What do you do if a grizzly claims your elk? Twice we've had black bears get on a blood trail while we were waiting to follow-up, but both times I just yelled and made a ruckus and scared them off. One kept sneaking in on me while I worked, but he would run back into the timber when I yelled.
This year I'm hunting alone in grizz country. I know the odds are remote, but its possibly going to take a couple days to pack one out, so I'll be shuttling meat. A grizzly could happen into it at any point.
What then? Leave the meat and call G&F? If he claims it before you find it do you walk away and hunt another one? Punch your tag and go meatless? Feel fortunate he's eating your elk instead of you?
As much as I love elk meat, pretty sure I wouldn't wrestle a grizzly for one. I generally carry a .44 while bow hunting, but would only use it if my life was threatened ( or my partner's). Not sure if I'd try for another one if the first got taken. I do know that the backstraps and tenderloins would be the first pack out. Poudre
Hey they just delisted them.... Maybe you can get an earlybird Grizz tag?? :-) But in all seriousness as much as it sucks you should just back off and call Game & Fish. They have always been really good about being fair, and if the elk is a total loss I would not be surprised if they refunded the cost of your tag, or if you are lucky I have heard of them issuing another one. (p.s. the outfitter I worked for said to take a big dump right next to your elk to mark it and let all the bears know how big of an a-hole they would be dealing with if they touch it. lol)
Grizzlies are individuals. There is no right answer, but if you are unarmed (bow doesn't count) and don't have spray, there is only one answer that will keep you alive. Leave.
I was outside the wall tent in AK when a grizzly came at my brother and I. I jerked my jacket open wide, started yelling and ran at the bear. It turned at about 15 yards, but came back about 6 more times. By that time we had a shotgun, but were pretty sure it wouldn't come all the way so we never killed it.
On Kodiak a buddy pointed up the hill and I made a good sneak. The bear came over a mound as I was climbing the other side. We saw each other at about 10 feet and I was lucky it was as scared as I was and turned and ran.
The big thing is to not surprise them and I think you should carry spray and it should be out and in hand whenever you are in tight country.
I've hunted solo in grizz country, too. What I was told by those with more experience with this kind of situation was this:
You are going to be with the carcass until all the meat is off and bagged. First objective is to get the bags hung quite a ways from the carcass and in a place you can observe from a distance. If you are going to be working on the meat until after dark, try and find this location before you get to work and while it's still light.
Some may not like this but I'm only going take only as much meat as I'm legally required in grizz country. Leave him plenty to work on at the carcass because that's where they are going to eat first and that should give you enough time to get your bags packed out of the area.
If I'm packing quite a ways, I would leap frog it out to get those bags farther away from that carcass the first day.
Easy Jaquomo, shoot the elk in the spine and drop him in front of you and then throw him over your shoulder and walk out. Don't give the bear time to find him. If by chance he does find it show him whose boss. Now, if that doesn't work I'd suggest you take the PETA route and try to reason with the bear and see if he'll split the elk with you because animals have rights and feelings too. Good luck! Let's us know how it works out for you.
I can't believe all of the "just let the bear have your shit" answers! Ridiculous! The more people that do this is why they even try to do anything within a mile of a human & it's only going to get worse. If I kill an elk In grizzly country it's mine! No bear is gonna come into that. We are the alpha! Not to say that those aren't very dangerous situations that one definitely needs to be prepared for but if you are no bear has the right to take anything & shouldn't be allowed to!
A friend of mine killed an elk opening day of rifle season in Montana. He and his friend packed half of the elk out the 3 miles to the truck then returned for the other half. When they got back to the elk a sow grizzly had claimed it. She charged and my friend shot her in the chest. She continued on, knocked him down, chewed on him some. Started dragging him back to the elk carcass. He still had the rifle in his hand but couldn't shoot her as he was dragging the rifle along behind and she was right on top of him. He tossed the rifle away for his friend to get it. His friend was reluctant to shoot, worried about shooting the victim instead, but after lots of yelling to do so, he did. The bear kept dragging him, until finally a bullet was put in her head from point blank range. Bottom line is that being armed may not necessarily ensure your safety, my friend is probably only still alive because he had someone else there.
Pop-r you very clearly have never dealt with a Grizzly. It is not, just let them have it because you don't want to deal with it. Its because Grizzly's have been found with 6 rounds of 44mag in their head and chest..... and parts of hikers in their gut. You can talk big online, but when a 700+ pound Grizz charges you in the wild its not so easy to say we are the "Alpha"
Lot of good advice here. I like getting as much meat away from the kill site as soon as possible. Also after getting my first load back to truck, I would be packing my bear spray (that I had hunting) and picking up my 12 ga. If really worried about g-bear, now a days you can get a light weight, short barrel 12 ga that doesn't weigh that much more than a 44. And maybe less than a 44 and bear spray together.
