Category Archives: Omnivores

Grizzlies Kill Another Human in Montana

Here.

Sorry. These things are like Great White Sharks. They are pretty much incompatible with humans. That doesn’t mean we should drive that shark species extinct, but it does mean that swimming humans should not share the water with these particular sharks. It’s humans over here, Great White Sharks over there, and never the twain shall meet! Separation. Divorce. Boundaries. Borders. And on land, fences and walls.

I did a lot of research on these bears recently for a big article I wrote. They had maps showing human-bear conflicts in the last 10 years. The conflicts were red circles on the map. Everywhere there were Grizzly Bears, there were red circles. Where there were lots of Grizzly Bears, there were lots of red circles. Lots of red circles. I mean you could barely even see the map anymore.

So in other words, whenever you have Grizzlies and humans, you have these things called “Grizzly-human conflicts.” And the conflicts are pretty serious. “I saw a Grizzly Bear and got scared and ran away,” doesn’t count. Like ghetto Blacks, these things can’t really live with (other) people without causing a lot of problems, if not a bit of mayhem.

Yes, there are ways around it. Pepper spray works great, if you can get it out and hit the bear fast enough with it. Problem is these huge animals are stealthier than you think, and you would be surprised how many times the damn things come out of nowhere charging at you from way too close.

Guns are even better. I know people in Alberta, Canada who tell me that they do not even go outside their homes without a loaded gun. Why? To concealed carry to protect themselves from criminals? Hell no. There are hardly any criminals up there anyway except for Indians and they’re usually too drunk to commit a violent crime against you. There are Grizzly Bears all over where these people live in rural Alberta, and they tell me it’s not even safe to go outside your backyard without a gun. Even with a gun you might get nailed if you can’t get it out fast enough. Quite a few hunters get mauled or even killed.

I was shocked at the number of actual bear attacks in the US in recent years and stunned at the number of fatal attacks. I cannot give you any figures, but it’s not unusual at all up there to have people killed by Grizzlies. Maybe one a year in Montana and Wyoming each.

What happens when they kill you? Well it’s pretty awful, but let’s face it, it doesn’t matter to the dead person how they died, and it surely does not matter to them what happens to them after they check out. Well, you get eaten. The bear has you for dinner. Ugh. Gross.

For instance, a hunter went missing southeast of Yellowstone (northeast of Lander) recently. That’s not a good sign up there. They searched for him for a while, and finally they found his partially eaten body. That means he got killed by a bear because no other animal out there is going to kill you and munch on you for lunch.

I do not mind these bears expanding out of their habitat though. If they want to expand, let them expand. Wyoming officials are trying to draw some lines beyond which bears may not cross in their state, but it’s not working. The Yellowstone population is at capacity, so that means that the population is expanding outwards. It’s not so easy in the modern West to keep a wild animal from expanding their range. If they want to do it, they will do it. I realize that means more problems, but I am in favor of wild animals doing whatever they want to in the US within reasonable means.

Bears are collared up there and most of them have numbers. Managers know each bear individually. If a bear gets into a conflict, managers often trap it and put it somewhere wild a ways away. If it meanders out again and gets into more conflicts, this is considered to be the bear equivalent of a hardened criminal, a bear that has not learned to stay away from humans. These bears are often killed by managers.

Some misguided persons want to put these Great White Land Sharks back in California because they used to live here. I am dead-set against that. If they want to wander back on their own, they are welcome to, but that may take decades. They will not make it here in my lifetime. Grizzly Bears expand their territory rather slowly. They are not wolves.

But putting them here is a mistake. I have spent a lot of time in the wilds of California hiking, and the woods are dangerous enough as it is. There are plenty of ways to get in trouble out there, not including wild animals. There are not many wild animal dangers in California, but there are bears and mountain lions, and they are not harmless. Every time I go hiking in California, I carry a very long wooden stick in case I meet up with a mountain lion. I’ve been in the woods my whole life, living and hiking in the wilds, and I haven’t seen a mountain lion yet. They’re all around, but you never see ’em, even when you live right in their midst. They don’t like people much and unlike Grizzlies, they tend to avoid us.

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Filed under Animals, Bears, California, Canada, Mammals, North America, Omnivores, Regional, USA, West, Wild, Wyoming

The Significance of the Grizzly Bears in America Post

Here is why the Grizzly Bears in America post is significant.

First, an overview of the piece.

The Alaska and Canada populations are simply passed over with little comment as I focused on the bears in the Lower 48.

The main groups in Montana are listed – the Cabinet-Yaak, the Northern Continental Divide and the Selkirks. I believe the Selway-Bitteroot is a budding population also. They are moving out of the Cabinet-Yaak and the Selkirks west towards the Idaho border. They are now quite common in places said to be beyond their range.

The population in Idaho is the Selkirks, and it ranges into Washington also. There is a small population in the Washington Cascades. There may be 40 bears in Cabinet-Yaak, 70 in the Selkirks and 10-20 in the Cascades.

The Greater Yellowstone population may be as high as 700-1,000. The Northern Continental Divide population is definitely 1,000.

Mostly I talk about bears that are wandering outside of their mapped zones. The Northern Continental Divide population is expanding far out to the prairies to near Great Falls. It is also expanding to the south, and I believe it is now close to linking up with the Yellowstone population near Butte. It is hard to prove that the populations are linked, but they are either linked or they are very close to being linked.

The Greater Yellowstone population is expanding to the north, west, east and south. I carefully document how far the bears have gone in each direction.

Incredibly it seems that the Greater Yellowstone population is extending down the Bear River Range into Utah. There is a good sighting in Evanston, Wyoming, and a bear was killed on Highway 80 in Utah in the early 1980’s, but it was covered up by officials. However, witnesses saw the bear. There are now four sightings in the Bear River Range in Utah.

In addition, there was an excellent sighting of a bear recently in the area where Utah, Colorado and Wyoming all come together near Flaming Gorge. I have no idea how that bear got there, but maybe they are following the Green River south. This is also very close to the Uintas. They have even been spotted in the Book Cliffs of Utah.

To the east, they now extend all the way to the full length of the Wind River Range, however, they do not seem to be moving beyond the range. To the south is the Red Desert, and that will be hard to cross. To the north, they have made it to the Owl Creek Mountains and the Gooseberry Creek area. Further north, they are now seen around Cody to Putnam. They are definitely on the west side of the Bighorn Basin.

It is now known that the occupy the entire Wyoming Range and there are even populations at La Barge Creek and Little Piney Creek at the far south end of the range. They are in the Salt Rivers and they have made it as far south as the Caribous in Idaho.

The Yellowstone population is obviously at capacity and it is known that they are expanding in all directions.

Young male bears can wander pretty far to establish a range is what I have heard.

Colorado: There is quite a long section on sightings in Colorado. I believe a small population of 10-20 bears still lives there. Most of the sightings are in the San Juans and Sangre de Cristos, but there are also a number to the northwest near the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and north to Crawford which I believe are valid sightings.

To the northeast, there have been a couple of good sightings around Pikes Peak. There has been a sighting or two around Independence Pass in Aspen and one near Rocky Mountain National Park. I am not sure if those sightings are good.

However, to the north on the Routt National Forest and near Bull Mountain near Red Feather Lakes in the Medicine Bow Mountains there are definitely some good sightings. The sightings cluster right near the Wyoming border.

This population is quite curious. How did they get up on the Routt? Via the Medicine Bows? Maybe, but I am not aware of any sightings in Wyoming’s Medicine Bows. They could have moved from the Wind Rivers to the Medicine Bows by crossing several mountain ranges to the southeast, but I am not aware of any sightings there. It’s a mystery.

There is also one sighting in New Mexico right across the border from Colorado in the San Juans. It’s entirely feasible that the Colorado San Juan bears could move into Northern New Mexico.

Mexico: Further south, there is a lot of debate about whether the Mexican Grizzly Bear is extinct or not. It was said to have gone extinct in 1964, but one was shot in 1976, and there was a sighting in 1980 by scientists. Expeditions have found evidence of Grizzly Bears in the last 35-40 years in the Sky Island Ranges. Scientists say that they may still exist in the Sierra Del Nidos in Chihuahua and maybe even further south in Sonora.

Ranchers in the area say that Grizzlies were still in the Sky Islands as late as 2007. The Mexican Grizzly Bear is probably still extant.

