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Yellowstone Region Hunters Need To Remember That They're in Grizzly Country

Charging Grizzly Bear

Standing Grizzly
You don't want this Grizzly coming after your.

When a person hunts they are the one who is in control of the situation. They choose the time, place, animal and the shot. In the past, it was even a rite of passage for young native tribesmen in Canada and Alaska to kill a grizzly bear with a spear! The key was that they practiced and planned on how to control the situation. Todayês hunters are infinitely better equipped when it comes to hunting, but how prepared they are for a surprise encounter with a formidable wild creature such as a grizzly bear may be another story, unless they too prepare and plan ahead.

Much of IDFGês Upper Snake Region is home to black bears and today it is potentially possible that a grizzly bear could also be encountered somewhere in nearly half the region, but especially in the Island Park area, adjacent to Yellowstone National Park.

As the number of hunters in the field continues to grow as the various big game seasons open, it is important for hunters to become bear smart in all their dealings, whether in the field or in camp. The neighboring states of Montana and Wyoming have higher grizzly bear densities and each year surprise encounters between hunters and bears results in grizzlies being shot. As Idaho grizzly numbers increase, the potential for such situations increases here as well.

Grizzly Bear Attack
What a Grizzly looks like just before he takes off your scalp.

While many hunters now also carry on their belts bear spray easily able to thwart a charging bruin; their first reflex action is to use the hunting rifle they are holding in their hands when a surprise bear encounter occurs. According to Regional Conservation Educator Gregg Losinski, –This is where the difference in the level of control becomes critical. When you hunt, you make the choices. When you surprise a bear all hell breaks lose and neither the hunter, nor the bear, is completely in control.”

Because hunting success very often depends upon the stealth of the hunter, many of the useful tips suggested for the general outdoor enthusiast must be abandoned, but hopefully the greater amount of outdoor skills needed to hunt can help keep both people and grizzly bears safe. According to Losinski, –Common sense and awareness are among the two major keys to staying out of trouble.”

Hunters need to keep their eyes open for signs that a bear may be in the area. Some things such as tracks, scat piles and excavated squirrel pine cones caches are among the more obvious signs. Hunters need to use their knowledge of the outdoors to take special caution as they enter areas such as berry patches and white-bark pine stands, places that would attract bears. Gut piles, half devoured carcasses and rotten stumps that have been ripped apart are all warning signs that there are attractants in the area that might be drawing bears in.

Hunters should always head into the field with a partner and have a pre-discussed plan about what to do if a bear is encountered. Of course, everyone needs to have EPA approved bear spray easily available and know how to properly use it.

big Grizzly Bear - the Preacher
Grizzlies are to be respected

Once hunters have successfully harvested their big game, it is especially important to be on guard for bears that might come looking for a free meal by way of the gut pile. Performing the field dressing in a quick and clean manner is strongly advised. If meat must be left in the woods between trips to haul the rest of the animal out, it is critical to store it away from the gut pile. Remaining meat should be left in the open, so that it can be viewed from a distance upon return. Human scent and human-related objects left in the area have also been credited with helping to keep bears away from remaining meat. Since the hunt is complete, the time for stealth is over and making a lot of noise can help alert bears that you are returning to the area.

Back at camp it is important that everything be kept clean and stored properly. Carcasses need to be hung well away from camp and any special forest service sanitation or food storage orders need to be followed completely. Bear spray should also be available at designated spots within the camp site.

 

Elk Hunters
Hunters often forget about grizzlies as the hunt their prey

Bears are just like people in that they donêt like to be surprised. Most encounters between bears and humans are not sought out by the bears, but result because a human has gotten too close before the bear became aware of their presence. Most times, the bear will move on if the human slowly and calmly exits the situation. Bears will also many times perform what is called a bluff charge. This behavior, as well as rising up on their rear legs to get a better view and smell of the situation, is often interpreted as attacks by humans. This is where humans many times respond by shooting the firearm they are carrying, rather that using bear spray or backing away from the situation.

