Hunter Kills Grizzly Bear

Elkhunter

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A black bear hunter mistakenly killed a grizzly bear on national forest land near Teton Village a little over a week ago, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special agent Roy Brown.
Although Teton Village is nestled in prime black bear habitat, the dead grizzly may count as the first confirmed sighting near the ski resort in more than 2 decades and probably longer. said Doug Crawford, a Wyoming Game And Fish Department warden. Crawford has handled black bear conflicts in Teton Village for the past 23 years.
The grizzly, which had been spotted in Teton village before the hunter encounter, is another sign of the species' expansion south, Crawford said.
Moreover, grizzlies are more likely to explore new territory during poor food years, Crawford said. This grizzly could be a harbinger of what's to come if drought conditions continue and the natural foods available to bears are limited, according to Brown and Crawford.
If one bear makes it down, why isn't the next one going to make it down ? Crawford said.
Few details are available about the grizzly - hunter encounter because the case is still underinvestication.
Brown confirmed that an archery hunter killed the grizzly while hunting over bait- meant to attract black bears- on the bridger -Teton National Forest near Teton Village. Brown did not release the exact location, date or details about how the bear was killed.
But he said identifying the species is a challenge for black bear hunters because they often hunt around dusk when it is difficult to see. Bears are most active and likely to be looking for food at night, he said.
Nevertheless, a hunter is responsible for knowing the difference between a black bear and grizzly, Brown said.
If someone mistakes an elk for a moose and shoots an elk on a moose tag, the get fined, he said.
Once the investigation is complete, the federal government may turn the case over to the state prosecutors, Brown said.
Last year, the state filed charges in two separate cases in which hunters killed grizzlies after misidentifying them as black bears.
 

whitedeer

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Sounds like Agent Brown is more interested in getting the "hunter?" off the hook than he is in placing the responsibility where it belongs. It is the responsibility of every true hunter to know the species he is hunting. Sounds like another amateur archery "hunter?" to me. At bow range, any idiot that can't tell a grizzly from a blackie, is just as apt to pop you or me strolling through the woods.....Please keep us informed Elky as to how this developes.
 

Elkhunter

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I have been waiting for more information on this and seems to be hush hush at the time. If I hear anything else I will post it for you.
 

Rocky Mtn. Oyster

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What happened to innocent until proven guilty?? Let's say YOU were hunting in an area where the Fish and Game said there has been no grizzlies for 25 years. You are up in a tree, looking down on the bear. It will be hard to determine a hump on the animal, let alone see claws or look for the dished face.Let's also say you have 10 minutes of shooting light left. It will be even harder to tell what model of bear you have. I am not saying that the guy is innocent , but let's see what happens before we send him to jail and stick him with a 5000.00 fine. On this site somewhere is a link to a little test on determining the difference between a blackie and a griz. I took it and missed 2 of them. I challenge everyone on here that is a bear hunter to take that little quiz. Now , I live in Montana and was born and grew up half my life in Alaska. I know the difference between the two bears but sometimes lighting, angle, and excitement can all add to the challenge. Distunguishing a griz, a blacky is not always as easy as some may think. Now confusing a human for a bear is ludacras. And to make the assumption that a person could not tell the difference is also the same. Just because he was bow hunting does not mean he was 2 feet away. 30 yards is equal to 90 feet. Eye sight , quality of light and many other factors come into play. You may be right about one thing ,that the guy screwed up is very much a fact. I don't think some people should hunt bears, if you can't stay calm in the face of danger, then you should not be hunting bears. These animals are unpredictable and if you are scared going in, then you are just asking for trouble.Just my dollars worth.
 

Elkhunter

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It is my opinion that if it was too dark to tell the difference he should not have been hunting or should not have taken the shot. Shooting light here is 1/2 hour before sunset til 1/2 hour after sunset. At that time you still have enough light to use proper judgement. What happened to the rule of always identify your target? If it was during elk season and a cow only hunt was on, would it be acceptable if he mistakenly took a record class bull. I will not pass judgement on him until I know the rest of the story though. I am just amazed at the hush of the whole thing.
 

George P

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A few years ago in Maine a bear hunter saw a big black dog like animal come into his bait.He told his guide about it.The guide informed him that since we dont have wolves in maine it was a black phase of coyoyte,which we do have here and was legal to shoot.Next night animal came again and the hunter shot it.They brought it to the Wildlife station to tag it so that it could be mounted.The animal was seized by the state and sent out for DNA testing.6 months later it came back identified as a wolf !!!! Hunter and guide were both arrested,found guilty,and paid several thousands in fines.
I hunt coyotes with my hounds here and have seen many different color phases.I guess if I saw a jet black one that I shouldnt shoot but boy I dont know.If I did shoot it and it turned out wolf i will tell you one thing.I would accept the punishment as given.Only the shooter has the ability to pull the trigger.Once it is pulled you have to take responsibilty for your actions. And the ultimate responsibility is to be sure of your target.Any doubt and you shouldnt shoot.I can certainly sympathise with the shooters but it is still their call.
 

wall hangers

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Elkhunter if this is the same one I heard about it was shot at someone we knows bait. I`m telling this with second hand info so take it for what it`s worth. The uncle of the one who registered the bait was telling us some about it. I understand the archer was a taxadermist. Shot the bear with his bow and after figuring what it was used a rifle to finish off wounded griz. I`m not sure if these are the same but I haven`t heard of any others around here. Just what I`ve heard so far. WH
 

Rocky Mtn. Oyster

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WOW!!! If this is true, wow. wow. I don't know what to say. How could a taxidermist make such a mistake, when it is so easy to determine the difference? WOW.
 

Elkhunter

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WH, this was in last Wedsnesday's paper. I haven't heard anything on it since. If you hear anymore I wuld be interested in hearing it. Send me an email or post it here.
 

wall hangers

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I talked to the fellow today that the bait is registered toand he told me a little about it that he could say. He was there with the guy and said they never got a good head profile of the bear. He said it had a collar and ear tags the same as a black bear they had been watching. It was low light and snowing. There was enough snow on the ground that they couldn`t see its paws. This pretty much all he could say about it now. His bait was shut down for the year. WH
 

Leanwolf

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I'm not familiar with the hunting laws there, but is an archery hunter allowed to carry a rifle???? If so, seems like a little redundant, to me.

L.W.
 

Elkhunter

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Leanwolf,
In Wyoming it states that No person holding an archery license shall take big game or trophy game animals during a special hunting season while in possesion of any type of firearm.
 
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