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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Yellowstone Bears Are Hungry

A whitebark pine shortage has rangers worried about increased grizzly-human interactions

This has been the deadliest season for human-bear interactions in Yellowstone already (two mauling deaths so far), and biologists worry that it could get worse. There's a scarcity of nuts from whitebark pine trees, which squirrels usually bury in caches that get raided by hungry grizzlies eager to put on fat to survive the winter. Without these abundant sources of fat and protein, researchers worry that bears might get desperate and bold around people.  Right now they're offering ominous advice:
"Pack your bear spray: there's going to be run-ins," said grizzly researcher Chuck Schwartz with the U.S. Geological Survey.
Warmer temperatures have allowed beetles to decimate whitebark pine, a major natural food source for bears as they enter hyperphagia before bedding down for the winter. Experts expect the danger to be worse in the populated areas outside the park, where hunting season will soon be in full swing and gut piles could attract scores of bears. To counter the paranoia, the AP article helpfully offers: 
Full-grown Yellowstone bears can stand 6 feet tall and top 600 pounds. They have been known to peel off a man's face with a single swipe of their massive, clawed paws.
Gulp. Regardless of how terrifying the bears might be, these situations are almost always worse for them: 22 grizzlies have already been removed or killed because of human-bear interaction, and the number will almost certainly rise.

—Ted Alvarez

AP via The Goat

 


READERS COMMENTS

Doug
Sep 16, 2010

Some sanity here, but not much. There is no subject like bear trouble to bring out life's real idiots. It is sad.
Concerned: get an anti-anxiety prescription, will you?

Jeffzx9
Sep 15, 2010

I think Backpacker magazine promotes "Bear-anoia." If you don't know the area where you're camping-hiking, you're asking for trouble. Don't assume the outdoors is operated by Walt Disney. Keep the "wild" in wilderness; who's invading whose space?

Mike Ciccone
Sep 06, 2010

I'm just wondering why an article titled "Yellowstone's Hungry Hungry Grizzlies" shows a picture of a black bear on the e-mail I just recieved from Backpacker?

gary
Aug 27, 2010

I pack. I shoot if I have to, human or bear. I worry more about humans, the bears I can handle. The idea about licensing people to camp in the backwoods is absolutely stupid city talk. Bears need to eat and the idiots from the city make the best meal. Stay home if you worry, and don't expect a picnic if you go. IT IS THE BACKWOOODS FOLKS!!!! That is why we go....IT IS WILD!

Traildude
Aug 27, 2010

Hey Concerned,

I think you are an idiot, anti-society, grunge monkey. You are not the only one that knows something about the wilds. Even though I'm not a "city-born-idiot", I am going to come to the defense of anybody that might be born and raised in a city that has taken an interest in the great outdoors. All it takes is some education and training for people to be safe in a wild habitat (both for themselves and the wildlife). You don't have to get all angry and act like you are the only one that "knows". News flash- you are not the authority on the subject, especially with your attitude. People like you always seem to have a chip on their shoulder for some reason or another. Where were you born? In a city, I'm guessing. And you were uneducated at some point in your life. I'm sire somebody and some point in time looked at you and thought "what a dumb ass".

Don't hate, educate and help the situation.

Fred
Aug 26, 2010

To "concerned"...lighten up Francis. Certification tests and "huge fees" before people can go into the woods? What planet are you from? I guess you think that you should be the only one who decides who gets to enjoy nature because you seem to think that you're the only one who knows how to act in the woods. News flash, you are not!
If you had taken a moment to properly research the Soda Butte attacks you will have discovered that per the official report, no food was found in the tents of the victims who were properly camping in a long established campground. They were not off-trail camping in the backcountry and breaking bear country protocol.
The man who died in Soda Butte was Kevin Krammer. He was a devoted husband and father of 4 children. I wanted you to know his name before you made another snarky "cul-du-sac" comment. You should be ashamed of yourself for your really $hitty attitude.

To the author and all other "journalists" who keep saying that the two 2010 attacks were IN Yellowstone, please check your facts before writing. Neither attack occurred IN Yellowstone. One was 7 miles to the east of the park by the Kitty Creek drainage and the other in the Soda Butte campground to the Northeast. Close to the park, yes. In the park, No!

Ken
Aug 26, 2010

I usually pack a firearm anytime I'm off the beaten path. Been doing so for years. I've never killed anything unless it was for food. It was cleaned and used properly. If you can't live with that simply stay away from my stomping gtounds!

Ken
Aug 26, 2010

I usually pack a firearm anytime I'm off the beaten path. Been doing so for years. I've never killed anything unless it was for food. It was cleaned and used properly. If you can't live with that simply stay away from my stomping gtounds!

concerned
Aug 26, 2010

I heard about yet one more of nature's creatures getting killed because humans were camping/invading their turf. My opinion is this... if they are going to camp in a place known for wild animals, they must get training on how to camp, and a license is mandated, with a huge license fee. What they will be buying is the life of a bear or other wild animal that they stuopidly crossed paths with, and now they "have to kill the animal."

Cook food 100 yards away from the camp site... don't wear you cooking clithes to bed... tie your food up in a tree over by where you cook... These are just so no-brainers that keep food smells and human smells separated. Unless a camper can pass a certification exam containing wild animal safety rules and camping facts, these knuckled-headed idiots should not even be allowed to be out there.

And if there is a known dangerous situation or season, the rangers need to notify people, and camping can be banned for their own safety, and for the safety of the animals.

The typical dumbass city-born idiot, goes to the woods, thinks they are in their back yard at Muffy and Biffs house on the cul-de-sac, and don't have a clue to the real dangers that exist in nature. I hope these stories of real death in the woods creates true fear in people, and they stay the hell away from these natural habitats.

But no... this is what humans do... they carry guns to the woods, wipe out all that lives, then they can have a safe place to be a stupid idiot cul-de-sac camper.

Makes me puke.

Go bears !!!

Bears 1
Humans 0

I'm rooting for the bears.

Carl
Aug 26, 2010

Use a picture of a Grizzly for a Grizzly article not a Black Bear. Come'on don't be that lazy... "Eagle... Pigeon... close enough....."

Carl
Aug 26, 2010

Use a picture of a Grizzly for a Grizzly article not a Black Bear. Come'on don't be that lazy... "Eagle... Pigeon... close enough....."

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