It is time to create a new page of “Interesting Wildlife News.” It has been a long time since we have had a new page. The page and comment loading time has become slow.  Do not post copyrighted material.

Here is the link to the “old” wildlife news of July 24, 2018. From there you can access links to older pages still.

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.


What is tragic is the attempt by some to set this animal up for failure, there ignorance to the catastrophic consequences of habituation of this animal, and the lack of push back to groups that abuse laws to the point they set the grizzly up for failure.

And just how do you know that bear was habituated? From what I read this occurred in the Yukon Territory near a small village. They estimate that there are 7,000 griz in the YT. Most of those bears should be hibernating now, but recent warm weather has brought some out. Also, this incident is still being investigated. We might not know more for awhile. It may have been just a tragic accident.

What “groups that abuse laws to the point they set the grizzly up for failure” are you referring to? Do these groups operate in Canada? What laws are these “groups” abusing? Are these Canadian laws? Where do your accusations lead? Your posts always seem the most ridiculous, I’d laugh but two people died.

Hiker, My comment stands as is…. It is evident that I was talking in generalization by the end of the comment where I finish with “set the grizzly up for failure” It is certainly not based on this particular bear. This bear has shown us how dangerous the species is and shows us that letting it expand into poorer and poorer habitat is indeed the wrong thing to do. It has to be managed.

“habituation of this animal” Not sure how general this statement is. Everyone should know by now how dangerous a Griz is. Any attack makes national news. How often do we hear about attacks by deer? Yet they are more common. You are more likely to be hit by lightening then attacked by a bear.

“It is evident that I was talking in generalization by the end of the comment where I finish with “set the grizzly up for failure” It is certainly not based on this particular bear” You always make general statements, maybe try being more specific. Every bear attack is different to some degree and should be treated that way. More details are needed in this case. Had these people seen this bear before? Did they assume that bears were all asleep? Was this bear in poor condition when it hibernated? All important questions to answer before we (you) jump to conclusions.

“This bear has shown us how dangerous the species is and shows us that letting it expand into poorer and poorer habitat is indeed the wrong thing to do” I don’t know where better habitat for a Griz exists. If I were a Griz I would choose the wilds of Canada. By the way, do you have any comment on my statement about Canadian law? You stated “groups that abuse laws”. Just wondering what laws you were referring to.

Hiker, It’s quite evident that the US ESA is one of the most abuse laws there on the planet. Reform is needed!

Yes lots of questions….the late season non-hibernated bear probably isn’t as rare as some may suggest here.

A few decades ago I was deer hunting in WI. My perch was on the edge of an ash swamp…. among the deer I saw that opening day was a fisher that put on a show to the east of me. Later that day, I heard something to the north west and looked to see bits and pieces of something black going through the swamp headed north. Being that I had saw the fisher earlier, I didn’t think that much of it. I didn’t put up the binoculars (or brown enough to put the scope) on him. As I’ve done for decades, I sat the whole day. On the walk out, I discovered that what I had saw was a pretty good-sized bear had gone through. I have a lane from the stand that walks me out of the swamp. In the freshly melted snow from mid to late afternoon….was a perfectly preserved print of that bear walking in my crusty foot prints from the morning. The next day I took a handful of kids and one of the sister-n-laws down for the ¾ mile walk to see the bear print. I showed them how my tracks going in before morning light were made in snow that was not as packy as it was when the bear came through on my walk out. I would have had a good look at the bear had I been looking west when he went through, He was on the shooting lane for about five yards from the south before heading north northwest where I had saw him. And wouldn’t you know, THIS YEAR walking into the same spot in the swamp the Friday morning after thanksgiving was another bear track in the fresh overnight dusting on the ice in the swamp. The unmistakable tracks made a good picture with todays modern phones!

Those weren’t the first nor be the last time we will see a bear during the gun season, which traditionally starts the Saturday before Thanks Giving every year. When I was, kid the old timers always talked about the bear that came out of a deer drive a few years before every time we did certain deer drive. They also talked about how the deer hunters were allowed to shoot bears decades ago. Almost, every year or so that talk in town is how someone had seen a November bear….. It’s not all that rare and most certainly has about as much do with “climate change” as the ESA has to do with saving the Bald Eagle.