The bowsite would be pretty boring come October if Jaquomo smells like bear poop and bear spray. :)
To be honest if I had to choose between spray and a 44 I would take spray. If a bear is on me I think I would be better off putting the pin on spray and just spraying from hip, than pulling out my 44 and trying to get a shot off. I'd Just squeeze the trigger on the spray while it's still in the holster. Yes I know I'm going to get sprayed too.
We are the "alpha"??? Yeah right! Tell that to a grizzly that has taken posession of an elk.
I think your talking about two scenarios. A grizz has taken up the trail and claimed the whole elk. I'll likely have no chance to tag that animal and wont punch my tag. My main goal is meat in the freezer and the grizzly wont be giving me the opportunity to put any in the freezer. If by chance it had a set of antlers that I thought I needed to keep, Id check with FWP to see what their stance was on me collecting the antlers at a later date. I'd punch my tag if that was my plan. If I find a grizzly when i return to my quarters, i will have already punched my tag and will have already taken a load out.
In either case, I'll watch from afar and see if there is an opportunity to reclaim and will hopefully have help along with my head on a swivel. I can think of no case that FWP would recommend trying to run a grizz off an elk that its claimed. If its a sow with cubs I wouldnt intentionally get near it.
I'm just trying to picture what happens pop-r when you are successfully able to move a grizzly away from the kill site, and it gets dark, and then you proceed to load up a a whole pile of bleeding elk meat on your back and stumble through the mountains back to the truck...
My common sense tells me that when we hunt in Grizzly Country "They "Are The Alpha.....We are nothing more than something "encroaching " on their territory that they don't like...... Therefore, if it's meat on the ground, it's theirs..... Turn around and leave, to hunt another day ........
Lou, if a grizzly claims your elk before you find it, it's his. Do not try to run him off. First off, way too dangerous; second - in WY it's illegal. This is from first hand knowledge. Hunt or not for another is your call and a personal choice.
If you have already punched your tag, you are out of luck and will not be issued another. My son lost his first ever elk at 12 years old. Took care of it and came back the next day for packing and it was gone. Griz drug the whole elk 400+- yards into a ravine and ate the whole thing. It was a late November hunt. G&F said we could get on a list for meat but would not issue another tag.
Pop-r, I wish you luck if you ever hunt grizzly country. You can arm-chair quarterback all you like., Real life is a little different story.
Pop-r and anyone else who doesn't live in grizz country and have to deal with them shouldn't be giving any "tough guy" advice. Ron is spot on. They are a game changer and you have to take them seriously.
Lou- Be safe and best of luck on your hunts this year. Keep us posted, looking forward to hearing about your hunts soon.
If the grizzly gets to the carcass before you have laid hands on it, then it's his. Keep hunting.
If you return to the carcass (after cutting tag) and a grizzly has claimed it, it's his. Ask for another tag and if not available, then you have a story but no meat. Return in two weeks and get the antlers, if that means something to you.
If the grizzly shows up during packing or processing, whatever is not on your back is his.
Guys do keep grizzlies at bay on occasion and get most of the meat out or whatever they can get out in one trip. Not smart to return. Grizzlies are individuals and some may be bullied and some may not. And the only way to find out is to test them. Not a great occasion to guess wrong.
I shot a mule deer once, gutted it and walked out to get my truck as close as possible. When I walked back in the buck was gone. I just stood there for a few minutes perplexed, then thought another hunter must have found it and trying to sneak off with it. I did a circle and found some drag marks and on the first bit of dirt a big bear track. I had a rifle in the truck, so went and git it and followed the drag marks and a short way farther a very large black bear stood up from behind a fir blow down. I put a shot into the tree by his head and he took off. By the time I walked the ten yards to the deer, he was coming back huffing and pounding. Another shot and gone. The antlers were jammed under the blow down and I had to dig a bit. Stood up to look around and he had come back in quiet and was looking at me from about ten yards, head down.
I put the next one between his peepers.
If that had been a grizzly, I would have left without a second thought as soon as I saw him. I hunt in grizzly country every year and bow hunt them, solo sometimes, so I don't have a great fear of them. Actually I should think about them more, because being careless is asking for trouble. But looking for grizzly trouble, when avoidable, is just dumb.
Very few positives to being a crappy elk hunter, thank you for showing me one:) Another would be that if there is a grizzly on an elk I shot I won't soil myself when I see it as that would have already happened when I actually shot an elk.
Was watching the last Alaskans and Heimo shot a moose and had to leave the entire animal over night after cutting it all up. What he did was light a huge fire and stacked wood so that the fire would stay lite all night, he said Grizzlies don't like smoke. He returned in the morning shotgun at the ready and the moose wasn't touched. Not sure where you hunt and if you could leave a fire going but if it works in Alaska I figure it works just about any place.
