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Yep bears on the Elk page

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Yep bears on the Elk page

Postby Lefty » 10 29, 2019 •  [Post 1]

Our local news reported three grizzlies killed by hunters this week in the Gravelies on Montana. The reason I posted hear is there are anti hunting groups that would like to use grizzlies ( they tried to use wolves) as a means to stop hunting or people being in areas, using our Public Lands.

Of course unique conditions contribute to their activity,.. but so does the intensive population density
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - State wildlife officials are investigating after a hunter reported shooting a grizzly bear in self-defense in southwestern Montana.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said the shooting happened Saturday in the Eureka Basin south Gravelly Mountains. Four hunters were attacked by grizzly bears during a 10-day period in September in the Gravelly Mountains, including one in the Eureka Basin area.

State and federal wildlife managers said Monday they are also investigating two other human-caused grizzly bear deaths that happened in the last week in the West Yellowstone area. Officials haven't released any further information about those deaths.


This article was printed Oct 16th
Montana’s two early snowfalls contributed to the deaths of five grizzly bears in one week on the Rocky Mountain Front.

Those five deaths don’t include a sixth grizzly that was put down east of Rogers Pass for killing cattle, pushing the one-week death toll to six and the unofficial annual mortality count to 38 in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.

Last year, a record 46 grizzly bears died in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which comprises 25,000 acres including Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex and surrounding areas.

And, 53 suffered "mortalities," which includes those that relocate themselves or are relocated out of the NCDE.

Mike Madel is a grizzly bear specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. He noted that the five grizzly deaths on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation last week all involved bears that were feeding on carcasses of cattle that were caught in the deep snow.

“The cattle were hit by a train on BNSF tracks and not reported. Two bears were hit by a train, and three were hit on the highway,” Madel said. It was in an area where Highway 2 is close to the train tracks. “And four were females; that’s so unusual. In my 35 years that may be the worst I have heard of in mortalities in just a few days.

“But they are super hyperphagic right now and are not hibernating just yet.”

Hyperphagic means the bears are trying to consume as many calories as possible before entering their dens for the winter.

The deaths came on the heels of a late-September record-setting blizzard in which 48 inches of snow fell in the Blackfoot Reservation area. Ranchers weren’t able to round up all their cattle prior to the storm, which led to the cows’ deaths.

Most of the snow melted, uncovering the carcasses, but about 10 inches remained on the ground when the next snowstorm moved through the region the weekend of Oct. 5-6, dropping another 10 to 12 inches in the mountains, according to the National Weather Service.

Slightly more than an estimated 1,000 grizzly bears inhabit the NCDE. The population is protected as being “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act. But during a visit last week on the Rocky Mountain Front with U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Montana U.S. House Rep. Greg Gianforte discussed his efforts to make it easier to delist the NCDE grizzlies.

Yet coupled with last year’s mortality of 53 grizzlies in the NCDE, this year’s known deaths could mean that close to 10% of the NCDE population has been removed in two years.

Cecily Costello, a grizzly bear researcher for FWP in Kalispell, said it’s far too early to say whether that’s alarming or even a trend. A lot of factors play into population estimates and mortalities, including the definition of mortality. For scientists like herself, “mortality” means a grizzly died, relocated itself, was relocated by bear managers, taken to zoos (cubs), or was moved to supplement other populations like those in the Cabinet-Yaak area.

“I haven’t really done any analysis yet; I don’t have all of the data of all of the mortalities, I haven’t looked at what’s inside or outside of the geographic monitoring area, so I can’t really say what the impact is on the population,” Costello said. “I’m not overly alarmed yet. I’m going to kind of wait and see until the year is completed.”

She notes that some of the mortalities were offspring, whose survival rate is between 55% to 75% in any given year. Costello added that at this time in 2018, grizzly mortalities in the NCDE were in the mid-40s, so this year is trailing behind that somewhat. Another factor could be the growth in the grizzly bear population is pushing them into their historic territory that people now inhabit, causing more conflicts that get the bears removed.

“I’m hoping that with all this wintry weather we’re getting, the bears make the decision to go into their dens earlier this year,” Costello said. “Usually that’s not weather-related totally, but food-related — whether or not they can continue to forage. If the snow melts off it will have very little impact. If the snow sticks around and covers the ground, the forage may make a difference.”

Madel expects females to begin hibernating within the next few weeks, followed by the males. From what he and other bear biologists have seen, the bears are in pretty good shape after feeding on the abundant berry crop this year.

Jamie Jonkel, a Missoula-based FWP bear specialist, said in his experience grizzly bear mortalities spike every few years, then drop back down so “I will not get excited about this, and will wait to see if this trend goes down.”

Information from FWP on grizzly mortalities in the NDCE since 2004 appears to bear that out, with the known and probable mortalities dropping from 33 in 2004 to 14 in 2006, then an upward trend from 17 in 2008, to 34 in 2011. Known and probable mortalities averaged in the low 20s from 2014 to 2016 before increasing to 28 in 2017 and spiking to 53 in 2018.