Objections to the piece:

There probably are no bears in Colorado. There are bears in Colorado. You remember the Ghost Grizzlies book? Remember that Grizzlies were declared extinct in Colorado in 1952, and then out of the blue, 27 years later, a bow hunter was seriously mauled by a female Grizzly 27 years after they were declared extinct! The man killed the bear, and it was proven that it was a Grizzly. Now keep in mind that that sow had given birth two times in the past. That means those cubs may well still have been alive, and there was at least one boar around also. Also in 1983, a Grizzly enthusiast released a Grizzly cub in Colorado.

In 1989 there was an excellent sighting in the headwaters of the Navajo River in the San Juans. Two wildlife biologists were in the area doing something or other, and one came running out of the woods saying he had just seen a Grizzly Bear. He had a PhD in wildlife biology, and he had done his Masters and Doctorate on the Grizzlies in Yellowstone. So he’s basically got a Master’s and Doctorate in Grizzly Bear Studies. I would say that sighting is good as gold. A lot of the other Colorado sightings were by good sources.

Also, off the record many Colorado Game and Fish wardens and biologists say that the department believes that Grizzlies still live in Colorado, but there is only a very small number of them, and they do not want to admit for a number of reasons, so it is better to just say, “No Grizzlies in Colorado.”

There are no bears in Utah. The Highway 80 sighting of a dead Grizzly killed by a car in the early 1980’s is good. A number of people saw the bear dead and were looking at it before the Fish and Game people came to take it away.

I would say that the Flaming Gorge sighting is good. The man who saw the bear ran a hunters lodge in Alaska. He had seen many Grizzly and Black bears and their hunters, and he knew the difference.

There have been four sightings in Utah in the Bear Rivers and just about zero in the rest of the state. That’s a lot of fake sightings for one range with zero fake sightings anywhere else.

La Barge Creek in the Wyoming Range is only 40 miles from the Utah border. It would not be difficult for a bear to travel that distance in mountainous territory.

There are probably only a tiny number of bears in Utah, and they may be there only some of the time. The existence of resident bears is dubious.

The Selkirk/Cabinet-Yaak population is still struggling. I found no evidence in the linked study that those populations were in trouble.

And as far as I know there are no grizzlies in the Bitterroots. In 2007, a Grizzly was shot to death in the Selway-Bitteroots in Central Idaho. Previously, the last Grizzly in the Selway-Bitteroots was a confirmed sighting in 1946. Before the bear was shot, there had been sightings of Grizzlies in the Selway-Bitteroots since the late 1990’s. The female bear that wandered 2,000 miles around Montana and Idaho crossed the Bitterroots between Thomson Falls, Montana and Burke, Idaho. There are many bears only 25-30 miles away from the Bitterroots. They are expanding out of the Cabinets. They are clearly already in the Bitterroots at least on occasion, but the number of bears there must be very small.

There have been only a very few bears in the Wind River range south for a number of years. This statement about the Wind Rivers is correct, but they are expanding their range south in recent years. One was seen at Big Sandy in recent years, and they said that is the furthest south they had seen a bear so far. It is known that there are a few bears west of Lander. Just recently a bear was spotted many times southwest of Lander, and he made it as far south as Atlantic City which is a ways to the south of Sandy Creek.

According to the Y2Y website, bears are within a 100 miles of connecting GYE to Canada. It is not true at all that bears are within 100 miles of connecting the GYE to the Northern Continental Divide group. An NCD bear was shot and killed just a few miles of Butte. To the south, there is a known population of GYE bears in the Tobacco Roots. That’s a distance of only 25 miles between NCD bears and GYE bears.

A young NCD male bear was illegally shot and killed 12 miles southeast of Anaconda in the Warm Springs Wildlife Management Area at the northern end of the Pintlers. A GYE bear was seen many times at Mount Fleecer recently. There’s only 15 miles between Mount Fleecer and the Warm Springs Bear, and that gap is in the Pintler Mountains.

Many bears were trapped at Georgetown Lake in the Flints recently. To the south, bears have been repeatedly seen in the Pintlers, including one at Seymour Lake. There’s 12 miles between Georgetown Lake and Seymour Lake. That 12 miles is straight through the Pintlers, and the terrain looks like this:

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It should not be hard for a Grizzly to get through that.

There’s no way those two bear populations are 100 miles apart.

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Filed under Americas, Animals, Bears, Canada, Colorado, Idaho, Mammals, Mexico, North America, Omnivores, Regional, USA, Utah, Washington, West, Wild, Wyoming

Repost: An Overview of Grizzly Bears in the US and Canada

I will repost this again, as I just did a lot more work on it.

Click to enlarge. See how the Grizzly Bear range has receded in the modern era.

At the moment, Grizzly Bears exist in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming in the contiguous US. One was recently photographed in the northern Cascades in Washington in an amazing photograph.

They are very common in Canada and Alaska. A man in Alberta told me that Grizzlies are so common up there that they are very nearly regarded as pests. However, the Alberta government has listed the population of 700 bears as threatened.

British Columbia has a huge population of over 16,000 bears. This number is down considerably from the 25,000 bears present at contact. There are 25,000 grizzlies total in Canada in British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the northern part of Manitoba.

In 2007, a Grizzly was shot to death in the Selway-Bitteroots in Central Idaho. Previously, the last Grizzly in the Selway-Bitteroots was a confirmed sighting in 1946. There had been sightings of Grizzlies in the Selway-Bitteroots since the late 1990’s.

Endangered Species Act protection has been removed from the bears in the Yellowstone region, but a lawsuit by conservationists caused a judge to reinstate protections. This subgroup has a population of 700-1,000. In the Northern Continental Divide in Montana, a similar-sized population of 1,000 bears exists. The Northern Rockies and Greater Yellowstone populations are considered to be at capacity.

There are 40 bears in the Cabinet-Yaak population in Montana.

There are 75 bears in the Selkirks in Idaho and Washington. The North Cascades population in Washington is estimated at only 10-20 bears, but other estimates put it as high as 50 bears.

In recent years, Grizzlies from the Northern Continental Divide group have expanded to the east in Montana out into the prairie all the way to Loma where the Teton, Marias and Missouri Rivers merge, 100 miles east of the mountains. To the north, they have expanded to the east all the way to the Tiber Dam on the Marias River near the Canadian border 65 miles east of the mountains. There is now a population of 60-80 bears living on the prairie just to the east of the mountains. To the south, there have been many Grizzly sightings in the Big Belt Mountains, and was a single sighting in the Little Belt Mountains east of Helena and south of Great Falls.

The Northern Continental Divide group is also expanding to the south in Montana to the Anaconda Range, Rock Creek and the Clark Fork south of I-90, the Sapphire, John Long, Nevada and the Elkhorn Mountains between Helena and Boulder down through the Boulder Mountains in the McDonald-Rodgers and Champion-Thunderbolt areas. Grizzlies have been confirmed in the Nevadas, Elkhorns and Boulders.

In addition, there are sightings around Lincoln, Basin and Rimini in this area and a bear was killed by car in Lincoln in 2007. Lincoln is in the Nevadas, Rimini is in the Elkhorns, and Basin is in the Boulders. The Boulders population has been confirmed above Basin. Tracks were seen by bowhunters on Thunderbolt Mountain around 2010. In addition, there have been many sightings in the Bernice area from 2012-2014.

The McDonald Rogers Area is bounded by McDonald Pass west of Helena on the south and Rogers Pass west of Wolf Creek on the north. Two bears have been killed in recent years in the Champion-Thunderbolt. Champion refers to the area bounded by Champion Pass and Thunderbolt Mountain in the Boulders west of Basin south through the Boulders, Bull and Dry Mountains through Elk Park all the way to the Tobacco Root and Highland Mountains.

The core Greater Yellowstone population has been expanding recently in Wyoming east to the Absaroka and Beartooth Ranges, the west side of the Bighorn Basin, the Greybull River, the Shoshone River between Cody and Powell, and south to the Gros Ventre Range, the Owl Creek Mountains, the entire Wind River Range all the way down to Atlantic City, Wind River Valley and Wind River Basin to south of Lander, the Wyoming and Snake River Ranges, the Greys River, the Green River Valley and all the way down to north of Evanston on the Utah border. So far, two collared bears have made it south of I-80 west of the Green River.

In Montana, the Greater Yellowstone group is expanding to the north and east to the Absarokas, the Beartooths, all the way to the Pryor Mountains and to the north and west to the Madison, Gravelly, Greenhorn, Snowcrest, and Blacktail Ranges and the East Pioneer, Tobacco Root, Highland and Pintler Mountains. A bear was killed recently in the Highlands, and bears have been occasionally documented in the Pintlers. A clawed tree with grizzly bear hair on it was seen in 2010 in the Highlands.