I've had to take whitetails back from 3 black bear. None were too bad but, I did have one follow me for two miles after doing so, while pushing out the deer in a game cart. He'd run of easily enough every time I'd turn and start hollering and charging him but, dang it if he didn't keep coming back. Keep in mind he weighed maybe 120 pounds and I was carrying an '06. So, I'm not totally dumb.
Now a Griz? I'd walk right in their and smack the poop out of it. If he didn't like it, I'd really get nasty with him. You boys are buffalo'ed by those big babies. You gotta take charge and show them who's boss Lou. :^) This advice is coming from a guy that screamed like a 10 year old girl and, like to beat his foot off week before last when I saw a leach had attached to my ankle while wade fishing. I ain't scared of no sissy Grizzly though.
I've had 4 cases where a grizzly/brown has been on a moose carcass when I've returned to it. Three ran off and were never seen again, the fourth one ran off 40 yards and popped his teeth and made a couple bluff charges while I stood guard and my buddy packed up what we could and we left. We had 8 game bags of moose ready to pack out, the cape and antlers. We found 1 bag nearby, antlers were still there and the cape was drug about 30 yards away and was buried under a tree. We gathered up what we could find and left. This picture is a grumpy sow that charged us. She stopped at 12 yards, popped her teeth a couple times and took off. Made for some great video.
Just my opinion , first i wouldn't hunt alone in known Grizzly bear country , but if i did i'd only hunt mornings , Sure wouldn't want to shoot one an hour before dark and have to deal with it then . i'm sure guy's do it , not for the fate of heart folks .
It's all about preperation boys. I can assure you no bear is EVER gonna take my kill if I don't want him to & I'm present & prepared to do smthng about it which I would be to begin with. To each his own.
Pop-r, you'd have gone to jail and had a really expensive adventure ahead. Here in the West, being "afraid" isn't grounds to kill a predator, especially one on the "List".
I had a protracted showdown with a lion at 10 feet. The cat lived and so did I. If I'd shot that lion I'd have committed a crime. If I didn't turn myself in I'd have to live with the notion that I was a scaredy-cat pussy, did something illegal, and hope nobody found the carcass and placed me near the scene of the crime.
Don't know about you, but I'm not planning to carry a 12 gauge slug gun over my shoulder on a month-long elk expedition. Shooting a big bear with a magnum handgun isn't an option unless he gets through the spray and is on me.
Jaquomo, what gun do you carry and what rounds to you shoot?
Pop-r I hope you have a vid cam so we may see the video your next of kin will post up lol killing a grizzly because he got to your elk before you is a bit moronic in my opinion. As mentioned, killing a griz you better have some marks from his claws or teeth on you in order to make a case of DOL,
LB, depending on the special occasion (tracking a shot black bear, for instance) I typically carry a Ruger .45 LC loaded hot with jacketed soft points. Or a 12 gauge with slugs if we happen to have one around. But for elk hunting and all other everyday outings I carry a S&W M&P titanium .357 with a laser sight, also loaded with jacketed soft points. Weighs less than a pound loaded so it's always on my pack waist belt.
That's a topic for a different thread because I'm not hunting a bear with it and don't plan to shoot one. I'm more concerned about bad humans, meth heads, criminals on the run, etc.. and a jacketed hollow point will be fine for that purpose. In ranger training they taught us that bad dudes on the run head for the mountains.
For bears I trust a large can of concentrated capsacin spray in a quick-draw holster. My friend who was a grizzly researcher has plenty of positive stories about spray and grizz charges.
To an extent, I'll defend Pop-r's reasoning. A) We ARE the apex predator. B) It is really poor logic to condition grizzlies to equate humans with large caches of food. Unfortunately, that which makes us superior to a grizzly , our capacity for the abstract, is also culpable for degrading the means by which we would exert such advantage.
I've bowhunted for moose in AK a couple times with a resident buddy and can relate that being in BIG bear country is a very different experience than being around black bears. While I thankfully avoided the 12 yard bluff charge pictured above, we had a close encounter in 8-10' high alders where we couldn't see the bear and were abruptly startled with a loud and unseen "Woof"! My Alaskan friend once baited for black bears, only to have a brownie take it over. He walked in to hunt one afternoon and the griz blew off the site and far too close for comfort. He told me in no uncertain terms that he would not go in or out of the Alaskan woods by flashlight.....and he is not a coward....just a fellow with a lot of experience with really big bears that have taught him a measure of wise caution. I have never seen him so amped up as the morning I killed my moose with archery gear and we were cutting it apart to pack out. Every sound in the bush had him staring intently with his hand resting on his 44 mag grip. Thankfully we got it out with no issues, but the idea that a keyboard cowboy is going to take charge of a grizzly claim is both extremely foolish as well as illegal. You CANNOT simply kill a big bear for doing what big bears do......not without a ton of valid proof that you did not instigate the confrontation or simply dispatch it to show it who is "boss". Reality check, please......
