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hawkeye270's picture
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It really varies year to year

It really varies year to year as well. If the bear's natural food crops are good than there will be less human/bear conflicts. It's the years when the natural forage is lacking that you see a big rise in conflicts.

Location: From Grand Junction CO, stationed in Arizona
Joined: 08/01/2010
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Bear country

With 30+ years hunting and camping in Colorado and never had a bear in camp… that I know of… I have never worried about hanging my food or meat in the trees.  The only precautions I take are:  Don’t store food in the vehicle or sleep tent.  If a bear does come for food I don’t want to be anywhere near it and I don’t want the bear ripping apart the car for food.  I do sleep with a gun in the tent and sometimes I put an “alarm” on the food, like pots and pans that will fall if a bear gets into it.  If the “alarm” works then I can get rid of the bear before he does any damage.  If it doesn’t work and the bear rips apart my cooler or eats me food it’s a quick trip back to town to replace it. 

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Ecubackpacker, you asked

Ecubackpacker, you asked where the grizzlies could be hiding out in Colorado.  I read an article the other day about grizzlies and their recent known territories (I am preparing myself for hunting the wilderness in W/NW Wyoming where grizzlies are common).  The article, while mostly dealing with studies north and west of Colorado, did mention unconfirmed sitings in Colorado. The theory for those grizzlies is that they were migrant bear, which for some reason moved out of their typical territory, and most likely returned at some point.  Sounds logical based on the lack of sitings on any regular basis.

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Do you really think so?

Over50 wrote:

Ecubackpacker, you asked where the grizzlies could be hiding out in Colorado.  I read an article the other day about grizzlies and their recent known territories (I am preparing myself for hunting the wilderness in W/NW Wyoming where grizzlies are common).  The article, while mostly dealing with studies north and west of Colorado, did mention unconfirmed sitings in Colorado. The theory for those grizzlies is that they were migrant bear, which for some reason moved out of their typical territory, and most likely returned at some point.  Sounds logical based on the lack of sitings on any regular basis.

 

Do you really think that those bears in the unconifrmed Grizzly sighting we've had in Colorado are bears that migrated from Wyoming or Montana?  I don't know.  It's possible, but based on one very famous and well documented Grizzly encounter in southern Colorado in 1979 I wonder if the Grizzly has always remained here in Colorado but in very small numbers.  You just don't hear of any reported sightings in northern Colorado much. The vast majority of grizzly sighting in Colorado have taken place mostly along the Colorado/New Mexico boundary line around the Sangre de Cristo Mtns.  And reported grizzly sighting in Colorado are just plain rare to begin with.  Makes me wonder if they didn't just survive there in isolated areas in small numbers all the while we believed they had been erradicated.  Prior to September 1979 it was believed that the last grizzly was killed in Colorado in 1952.  I know some older folks who claim there were occasional sighting of grizzlies in southern Colorado throughout the 1950's, 60's, and 70's before Ed Wiseman was attacked and even afterwards.  The last reliable report we had was farther north in Sept 2006 from 2 experienced grizzly bear hunters who were actually bow hunting for elk near Independence Pass in central Colorado.  The two had claimed to observe a sow and cubs with a spotting scope for a few minutes from a distance of  50 to 70 yards or so.  Even the DOW deemed their report worthy of further investigation which says a lot, usually the DOW brushes off such grizzly reports with not so much as an eye roll.

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Westernhunterr......not sure

Westernhunterr......not sure what to think, and I have no basis to know for sure, only what I have read.  With as much activity as there is across Colorado's mountains by hunters, ranchers, campers, hikers, tourists, etc, it seems likely if there were small groups of the grizzly existing in Colorado, they would be spotted more frequently.  In any case, they are not present enough to be concerned with (unless you run across one I suppose).  

I live in eastern South Dakota, and for many many years there were unconfirmed mountain lion sightings and issues with ranchers/farmers,  The GFP almost always rolled their eyes as well, until people started getting pictures of them on trail cams, or on phones and other small cameras. What has happened here is that they are in fact here now, and they are protected.  They are widening their territories more and more every year.  We get an occasional moose through here as well (from northern Minnesota).  

It is strange sometimes what these animals will do and why.  I guess for now we don't know.

ecubackpacker's picture
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Over50 wrote "The GFP almost

Over50 wrote "The GFP almost always rolled their eyes as well, until people started getting pictures of them on trail cams, or on phones and other small cameras. What has happened here is that they are in fact here now, and they are protected."  That's probably what CDOW will do/is doing now. They'll brush the situation off until they can't anymore. Then they'll admit they're there and in turn place them in protected statis. The wolves will be in the same category of secrecy. But the wolves will probably be protected before the bears. And therefore be more damaging toward wildlife and stock. Funny how it's the same ol story, over and over. Yes

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And there is more.....

In NE South Dakota, a couple of black bears migrated from northern Minnesota (that is quite a jaunt) and chose to make camp in an area they have not been associated with for 150 years.  One lived in a quarry and the other was living in more of a farming area.  The bear that lived in the farming are was eventually shot because it was terrorizing one of the farm sites.  The other bear eventually just went away (suspected to have gone back to northern Minnesota).  A good friend of mine is with the GFP and confirmed these events, and it was also documented in a local newspaper.

 

There is also an area where we hunt pheasants in NW South Dakota that has a gray wolf in the area.  We have not seen it, but the farmer that owns the land has seen it, and the GFP has warned hunters about shooting it.  If you shoot it you are in trouble.  About 2 years ago a wolf was shot in the area north of us and the hunter was charged with the killing, but eventually it was dropped and he was given a warning.

Two moose migrated from northern Minnesota and lived on a friends farm near here for a year. One got shot and the other just went away.

The mountain lions in the area were swept under the rug so to speak for years.  Farmers and ranchers complained of attacks on their livestock and the incidents were chalked up to other things like coyote or other livestock, etc.  Can't say that any more!

The point is these migrations do happen, and these animals under certain conditions can travel a long long way.  Yes, it is possible for a pocket a given population could exist in the vast areas of the west, but given the size and nature of these animals, I would have a tendency to believe the migration theory.  Must be global warming!!!!!!

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check out my post on "hunting

check out my post on "hunting camp advice."  they have put alot of good info on there.

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