As far as Canadian law on the Grizzly…. History tells us that man has always killed Grizzlies. It is “unnatural” to restrict the limited harvest of Grizzlies.

Science tells us that Griz were expanding east when White settlers encountered them. The Griz had expanded out of Eurasia and halfway across NA before being driven to the brink of extinction in the lower 48. The Native Americans that I have worked with in the West have explained to me the reverence that they had for bears. I am not sure how many they were able to kill since the Griz population was expanding before WE arrived. With bows and spears my guess is that they kept a healthy distance from them. So much for history.

You didn’t really explain your reference to Canadian law. I think, based on your posts, that you used this latest bear attack to once again attack the ESA, EVEN THOUGH THE ATTACK HAPPENED IN CANADA AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ESA. To say that “It’s quite evident that the US ESA is one of the most abuse laws there on the planet.” is a joke. People in this country overwhelmingly support protection for endangered species. It’s only a vocal minority who have a problem with it and that’s because the ESA stops people from abusing habitat. The list of abuses is long, starting with grazing cattle on OUR public land, leading to overgrazing and killing predators to “protect” cattle. The ESA has been the best defense against these abuses. Are you saying that people who believe in protection shouldn’t exercise their rights to protect the commons from being abused for the profit of a few? Are you taking the side of overgrazing cattle barons against the people of the USA. More money is generated from tourism where Griz live then any other source! People come from all over the world just for the chance to see a bear, any bear. I guarantee that seeing a bear tops the list for the vast majority of tourists. Are you saying that their hopes and dreams are less valuable than those who demand that coyotes are killed to “protect” their cattle? If Europeans can coexist with Griz why can’t we? There are thousands of Griz in Romania alone. Yes Griz are dangerous, they deserve healthy respect. Living amongst them is risky and requires being alert and humble. Maybe that’s the problem.

Try again Hiker… can run but not hide from management of predators like the wolf and griz….those that say different are either pushing a “donate now” button or just uninformed!

This is beautifully written, Mat-ters, and I hope that people will be able to see wildlife like this in the future too.

Some native cultures KILLED predators and bears as a right of passage to adulthood. The amount of government dollars spent on JUST grizzlies to keep them out of trouble is immoral. Those that think a government worker killing a grizzly after numerous trouble is the answer to the issues need to be held accountable for their burden on the taxpayer and should be shamed for setting them up for continuous and eventual failure of the population.

Unfortunate and bad news: A Lamar pack favorite has been killed for someone’s ego.

Grizzlies and other bears living close to more populated areas are managed – either by relocating them if they habitually come to close to human inhabited areas, or killed.

I understand that this family lived in an extremely remote area, risky for more reasons than just encounters with wildlife.

We can’t reasonably expect to kill off all wildlife anywhere humans go, can we? Even as small as the nearby village was (pop. 200), it has the usual problems with disposal of garbage, an attractant for wildlife too, according to the NYT. But this kind of tragedy is rare, they say.

According to article, the only way into this area is by fixed wing aircraft or helicopter, so it is remote, and not the source/subject of generalization.

If bear still not hibernating at the time, most likely very high level of hyperphagia in this animal. No berries, so what’s left? Garbage and human refuse.

I want to preface this statement with it’s not meant to attack the victims, but also another possible variable. Families refuse may have attracted bear. Were the marten and whatever else was trapped, cleaned/proecessed near the cabin? Bears should have been in hibernation by this time. These people were purported to be very adept Bush people. If so, was any sign of a grizzly apparent prior to this tragedy?

Doubt we’ll hear for a while or possibly at all, but we’re mother and daughter consumed at all, as per an act of predation, or just killed, as per they could not avoid the bear or protect themselves from the bear that may have been protecting a source of food? Echoes of the guide killed by grizzly when attacked while butchering elk.