Owl in the perfect world the apex predator would just snatch up his weapon and kill the bear. That's not an option though. It's hard to be the apex predator when your hands are tied behind your back. When presented a fight with just my feet, I run. ;)
Well, on an honest opinion, I guess it would depend on the regulations. To start off with, if the state says I must give up my kill to a grizzly, I'm going to go kill another one If that happens. Using common sense to determine if that's the right thing to do. If I didn't get any or much meat, I'll do what I said. If it allowed me to claim my share, I'll tip my hat to it and leave as content as possible.
If a state says I have a right to that meat, when I come back to get it, I'm going to have serious medicine with me. I'm not talking about a handgun either. And, if a bear has claimed it, we will have a little talk so to speak until I convince it it belongs to me. That's just the way it is.
A griz isn't a God. He can be killed just as easily as the animal he stole off you. I haven't been around them and, I don't have first hand experience with any. But, it sounds to me like they haven't been around to many people like me either. So, if law permits, they will contend with me if they try to steal my animal.
The griz of the west are different than they will be. They have been operating under a veil of protection. so, I'm sure they are much bolder now versus what they will be once people can hunt them.
Razor, funny you said that. At that time, the wilderness that all three of those episodes occurred in was a bear sanctuary. They were think and would stroll right into camp sometimes. They opened it up to hunting a decade ago. Since then, never a problem.
That's my point LINK. Complex reasoning ability makes us the most fearsome creature on the planet. But, it also gives rise to the regulations by which we subjugate self-interest. It's a queer dichotomy. Further, it is illogical policy to foster habitually the notion in bears that humans are backwoods ice cream men. Philosophical an outlook as that may be, the Pop-r pile-on is unwarranted IMO.
BTW, I'm not fleet afoot. If my hands are tied in fight, I'm playing dead.:)
I've lived here in the West for 11 years now, 6 of that in Montana. Luckily no grizz confrontations yet, but it's bound to happen. As a non-native, I have to listen to a little harassment about having an opinion on issues that Montanans have dealt with for generations. Most of the harassment is in good fun, so I don't take it personal. So, I hate to be the one to point this out (you had to know that someone would), but it is noteworthy that the three folks that are under the impression that they'll show that ole grizz who's boss are from Arkansas, Virginia, and West Virginia the hotbeds of grizzly activity in the US. As someone suggested earlier, the three of you should be sure to file the front sights down.
If you are under the impression that the delisting and issuance of a few tags in the Greater Yellowstone area is going to create a change in grizzly behavior, you are sadly mistaken. Unless I'm mistaken, there will be no text messages sent to all adult grizzly, no pamphlets dropped from the sky. This idea that grizzly were docile bears that stayed away from humans, "the apex predator", back in the day is a fantasy.
My guide in WY said if a grizzly attacked that he would do any required shooting until was out of ammo and only then should I shoot. The official inquiry when a grizzly is shot is akin to when a person is shot. Can take up a lot of time and money to run the gauntlet during the investigation. I though this part of the briefing was hubris as the local Bear Aware signs did not include the October timeframe. Saw the first grizzly in Shoshone NF 15 minutes after daylight.
"This idea that grizzly were docile bears that stayed away from humans, "the apex predator", back in the day is a fantasy." - I do not see anyone stating as much. However, I am saying, sans legal prohibition, humankind has the ability to address potential conflict with the lethality that would both alleviate the immediate problem and curtail positive reinforcement for dinner bell bears. These are not hard concepts and I don't infer the bravado others seem to read in these posts.
For the record, I am not advocating engaging conflicts with bears; I am simply stating Pop-r isn't factually incorrect and the derision directed his way is not helpful.
hobbes, I'll further point out that since the invention of the internal combustion engine and commercial aeronautics(more specifically), state of residency is of decreasing relevance to first hand experience. There are guys on Bowsite, heck, on this thread that have scads of bear experience and don't live in grizz country. Just a heads up.
Never hunted Grizz Country, and I'm reluctant to do so. Black bears don't bother me, but I've heard and seen enough to know it would be an entirely different game in Grizzly Country.
If I were in the situation to return to get my meat, I would certainly approach the location with stealth, and with a favorable wind. Hopefully I'd be able to assess the situation from some distance, and with some preparation.
I'm not stupid enough to strut around out there chanting "I'm the alpha". The only reason we are the "Alpha"...is because bears haven't figured out how to make gunpowder. But then again, I have no Grizzly experience...so there's that.