If a grizzly bear does attack, it is important that the victim does not fight back, but simply –play dead” on the ground, rolling up in a ball and protecting their vital organs. If the attacking bear is actually a black bear, then the victim should scream, punch and kick to repel the animal. For this reason, it is important that everyone venturing into the woods have a firm knowledge of bear identification.

Hunting Stories and Information

 

Cowboy, campfire
Steve Horn enjoing a utility fire

How To Build a Fire Pit in the Woods (Without Getting Injured)
One of the most important outdoor survival skill to have is an understanding of how to safely build a fire pit. Learning this skill gives you the know-how to keep warm and cook food in cold weather, not to mention, acting as a line of defense from other animals.  In this article, we will be going over the two key aspects of building a safe fire pit in the woods: safety guidelines and the basics of construction.

1. Clear Out a Campfire Area
It's advised that you clear out at least a 10-foot area around your fire pit. To do this, remove any tree limbs, grass, and leaves from the clearing around your fire pit........rest of article

The Modern Hunter-Gatherer •Walking with a loaded rifle in an unfamiliar forest bristling with the signs of your prey is thrilling. It embarrasses me to write that, but it is true. I am not by nature much of a noticer, yet here, now, my attention to everything around me, and deafness to everything else, is complete. Nothing in my experience has prepared me for the quality of this attention. I notice how the day's first breezes comb the needles in the pines, producing a sotto voce whistle and an undulation in the pattern of light and shadow tattooing the tree trunks and the ground. I notice the specific density of the air. But this is not a passive or aesthetic attention; it is a hungry attention, reaching out into its surroundings like fingers, or nerves. My eyes venture deep into thickets my body could never penetrate, picking their way among the tangled branches, sliding over rocks and around stumps to bring back the slenderest hint of movement. In the places too deeply shadowed to admit my eyes, my ears roam at will, returning with the report of a branch cracking at the bottom of a ravine, or the snuffling of a. . .wait: what was that? Just a bird. Everything is amplified. Even my skin is alert, so that when the shadow launched by the sudden ascent of a turkey vulture passes overhead I swear I can feel the temperature momentarily fall. I am the alert man....................... rest of article

Yellowstone Region Hunters Need To Remember That They're in Grizzly Country • When a person hunts they are the one who is in control of the situation. They choose the time, place, animal and the shot. In the past, it was even a rite of passage for young native tribesmen in Canada and Alaska to kill a grizzly bear with a spear! The key was that they practiced and planned on how to control the situation. Today’s hunters are infinitely better equipped when it comes to hunting, but how prepared they are for a surprise encounter with a formidable wild creature such as a grizzly bear may be another story, unless they too prepare and plan ahead........More

Greater Yellowstone Region Hunting Outfitters

 

A nice Greater Yellowstone Bull Elk

Swan Valley Outfitters • (Swan Valley ID) Swan Valley Outfitters is a family owned and operated business. We offer the best scenic trail rides and hunting in the are . We offer many different hunts from mountain lion to trophy elk. Our experienced team of guides and mounts will take you on the experience of a lifetime.

Hidden Basin Outfitters (Jackson Hole WY) Jackson Hole is home to some of the finest big game hunting on earth, where hunters have the opportunity to pursue animals in their natural habitat. Our experienced and fully-licensed guides will lead you and your party in search of cow elk, bull elk, moose, sheep, mule deer, antelope, and bear. For Big Game Hunters Looking for a True Wyoming Experience!

Non-Typical Outfitters • (Star Valley WY) Robb and Dr. Brenda Wiley make their home in one of the most beautiful places that God ever created, the mountains of western Wyoming. Brenda practices veterinary medicine and Robb lives his passion, providing your hunting and fishing opportunities in the Wyoming back country..........We feel that Non-Typical Outfitters has the ability to provide an unmatched opportunity for trophy hunting in Wyoming. The amount of time that we spend in the field before your hunt starts is one of the things that separates us from the rest. We spend extensive days in the preseason locating our trophy animals. For us trophy hunting is a year around job.............We are the most diversified permitted outfitter in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Our hunting area encompasses over 900 square miles of National Forest and close to double that in BLM lands. This gives us the ability to hunt the top trophies in the area without over pressuring any part of it. We can hunt out of a forest camp or a lodge and have the ability to tailor a hunt to almost anyone's needs.

