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WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
you got it

WishIWasHunting wrote:

This is an interesting post, and there have been several valid points raised.

As far as reintroduction to Colorado, I don't think the government would ever let us hunt the grizzlies after reintroduction, no matter how successful and sustainable the population.  If the animals started to outgrow the intended reintroduction area, the government (both federal and state) would probably have to commission a huge, worthless study that would cost thousands of taxpayer dollars.  After the ridiculous study, they would probably decide that the best course of action would be to hire "professional sharpshooters" to target problem animals, again at the expense of the taxpayer.  Then animal activists would fight the entire process through the legal system, costing even more taxpayer dollars.  The entire time this is going on, they would be ignorning the fact that hunters could help manage the population, and pay rather handsomely to do so.  It is not that I am opposed to the thought of grizzlies in Colorado, it is entirely that I do not think it would ever work out well for either the sportsman or the taxpayer.  Just my $.02.

Your $.02 is worth more than you think.  You pretty much forcasted with exceptional accuracy exactly what would happen if the Grizzly was reintroduced here to Colorado. Applause


hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
On the surface all these

On the surface all these reintroduction programs sound great but I'm with the group that just can't get behind it. Our game departments are financially strapped as it is without adding more programs to the budget.

Grizzlies are a magnificent animal but I don't think we need them here adding more burden to our system.

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4433
Actually after thinking about

Actually after thinking about it for a while I would love to have a grizzly here.  I plan on having one in my living room in a couple of years if all my plans work out. Thumbs up

Topgun 30-06's picture
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Location: Allegan, MI
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This thread has been an

This thread has been an interesting read.  The first time I ever made a trip out west from here in Michigan where I still live was in 1980.  A friend and I got combo elk/deer tags and planned a hunt north of Pagosa Springs in the Wilderness.  Not long before we were to depart for the hunt I got an Outdoor Life magazine and here is this big article about the grizzly attacking the guide on that bowhunt over to the east by Platoro Reservoir.  The whole time we were on the hunt about all we could think about every night was a grizzly taking us out of our tent and having a nice meal, LOL!  As wild as that country is, I have no doubt in my mind that there could be a few more roaming the area, but if they are they must not be reproducing to any extent or by now I would think people would be seeing them on some kind of a regular basis.

Joined: 03/09/2011
Posts: 1
Colorado Grizzly Bears

In november 2010 A buddy and I were hunting elk in Routt National forest at about 10k ' when we came accross some grizzly tracks in the snow. We have seen similar tracks in Idaho. When we mentioned it to other hunters in the area where we parked nobody was very suprised. I guess they see them all the time, they just dont report it

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374

Welcome to BGH forum kava.  That pretty a interesting report you give.  I don't doubt it though.  Of all the time I've spent in the Colorado backcountry I can't say I've ever come across anything to indicate to me the presence of grizzlies.  Yet I believe there is a very small number of them that roam the high country. 

Joined: 12/23/2009
Posts: 9
Grizzlies in the Routt National Forest

I believe that Grizzlies bears are running out of habitat in NW Wyoming.  Just two years ago a male Wolverine named M56 was radio tracked across the red desert and into Coloardo. The Wolverine traveled like 400 miles.  The wolverine spends most of it's time between RMNP and the Sawatch range.  So to me it is not at all inconceivable that a Grizzly could make that same trek.  I used to live in Steamboat, and those mountains are remote and beautiful.  I could easily see them living up their hunting a burgeoning moose and elk population.  As to my later posts about a grizzly reintroduction, I guess your probably right.  There are to many liberals in country to actually have successful Grizzly reintroduction.  It would cost the taxpayer's way to much money.  To me that is a damn shame, common sense just does'nt exsist anymore.  We can't even bring an animal back that truly belongs in our mountains.  I know they're not easy to live around.  It's just to bad....


ndemiter's picture
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Location: lawrence, KS
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grizzlies are really making a

grizzlies are really making a comeback, in wyoming, they already have a tag price set for them, but hunting for them won't happen for some time.

i hope grizzlies make it all the way back through their home range. that will put them back in the kansas and missouri river basin... i'd be hunting grizz!

i realize it's a pipe dream, but i'd rather see a grizzly than wolves. i've lived around both and will take the bear any day of the week. wolves are clever, you never know when one is watching you and has the upper hand.

while hiking through dall sheep country, i witnessed an all black wolf tail a partner and start to close distance at an alarming rate, luckily, we were armed.

Joined: 07/02/2008
Posts: 7

I am pleasantly surprised this thread is still alive. I spotted the silvertip near La Manga pass in 1995.

I don't think the bears are migrating from Wyoming. There is too much high desert to cross that doesn't offer enough cover. You would have to wonder why the bears would head south east to the extreme. I feel the bear I saw was a native, most likely a female. As to the idea that blacks and griz cross breed, well, it does not make genetic sense although never say never. The Polar bear is a direct variation of the big browns, having morphed over the eons to adapt to artic life. They are genetically very close. The griz would more likely eat the black.

I think to reintroduce a few breeding females that have young would make sense. The addition of a few males later would be needed as well. Females with young tend not to "go home" as often. As far as habitat size, remember Italy and Romania and Japan all have grizzlies in close proximity to people. They learn to avoid people and conflicts. There is always the rouge exception. I feel the San Juans are actually better habitat for the mountain bear than Western Wyoming. I also feel the La Garita and RMNP are good areas. To get to huntable numbers, the bear needs protection from really only one faction. The sheepmen. The reasons are well known, lot's of animals, lot's of movement, no tolerance for potential predators. No blame , just the way it is. Hikers and backcountry campers should actually embrace it, as should the tourism folks. The bear certainly changed my view of the "tamed" Colorado wilderness. I think when you look at the facts, the bear could live in the state in decent numbers.

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374

Never seen one or any signs of one, but then again I'm not all that familiar with what signs to look for being that I don't encounter the grizzlies. Most bear signs I'm familiar with are black bear signs and I see those signs from time to time.

I still believe that the grizzly exists here to some extent.  I'm sure it's in very small numbers and in areas where few humans venture.  Even though it's hard to come across total extensive wilderness in this state there are still large areas that have the habitat and cover to support a small population of them.  To give an idea of how vast we still are in Colorado - I've hunted for years in our National Forests, Wilderness Areas, and Wilderness Study Area during deer and elk season and I'm lucky to cover all of an entire 4 square mile area in an entire week while hunting, and I've trekked as far as 5 miles in on foot in some areas during a day, that's just walking in, not covering the entire area.  So I seriously doubt that many campers and backpackers cover much area off designated trails in these same roadless areas during the summer months.  San Juan mountains seems like an great place for the Grizzly.  We do hear of hunters who seem to spot grizzlies about once every 10 to 20 years.  CDOW still lists them in it's publications of wildlife.  Shows them as endangered (likely extinct) and I'm sure they know a lot more than they are publically saying about the grizzly here in Colorado. 

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