In 2013, a bear was repeatedly seen on Fleecer Mountain southwest of Butte. There have been a few bears sighted southwest of Philipsburg in the southern end of the Flint Range. In the northern part of the Flint Range, Fish and Wildlife trapped a bear in Deer Lodge that was raiding beehives.

Montana Fish and Game has repeatedly trapped bears around Georgetown Lake in the southwestern part of the Flint Range. In 2013, a Grizzly was seen at Seymour Lake in the Pintlers. It is only 12 miles from Seymour Lake to Georgetown Lake. This is the gap in the Grizzly range in this area from the southwestern end of the Flints to the northern end of the Pintlers.

In addition, in 2005, a young Grizzly bear was found shot to death with an arrow in Cabbage Gulch in the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area in northern end of the Pintlers. This bear was proven to be from the Northern Continental Divide group. There has been no testing of bears further to the south in the Pintlers, Highlands, Mount Fleecer or Tobacco Roots to determine which group they are a part of.

Between McDonald Pass and the Pintlers is 35 miles of the Boulders and between the pass and the Tobacco Roots and the Boulder and Jefferson Valleys is 50 miles of the Boulder, Dry and Bull Mountains. In order the breach this gap, the bears would need to occupy all of the Boulder and Bull and Dry Mountains, and they would also have to make it through the Jefferson and Boulder Valleys.

In June 2010, a Grizzly was shot by a landowner at the south end of Elk Park Valley when he found it in the duck pen outside his home, so they have already made it to the Elk Park Valley. The Elk Park Valley is a high mostly treeless plain like Sierra Valley in California at 6,000 feet. It consists of three towns – Elk Park, Trask and Woodville. The southern end of Elk Park from Trask to Woodville is from only 4-10 miles northeast of Butte, so this report means that Grizzlies are now only 4-10 miles from Butte itself. It is not known if Grizzlies are present in the Bull or Dry Mountains.

So the present distributional gap between the two populations from the south end of Elk Park Valley to the Highland Mountains is the Jefferson Valley, about a 14-21 mile gap. The valleys are full of ranches, and getting through them would would not be easy.

If this gap can be breached, the Greater Yellowstone group will be able to link up with the Northern Continental Divide group to form one huge megapopulation from the Wind Rivers in Wyoming west to the Caribou Mountains in Idaho all the way north in Montana to the Canadian border and 100 miles east into the prairie. However, there does not seem to be any evidence of gene flow between the two groups now.

The Greater Yellowstone group is also expanding to the west into Eastern Idaho to Island Park just west of Yellowstone in the Centennial Range south to Chester and all the way west I-90, 60 west into Idaho and even further south to the Caribou Mountains east of the Snake Rivers.

There are 32,850 Grizzly Bears in the US in total, but 95% of them are in Alaska. Therefore, Alaska has a population of ~31,000 bears, and there are 1,850 bears in the rest of the US.

The Grizzly Bear formerly ranged through the Western and Southwestern US.

There are ongoing sightings of Grizzly Bears in Colorado, especially in the Southern Rockies near the New Mexico border in the San Juan Range. If it exists, the population may be small (10-20 bears) and inbred.

The last confirmed sighting of a Grizzly in Colorado was in 1979 when a hunter was mauled by a female bear in the San Juans. He shot and killed the bear though so biologists were able to study it. Prior to that, the last known Grizzly Bear in Colorado was killed in 1952, and it was assumed that bears were extirpated from the state. Autopsy revealed that the dead sow in 1979 had already given birth to two litters in the past, so her cubs were probably still roaming around, and there had to have been at lest one boar in the area to impregnate her.

A Grizzly was photographed at an unknown date in the Wet Mountains between Westcliffe and Beulah, Colorado in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. A family saw a Grizzly Bear at an unknown date near Walsenberg, Colorado in the Sangre de Cristos.

A man and his wife saw a huge male Grizzly weighing 1,000 pounds in the Cimarron Mountains in the San Juans at an unknown date. Ten minutes later, a ranch hand from the ranch next door stopped by to warn them that there was a Grizzly Bear in the area.

Two hunters saw a large Grizzly Bear weighing 600 pounds and standing seven feet tall on an unknown date near Shelf Road between Canon City and Cripple Creek, Colorado in the Pike’s Peak Country of the Southern Front Range.

A Grizzly Bear was photographed at an unknown date west of Weston, Colorado in the Sangre de Cristos. The photos was shown to Game and Fish personnel who would neither confirm nor deny that it was a Grizzly. Off the record, the game warden said there are still a few Grizzlies in the area, but the department’s official position is to deny that they exist, as 1) They do not want an endangered species in the area putting land restrictions in; 2) They do not want local ranchers getting up in arms over the Grizzlies and demanding to kill them; 3) They do not want to deal with hunters demanding to shoot them and 4) They do not want to have to draw up an expensive management plan for them.

Two fishermen saw a grizzly bear and tracks near Garfield Lake near Silverton, Colorado in the San Juans in Fall 1982. In Late Spring 1982, Grizzly tracks were seen in the Weminuche Wilderness between Pagosa Springs and Creede, Colorado in the San Juans.

There was a confirmed sighting by a PhD biologist in the headwaters of the Navajo River near Pagosa Springs, Colorado in the San Juans in 1989.

A female Grizzly was seen on the eastern side of the San Juans a few miles from the New Mexico border in the early 1990’s. A Grizzly Bear was sighted in La Manga Pass in the San Juans in 1995.

In the mid-1990’s, three hunters saw a Grizzly Bear den on Bull Mountain in Larimer County near Red Feather Lakes in North Central Colorado in the Medicine Bow Mountains seven miles south of Wyoming border. Two years later, hunters returned to the same den and found a Grizzly Bear’s head nailed to a tree outside the den. It had apparently been killed by someone. Between 1996-2005, possible Grizzly scat was seen on the same mountain by a man researching Grizzly Bears.

In 1997, a female Grizzly Bear with two cubs was seen in La Manga Pass. There was another sighting near this pass close to Manassa, Colorado in the San Juans in 2003, and a female was seen in the same area 2000. That is only seven miles north of the New Mexico border.

A Grizzly was seen near Creede 2005. Another Grizzly was seen in the same area 2006-2009. A female Grizzly Bear with cubs was sighted in Late September 2006 near Independence Pass east of Aspen, Colorado in the Sawatch Range. In 2007, hunters said they saw a Grizzly Bear near Aspen. The same year, a possible female Grizzly with two cubs was seen in the high country in Red Wing, Colorado in the Sangre de Cristos.

In addition, tracks were seen at 10,000 feet in the Routt National Forest in Colorado just south of the Wyoming border in 2010. This area is to the west of Crowdrey, Colorado. Hunters in the area may see Grizzlies with some regularity. The nearest reported Grizzly location from there is 220 miles to the west near the Green River in far northeastern Utah where Utah, Wyoming and Colorado all come together.

On July 31, 2010, two men saw a Grizzly Bear at 12,000 feet on Little Cimarron Road near the Big Cimarron River three miles southeast of Cimarron, Colorado. They saw Grizzly tracks at Silverjack Reservoir where the Big Cimarron River comes into the reservoir. Cimarron is just south of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River.

On June 10, 2012, three men riding the COG to the top of Pikes Peak in the Southern Front Range saw a Grizzly Bear. In Fall 2013, a Grizzly was seen near Crawford, Colorado pursuing a gut shot elk. Crawford is between the West Elk Mountains and the Grand Mesa. In Fall 2014, Grizzly tracks were seen above Masonville, Colorado near Rocky Mountain National Park at the northern end of the Front Range.

A Grizzly Bear walked through a yard in Indian Creek near Lake City, Colorado in the San Juans in the June 2015. The same month, two Grizzly Bears were seen in the San Juans above Pagosa Springs on a single day. One weighed 800 pounds. Later the same month, on June 28, a large Grizzly Bear was spotted 50 yards off the highway in the pass coming into Cimarron. The motorists watched it for 15 minutes before it retreated up the slope.

A Grizzly Bear was killed on I-80 in Utah in the early 80’s, though this was never acknowledged by wildlife officials. Tracks have been seen recently in the Book Cliffs of Eastern Utah. The Book Cliffs or Roan Cliffs extend from Grand Junction, Colorado northwest to Price and Helper, Utah, so the tracks were seen somewhere in the Utah portion of this area, the center of which is 50 miles northwest of Green River.