“I think what’s happening as the bear population picks up, we have been doing a lot of preventive work,” Jonkel said. “But some years we have a heavy mortality rate, sometimes two years in a row, followed by less mortality for the next four years.”

And while the dead cattle that drew the bears to their deaths is hard both on the ranchers and wildlife managers, the carcasses do provide an added caloric and fat boost for grizzlies overall as the berry crop wanes.

“It’s a shame they got hit by trains, but we do have a lot of carrion out there from the storm,” Jonkel said. “That will allow the bears to scavenge the carrion. It’s not good for the ranchers, but it’s good for the bears.”
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Re: Yep bears on the Elk page

Postby Daniel-J » 10 29, 2019 •  [Post 2]

I hope this does not affect the large growth of their population, otherwise, they will eat everyone and then go to people.
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Re: Yep bears on the Elk page

Postby Lefty » 10 30, 2019 •  [Post 3]

Daniel-J wrote:I hope this does not affect the large growth of their population, otherwise, they will eat everyone and then go to people.


The current habitat is saturated,.. but the wackos insist there needs to be more
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Re: Yep bears on the Elk page

Postby lilshootergirl » 11 13, 2019 •  [Post 4]

Why can't they do control hunts? Like with wolves! Over here people complain about the deer cremating there yards, God for bid you killing them! Huge black tail roaming the streets and neighbors hoods.
Sometimes the population needs controlled. I know I'm preaching to the choir! I guess showing up to the F & G meetings and vote is one way?
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Re: Yep bears on the Elk page

Postby wawhitey » 11 14, 2019 •  [Post 5]

lilshootergirl wrote:Why can't they do control hunts? Like with wolves! Over here people complain about the deer cremating there yards, God for bid you killing them! Huge black tail roaming the streets and neighbors hoods.
Sometimes the population needs controlled. I know I'm preaching to the choir! I guess showing up to the F & G meetings and vote is one way?


Because grizz are federally listed as endangered in the lower 48. That needs to change. Its ridiculous that something can even be listed as "endangered" regionally. If every grizz in the lower 48 were to die the species would still be at no risk of extinction. There are plenty in canada, alaska and asia.
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Re: Yep bears on the Elk page

Postby Swede » 11 14, 2019 •  [Post 6]

I believe the Endangered Species Act requires species to be protected over their entire range. Some get reintroduced to maintain populations. I an wondering when wolves and grizzlies will be reintroduced to the area surrounding Washington DC?
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Re: Yep bears on the Elk page

Postby wawhitey » 11 14, 2019 •  [Post 7]

Swede wrote:I believe the Endangered Species Act requires species to be protected over their entire range. Some get reintroduced to maintain populations. I an wondering when wolves and grizzlies will be reintroduced to the area surrounding Washington DC?


No way. Grizz are federally listed as endangered in the lower 48, but not in alaska. Here in the eastern 1/3rd of washington wolves have been federally delisted for some time now, as part of the rocky mountain population, but theyre still federally listed as endangered in the western 2/3 of the state.
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Re: Yep bears on the Elk page

Postby Swede » 11 14, 2019 •  [Post 8]

"The ESA also requires the designation of “critical habitat” for listed species when “prudent and determinable.” Critical habitat includes geographic areas that contain the physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of the species and that may need special management or protection."

It was not my intent to suggest that all species of plants, fish and animals need special measures to be taken for their protection. Special protection is only required after a scientific determination of need.

The act does not require action in areas where species are not threatened or endangered. I am no expert on the ESA, but it is my puny understanding that if squirrels are plentiful in one area, no additional protective measures are required to maintain them there. If that species of squirrel is threatened or endangered in another geographic area, then appropriate protective measures may be required.
There are exemptions to the requirement for maintaining T&E species, so my reference to wolves or grizzlies in Washington DC, in my earlier post is nothing and was not intended to be taken seriously.
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Re: Yep bears on the Elk page

Postby wawhitey » 11 14, 2019 •  [Post 9]

All i know is id love it if they opened up grizz hunting in the lower 48, and to the extent where you had a decent chance to get a tag. Nowhere can anybody who lives in the lower 48 hunt grizz without a guide. Canada, alaska, russia... all require guides for non res. Id love to do it just once, go out and call a grizz in and drop the sucker point blank. What a rush that would be. In all honesty grizz scare the crap out of me, but id go do it once if i could.
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Re: Yep bears on the Elk page

Postby Lefty » 11 15, 2019 •  [Post 10]

wawhitey wrote:All i know is id love it if they opened up grizz hunting in the lower 48, and to the extent where you had a decent chance to get a tag. Nowhere can anybody who lives in the lower 48 hunt grizz without a guide. Canada, alaska, russia... all require guides for non res. Id love to do it just once, go out and call a grizz in and drop the sucker point blank. What a rush that would be. In all honesty grizz scare the crap out of me, but id go do it once if i could.

I would shoot one with archery ,,,, with a long gun backup
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