Good discussion. Thanks for all the input. The only reason we're the "apex predator" is because we have guns. Without them we're down around raccoon-level in the food chain. Soft white men on couches sometimes get confused about this.
Mark, I'm hunting NW Wyo. A friend who hunted the same drainage ran into a sow with a cub last year but he hid and let them walk past at 50 yards.
Owl, that is why I pointed out my lack of experience with grizz and I'm well aware that plenty of guys in the East have grizzly experience and more than myself. My experience has been to stay away from areas with a lot of grizzlies. If someone has firsthand experience.....give some indication that's the case, especially if you live 2000 plus miles from them. Don't expect guys that have lived with them their whole lives to take any advice seriously if you offer up no evidence of first hand experience, and don't expect guys with no experience to take your advice over those that have clearly dealt with grizzly up close and personal.
I'm not implying that anny of you don't have experience or that a resume should be provided, but at least some indication that a person has done more than stay at a Holiday Inn Express if you expect to be taken seriously.
I may already be on the verge of proving myself the Proverbs 17:28 "fool", so I'll bow out.
First, my intent isn't to belittle anyone's ideas, thoughts or opinions on how to handle a meat-robbing grizzly....
I suppose I should try to qualify myself on this but it takes too long. Suffice to say I've dealt with grizzlies several times and have yet to lose...as in lose skin, blood or gear. I call it a win if both of us walk away unhurt. I've been around enough big grizzlies to get pretty familiar with how it feels, and it always feels like I'm very insubstantial while studying over 500 pounds of massive strength with the ability and temperament to make my wife a widow. I respect grizzlies, and I show it by doing everything I can to avoid an encounter. I've seen big ones on a moose carcass and I've seen them hunting ground squirrels. I've had them in my camp, and I ran one off by yelling and bluffing. I've been around them in BC, Yukon, NWT and AK. They are the essence of wild North America....iconic to me.
My partner killed a moose a few years ago and we butchered it, then packed out 100% of the meat followed by the head. We finished at dusk and retired for the night. By dawn the meat cache had been raided and basically destroyed by a grizzly. NINE bags of meat ripped open and torn apart. The head was gone...nowhere in sight. We bagged up the remaining contaminated meat for dog food and went looking for the moose head. Found it an hour later and hundreds of yards away. It was not a great feeling to go down that narrow spruce corridor and get it out of there. That night the bear came back and nailed the meat cache again. You try to imagine....maybe 550 pounds of excellent moose meat destroyed and a head chewed on. We couldn't do anything to the bear because AK does not consider this to justify killing or injuring a bear. Kill that bear? Get caught and pay a very, VERY large fine plus lose your license.
I'm suspecting (charitably I hope) that the guys advocating for deliberately taking on a grizzly (as in one which has assumed ownership of their dead elk, moose, etc) simply haven't ever been around a very large specimen with nothing between them and the bear. I suppose you can be pretty brave when toting a rifle or shotgun which most of us won't be when bowhunting. Anyone who says they'll hitch up their britches and walk in with a handgun or can-o-pep to bluff a grizzly is either joking with us or has a head full of huckleberries.
If I kill an animal and a grizzly gets there before I'm done, I'm likely done immediately. He's a bigger predator. I could kill him (maybe) but why? I could attempt to bluff him but I'm really not into sacrificial ass-kickings or moose-meat-martyrdom. I might try to recover some meat...as much as I could...and to hell with the antlers until things settle down. I'm serious about meat...bone recovery is secondary for me. In case you wonder....
The bear that ruined all that moose meat really had my ire up. I wanted to napalm the area for a couple hours after seeing how he destroyed our work. I know it's part of the way things work out there. The grizzly IS just part of the wild country and he comes with the territory so to speak. In the bigger picture a bear didn't just steal our moose meat. Alaska simply kept it for one of her own and it would make no sense for us to kill a fine animal for it.
I'm not sure if most of the guys here are just smiling for the camera or what but I know for damn sure if I feel my life (or others) are in danger there will be efforts to deter the situation by any means necessary. You can holy role all you want, play law abiding citizen to prove your "ethics", but at 12yds that bear would've been shot or maced. And I assure you my conscious will be as clear a swarovski glass, those who claim otherwise are a little full of themselves.
A grizzly can close 100 yards in like three seconds, I consider myself a better than average shot with a firearm but I don't think I could hit a bear to stop a charge. I doubt anyone on here could either unless they had luck on their side. I would just like the tough guys who say they'd take out the griz to please, please video that encounter and post it up if you survive it.
"A grizzly can close 100 yards in like three seconds, I consider myself a better than average shot with a firearm but I don't think I could hit a bear to stop a charge. I doubt anyone on here could either unless they had luck on their side. I would just like the tough guys who say they'd take out the griz to please, please video that encounter and post it up if you survive it."