There have been four sightings of Grizzly Bears in the Bear River Mountains in Far Northern Utah. This range extends into Far Southwestern Idaho, which is not far from known Grizzly populations in the Caribous. Wolves have already been verified a bit to the west of the Bear Rivers, and a wolverine was recently photographed by Utah wildlife officials in Summer 2014.. In Summer 2013 a Grizzly Bear was sighted in Utah near Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in the Three Corners Area where Colorado, Wyoming and Utah all come together.

Grizzly Bears may also exist right across the Colorado border in New Mexico. In the late 1980’s, a Grizzly Bear cub was seen just across the Colorado border west of Chama, New Mexico.

A subspecies of Grizzly Bear, the California Golden Bear, was hunted to extinction. The last bear was shot in Tulare County in 1922.

Another subspecies, the Mexican Grizzly Bear, is said to be extinct, as it has not been seen for some time. By 1960, there were only 30 bears left, and only four years later in 1964, it was regarded as extinct. Rumors continued of bears seen in the Yaqui Headwaters Region.

In 1969, a naturalist organized an expedition there with no success. A recent journal article examined a skull of a juvenile bear shot in Arroyo del Oso in Sonora, Mexico in 1976 and determined that the skull was that of a Mexican Grizzly Bear. A joint-US expedition to Mexico in 1980 found tracks, other Grizzly Bear sign and one sighting of what the experts determined was a Grizzly Bear.  Doug Peacock documented a Grizzly in a sky island range in Chihuahua in 1985.

31 years later, it is not known if Grizzlies persist in Mexico. Residents of the region say that bears matching the description of Mexican Grizzly Bears continued to exist in the foothills of the sky islands of Sonora and the rest of the bear’s former range as of 2007. Mammalogists feel that they continue to exist in the Sierra del Nido in Chihuahua at the very least, and they may persist in Sonora also.

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Filed under Animals, Bears, California, Canada, Colorado, Endangered Species, Environmentalism, Government, Idaho, Law, Mammals, Mexico, New Mexico, North America, Omnivores, Regional, USA, Utah, Washington, West, Wild, Wyoming

Bigfoot News December 14, 2013

Interesting news – Jeff Meldrum reportedly had his first Bigfoot encounter in Canada earlier this year. The rumor is that John Bindernagel was with him on this trip. The location is somewhere in Alberta, Canada, and it is said to be one of the hottest research spots in North America right now. The news I got said that Meldrum had at the very least one Class B encounter and possibly more than one. She also stated that it was at the very least a Class B encounter, and it may in fact have been a Class A encounter.

Although Meldrum has not spoken about it publicly, he has definitely spoken about it privately. I understand that he is under some sort of an NDA about this incident though, so he may not talk about it much. The encounter must have occurred earlier this year because that area is now under many feet of snow, and it’s colder than a meat locker up there. Specifically, I believe the incident may have occurred in the fall. The source also told me that the full story of their encounter(s) would go public in a while anyway. There is apparently a lot more to this story, and I am digging into it right now.

This would apparently be Meldrum’s second Bigfoot encounter. His first was in the Siskiyou Mountains of Northern California when a Bigfoot repeatedly walked through their camp late at night. The Bigfoot apparently put its hand on Meldrum’s tent, and Meldrum could see the outline of its hand.

I really do like Jeff Meldrum a lot, even he has some detractors, or worse – enemies – in the community for sure. To be more specific, there are those in the community who absolutely despise him. Having spoken to him on the phone, I do think that Meldrum is a good man though. He comes across as very sane and very warm. He is amiable and even charming, which is interesting for a scientist as a lot of these fellows are pretty cold fish. Jeff is like your best friend.

I also felt that he was very careful in all of his statements to me. It seemed he was hedging himself like a true scientist should. He does has a public image to manage, and he doesn’t like things that mess up his media persona. After a bit of time in front of the TV camera, he is turning into a bit of an “actor type,” but that goes with the territory, and he plays the actor role well. He has a very interesting personality and mind, and that is clear if you watch him on TV.

I also like John Bindernagel a lot. He has a very good heart, and that comes through if you see his speeches or listen to his shows.

John Green is also a great guy, though sadly he is dying of prostate cancer.

I actually like all of these academic types. They are some of the finest people in our field.

Bigfootery is so sleazy that it tends to taint if not ruin the best of human beings due to the nature of the game – a race to the bottom where the biggest sleazeball wins and the nice guys are all left mugged, holding the bag and wondering what hit them. It’s nice to see that the academic types have not been dragged down by the “Bigfoot undertow.”

Bow hunting Bigfoot in Idaho. I actually like this video a lot, and it has at least one feature in it that hoaxers never seem to get right – actually they do not even try to replicate this feature. I won’t mention it, but the Facebook Find Bigfoot guys used to talk about it a lot. There is not a whole lot to see here, but I could not help notice that when it walked away, it looked a lot like some of those Bigfoots walking in the forest in the Erickson Project video. The general feeling out there is that this is a hoax, but I say not so fast now.

Mississippi skunk ape video. This is an extremely interesting video shot near Tupelo, Mississippi. The Bigfoot is apparently grubbing a rotten log and eating bugs (maybe grubs) out of the log. We are apparently looking at it from the back end as it grubs the log. There are at least four features about this Bigfoot that hoaxers never get right (they never even try to replicate these features), and that is why I think this is real. From the rear this looks like a lot of Bigfoot videos – the Poland video of the Bigfoots in the rocks, the end of the Patty video when we see her from behind, the Georgia Bigfoot video when the boy sees the Bigfoot. This one is also being called a hoax, but I doubt if it is.

Mass Bigfoot sighting in British Colombia recently. One of the largest mass sightings in history occurred in BC recently. 26 people, all men, reportedly saw a Bigfoot at a location that I believe is called Wheeler Ridge. I believe they were all loggers or forest workers. I do not think there is video available. I am looking into this right now.

Rick Dyer story. Apparently Dyer is still going to reveal his Bigfoot to the world on or about December 31, 2013. He has scheduled a pay per view video on Youtube, but there is no date on it yet.

Rick Dyer’s home broken into by haters. Haters apparently broke into Dyer’s apartment and completely trashed the place. Apparently either these folks or other haters were also caught stalking Rick and his wife. This is why Rick moved out of his apartment very quickly afterwards. This is also the reason why Rick issued his “Quitting Bigfootery” video that everyone took to be an acknowledgement of a hoax. This incident freaked him out and made him want to step back from the scene to say the least.

Man invades Dyer’s apartment, fight ensues. A hater apparently invaded Rick’s apartment some time back. Rick was home at the time and confronted him. A fistfight then ensued. I do not any more have details on this incident. As you can see, Rick’s haters have been getting pretty out of control.

Frank Cali quits Team Tracker, says he is spilling the beans. Cali quit and reportedly spilled the beans on Rick, calling the whole Dyer affair a great big hoax. However, he offered no evidence to prove this. Frank and Rick had had a huge falling out a little while beforehand, and that is what spurred this incident. Frank’s story has changed over and over and does not seem to make sense.

Frank Cali and Craig Phillips never saw Dyer’s Bigfoot. But they both lied and said they did. Phillips even made a video detailing his viewing, which fooled some people who stated that it seemed very credible.Well, it wasn’t. Remember how his eyes never looked at the camera and always looked down? There you go. Why did these men lie and say they say a Bigfoot that they never saw? Rick states that both men desperately wanted to see the Bigfoot, so Rick said they could make videos saying they saw it even though they never did. Sleazy, huh? Well, Rick Dyer is the king of sleaze, you know?

Dyer makes fake video claiming that the Men In Black stole his Bigfoot. Apparently this was all another gigantic hoax “to fool the haters.” A few people were kicked out of Team Tracker due to this video. More of Rick’s sleazy hoaxing and nonsense. Whether or not Rick actually shot a Bigfoot, and especially whether or not he has possession of one, Rick has definitely been hoaxing and lying like crazy all through this Dead Bigfoot affair.

Really nothing new on the Dyer front. Some time has passed since I last wrote about Dyer, but the main thing you need to know is that there really is nothing new to report here. In the interim, no new evidence has been offered up to prove that his story is true. On the other hand, his detractors have not yet proven the case is a hoax either. So there it lies, in stasis. We can’t prove it’s true, and we can’t prove it’s false. And there you have it.

