The Sublette County Journal
Volume 3, Number 29 - 8/19/99
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Another Grizzly Eating Cattle
New cattle kills are stacking up in the Upper Gros Ventre on Park Creek, within two miles of the Union Pass Road, and approximately five miles north of Mosquito Lake.
At this writing, Warden Duke Early of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in Pinedale said one cow and five, possibly six, calves have fallen prey to grizzly attacks in this area. The cow was bitten in the face, setting the scene that she had given her best maternal effort, though unsuccessfully, to lower her head, "beller", and hook at the grizzly to protect her young calf.
The cattle, belonging to Dan Ingalls and Sons of Riverton, were killed last week in the open mountain meadows, away from heavily timbered slopes, and most likely during the nighttime's dark-of-the-moon hours. The Ingalls sons, who are cowboying their own cattle this summer and are based at a cow camp on Park Creek, reported the kills. The family owns a ranch near Riverton, and trains horses during their high-country work. They run some registered Black Angus cattle on their grazing permit, and are promoters of grass-fattened beef products. The Ingalls picked up this cattle permit about eight years ago.
As early summer was breaking, Dan Ingalls and his family trucked their cattle from Riverton to the Lower Gros Ventre near Kelly, then recently pushed them to higher pastures, becoming next-door neighbors to the Green River Cattlemen Association's cattle.
According to Warden Early, the prior bear kills on Pinyon Ridge were considered to be classic bear attacks with wounds being inflicted to the top of the livestock's shoulders. The Ingalls' cattle, however, apparently were "mauled" in a more clumsy fashion, suggesting that the rogue bear could be a raw beginner just learning how to handle the fork and plate set before him.
On the list of suspects is Bear Number 313, a young, collared, research bear that has not yet left a definitive set of footprints in the lush pastureland. Bear 313 is thought to have migrated from the Togwotee Pass area, and until now, was not suspected of livestock depredations. Duke reports that a ground research team is currently monitoring the young bear's movements. No radio signal from # 313 has been documented on Pinyon Ridge, but a scattering of action was discovered through the fence in the Gros Ventre side, where he and possibly another grizzly share territory.
Albert Sommers, President of the Upper Green River Cattle Association, visited with a cowboy for the Walton Ranch, which traditionally ranges cattle on Togwotee. The cowboy shared with Albert that the Waltons opted not to run cattle on the allotment this year because of a history of bear trouble.
Sheep are also being preyed upon. As of August 7, black and grizzly bears have staked a claim to seven sheep: three ewes and four lambs.
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