So what are you gonna do? Sit there and be an appetizer or run? Rhetorical question b/c both will yield the same result.
Mind you. These are all assumptions. Cause I have never hunted in grid country. But I think if I was at my kill first. I would probably "fight" for. Using that word loosely. If he had it before I got to it. It's his
I hunted on Kodiak with a guy who survived a leopard mauling. Our charter boat guy was explaining how basically a bear would have to being chewing on someone before it was time to shoot due to the legal issues.
My buddy had a slightly different mindset as to when action would be taken during a confrontation.
If a griz wants my elk bad enough he can have it. The context would dictate if I kept hunting. Elk license allocations are set using long term population objectives and all sorts factors playing into the number. Me continuing to hunt isn't effecting that enough to matter (heck, my odds of killing another that season are low anyway). If I am driving through my unit at night and I hit an elk running across the road, I don't tear my tag up.
I chased off a black bear that wanted a caribou I shot and I have shooed them away from bait sites on my way in or out. I have also been happy to yield to an unpleasant bear and take the long way back to the truck with my tail tucked..
That's what I mean by "apex," JLS. Our teeth and claws have enumerable modalities. Prediction and preparation are two of them. Even if a fence is not 100%, it may be worth the weight depending on other variables.
For the record, I've had lots of experience with black bears. Just a little in G bear country. The only "grizz" (Alaskan Brown) I ever had in bad breath range, I killed. Legally.
Good thread Lou. This will be my first year hunting in Griz country as well. It definetly has me thinking on interactions with them. Luckily I will be in a party of 3. Getting the meat away from the carcass will be easier.
Midwest post has me thinking as well. I am not the greatest at being a butcher. Often times not taking rib meat. Or leaving to much on the spine.
I don't think anyone here is advocating against self-defense if threatened by a bear. I'll pull that trigger if it comes down to a combat situation. This thread began as a way to address the choices you'd make if a grizzly was occupying and consuming your recently killed trophy. In that situation I believe NO state would allow the hunter to harm or kill the bear in order to retrieve meat. Your only choices are to leave it, or try to bluff the bear and hold it off. I would only try the bluff-and-recover deal if I had a steady partner and both of us had firearms. Otherwise I'm walking away reluctantly and probably with a punched tag. I say "punched tag" because I achieved my primary objective which is to kill. If it's a confirmed kill and a bear takes over, it's still "my" kill even if I have to relinquish it. I'm not putting that on anyone else however.
Owl: Electric fences do work and there's proof enough of it. We have used them many times. We've also left meat unprotected in the field overnight many times and never any loss to a bear. I killed a big bull several years ago which took me 2-1/2 days to get all backpacked in. No meat loss. I finished the last bag on a morning run and my pilot dropped in about noon. Here's what transpired:
Him: "You got all your meat and the head out?"
Me: "Yep. Just finished 2 hours ago."
Him: "Damn good thing. There's a big silvertip standing on the carcass right now. I flew right over him and he stood up for me."
I flew out the next day and sure enough...the bear was firmly planted at the carcass. We dipped low and I got a great look at him from the Super Cub.
Sounds like one of those moments when you wished you had a bear tag too!
My reply was off track. More specific to the op's question I'd base my decision on the situation at hand like how much meat is salvageable, assess the animals posture etc... and do my survey at a comfortable distance. If the bear didn't react to a muzzle blast I'd probably cut my losses.
You very succinctly covered my thoughts on this situation.
Here is my strategy when hunting alone in the bedroom of long toes.
1) Kill elk 2) Butcher elk as quickly as I safely can 3) Get the quarters away from the carcass by 200 yards or so (I like open lodgepoles if available). 4) If I CAN, roll the carcass down hill away from the kill site 5) Approach with caution, and leapfrog the quarters away from the kill site.
Depending on the bear density, there is a pretty good likelihood of one finding the carcass within 24 hours, quite possibly overnight. Use that time wisely and get the meat away from the kill site.
For what it's worth, if a bear gets your elk before you do, get away from there and continue hunting somewhere else. If the bear gets it after you found it and punched the tag, like your supposed to do immediately, your hunt is over.
Don't even think of trying to scare one off.
This year will be the 38th year I've hunted elk in grizz country. The only incident I ever had was after shooting a cow at dark, dressing it out and leaving it with a jacket on it. Came in the next morning and just the jacket was there. A bear had carried or drug the whole elk about 35 yards into some waist high blow downs. We didn't see the bear close by, so had the elk quartered and on the horses in record time and got out. Still have no idea if it was a grizz or blackie that moved the elk, and it didn't eat any of it.