Date fast approaching for Dyer’s reveal. Dyer was originally going to reveal on December 15, but after the break-in, he changed his mind and postponed it indefinitely. Later he said the reveal would happen on December 31.

Melba Ketchum, teen book author. From the comments section of Over the Line, Smokey, a hardcore Ketchum-hating blog.

December 15, 2013 at 2:57

Melanie F Reed is actually “The Ketchum” and I have some information on what the Ketchum lady is up to these days. She is starting or has started a new publishing company.

Her new alias/name is Melanie F. Reed. She will be writing books and publishing more-  but with an all new identity. She is going to great lengths to make “Melanie” an entirely new person so people don’t make the connection back to “Melba Ketchum.” A new saga begins (or, according to Ketchum, The Lost Saga). Supposedly the book comes out in December…Anyone seen it yet? Good times-  good times. Hope y’all can get down to the bottom of all this…more to come I am sure.

The site is here. The webpage is horribly done, so that right there is a clue that this may indeed be one of Melba’s webpages, as her sites are always horrific for some odd reason (Won’t pay for a web designer?). Looking around a bit, we can see that Melba is writing a 3-part teen book series called The Lost Saga. The first book in the series is called Strange World, and it is billed as a supernatural teen fantasy.

From the site, a book description:

Gracie McKay felt both excited and sad. Her family was trading its Manhattan highrise apartment for the sprawling suburbs of Seattle, Washington. Little did she know that as a shy girl soon to be 16, she was about to embark on a supernatural journey that would change her life forever–and lead her headlong into her destiny—a destiny intertwined with an unknown, unseen world.

Very disappointing Bigfoot series out of Channel 4 in the UK. This series, The Bigfoot Files, was billed as the greatest thing since sliced bread by Bigfooters for some time before it aired. Sadly, it was a massive bomb. It featured Dr. Bryan Sykes, who is admittedly a world class geneticist. The purpose of the series was apparently to use Sykes to prove conclusively, once and for all, that there is no such thing to the Bigfoot, Yeti or Almas legends. The show achieved its aims very well.

The first show dealt with the Yeti in the Himalayas. Although no Yeti was found, what was found was that at least some Yeti samples pointed to a brand new bear completely unknown to science (So much for no new large mammals being discovered, eh skeptards?) Most of the hairs were duds, but a few of the samples did match to a bone from an extinct polar bear from 40,000 years ago. This was at the time of the original brown bear (grizzly bear) – polar bear split.

The polar bear is a new species. It split off from the brown bear ~40,000 YBP. So this bear is really a sort of a brown bear-polar bear cross. Polar bears and grizzly bears are very closely related, and in the wild, they can actually interbreed. Somehow this early polar bear/brown bear got stranded up in the Himalayas (possibly in the Ice Age with the retreating glaciers). It lives at a very high altitude where there is snow and ice much of the year, so it is adapted to a polar bear-like environment.

The show also tried to prove that Yeti tracks are really just bear tracks that have partly melted or have been stepped in twice by the bear. This is transparently false, as Yeti tracks look nothing like bear tracks. Skeptics have been saying this about Bigfoot tracks for a long time (They are really just bear tracks that have been stepped in twice), and we shot that argument full of holes way back when.

The discovery of a brand new bear unknown to science is indeed startling news!

But the idea that the Yeti = weird polar bear does not seem to be true. The natives say that there are several different kinds of Yeti. Yeti after all just means ferocious thing or fierce thing in Tibetan. One of the Yetis is indeed said to be a very large bear. There are references to this huge Yeti-bear in Tibetan writings going back centuries.

However, natives are adamant that there is another Yeti that is some sort of a primitive relative hominid. Josh Gates recently cast some excellent footprints in Bhutan. Jeff Meldrum looked at the prints and decided that they were indeed genuine and appeared to be of a hominid. In addition, Dr. Melba Ketchum tested some purported Yeti hair, also from Gates, on a quick and dirty male/female peaks genetic test. The test came out preliminarily that Yetis were relict hominids related to Bigfoots but not the same species.

I am not very familiar with Yeti sightings, and I will have to go back over the historical record again. However, I believe that at least one sighting observed a group of Yeti hominids over a period of 2 hours or more. The Yeti hominid is said to live at a somewhat lower elevation that the Yeti Polar Bear does.

I still believe that there is an unknown hominid in the Himalayas.

The second episode involved Bigfoots in North America. Sykes received ~30 Bigfoot samples from North America but only revealed the results for eight of them. All eight were said to be known animals. A Derek Randles sample from eight feet up in a blueberry bush was said to be a canine. Tell me how a dog gets eight feet up a blueberry bush? Why all of these samples came back as known animals is beyond me. Could Sykes not have examined the hairs via a hair expert to quickly weed out the horses, dogs, opossums and whatnot? I do not understand why this was not done.

Justin Smeja’s sample from the Sierra Kills was tested and came back “black bear.” It has tested “black bear” now repeatedly – this is the fourth time it got this result. The producer challenged Justin and implied that he was making up the whole story, and Justin got angry, defensive and almost started crying. You really had to feel sorry for him.

The episode ended with the producer and Sykes in a philosophical conversation about how the Bigfoot phenomenon is obviously just Americans imagining things, and then went off into an abstract discussion of the human need to believe in monsters or beasts as some sort of  Jungian unconscious archetype common to the human race, possibly going back to our Cave Man days or our time on the African Savannah. Perhaps the recurring bogeyman theme is a leftover trauma from our genocidal wars with the Neandertals.

In other words, put a fork in the Bigfoot myth, it’s done for all time now.

Moving right along…

The final show dealt with Zana, the purported Almas in Abkhazia. She was supposedly captured in the 1870’s by residents of a small village in this remote mountain region. She was very wild at first but was eventually tamed. She never learned language, and it was clear that she was not a Homo Sapiens sapiens in the same sense that we are. The men used to get her drunk and bet each other to have sex with her, and several offspring were produced in this rather sleazy fashion. The offspring also looked very odd and had some characteristics that were simply not human. One of her sons, Kwit, could reportedly pick up a chair with his teeth!

The show gathered together some of Zana’s descendants, most of whom now just look like normal humans. Genetic testing on her bones revealed that Zana was 100% Sub-Saharan African. In other words, she was a Black woman!

Well, what is a Black woman doing running around in the forests of the Caucasus completely wild and living off the land, sleeping the open, lacking in all language and unable to learn language either? How is it that that a Black woman is completely covered in hair from head to toe? Because most Black people look like creatures from the Planet of the Apes, right? How is it that a Black woman is extremely strong, with strength far beyond that of a human? How is that the offspring of a Black woman and a White man (a mulatto) looks extremely primitive and is so strong that he can pick up chairs with his teeth? Most mulattos can do that, right?

On further examination, Sykes did note that Zana’s skull had certain features that were outside the realm of Homo Sapiens sapiens and were suggestive of possibly a more ancient or relict form of Homo. Sykes said that maybe Zana went back not to the Out of Africa people from 70,000 YBP from whom we all derive but actually to an earlier wave of Homo moving out of Africa. In other words, she was possibly a relict hominid. Exactly! What we have been saying all along.

So to wrap it all up, Yetis are really Polar Bears, Bigfoots are all hoaxes, lies or hallucinations, and Almastys are hair covered Black folks who run around wild in the remotest Caucasus.

Three legends killed with one stone, er, one show.

The truth is that most British people simply do not believe in any of this relict hominid stuff. They probably do not have relict hominids in their land, so to them, these creatures simply do not exist. British people who come to my site are far more likely to be Bigfoot skeptics than Americans are. They think we Americans are hillbilly morons for believing in these Bigfoot boogeymen.

You gotta love those pommies!

All in all, this show was an extreme disappointment. Either Sykes himself does not believe that any of these things exist, and that was what he set out to prove, or Sykes was used by the producers to further their skeptical view.

Monster slayers!

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Filed under Abkhazia, Americas, Animals, Apes, Asia, Bears, Bhutan, Bigfoot, Britain, California, Canada, Idaho, Mammals, Near East, North America, Omnivores, Regional, South, South Asia, USA, West, Wild

Friendly Bear Pays a Visit to His Human Friends

Video here.