I think grizzly bear attacks or charges are MUCH more frequent than you believe Ida – we just don’t hear about it unless somebody dies or is seriously injured. My apologies if I have told this story on this forum before, a few years back.

It strikes me there are few here who have truly had encounters with a grizzly bear, or even black bears. I had one in Yukon Territory, near Kluane Lake, years ago that still has me thinking it could have ended differently had I not chosen to act as I did. Traveling from Alaska in my little Toyota pick-up back to Washington state, I stopped to stretch my legs,and I started down an old logging grade into the woods. I could see a grizzly at a distance of about a quarter mile (about 450 yards). He came charging at me full speed. I was about 150-200 yards from my truck. I made the decision one typically does not want to make in this situation, but he was already heading my way fast – acting like prey- and ran back to the truck as fast as my relatively young legs would take me, keys in hand and made it just in time to close the door before the bear arrived. It circled the truck, pacing back and forth, and pressing its feet hard to the ground, hackles up on its back, for about 5 minutes. It was at a distance of about 40-50 feet. I could not determine its sex as it was always facing toward me and never stood up. It appeared to be a younger bear, maybe 400-500 pounds (male?).

I took pictures thru the window with my little Olympus XA camera with a wide angle lens, as my larger Canon SLR with its many lenses was in the back of the truck. I still have the pictures, though with the wide angle the bear looked further from the truck thru the windshield than it actually was. I keep reminding myself of that when I look at the pics.

The bed of the pick-up also had about 20 cases of home canned (in jars) salmon and smoked clams. I’m sure the bear could smell it, but its behavior around the truck did not seem consistent with finding a meal.

I seriously doubt I would be writing this had I chosen to stay for a bluff charge, rather than run. I have had numerous encounters with black bears in WA, ID, CO, WY and AK, over many years, none as scary as this, except coming out of the Hoback in WY (SW of Teton NP) at night to avoid an early fall blizzard, while on a backpacking trip. We believed there was a grizzly feeding on an elk kill in a willow patch on our trail. Pretty scary stuff in the dark, when a bear can see and humans cannot.

The irony of the Yukon grizzly experience, is that I had just spent several weeks backpacking on the Kenai Peninsula in AK, where I had been carrying a 12 ga shot gun, which adds about 8 pounds to one’s gear (including shells). I did not see a grizzly but saw where they had been along the banks of the river I my trail followed much of the way. And, yes, I had a big bell on my frame pack, that jingled as I walked up the trail, hoping the sound could be heard over the rush of the river. This was before the invention and use of bear spray.

Here is a comment from the Alberta Hunting forum from a Yukon hunting guide about the grizzly attack.

I killed a grizzly there. We aired that show. I had no choice. I killed him at 11 feet. I thought it was 15 feet. The CO’s said 11. The day before I personally shot in front of that griz numerous times. I placed propane bottles on the shore and shot them as the bear approached. We used a boat horn. Nothing worked. My hunters used a ladder to climb on the roof of the cabin. I have raw footage of all of it. One scene has me throwing a rock at a griz, hitting it, and it still stayed.

330 am I got between the bear and my hunter friend. The bear came at his cabin so fast I was only wearing my boxer briefs and a headlamp when I killed him.

There are a lot of grizzly there. And its as remote as you can get. Places no man has ever walked before. For sure.

That man lost everything basically on my doorstep. I can see and fully understand Jim’s FB post. It’s true. Griz have more value than people. Even a child. So sad on so many levels.

“That man lost everything basically on my doorstep. I can see and fully understand Jim’s FB post. It’s true. Griz have more value than people. Even a child. So sad on so many levels”

No doubt at all this was a terribly tragic incident but, I take issue with Griz have more value than people. Even a child”

Both these adults were more than aware of the remote location THEY had decided to spend months at (with their less than 1 year old child) trying to trap/kill and make a profit, off the lives of other species who I’m sure, would much prefer to be alive, keep their skin and go about their lives.

And looking over some of the videos another guy has posted in the past (got a regular YouTube channel going) he cares nothing for the lives he dispatches, bragging about the kill, because there’s still a demand out there to rob wildlife of their lives and their hides, for profit.