About three years ago, I was working along a ridge when some commotion with lots of ravens and other noise kept going on below me. I stay away from ravens now, but when I got back to the truck, a F&G girl was nailing a poster to the gate saying there had been a bear attack right where I'd been. Two guys from Michigan had hit an elk the night before and went back in to look for it and got bit in the process. The bear was laying on the elk.
We try to get an elk out as fast as possible, though. Last year, on about the second day of the season, the game warden came into camp and informed us they had just pulled a grizzly trap out about a half mile from our camp. The previous month they caught three grizzly's for collars, but had trial cam pics of seven more that wouldn't get in the trap. Ten bears in the area, probably more. The year before, someone hit one on the road a quarter mile from camp. Evidently we've grown numb to the numbers, cause we still hunt there. BTW, the only time any of us packs a gun is when we are getting meat out, but everyone carries spray while hunting.
If your arrow kills the elk your tag should be punched, regardless of whether a grizzly beats you to the meat. That said, if a grizz does find the kill first I would back out and let him have it. Too risky to challenge him, especially if alone. I would carry bear spray any time packing out meat in bear country.
Cmon, who wouldn't punch their tag? I mean all it cost you was 20 yrs worth the points then another additional $700 plus travel expenses and any extra gear you didn't have before the hunt. ABSOLUTELY I would punch my tag and return to camp empty handed just to hang out for the remaining 13days of my hunt.... who wouldn't!
I did a solo butchering and packing job last September in Alaska. I was extremely cognizant of the area around the kill and the possibility of a bear arriving. After packing out all that meat (and head) I put up the electric fence to protect it. I recall getting up the next morning and grabbing my revolver. I was really concerned a bear might be on the meat and it had me worried. I did NOT want to lose that meat! No bear that night or the next. No bear on the moose carcass by the time I flew away, and I could easily smell it from a hundred yards downwind.
A couple of years ago a buddy and I were hunting in SW Montana, probably not many air miles from where you hunt. We were trailing a herd of elk, moving as quick as we could and silent. A caught a whiff of something ghastly dead and looked up the hill. I could see enough of an elk carcass to know we were in a very bad spot. I heard something moving near the carcass and we retreated post haste, bear spray drawn.
Several days later I was hunting further up the ridge system and could see a set of several day old grizzly bear tracks heading down the trail directly into timber where the elk carcass had been. Made me really glad we had the wind in our favor like we did!
Pop-r, just make sure you have a good lawyer on retainer, a GoPro video to prove your actions were warranted, a really big gun, and be a hell of a shot on a rapidly-moving target under extreme duress. "In fear for my life" is a nebulous concept out here. I know people who are in fear for their lives just seeing a black bear. A false charge by a bear is not considered legal grounds to shoot one.
And no, the regs don't allow you to claim your kill by killing a bear, whether black or grizzly.
I was on a bachelor party with a guy who survived a grizzly attack in Wyoming. He had the puncture marks in his scapula to prove it.
The internet tough guys crack me up on this one. Running off a grizzly isn't the same as running off coyotes or even a black bear.
He was elk hunting and accidentally startled a bear on its kill. All he heard was a crash in the bush before being grabbed and shaken like a rag doll for close to a minute. He took a breath and the bear heard him and proceeded to have round 2 of mauling him.
Still really want to go in there and get "your" elk meat?
When it comes to the large carnivores we are NOT "the Alpha" . Our large brains (which I tend to have believe by observation have shrunk in recent generations) have permitted us to remove or reduce several carnivores from the "Alpha" spot, and we have filled the vacancy. Where those spots aren't vacant, we must tread lightly.
No matter how many well intentioned, intelligent, and experienced folks above gave good advice, you are still going with the bravado. I guess this IS the internet. I don't completely buy into the narrative that grizzly are conditioned by bowhunters reluctantly leaving "their" meat behind if a griz takes charge of the carcass, at least not any more than they would be by other forces of nature.
First, these bears are opportunistic, and will take over any carcass, whether the game was killed by human hunter, wolf, disease, injury, etc. Second, unless you are taking all the guts and the entire carcass with you, the so-called conditioning would still occur to some degree as there would be something left for the bears.
Bowhunters are generally pretty silent during the kill, thus aren't really "calling the bears in" so to speak. However, rifle hunting MIGHT be a bit different, where the bears could possibly relate the gunshots to downed game.
Pop-r hunts grizzly country regularly. He hasn't had a close encounter at this point & hopes he doesn't altho with this taming by the vast majority of most people who also try to inhabit the forests he hunts is eventually going to turn luck against him & he's inevitably going to run into Yogi who has successfully stolen every picanic basket he ever tried.
