out of hibernation

By Jim Stanford on May 17, 2013

Comments: 3 Comments

Grizzlies 399, 610 and their cubs look as cute as teddy bears in the thousands of photos park visitors have taken of them in recent years. They have their own Facebook pages and bumper stickers.

Yet they are meat-eating predators, a reality we often overlook. This video, best watched in full screen, ought to keep a few tourists from approaching too close.

Thank you to all of you for loyally checking this site in the last few weeks, thinking perhaps today might be the day something new replaces the April snow story. As I explained earlier in a comment, I was out of town (for Jazz Fest), then returned to an onslaught of budget meetings and Lodging Overlay discussions. Also, we have begun running the river at Barker-Ewing Scenic Trips.

Male griz at Oxbow this spring.

To top it off, a faulty plugin caused this site to crash (for me, if not you), preventing the posting of anything new when I did have time. At 2 a.m. today, after much consultation with the hosting service, I finally resolved the problem.

Like a hungry bruin emerging from the den, I’m ready to sink my teeth into writing again. Thanks for your patience and input. Here’s to much excitement in the coming weeks!

(Photo by Greg Winston; video via Deadspin)


Posted under Environment, From the Publisher

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griz shooters won’t face charges

By Jim Stanford on March 7, 2013

Comments: 13 Comments

The shooting was the first ever of a grizzly inside the park, but the third conflict in little over a year between hunters and grizzlies near the Snake.

Following a three-month investigation by Grand Teton National Park, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has decided not to press charges against three hunters who shot and killed a grizzly bear on Thanksgiving morning.

The investigation found that the hunters — David Trembly, 48, of Dubois, and his two sons, ages 20 and 17 — hit the bear with bullets and pepper spray “at nearly the same instant,” according to a park release. The report, made in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, concludes the three acted in self-defense, and the encounter lasted fewer than 10 seconds.

The bear was a male, estimated to be 18 to 20 years old, and weighed 534 pounds. It had been feeding on an elk carcass nearby and likely was defending its food, biologists said.

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Posted under Crime, Environment, Politics, Sports

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griz killing renews call to end park hunt

By Jim Stanford on November 24, 2012

Comments: 24 Comments

Grizzly No. 399. How long before one of the park’s famous bruins has a run-in with hunters?

The killing of a grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park on Thanksgiving morning has federal officials under fire for continuing to allow the controversial elk hunt.

The incident was the third conflict in little over a year between hunters and grizzly bears in the Snake River bottom near Schwabacher’s Landing. In October 2011, a Jackson hunter was mauled by a griz but survived, and in October of this year a hunter from Cody lost his elk carcass to a family of four bears.

The killing, which came after the bear charged a man and his two sons, is the first ever by a hunter inside the park. Grand Teton is one of only a few national parks to allow hunting; known by the euphemism “elk reduction program,” the hunt was part of a compromise worked out to expand the preserve in 1950.

As grizzlies, protected under the Endangered Species Act, have pushed farther and farther south from Yellowstone in recent years, critics have called on the park to end the program, especially in the river bottom. Jackson resident Aaron Feuerstein has started a petition at change.org asking the federal government to stop the hunt. The petition had 81 signatures as of this morning.

(Photo by Sue Cedarholm)


Posted under Deaths, Environment, Politics, Sports

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Morton repeats as PPP champ

By Jim Stanford on April 1, 2012

Comments: 1 Comment

Out of hibernation: Zen Deathriders, sporting bear hides, won the fun class.

Whether skiing, biking, paddling or skating for the Jackson Hole Moose hockey team, Spencer Morton can do it all.

Morton retained his title as the best all-around athlete in Jackson Hole yesterday by winning the racing class of the 37th annual Pole Pedal Paddle.

Spencer Morton

On a day that began with pouring rain and ended with brilliant sunshine at Astoria Hot Springs, Morton survived a grueling nordic leg and edged triathlete Adam Wirth of Boise, Idaho, and Dave Bergart of Victor. Morton’s total time for the 4,139-vertical-foot downhill, 10-k cross-country ski, 20-mile bike and 10-mile paddle was 2 hours, 22 minutes and 49 seconds.

Katie Engelman won the women’s racing class by one minute over Kathleen Crowley, finishing in 2:41:21. Peter Neal, 14, won the men’s recreational class. Complete results are posted here.

Afterward, competitors enjoyed music in the sun at Teton Village by Jackson bands Lazy Eyes and Elk Attack, followed by Mountain Fest headliner G. Love and Special Sauce. It was a perfect ending to one of the biggest PPPs in recent history.

For more on the event, see Monday’s Daily and Wednesday’s News&Guide.


Posted under Entertainment, Sports

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bears biting back forest from hunters

By Jim Stanford on November 1, 2011

Comments: 6 Comments

Reflection of the Tetons in a remnant channel of the Snake River. Photos were about all I shot in hunt area 75 during the 2009 season.

Sunday’s bear attack on a hunter is likely to cool enthusiasm for those stalking elk in Grand Teton National Park.

Or, at least, for those hunting the Snake River bottom, one of the few backcountry areas open in the park. Aside from the Snake and Blacktail Butte, hunt area 75 is mostly a haven for those preferring to chase ungulates from the comfort of their trucks along the Gros Ventre and Antelope Flats roads.

Hunter Tim Hix, 32, bitten twice by a griz upon surprising it upstream of Blacktail Ponds, is said to be OK. But as the amount of terrain not occupied by grizzly bears each fall continues to shrink, fellow hunters are uneasy. And the latest run-in adds ammunition to the effort by photographer Tom Mangelsen and friends to end the park hunt altogether.

Already hunters are feeling squeezed, as the crowded scene atop Crystal Butte, above the National Elk Refuge, attests. Many of my friends are unwilling to hunt up north anymore because of the threat of grizzlies. And even Crystal is no sanctuary: A hunter reportedly spotted a large grizzly up there earlier this fall.

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Posted under Environment, Sports

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