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Colorado Grizzly Bears

I would like to hear from anyone else who has seen evidence of or an actual sighting of a grizzly in Colorado. I saw one sow in the 90's near the New Mexico border near the eastern side of the San Juans.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
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Colorado Grizzly Bears

I don't doubt it. That's not too far from where a Grizzly attacked hunting guide Ed Wiseman in September 1979.

I've spent a lot of time over the years hunting deer and elk in the wilderness of Colorado and have never seen anything I would consider. I personally believe that we do have a small number of grizzlies roaming around here in Colorado though. Just because they aren't numerous enough to be seen often doesn't mean that they don't exist. 27 years passed between 1952 and the time Wiseman was attacked, without anyone seeing a grizzly in Colorado. I was only in the 1st grade at the time, so I don't recall anything about it when it happened. But Don Fisher said he was living in Greeley at the time, he said everyone was shocked in disbelief.

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Location: Pueblo Colorado
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Colorado Grizzly Bears
WesternHunter wrote:
I don't doubt it. That's not too far from where a Grizzly attacked hunting guide Ed Wiseman in September 1979.

I've spent a lot of time over the years hunting deer and elk in the wilderness of Colorado and have never seen anything I would consider. I personally believe that we do have a small number of grizzlies roaming around here in Colorado though. Just because they aren't numerous enough to be seen often doesn't mean that they don't exist. 27 years passed between 1952 and the time Wiseman was attacked, without anyone seeing a grizzly in Colorado. I was only in the 1st grade at the time, so I don't recall anything about it when it happened. But Don Fisher said he was living in Greeley at the time, he said everyone was shocked in disbelief.

Damn Western, I for some reason though you were older. I remember that as well being in 4th grade at the time. We saw a sow with two cubs last year in the high country by Red Wing Co from about a mile and half away that were colored just like a grizzly and moved like one. My dad was convinced I'm not sure. That same year some hunters by I believe Aspen claimed to have seen a grizzly as well.

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Location: PUEBLO, CO
Joined: 11/24/2007
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Colorado Grizzly Bears

Well I have had the pleasure of spending a great deal of time with the DOW offier that has the conjeos county district, and I asked him that very question since his district had the last known grizz in Colorado. "I doubt we have any or if we do there isnt a sustained population of them but i never say never". (officer Ruybalid)

I saw a big bear by cordova pass and even took a pic of it but lost the pic and couldnt say for sure if it was a grizz or just a big black bear in the brown phase!

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Colorado Grizzly Bears
RUFFNECK wrote:
Well I have had the pleasure of spending a great deal of time with the DOW offier that has the conjeos county district, and I asked him that very question since his district had the last known grizz in Colorado. "I doubt we have any or if we do there isnt a sustained population of them but i never say never". (officer Ruybalid)

I saw a big bear by cordova pass and even took a pic of it but lost the pic and couldnt say for sure if it was a grizz or just a big black bear in the brown phase!

The question is, do DOW officers ever get very far into the back country on a regular basis unless an attack has occured or poaching has occured? They almost never take any of the numerous reports seriously, even when from experienced bear hunters. That sow that attacked Wiseman in '79 had proven post-mortum to have given birth twice in her lifetime. How do people not take that important detail into account? Those cubs would have certainly grown up and produced other cubs. Also makes me wonder what the DOW really knows? Ever wonder why in the state wildlife biggame identification booklet they still show the grizzly? It only lists it as an "Endangered Species" in Colorado.

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Location: PUEBLO, CO
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Colorado Grizzly Bears

Well I know that officer Ruybalid as well as the majority of the DWM's in the valley spend a lot of time in the back country as I was with them most of the time last summer! And like I said the dow doesnt know for sure if we have grizzlys and thats why officer Ruybalid says never say never because it is very possible.

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Colorado Grizzly Bears

Sounds like Officer Ruybalid is a very wise and smart person.

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Colorado Grizzly Bears

I would like to hear from anyone else who has seen evidence of or an actual sighting of a grizzly in Colorado.

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Location: Everett PA
Joined: 04/02/2009
Posts: 6
Colorado Grizzly Bears

I chased Grizzly sightings in Colorado for several years. I also host a podcast show at a site called Today's Wilderness, where I recently interviewed Author David Petersen about the re-release of his book "Ghost Grizzlies", which is a must read for any Grizzly seeker in Colorado. I think he provides some very thought provoking and interesting ideas in the book.

In my travels, I saw some pretty big scat on Bull Mountain in North Central Colorado as probably my most compelling piece of information and that was not while I was on one of many unofficial searches, which were forwarded to me by a contact within the Division. When a sighting occurred in the region I was living in at the time, I would get a call from my contact (after the DOW had basically given up on the issue) and was given the details and I headed out to look for sign. I did this from 1996 to 2005. Other things I saw were interesting, but that particular scat pile was really the most interesting

I live back east now, but incidentally will be in Colorado rooting around in the high country in two weeks for about four days. It is my intention to visit any credible location within striking distance of the places I am going to be.

Check out the podcast if you get a chance and let’s keep this thread alive. I am excited to be headed back out.

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Colorado Grizzly Bears

Welcome to BGH forum. It's all very interesting stuff to me. Like I say I've never seen anything to prove to me that there are Grizzlies still here in my state, but I believe that we may have a small number still existing in the back country. Anytime I hear of report that someone spotted a grizzly in Colorado I just don't doub it, especially since many of these reports come in mid to late September when bears would be active packing down calories and preparing shelter for winter. The Colorado Division of Wildlife only list the grizzly as endangered in Colorado. I believe the Division of Wildlife knows much more than they are publically admitting. Not that they should be faulted with that. It's very true when they say something to the effect - it doesn't matter what exists in the back country, it's everyones responsibility to use caution and take preparedness measures when venturing into the wilderness. Not the DOWs job to hold everyones hand and protect adventure seekers from wild animals.

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Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 04/01/2009
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Colorado Grizzly Bears

I've been prowling around the woods all over the state for almost 20 years now (hunting, camping, fishing etc...you name it) and have never seen one. Then again I've only seen three mountain lions and we have plenty...

Doesn't mean the Grizz isn't around though. Sometimes when socializing with other hunters you run into the "Black Helicopter" types. They swear up and down they've seen grizzly bears.

Pretty interesting thread, it wouldn't suprise me if there were a few floating around.

I do run into this same group of out of state hunters every fall who are adamant they've seen wolves in the Gunnison basin. At first I didn't believe them, but after hearing about it from 5 or 6 of them it makes me wonder...