Recent Posts

Pneumonia kills dozens of bighorn sheep north of Yellowstone Park

Bighorn sheep and other wildlife are likely to be subjects in a newly announced photography contest focused on Yellowstone National Park.

Wildlife officials in Montana remain concerned about an ongoing pneumonia outbreak among bighorn sheep near the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, and have canceled the lone permit that would have been issued for a fall sheep hunt in the area. The move came after wildlife biologists conducted an aerial survey Sunday of the area near Gardiner, Mont., just outside Yellowstone's North Gate. After counting 89 healthy sheep last year, Sunday's count yielded 55 sheep, as well as another dead animal and a number of sick ones. Continue Reading →

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Photographers sue to stop Grand Teton elk hunt


Two Teton County photographers filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. Monday seeking to stop the annual elk hunt in Grand Teton National Park. Tim Mayo and Kent Nelson, operating as Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, target the “elk reduction program,” in which hunters killed 202 elk last year. The hunt also resulted in the shooting of a grizzly bear, a federally protected species, in 2012. The suit goes beyond hunting alone, challenging supplemental winter elk feeding on the nearby National Elk Refuge. The hunt violates a slew of federal laws, the suit claims, including the Grand Teton Act, the National Park Organic Act, the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act. Continue Reading →

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Elk hunt set to begin in Grand Teton

A seasonal elk hunt is set to begin in Grand Teton National Park.

Elk hunting is set to begin Saturday in Grand Teton National Park, and one area of the park where hunting was previously allowed will remain closed to hunters following violent conflicts there with grizzly bears in recent years. In 2011 a hunter was mauled by a grizzly bear, and in 2012 a grizzly was fatally shot when it charged three elk hunters. No charges were filed in that case after investigators determined the hunters acted appropriately in self-defense. In both cases, the bears were found to be protecting elk carcasses which they had been feeding on. The area where both incidents happened—a section of the Snake River bottom between the Deadman’s Bar river access road and Ditch Creek—will be closed during future hunts. Continue Reading →

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Groups work to reduce grizzly bear conflicts around Jackson

Federal, state and nonprofit organizations are working together this month to reduce conflicts between grizzly bears and people in Jackson, Wyo. and the surrounding area. Through educational presentations and distribution of bear deterrent spray to hunters, the groups hope to avoid encounters that might result in injury or death to either people or bears. Continue Reading →

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A ‘Dark and Stormy Night’ in Yellowstone Park from 1874


Early Yellowstone National Park visitor the Earl of Dunraven shares a scary tale of a dark and stormy night in 1874, in which "the Demon of the Tempest was abroad in his anger, yelling down the valley, dashing out the water-floods with his hands, laying waste the forest, and filling with dread the hearts of man and beast and every living thing." Continue Reading →

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Wyoming wildlife official says wolves unlikely to thrive outside state’s northwestern corner

A male wolf from the Canyon Pack stands in shallow water in Yellowstone National Park.

After nearly two decades since their reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park, population trends show that gray wolves are unlikely to thrive in sections of Wyoming outside the northwestern corner of the state. Many wolf supporters remain dissatisfied with Wyoming's so-called "dual status" management approach, which classifies wolves as trophy game in the area around Yellowstone and as predators elsewhere. But a state wildlife official said Thursday that policy changes won't have much effect on wolf numbers across most of the state. Continue Reading →

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Grand Teton enacts elk hunt restrictions aimed at reducing bear-human conflicts

Grand Teton National Park managers are changing how annual elk hunts operate in an effort to reduce the risk of bear-human conflicts. (Yellowstone Gate/Ruffin Prevost)

Following violent encounters between hunters and grizzly bears in each of the last two years, Grand Teton National Park managers are changing how elk hunts within the park will operate this fall. Changes outlined in a statement released Wednesday are aimed at reducing the likelihood of future bear-human conflicts and minimizing the chances that hunters will fire at elk they aren't sure they can kill. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone Park’s first tourists in 1871 seek ‘first blood’

Hunters were among the early visitors to the area that is now Yellowstone National Park. (Yellowstone Park Digital Slide File)

When the Washburn expedition returned from exploring the upper Yellowstone in 1870, they confirmed the rumors of the wonders there. Interest in the area that is now Yellowstone National Park surged when people learned it really did contain a grand canyon, a giant lake, geysers and petrified forests. Washburn and his companions returned to civilization in late summer—too late to mount another expedition to the Yellowstone plateau where blizzards could trap travelers in September. But in 1871—a year before the national park was created—a small group of men set off “to see Wonderland.” Continue Reading →

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