The Sublette County Journal
Volume 3, Number 30 - 8/26/99
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Grizzly Snared in Upper Green
A six-year old male grizzly tipping the scales at 380 lbs. was snagged on Friday, August 20, by a research team's carefully placed cable foot snare.
This grizzly was captured for study purposes about one mile south of the Fish Creek cow camp in what has become the grizzly hotspot of the Upper Green River country.
Recently, I spoke with Mary Wolford about their bird's eye view of this latest bear event. Mary and her husband, Bruce - cowboys for the Green River Cattlemen's Association - ride and work out of a summer base camp on Fish Creek on the north side of Pinyon Ridge, where bear problems have repeatedly occurred in domestic livestock this season.
Mary said that a research team in the area initially had tried, unsuccessfully, to bait this particular grizzly into their cable snare by using dead beaver, elk, and deer. Judging by his tracks, the bear didn't have a taste for the team's choices of wildlife and on several occasions, he simply turned up his blunt, square nose and side-passed the snare.
However, the grizzly soon succumbed to temptation when a dead calf was dragged into position (the calf died of natural causes).
The researchers told the Wolfords that this grizzly was "a very mellow bear" and, in fact, was sleeping beneath a tree when they arrived to check their trap. Evidently, snared bears are extremely grouchy and distraught when held fast in a leg trap, and throughout the entire ordeal, they will fight, pull back, and exhibit great resistance to their sudden loss of freedom and to the grip of the steel, snake-like "handcuffs".
However, even after being tranquilized, wallowed around for measurements and photos, loaded, and bounced along the forest trails in a galvanized culvert transport device, this bear maintained his "Smoky the Bear" pride and poise.
Mary said that on Friday, the officials involved in the capture drove the grizzly to the Wolford's cow-camp to water him from a spring-fed, gravity-flow hose. When the hose was pushed through the bars on the culvert and the water began to trickle into the cage, the bear gratefully and carefully quenched his thirst by lapping at the end of the hose. He then spent a quiet night at the Wolford camp, "just sitting" in the culvert. Early the next morning, Saturday, August 21, the grizzly was taken home to Yellowstone Park.
Bears Strike Again in Upper Green
At press time, the Journal has been informed that the Upper Green River bear community continues to prey on livestock. A cowgirl based at the Bend Cow Camp and riding for the Green River Cattlemen's Association, recently discovered a suspicious calf carcass on Pinyon Ridge. On Tuesday, August 24, officials confirmed it as yet another bear kill.
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