But I’d like to know if this trapper’s cabin, with his trap line kills, perhaps hanging here and there, drying out, might of attracted this late to hibernate bear, to that spot?

I once had a bear break into my car to eat the sheepskin seat covers. I never bought those again. Attractants are discussed everyday during the summer in any National Park with bears. We may never know what brought that bear to that cabin, but if you live and work in bear country you must live with respect for something that could kill you. When I lived in L.A. there were many neighborhoods that I would not enter at night. It’s the same concept. If an area is dangerous be careful. And it’s not just bears, any large mammal is dangerous. Even a squirrel can bite you and give you rabies. I always carry hiking poles now because several animals have attacked people in my area because of rabies. A man was attacked by a rabid fox a few hundred yards from my house. Never assume you are safe.

and for those that viewed the above video, this is no where even near an example of what hunters consider “far chase” but its still condoned.

“When in the field, the initial question for every fair chase hunter is whether the animal has a reasonable opportunity to elude the hunter. If the animal does not, the hunt can never be “fair chase”.

For example, a fair chase hunter does not shoot an animal hampered by deep snow or entangled in a barbed-wire fence”

Had a discussion with a friend a couple weeks back about his brother who goes for those super long range shots. Marksmanship has always been a part of hunting, but when does that ability, skills plus equipment, make fairchase a moot point. Certainly a feather in the cap, but to your living target you may have well been on the moon.

“The Billings Gazette reports coyotes have caused more than $550,000 in damages this year, killing almost 300 calves, three cattle, four goats, 92 sheep and almost 1,500 lambs”

Sounds like business as usual (and blame) – as in the lack of providing better protections for young livestock (around calving & lambing seasons)

When coyotes are killed to “protect” cattle it tends to break up their pack structure so that more individuals are available for breeding. They just make more. Not only that but experience in hunting is lost so that easier prey, like cow calves, are more often taken. Add to that extreme adaptability and you end up with more coyotes. It is a never ending cycle of killing that solves nothing, all at taxpayer expense.

To add some redundancy, the oft used definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over, and over again expecting different results. Why not attempt something novel, such as leaving coyotes alone, unless caught in the act for a five to ten year period of time. No M-44’s, no WS, no killing contests. Compare/contrast before and after, come up with new ideas as technological advances continue.

I was a skeptical that coyotes are a problem for cattle since they are too small to take down an adult. It’s the calves that are the victims. The next article is from ‘Farm Press’ so if they slant it will be to the ag industry. They seemed to write this article fairly, IMO. I liked that they noted:

“McPeake warns that livestock producers shouldn’t rush to blame coyotes. “Coyotes are scavengers,” says McPeake. “The calf could have been dead before the coyote came along.”

On another subject, this Farm Press article says that is a hunting season for coyotes in Arkansas. I did not know that.

“McPeake warns that livestock producers shouldn’t rush to blame coyotes. “Coyotes are scavengers,” says McPeake. “The calf could have been dead before the coyote came along.”

One only has to travel the back roads (and often the main roads) in my area to see dead cattle laying in fields. These are not cows that died from predation, these are cows that died of diseases, calving problems or weather, and are left to rot. Until ranchers are made accountable (the proper disposal of dead livestock) the war on predators, at taxpayer expense, will continue.

This is a question I have always wondered about. Which came first – the predator/scavenger or the cattle?

Nancy, he also noted it’s impossible to discern whether it was a coyote or dogs. When poor dogs get dumped in the country they will form packs sometimes and have attacked livestock.

It’s easier to point the finger at canines or any other predator than it is to blame oneself for failure to take care of business.

Immer, I wanted to say another thing – I don’t know where you have the idea that JB and WM have ‘bent over backwards’ trying to help me – I have had very little interaction with either one of them over the years, and I would not expect to. With the exception of a rare few posts.

“This is sad and I hope Colorado WL managers get this figured out. Over the past few years, herds in the region have been slowly dying off, and wildlife officials are concerned about the iconic ungulate’s ability to survive in healthy numbers in the long term.

