhere to run so they are slaughtered. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for what you do to poor helpless animals.

      My reply: We humans have been hunting animals since we began walking on two legs. We revered the animals we hunted and often were named after animals and birds. Today hunters care just as much about the animals we hunt, so we try to conserve them…sometimes by putting them on large acre ranches and regulate the hunts to ‘cull’ the herds by taking the old animals that no longer produce [much like cattle ranchers do today]. I agree that some of those ranches are not run properly…some…definitely not all by a long shot. Most game ranches are run ethically with the animal’s health and welfare coming first.

      Hunters are not, I repeat, NOT killers. We do not kill animals for the joy of killing. Any ‘real’ hunter will tell you it’s about THE HUNT not the kill. Meaning that we just love the outdoors and being in nature. To some of us The Hunt is a spiritual time for us to reconnect with Mother Nature and the animals in Her Kingdom. We eat what we kill. We don’t waste game meat. We also put our money where our mouths are. We pay thousands of dollars to go out there and harvest something that probably weights less than one hundred pounds dressed out. If you were to add up the cost of hunting to the meat taken in the hunt the cost of that venison would be astronomical [You think beef prices are big? Check out the cost of one tiny White Tail’s dressed table weight].

      Finally, I asked the person how much money he spent on animal conservation last year. His answer was none. I told him to compare his spending to mine [$42,000 4×4 pickup, $5500 camp trailer, $1000 30.06 rifle, $100 on bullets for said rifle some used on firing range, and finally all the miscellaneous stuff it takes to camp an hunt for 10 days in the wilderness of Idaho’s back country. I said if you are so heady about animal conservation, the BLM and Forrest Service and Fish & Game could use a volunteer. He, of course, got mighty quiet at that point and I stalked off smiling to myself.

      Too many people get the wrong idea about hunters and the game they hunt. Just check out Jim Shockey’s daughter, Eve. Look how she was vilified when she posed with a bear she had killed legally in, I think, British Columbia. What nastiness there is out there by so-called Christians and people who say they care about animals. Obviously, they don’t much care about people.

      If you don’t like what I do LEGALLY, don’t do it yourself; but leave the critique at home [making sure it — the house — isn’t made of glass, of course].




  17.  
    Laura K.

    Everyone looks directly at the Elk numbers. While it is true that bears get a substantial amount of sustenance from elk calves, hunting, and wolf kills, I think it is important to mention decline of other food sources. Whitebark pine nuts and cutthroat trout…etc. Also, this bear + cubs spent a lot of time earlier this summer feasting on a bison carcass in Hayden Valley approx. 100 yards from the highway. 1000’s of park visitors lined the road to view them. I wonder if this ‘unnatural’ observance of the bear contributed to its later actions? By that I mean~ it is not a natural behavior for hordes of animals to stand around a kill site passively without any indication of fight or flight. Yea, lots of people want to see these magnificent creatures, but to what cost to the wild animal? This happens all the time to our Yellowstone wildlife. I consider it a form of harassment but hey, it brings us a local economy in the areas surrounding the park.




  18.  
    Jessie

    Very well said Guy Eastman. I’ve been a hunter/hunting guide and resident of Idaho along with my family of 8 generations. We’ve seen the ever growing rise in the wolf population here in Idaho over the last 5 years and now due to the few last years of managing there population our elk herds have increased tremendously. You’ve spoke for all hunters and outdoorsman with great representation to the need of managing our pretetor populations, so we can avoid anymore possible human tragedies. It’s time for the grizzly to be managed.





Leave a Reply