In this interesting video, a friendly bear decides to come over and pay a visit to some of his human friends. I am not sure why he wanted to drop by. Perhaps he just wanted to say hello, maybe he wanted to shoot the crap for a bit, maybe he wanted to visit for lunch or a cup of coffee or tea. Who knows? Anyway, one of his rude human friends came out of the house and told the bear to go away! And he was one of her best friends! Look at how this awful woman treats one of her best friends. If she treats her friends like this, think how she treats her enemies!

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Filed under Animals, Bears, Mammals, Omnivores, Wild

Famous Last Photograph

Hi, my name is Mr. Bear. Thought I would stop by your tent for a bit. Do you mind?

Hi, my name is Mr. Bear. Thought I would stop by your tent for a bit. Do you mind?

You have heard of famous last words, right? How about famous last photos? This photo is said to have been snapped by Michio Hoshino, a wildlife photographer, in his tent. The story is that he heard a grizzly bear coming, and he grabbed his camera. He snapped this photo just as the bear was coming into his tent. Very soon after this photo was taken, the bear attacked Hoshino and killed him. The bear left the camera alone as it never occurred to the stupid bear to destroy the evidence for its crime. This was the last photo in the camera, documenting a tragic death.

Unfortunately, none of this is true, and the photo is simply a Photoshopped hoax. Hoshino was indeed mauled to death by a bear in 1996 in the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula, but this is not his photo.

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Filed under Animals, Bears, Mammals, Morbid, Omnivores, Wild

Badgers, Bobcats and Roadkills

Repost from the old site.

A few years ago, I was driving to a major California Central Valley city for a post-operation appointment with my surgeon, when I saw a very strange roadkill beside the busy two-lane highway. When you live in rural areas, you get so you can spot the roadkills, species-wise, after a while. Most of them are the usual, and I don’t stop to look at those. But every now and again you see something unusual.

A few weeks ago, there was a dead bobcat on the road only a mile from my home. Seeing a dead one is a strange experience. You expect such a fearsome predator to be large, but a bobcat is usually only about as big as a very large house cat. It differs from Kitty in having extremely long legs and a very short snub tail.

After living here 14 years, I have only seen two roadkilled bobcats. I have seen, or heard, three other bobcats, two of them running across the highway. Sighting a bobcat is a funny experience. When you see one running, you instantly think it is a rabbit because of the rabbit-like way that it runs. Also, they run extremely fast, so you typically only get a short glance at them.

Years ago, a woman who was staying with me for a bit put some cat food out for the “outside cats” (I had seven cats at the time – five indoor and two outdoor cats). At 9:30 at night, she came running to get me.

“Bob!” she said excitedly. “Do rabbits eat cat food?!”

“Well, um, no, I don’t think so,” I answered dumbfounded.

“Well, I opened up the door and a rabbit was eating cat food, and it ran away really fast!” She was really excited.

“Huh?” I asked. This wasn’t making sense.

With some more questioning and some research in my animal books, I determined that she had actually seen a bobcat. I asked her if it could have been a bobcat, and she said, “Maybe”. A damn bobcat had come up on the porch to eat cat food, and then run away so fast that she thought it was a rabbit. Once again, note the rabbit misinterpretation due to its running style.

A couple of years after I moved up to the mountains here, I heard a disturbing bobcat tale. The neighbor across the road had a lot of ducks penned up inside a fenced area. I have no idea what he did with them. Well, one morning, he got up at dawn to silence in the duck pen. Curious, he went out to check and found 20 ducks, all slaughtered, and one fat, contented bobcat sleeping in his duck pen!

He yelled at the bobcat, the cat woke up and was gone in an instant. This is yet another report of the curious “bloodlust” behavior of some wild animals (especially wild North American cats) when they get amidst a paradise of easy kills. This bobcat killed every single duck in sight in mad bloodlust, even though he couldn’t possibly eat all those ducks.

A few years later, I was out walking at night when I approached a lake by the side of the road about 1/4 mile from my home. The lake is fenced and there are trees all around it.

I heard a loud rustling in a young pine tree and saw the pine sway. It seemed odd, like there was something too large to be in the tree hiding in the tree. I cautiously approached the young pines, staring upwards and shining my flashlight at the tree.

Suddenly, there was a loud “ROWWLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!” and one of the pines lurched towards me. It was loud, I mean real loud, and scary as Hell. I jumped back a few feet and stared at the pine, shining my light at it. After a bit, I walked away.

Thinking it over, I decided that had to be a bobcat up in that little pine. Bobcats are truly terrifying when cornered, as the American frontier phrase “Fight like a wildcat” implies, and they are capable of a “hair-raising scream”.

What’s strange is that bobcats apparently live all around here constantly in fairly good numbers. Yet they are almost never seen, like ghosts in the woods.

Anyway, back to the roadkill heading to the doc’s office. I drove past the roadkill and thought, “Damn! That was weird.” And I also thought, “Badger”. What’s weird is I have never seen a live badger in the wild and have seen only one roadkill.

But the one roadkill all it took to imprint it on my memory. I turned around and went back to the kill and got out to look at it. Badger! And on the floor of the Central Valley yet, not far from orchards and grape vines. How odd.

There’d been a tremendous amount of rain that year (my town had received 57 inches already – a very wet year), and the grass was about 3-6 feet high in this part of the Valley where I found the badger, perfect habitat for badgers. American badgers are quite a bit different from the European badgers fairly common in England.

Badgers have supposedly become rare in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills in recent years for unknown reasons, possibly due to poisoning of ground squirrels by ranchers.

Like its European cousins, the American badger is a nocturnal digger with massive claws for digging out the ground-dwelling rodents it preys on. Badgers dig huge burrows and leave big massive marks in the ground with their claws. American badgers, like bobcats, are also rarely seen.

I grabbed the roadkilled badger and threw it in the trunk on my car! Wow, am I nuts or what? Then I drove to the California Department of Fish and Game office in the big city, walked into the office and announced I had a badger for them.

A few years back, a biologist had told me to bring in any ringtail or badger roadkills I found when I told him about roadkills of these species I found. The ringtail is another animal that reportedly lives around here in good numbers but is almost never seen.

The biologists came out, opened the truck, wrapped the badger in plastic bags, and took it into the office where they threw it in the freezer. They like to examine certain wild animals, cut them up, dissect them, see what they are eating, maybe mount them, etc. Yes, the weirdo biologists around you actually encouraged me to pick up roadkilled animals and bring them to their lab.

Can you see walking in the door in the evening and your wife asks you what you did today, and you say, “Oh, I dropped off a dead badger, then I went on the doctors.”

A truly odd note about roadkills in the rural US. Reportedly, scavenging of roadkills by rural humans is such a significant problem that state governments have made it illegal!

Especially in the South, if a deer gets roadkilled, the good ole boys tend to get right on it, grab a pickup, drive to the deer, wait for traffic to die down, and throw the deer in the back of the pickup! Then they take it home, dress it, cook it up, and eat it. It’s considered “free food”. You need to live out in the woods to understand the mindset.

A friend told me a story about an elderly woman somewhere in the rural US who lived beside a highway that saw a lot of roadkills. She scavenged them right away, and was able to supplement her diet quite well. Yum yum! You never know if stories like that are urban legends or not, though.

A little known fact about badgers is that they are fantastic dancers. I kid you not! Here is some rare footage of dancing badgers in their native habitat (slow-loading file). Enjoy!

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Filed under Animals, California, Carnivores, Felids, Mammals, Mustelids, Omnivores, Regional, Reposts From The Old Site, USA, West, Wild

An Overview of Grizzly Bears in the US and Canada

Click to enlarge. See how the Grizzly Bear range has receded in the modern era.

At the moment, Grizzly Bears exist in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming in the contiguous US. One was recently photographed in the northern Cascades in Washington in an amazing photograph.

They are very common in Canada and Alaska. A man in Alberta told me that Grizzlies are so common up there that they are very nearly regarded as pests. However, the Alberta government has listed the population of 700 bears as threatened.

British Columbia has a huge population of over 16,000 bears. This number is down considerably from the 25,000 bears present at contact. There are 25,000 grizzlies total in Canada in British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the northern part of Manitoba.

In 2007, a Grizzly was shot to death in the Selway-Bitteroots in Central Idaho. Previously, the last Grizzly in the Selway-Bitteroots was a confirmed sighting in 1946. There had been sightings of Grizzlies in the Selway-Bitteroots since the late 1990’s.

There are other Grizzly populations in Montana – 960 in the Northern Continental Divide, 40 in the Cabinet-Yaak, and 105 in the Selkirks.

