From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 16 - July 17, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Grizzly and wolves hit cattle

by Cat Urbigkit

A grizzly bear killed four head of cattle in five days in the Upper Green River region of the Bridger-Teton National Forest last week, according to Brian DeBolt of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

"There were four calves killed that we know of," DeBolt said. The cattle belong to members of the Upper Green River Cattle Association. Grizzly bears are granted federal protection as a threatened species.

When called Friday to a fresh kill in the Crow Creek drainage, WG&F was able to trap an adult male grizzly bear, which was later transported to a location in Park County and released.

Tracks at the sites of the four calf kills indicate it was the same bear responsible for the depredations, all of which were within a relatively small area encompassing a few miles, he said. The first kill was confirmed last Tuesday, July 8.

The 400-pound bear was in good condition, DeBolt said. The bear wasn't wearing a radio-collar or ear tag, so it hadn't been in trouble before.

"He's got a strike against him now," DeBolt said.

"It's quiet right now," DeBolt said in a Tuesday morning interview. "There haven't been any more bear losses that we're aware of."

Upper Green River Cattle Association President Albert Sommers said the association was especially pleased with the actions of WG&F employees Brian DeBolt and Bubba Haley.

Sommers said the association was appreciative of DeBolt's and Haley's fast response and effective measures this year.

Losses due to bears may have come to a halt, but add another federally protected predator into the equation.

Gray wolves have been confirmed as killing two calves in the Mud Lake area early this week, according to Mike Jimenez of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The two wolves, called the Green River pair, are wearing radio collars and are believed to be responsible for the depredations, he said.

U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services personnel are in the area and have been given authority to kill the male wolf. The female will remain, Jimenez said, confirming that federal wildlife officials believe the pair has pups in the area.

"We're pretty sure they probably do," Jimenez said.

Wolves and grizzlies in the Upper Green have been doing some mixing as well, with one Upper Green River Cattle Association member finding one of the calf kills on Monday with both the wolves and a grizzly bear squabbling over the wolf-killed carcass.

DeBolt said such incidents "are becoming more and more common."

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