The issue involves a mystery: About half of the elk calves born in Southwest Colorado die within six months. Of the survivors, another 15 percent perish before they turn a year old.

The problem encompasses wildlife mismanagement: After record high elk populations in the 1990s, the Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks and Wildlife) ordered a mass hunt to cut back the animal’s numbers.

This is a good article, but drops the ball a bit in regard to the elk calves followed by some, for a change, fairly well presented comments post article.

Hunting and predation have always been a part of the rut equation, but what are some of the other variables for extremely low calf survival? Some put forward: drought; hikers (like hunting and predation, pretty much has always been there; the newer variables include snowmobiles, ATV’s and a subject for much discussion on TWN, mountain biking. Can’t blame this one on Obama or wolves.

You’re just like the person who you’ve recently given a smoke up the posterior enema. Read the entire article.

“Caribou are threatened across Canada, with years of habitat loss and human-caused disruption as key reasons for their decline.”

And once again from your Emma Marris “Conservationists in Alberta reluctantly supported the wolf kill programme when it began, says Carolyn Campbell, a conservation specialist at the Alberta Wilderness Association in Calgary. But her group later stopped its support for the programme because because drilling and logging continued, posing other threats to caribou. “It is a completely unethical approach to just declare a war on wolves when they are a symptom and not a root cause,” Campbell says.”

Unless man is willing to remove all the variables in caribou demise, it’s just a fools errand, and killing wolves just to kill wolves.

Give it up Immer….. we have learned so much from our experiences and study of wolves on slate and Michipichoten. The earth has been warming for 12000 years when we have 400 foot glaciers where I now live! Prime caribou habitat can only be achieved in colder climate as the animal naturally requires. It’s funny how you and buddy skippy said killing wolves wouldn’t save the caribou…and you were wrong. You can’t blame habitat loss on Michipichoten can you!

Typical altered “reality”, but it doesn’t “matter”to you. An entire article from one of your fall to sources means nothing, followed by an outlier argument about a small island, and then you bring in someone else who has no dog in this discussion. You also bring into the “discussion” the whole global warming thing, about which I have said nothing.

Matters (or doesn’t) why do you have such a major bias against predators? Did one attack you or someone you know? Did one threaten you? Predators have been a crucial part of this world since … single celled organisms. Your simple minded attacks against predators now condones using poison? How many other species have died from this poison? Don’t we have enough crap in the ecosystem?

Ohh contraire, the only major bias is in those that pimp predators to no end. Leaving out man and the killing of predators & game are a major reason places like Yellowstone got out of wack in the first place. JUST on the other side of the Northern Yellowstone boarder is the Gallatin National forest game herds and predators are managed and guess what NONE of the problems we have seen in Yellowstone like bludgeoning game herds existed OUTSIDE the park….why BECAUSE man and the management of predators exists! NOW the game herds suffer because of the lack of predator management in the park….the place is a predator pit. MAN has been part of the ecosystem for thousands of years.

That is a blatant lie! You can do better. I’d stick with climate change! I’m going to be taking off for some travel this afternoon w / limited internet so I’ll be cutting my posting some. The counts on the Northern Range were part of the annual elk count…. now they admittedly go further out of the park to count elk AND use the excuse that “moose are not a priority” for the reason they don’t count or more likely don’t publish the numbers….their embarrassed. Those numbers speak for themselves!

Once again accusations. Check your facts. The Yellowstone fires of ’88 burned much of the winter habitat for moose in the park. Prove me wrong instead of just saying I’m lying. If I’m lying then scientists lied as well.