There are several places to hunt Mountain Goats in the Yellowstone Region

Jake's Horses • (Island Park WY) All day or by the hour trail rides, alpine lake fishing, hunting, pack trips & guide service. We are located in Island Park, Idaho.

Mill Iron Ranch • (Jackson Hole WY) Mill Iron Ranch has been a Wheeldon family tradition for three generations. We carry on the old cowboy traditions around here, showing the Jackson visitors how to ride, fish, hunt and camp.

Wind River Trophy Hunts • (Pinedale WY) We provide hunters with the unique experience of hunting in the remote backcountry that contains one of the healthiest elk populations in the state of Wyoming. For hunters looking for the ultimate hunting experience - whether it be elk, moose, sheep, antelope, or mountain lions - Wind River Trophy Hunts is your best bet!

Jenkin's Hunting Camp • (Star Valley WY) Larry Jenkins' Hunting Camp has provided Big Game Hunting since the 1970s. His hunting camp is a family run operation where Larry, his wife Shirley, and their two sons and daughter are all part of your hunting experience. Larry and his family have owned and operated their camp for over 30 years. By specializing in pleasing the individual, Larry can gear the hunt to your own abilities and desires. The saddle horses are all mountain trained and gentle enough to carry you all day in safety. However, Larry prefers to ride as little as possible and still get your game. Your not in the saddle all day long. You can expect an average of 80% success rate on buck mule deer. Larry's hunter success on bull elk ranges from 80 to 100% average each year.Many of these bulls are trophys.

Many Bighorn Rams like this one have been harvested from the mountain tops of the Greater Yellowstone Region

Sheep Creek Outfitters • (West Yellowstone MT) is a small family outfitting business located in the West Yellowstone, Montana Area. I am a full-time outfitter with over thirty years experience hunting Elk, Mule Deer, & other Big Game in the Rocky Mountains. We take only a limited number of hunters per season, approximately fourteen to sixteen rifle hunters and eight archery hunters. Each hunt period is an eight day trip (six actual hunt days) and a nine day trip (seven actual hunt days) for archery. The two non-hunting days are pack-in and pack-out days. We take only four hunters per hunt.

Boulder Basin Outfitters • (Cody WY) Generations of Experience Hunting and Fishing Wyoming Carl and Michelle Sauerwein, owners of Boulder Basin Outfitters, bring more than a lifetime's worth of hunting and fishing experience to their Wyoming outfitting business. Born and raised into a family with outfitting experience that spans back generations, Carl has more skill and knowledge of Wyoming big game hunting and fishing than the average Cody Country Outfitter

Elk Ridge Outfitters • ( Bozeman MT) We hunt the Bridger Range northwest of Bozeman, hunting districts 393 and 312. This 28,000 acre private ranch takes in 2 major drainages. The ridges and slopes are covered with scattered timber and numerous basins. Elevations vary from 5,200 ft. to 7,200 ft. The Bridger Mountains of south central Montana offer hunters one of the highest success rates in Montana for elk. Private land and limited access allows us to manage elk numbers and limit bull harvest.

Absaroka Ranch • (Dubois Wyoming) Our hunting area is the most magnificent Dunoir Valley located northwest of Dubois, Wyoming. The Dunoir remains one of the last truly abundant wildlife and virtually hunter - free areas in the state, if not the entire West. We provide nearly everything for your hunt such as saddles, rifle scabbards and saddle bags, and you will enjoy a comfortable, modern cabin and excellent, hearty meals. All you provide is license, rifle, ammunition, and other personal hunting gear. Please don't hesitate to call or write us for additional hunting information. You'll find the hunting excellent, the crew superbly qualified, and the country spectacular. We'd love to have you along for the fun, excitement, and sheer pleasure of a true Rocky Mountain big game hunt!

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