In recent years, Grizzlies from the Northern Continental Divide group have expanded to the east in Montana out into the prairie all the way to Loma where the Teton, Marias and Missouri Rivers merge, 100 miles east of the mountains. To the north, they have expanded to the east all the way to the Tiber Dam on the Marias River near the Canadian border 65 miles east of the mountains. There is now a population of 60-80 bears living on the prairie just to the east of the mountains. To the south, there have been many Grizzly sightings in the Big Belt Mountains, and was a single sighting in the Little Belt Mountains east of Helena and south of Great Falls.

The Northern Continental Divide group is also expanding to the south in Montana to the Anaconda Range, Rock Creek and the Clark Fork south of I-90, the Sapphire, John Long, Nevada and the Elkhorn Mountains between Helena and Boulder down through the Boulder Mountains in the McDonald-Rodgers and Champion-Thunderbolt areas. Grizzlies have been confirmed in the Nevadas, Elkhorns and Boulders.

In addition, there are sightings around Lincoln, Basin and Rimini in this area and a bear was killed by car in Lincoln in 2007. Lincoln is in the Nevadas, Rimini is in the Elkhorns, and  Basin is in the Boulders. The Boulders population has been confirmed above Basin. Tracks were seen by bowhunters on Thunderbolt Mountain around 2010. In addition, there have been many sightings in the Bernice area from 2012-2014.

The McDonald Rogers Area is bounded by McDonald Pass west of Helena on the south and Rogers Pass west of Wolf Creek on the north. Two bears have been killed in recent years in the Champion-Thunderbolt. Champion refers to the area bounded by Champion Pass and Thunderbolt Mountain in the Boulders west of Basin south through the Boulders, Bull and Dry Mountains through Elk Park all the way to the Tobacco Root and Highland Mountains.

The core Greater Yellowstone population has been expanding recently in Wyoming east to the Absaroka and Beartooth Ranges, the west side of the Bighorn Basin, the Greybull River, the Shoshone River between Cody and Powell, and south to the Gros Ventre Range, the Owl Creek Mountains, the Wind River Range south at least to the Big Sandy River, Wind River Valley and Wind River Basin to at least Lander, the Wyoming and Snake River Ranges, the Greys River, the Green River Valley and all the way down to north of Evanston on the Utah border.

In Montana, the Greater Yellowstone group is expanding to the north and east to the Absarokas, the Beartooths, all the way to the Pryor Mountains and to the north and west to the Madison, Gravelly, Greenhorn and Snowcrest Ranges and the Tobacco Root, Highland and Pintler Mountains. A bear was killed recently in the Highlands, and bears have been occasionally documented in the Pintlers. A clawed tree with grizzly bear hair on it was seen in 2010 in the Highlands.

In 2013, a bear was repeatedly seen on Fleecer Mountain southwest of Butte. There have been a few bears sighted southwest of Philipsburg in the southern end of the Flint Range. In the northern part of the Flint Range, Fish and Wildlife trapped a bear in Deer Lodge that was raiding beehives.

Montana Fish and Game has repeatedly trapped bears around Georgetown Lake in the southwestern part of the Flint Range. In 2013, a Grizzly was seen at Seymour Lake in the Pintlers. It is only 12 miles from Seymour Lake to Georgetown Lake. This is the gap in the Grizzly range in this area from the southwestern end of the Flints to the northern end of the Pintlers.

In addition, in 2005, a young Grizzly bear was found shot to death with an arrow in Cabbage Gulch in the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area in northern end of the Pintlers. This bear was proven to be from the Northern Continental Divide group. There has been no testing of bears further to the south in the Pintlers, Highlands, Mount Fleecer or Tobacco Roots to determine which group they are a part of.

Between McDonald Pass and the Pintlers is 35 miles of the Boulders and between the pass and the Tobacco Roots and the Boulder and Jefferson Valleys is 50 miles of the Boulder, Dry and Bull Mountains. In order the breach this gap, the bears would need to occupy all of the Boulder and Bull and Dry Mountains, and they would also have to make it through the Jefferson and Boulder Valleys.

In June 2010, a Grizzly was shot by a landowner at the south end of Elk Park Valley when he found it in the duck pen outside his home, so they have already made it to the Elk Park Valley. The Elk Park Valley is a high mostly treeless plain like Sierra Valley in California at 6,000 feet. It consists of three towns – Elk Park, Trask and Woodville. The southern end of Elk Park from Trask to Woodville is from only 4-10 miles northeast of Butte, so this report means that Grizzlies are now only 4-10 miles from Butte itself. It is not known if Grizzlies are present in the Bull or Dry Mountains.

So the present distributional gap between the two populations from the south end of Elk Park Valley to the Highland Mountains is the Jefferson Valley, about a 14-21 mile gap. The valleys are full of ranches, and getting through them would would not be easy.

If this gap can be breached, the Greater Yellowstone group will be able to link up with the Northern Continental Divide group to form one huge megapopulation from the Wind Rivers in Wyoming west to the Caribou Mountains in Idaho all the way north in Montana to the Canadian border and 100 miles east into the prairie. However, there does not seem to be any evidence of gene flow between the two groups now.

The Greater Yellowstone group is also expanding to the west into Eastern Idaho to Island Park just east of Yellowstone in the Centennial Range and even to the Caribou Mountains east of the Snake Rivers.

The North Cascades population in Washington is estimated at only 10-20 bears.

Endangered Species Act protection has been removed from the bears in the Yellowstone region, but a lawsuit by conservationists caused a judge to reinstate protections. This subgroup has a population of 1,000. In the Northern Continental Divide in Montana, similar-sized  population of 960 bears exists. The Northern Rockies and Greater Yellowstone populations are considered to be at capacity.

There are 32,850 Grizzly Bears in the US in total, but 95% of them are in Alaska. Therefore, Alaska has a population of ~31,000 bears, and there are 1,850 bears in the rest of the US.

The Grizzly Bear formerly ranged through the Western and Southwestern US.

There are ongoing sightings of Grizzly Bears in Colorado, especially in the Southern Rockies near the New Mexico border in the San Juan Range. If it exists, the population may be small (10-20 bears) and inbred.

The last confirmed sighting of a Grizzly in Colorado was in 1979 when a hunter was mauled by a female bear in the San Juans. He shot and  killed the bear though so biologists were able to study it. Prior to that, the last known Grizzly Bear in Colorado was killed in 1952, and it was assumed that bears were extirpated from the state. Autopsy revealed that the dead sow in 1979 had already given birth to two litters in the past, so her cubs were probably still roaming around, and there had to have been at lest one boar in the area to impregnate her.

A Grizzly was photographed at an unknown date in the Wet Mountains between Westcliffe and Beulah, Colorado in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. A family saw a Grizzly Bear at an unknown date near Walsenberg, Colorado in the Sangre de Cristos.

A man and his wife saw a huge male Grizzly weighing 1,000 pounds in the Cimarron Mountains in the San Juans at an unknown date. Ten minutes later, a ranch hand from the ranch next door stopped by to warn them that there was a Grizzly Bear in the area.

Two hunters saw a large Grizzly Bear weighing 600 pounds and standing seven feet tall on an unknown date near Shelf Road between Canon City and Cripple Creek, Colorado in the Pike’s Peak Country of the Southern Front Range.

A Grizzly Bear was photographed at an unknown date west of Weston, Colorado in the Sangre de Cristos. The photos was shown to Game and Fish personnel who would neither confirm nor deny that it was a Grizzly. Off the record, the game warden said there are still a few Grizzlies in the area, but the department’s official position is to deny that they exist, as 1) They do not want an endangered species in the area putting land restrictions in; 2) They do not want local ranchers getting up in arms over the Grizzlies and demanding to kill them; 3) They do not want to deal with hunters demanding to shoot them and 4) They do not want to have to draw up an expensive management plan for them.

Two fishermen saw a grizzly bear and tracks near Garfield Lake near Silverton, Colorado in the San Juans in Fall 1982. In Late Spring 1982, Grizzly tracks were seen in the Weminuche Wilderness between Pagosa Springs and Creede, Colorado in the San Juans.

There was a confirmed sighting by a PhD biologist in the headwaters of the Navajo River near Pagosa Springs, Colorado in the San Juans in 1989.

A female Grizzly was seen on the eastern side of the San Juans a few miles from the New Mexico border in the early 1990’s. A Grizzly Bear was sighted in La Manga Pass in the San Juans in 1995.

