Wyoming Game and Fish trapping grizzly bears in Grass Creek area

Game and Fish officials advise individuals to avoid posted areas around Grass Creek, Wyo. during grizzly bear trapping activites. (USFWS photo by Terry Tollefsbol - click to enlarge)

Game and Fish officials advise individuals to avoid posted areas around Grass Creek, Wyo. during grizzly bear trapping activites. (USFWS photo by Terry Tollefsbol - click to enlarge)

From Staff Reports

CODY, WYO. — As part of ongoing efforts to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department will conduct trapping operations in the Grass Creek drainage northwest of Thermopolis April 23 – May 23.

All areas where trapping is being conducted will have major access points marked with warning signs. Game and Fish officials advise all members of the public heed these signs.

Wildlife officials studying grizzly bears previously did not alert the public via notices to regional press about trapping operations. But researchers changed that policy after botanist Erwin Evert was killed by a grizzly bear in June 2010 near Kitty Creek in the Shoshone National Forest, just east of the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The bear had been trapped and drugged as part of a government study and was released just before the fatal attack. Evert’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government.

Game and Fish officials describe grizzly trapping, tagging, sampling and other activities as “vital” to the ongoing recovery of grizzlies in the Yellowstone area. To attract bears, biologists use food sources such as fresh road-killed deer and elk to capture grizzly bears with snares or in culvert traps. According to a statement released by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, bears are “immobilized, processed, released on site and monitored in accordance with strict protocols developed jointly by the Game and Fish, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.”

When bear trapping activities are being conducted for research purposes, the vicinity of the site will be posted with bright warning signs to inform the public of these activities The signs will be posted along the major access points to the trapping site, and wildlife managers advise that individuals not venture into posted areas.

For more information regarding grizzly bear trapping efforts, call the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Lander regional office at 307-332-2688 or the Cody regional office at 307 527-7125.

3 thoughts on “Wyoming Game and Fish trapping grizzly bears in Grass Creek area

  1. It’s important for folks to realize that trails and watersheds where trapping occurs will not be signed, posted or closed; the grizzly bear study team merely posts signs 50-100 yards around the actual trap site, and that’s the extent of the closure.

    When Erwin Evert got killed the U.S. Forest Service Kitty Creek trail was open to the public. There were no warning signs about bear trapping posted at the trailhead. About a mile and a half from the trailhead and up an abandonded logging road, biologists trapped, drugged, and released a grizzly before it was ambulatory. They took down warning signs posted at the trap site. Erwin Evert walked into a death trap.

  2. Wyoming has long had state management of Grizzly Bears even though the bear is not fully delisted under ESA. Grizzlies were never listed as ” Endagered” although they should have been , merely categorized for POLITICAL PURPOSES as ” Threatened”. Wyoming G&F has been wrangling bears for two decades now, while participating in research although that is mostly done and run by USFWS federally.

    The problem is, Wyoming’s working concept of Grizzly management is to purposely keep them bottled up inside an artifically drawn map zone called a Primary COnservation Area , which is almost identical to the pending Grey Wofl Trophy Management Zone , map lines drawn to follow primary highways and county lines, not any real ecological or physiographic landscape boundaries. Wyo G&F will mange both bears and wolves for politics, not science or even effective range management … politics that bend over backwards for two special interest user groups : Stockgrowers and sport/commercial hunting.

    The problem becomes with both Griz and wolves is Wyoming management’s containment inside a manmade zone. No chance for either species to disperse outside that narrow territory , although sound wildlife management would never thus restrain an animal’s natural imeprative to widen its range and its population increases and other natural forces work their zoologic mojo. Contrary to popular belief, Wyo G&F does not comprehend bear and wolf zoologic mojo…they insist on applying anthropocentric guidelines…making the bears and wolves conform to our preconceived notions of what they should behave like and where to go. Hence the radio colalrs, as thopugh they were criminals on probation with electronic ankle bracelets…

    …for Grizzlies and Grey Wolves are presumed guilty , under Wyoming Game & Fish management parameters. Because the ranchers and hunters passed down a verdict.

    Sorry , but that is closer to the real situation on the ground than any presumed science or modern wildlife management.

  3. What you wrote makes alot of sense. But you know those employees don’t understand common sense because it isn’t written in the book.