Come on hiker! This is eerily similar to the lolo, yellowstone fire debacle we are all familiar with (if your not bias). “They are still laughing at the “wolf science” biologist that tried the “Yellowstone fires” theory with an educated crowd in Billings a few years ago. You see Hiker, for years they were preaching YOUR Idaho “Lolo” elk range sportsman that the great Idaho fire of 1937 created excellent habitat for elk “for a period of 10 to 40 years after the fire” (1947 to 1977) From 1977 on they (wolf scientist) claimed that the elk population degraded the habitat and that and ONE bad winter was the cause of the elk herd plummeting from 19000 to 2000….once again discounting the fact that wolves had moved in. Then in that meeting I talked about above the poor wolf pimp biologist brought up that the fires of 1988 “degraded the habitat” as YOU said. …… Much to his dismay a middle aged man brought out is “literature” from Lolo and explained to everyone that according to that “literature” Yellowstone should be prime “for a period of 10 to 40 years after the fire” (1998 to 2038)……. HIKER, they gave the guy from the audience a standing ovation & 3/4 of the audience left! Hiker, I have not seen the fires theory used lately until IMMER slipped it in on this blog. Either you can use it to explain Yellowstone’s collapse but then please explain Lolo……for future reference most of your ilk have stuck with the “fire theory’s” to explain Lolo for they can’t blame saturated grizzlies as the cause in Lolo. After all is said and done, you still have global warming you can blame. WOLF SCIENCE!” YES I did somewhat plagiarize here!

“Biologists say there are solutions, but at this point few are workable. Forest fires, once a natural process, used to provide moose with better food and habitat while suppressing all kinds of parasites. But today, big fires put people and property at risk. ”

Your article from Yellowstone says fires are to blame for no habitat…. and the article Immer posted says lack of fires are to blame for no moose habitat. Gotta love it!

Man still is part of the ecosystem. That has never been in doubt. Do you not realize that all wolves were killed in Yellowstone, elk herds were eating themselves out of house and home, government hunters were called in to thin the elk herds. Then, as if by magic, wolves are returned and things are more balanced. I think you need to research this more on your own, as I did when I worked there.

Also, no answer to my question regarding your obvious anti-predator bias, just denial. How can you deny your bias in one sentence then label Yellowstone a “predator pit” in another. What does that even mean? Does that mean a place where predators are free to live as they have for literally millions of years. Does evolution mean nothing to you?

“man is still part of the ecosystem” Haaaaa This is fought at every turn by the like of some here. Anyone could realize that the Elk in Yellowstone needed an apex predator …. like they had in the past! Yup, Elk culls were allowed IN YELLOWSTONE in the past. As are the bison culls TODAY man is still needed EVEN WITH predators!

Where have I denied a bias as to proper predator management. The bobcat population in WI should be (some what) the model to proper management! ANYWHERE these animals are protected to the point of habituation are a sign of improper management. These liberal Judges embarrass themselves with their uniformed rulings.

Hiker, are you a predator pit denier? (look in mirror here) How is the Madison whole elk doing in Yellowstone? Why are they counting elk further and further out of the park each year? Why did they discontinue the moose annual count along with their elk count on the Northern range?

Mat-ters, Do let us, who post here on the TWN and care about wildlife news/issues, when you are able to work your way out of this category?

“Psychology confirms what bloggers have known since 1994: Internet trolls sit on their high horses mulling over individual, tiny, fetishized details. Trolls see parts. They don’t add up all of the facts. They don’t picture their victim as a whole person who they can crush mentally, physically, or spiritually. It’s not that they can’t see the whole. They’re in a privileged position, so they don’t have any reason to think about it”

Nancy, honestly, my comments are pretty mild compared to the return barrage.. Your comment may not bode well to the integrity and civility of a few here. Personally I think the rhetoric isn’t that bad. Some may think we’re tributes in the hunger games….not me. I dish out is what is directed at me. I hope your not taking a few of my comments the wrong way….. some, I may add, are almost WORD FOR WORD to that what was written to me.

If it isn’t one human activity that’ll get ya (negotiating lanes and lanes of nightmarish traffic and obstacle course), it’ll be another (wildfires):

“It’s of particular interest that he chose to travel back through a fresh burn area rather than retreat through urbanized areas to escape the fire.””

I find it sadly ironic that this poor cat would rather have walked through fire than risk heavily populated areas. Nobody can say this cat had not learned to fear humans. Can’t say I blame him.