In the mid-1990’s, three hunters saw a Grizzly Bear den on Bull Mountain in Larimer County near Red Feather Lakes in North Central Colorado in the Medicine Bow Mountains seven miles south of Wyoming border. Two years later, hunters returned to the same den and found a Grizzly Bear’s head nailed to a tree outside the den. It had apparently been killed by someone. Between 1996-2005, possible Grizzly scat was seen on the same mountain by a man researching Grizzly Bears.

In 1997, a female Grizzly Bear with two cubs was seen in La Manga Pass. There was another sighting near this pass close to Manassa, Colorado in the San Juans in 2003, and a female was seen in the same area 2000. That is only seven miles north of the New Mexico border.

A Grizzly was seen near Creede 2005. Another Grizzly was seen in the same area 2006-2009.  A female Grizzly Bear with cubs was sighted in Late September 2006 near Independence Pass east of Aspen, Colorado in the Sawatch Range. In 2007, hunters said they saw a Grizzly Bear near Aspen. The same year, a possible female Grizzly with two cubs was seen in the high country in Red Wing, Colorado in the Sangre de Cristos.

In addition, tracks were seen at 10,000 feet in the Routt National Forest in Colorado just south of the Wyoming border in 2010. This area is to the west of Crowdrey, Colorado. Hunters in the area may see Grizzlies with some regularity. The nearest reported Grizzly location from there is 220 miles to the west near the Green River in far northeastern Utah where Utah, Wyoming and Colorado all come together.

On July 31, 2010, two men saw a Grizzly Bear at 12,000 feet on Little Cimarron Road near the Big Cimarron River three miles southeast of Cimarron, Colorado. They saw Grizzly tracks at Silverjack Reservoir where the Big Cimarron River comes into the reservoir. Cimarron is just south of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River.

On June 10, 2012, three men riding the COG to the top of Pikes Peak in the Southern Front Range saw a Grizzly Bear. In Fall 2013, a Grizzly was seen near Crawford, Colorado pursuing a gut shot elk. Crawford is between the West Elk Mountains and the Grand Mesa. In Fall 2014, Grizzly tracks were seen above Masonville, Colorado near Rocky Mountain National Park at the northern end of the Front Range.

A Grizzly Bear walked through a yard in Indian Creek near Lake City, Colorado in the San Juans in the June 2015. The same month, two Grizzly Bears were seen in the San Juans above Pagosa Springs on a single day. One weighed 800 pounds. Later the same month, on June 28, a large Grizzly Bear was spotted 50 yards off the highway in the pass coming into Cimarron. The motorists watched it for 15 minutes before it retreated up the slope.

A Grizzly Bear was killed on I-80 in Utah in the early 80’s, though this was never acknowledged by wildlife officials. Tracks have been seen recently in the Book Cliffs of Eastern Utah. The Book Cliffs or Roan Cliffs extend from Grand Junction, Colorado northwest to Price and Helper, Utah, so the tracks were seen somewhere in the Utah portion of this area, the center of which is 50 miles northwest of Green River.

There have been four sightings of Grizzly Bears in the Bear River Mountains in Far Northern Utah. This range extends into Far Southwestern Idaho which is not far from known Grizzly populations in the Caribous. In Summer 2013 a Grizzly Bear was sighted in Utah near Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in the Three Corners Area where Colorado, Wyoming and Utah all come together.

Grizzly Bears may also exist right across the Colorado border in New Mexico. In the late 1980’s, a Grizzly Bear cub was seen just across the Colorado border west of Chama, New Mexico.

A subspecies of Grizzly Bear, the California Golden Bear, was hunted to extinction. The last bear was shot in Tulare County in 1922.

Another subspecies, the Mexican Grizzly Bear, is said to be extinct, as it has not been seen for some time. By 1960, there were only 30 bears left, and only four years later in 1964, it was regarded as extinct. Rumors continued of bears seen in the Yaqui Headwaters Region.

In 1969, a naturalist organized an expedition there with no success. A recent journal article examined a skull of a juvenile bear shot in Arroyo del Oso in Sonora, Mexico in 1976 and determined that the skull was that of a Mexican Grizzly Bear. Residents of the region say that bears matching the description of Mexican Grizzly Bears continued to exist in the foothills of the sky islands of Sonora and the rest of the bear’s former range as of 2007.

A joint-US expedition to Mexico in 1980 found tracks, other Grizzly Bear sign and one sighting of what the experts determined was a Grizzly Bear. 32 years later, it is not known if Grizzlies persist in Mexico. However, mammalogists feel that they continue to exist in the Sierra del Nido in Chihuahua at the very least, and they may persist in Sonora also.

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Filed under Americas, Animals, Bears, California, Canada, Colorado, Idaho, Mammals, Mexico, North America, Omnivores, Regional, USA, Utah, Washington, West, Wild, Wyoming

Black Bear Range in the United States and Canada

Here.

As you can see, the range has shrunk dramatically in the US. They were always absent from large sections of California. Those parts of the state were more properly the realm of the California Grizzly Bear. The last CA grizzly was killed near Sequoia National Park in the early 1920’s.

CA Black Bears are even present here in the Central Valley, though only in very small numbers. They are known to follow the San Joaquin River all the way down to the central part of the valley, where one was seen in farmland a couple of years ago.

In the foothills where I lived for many years, they are not common at all. They only show up in late summer to early fall, when food supplies get short in the mountains so mountain creatures head down to the lower areas in search of food.

A Black bear came through one September and tore apart a wooden compound I had built to keep my trash cans away from the likes of them but more properly from raiding racoons. Pretty amazing the way it smashed that nice wooden structure to bits. Other neighbors were also hit by the bear.

I’ve seen these creatures quite a few times in the Sierra Nevada. They’re interesting, but you don’t want to get too close to them. There is a photo somewhere in family archives of me as a little boy posed next to a momma Black bear. I do remember bears parading through Yosemite campgrounds when I was a child while everyone snapped pictures. We didn’t know at the time just how stupid that was.

They are very interesting animals, but once you’ve seen them in the wild as I have, your first impulse is try to get away from the darned thing or at least keep some proper distance between you and it.

They are very dangerous animals, and though they seldom attack humans, they can at any time. They kill people maybe once a year in the US, and wound a few others. It’s a gigantic, unpredictable and deadly animal, and you don’t know what it’s going to do at any time. Unless you are armed, it’s scary to even observe one in the wild.

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“The Indifference of Polar Bears,” by Alpha Unit

Svalbard is the northernmost part of Norway. This archipelago lies midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. About 60% of the area is glacier. The only permanently populated island on the archipelago is Spitsbergen.

Polar bears are a symbol of Svalbard. They are one of the main tourist attractions, in fact. Anyone traveling outside the settlements is required to carry a rifle at all times. Tourists are warned about the danger and unpredictability of these animals. You can forget about outrunning a polar bear.

A 17-year-old British boy is dead this weekend after a group he was camping with on Spitsbergen Island was attacked by a polar bear. He was part of an expedition run by the British Schools Exploring Society.

The group, most of them between the ages of 16 and 23, were hunting for fossils, taking part in environmental experiments, and clearing beaches of debris. They split into smaller groups to head out to more remote areas. The boy was in a group of 13 people who were attacked. Others were lucky enough to survive it, at least so far. Some of them are in the hospital with severe injuries.

The polar bear is dead, too. One of the campers shot it. There are people just as outraged over the death of the bear as they are over the death of the boy. They point out that the polar bear is endangered. People shouldn’t be invading this animal’s habitat and then killing it when it acts on instinct. These expeditions need to stop.

I don’t know if the expeditions will stop. They are clearly of value to many people. But I do know that conservationists around the world, including here in the U.S., are acting to protect the habitat of polar bears, filing lawsuits when they deem it necessary, to stop any kind of interference with the habitat of polar bears.

The polar bears will go on doing whatever polar bears do to survive, including killing humans who come into their habitat when the bears are looking for food – and those humans are the only food available.

Is there any such thing as peaceful coexistence when polar bears and humans are in the same space? Something or someone is probably going to die. If people die, as this 17-year-old did, it’s a tragedy. It’s no less a tragedy if bears die, some insist.

It’s only humans that can care either way. The bears are indifferent to human suffering. They don’t care much about the survival of their species, either.

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Filed under Alpha Unit, Animals, Bears, Endangered Species, Environmentalism, Europe, Guest Posts, Mammals, Norway, Omnivores, Regional, Wild