A couple things - as has already been stated - In Wyoming if the griz claims your elk as his elk...its his elk whether you like it or not due to our self-imposed laws. As far as the "alpha" status this thread has morphed into. We (mankind) have been given dominion over the animals - plain and simple, that's the way God made it. Doesn't matter why mankind is the "alpha", we are, plain and simple. To say, well, without guns, or technology, we wouldn't be "alpha" is kind of a baseless argument to me, because we've got guns and technology because of the brains God gave us(not the griz). That's like the 100 pound high school nerd approaching the 225 pound middle linebacker and saying "without your genetic makeup and time in the weight room, you wouldn't be the "alpha". That's a correct statement, but doesn't change the fact of who the "alpha" is... We are the ones who have placed self imposed limits on ourselves to allow the Griz to co-exist with us as Owl succinctly pointed out.
I will throw in my two cents, IF, I was charged by a grizzly, and IF I had access to my firearm, if the bear was at the magic 12 yard line as noted above, I would have a very and I mean a very difficult time not "trying" to put one or ten into his/her brainpan! + I think my issue would be how close is close enough to warrant protecting myself? I have hunted multiple times in griz country and never had a problem, and I am not really afraid, just aware. I also carry bear spray, I hear bears like the seasoning on their game meat:) If I new a griz had moved in on my elk, I would write it off in a heart beat, contact F&G and hope they issued me a new tag.
Many over the years WITH gun/ spray/ Sidearm has found out in a Primitive Scenario, who the actual "Alpha" is. Hunting is a primitive event, all the Theological arguments are basically null and void. You become a Predator, that competes with other Predators. This particular Predator has you outmatched by strength and speed, and has a history of continuing an attack after getting hit by multiple rounds.
This is from the Grizzly Interagency Team study on death/injury from handgun defense vs. spray. USFWS also has a comprehensive document on it. Nothing is 100% but the data points to properly used spray as being much more effective.
Of course, back home in the bar it sounds much less macho to tell about how you sprayed the Grizzly and he ran away vs. telling the boys how he tore your face off after you shot him three times.
The Griz becomes the "alpha" because we let him be the "alpha". And yes, I completely understand that even with a 12 gauge with slugs/buckshot, I'm the overwhelming underdog. I wouldn't willingly approach a griz. even if I'm armed. He MIGHT eventually die from the wounds from my 12 gauge. I'm LIKELY to die from the encounter.
Jeff - I think we agree, maybe I'm just not conveying my point clearly. In the mountains, if it's just me against griz - I'm the 250 pound linebacker but I've willingly chose to have both hands and feet tied behind my back during the fight. I'm NOT going to win and I don't want the fight.
If we as humans chose to eliminate the Griz - we could do it with no problem. That's why I said we are the "alpha".
Just adding a little spice to the thread to push it to 200 :-)
This is from the Grizzly Interagency Team study on death/injury from handgun defense vs. spray. USFWS also has a comprehensive document on it. Nothing is 100% but the data points to properly used spray as being much more effective.
Of course, back home in the bar it sounds much less macho to tell about how you sprayed the Grizzly and he ran away vs. telling the boys how he tore your face off after you shot him three times.
I have zero experience on this subject but I'm enjoying the thread so I'll chime in. If I kill an elk and the griz beats me to it, it's his and I continue hunting. If I have already tagged it but a griz runs me off before I can get any meat then I call F&G and hope they'll issue me another tag. If not, I wait and go get the head/antlers if I can find them. If I've already packed out my first load and he's there when I get back, the rest is his. I woul have packed out the cape/skull, loins and backstraps so I'd at least have gotten something. Nowhere in my scenario do I even attempt to go toe to toe with him. If it's a blackie and not a griz, I do what I can to try and scare it off, if it doesn't work, I treat it as though it were a griz.
Randy, maybe it's a difference in perspective. We are dominant as a species, due to our ability to co-ordinate as a team, to plan ahead, and work toward a cumulative result, ANd due to our ruthless nature.
As individuals, while some may be fast, strong, and aggressive, and possess great weapon skills, given enough encounters with individual grizzly, lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, etc. we will not last.
We put "dangerous" predators on the endangered list in the past by intentional eradication efforts which include killing young, poisoning, trapping, and large organized "beat" hunts.
More recently, we have endangered these animals by habitat destruction, and altering environments to remove necessary resources. ie: we cheat.
Haven't read all the posts so may be repeating what's been said. After field dressing, I've slept with three elk...but this was CO, not griz country...just black bears, coyotes and perhaps pumas. I'm in my sleeping bag/bivy sack with bear spray and I keep a headlamp on.
Um, yeah. Nothing about that sounds like a good idea. If you have time to gut it you have time to pull and hang the quarters. If a friend of mine were to ever suggest something similar it would warrant a solid smack to the dome or crotch along w/ strong advice not to reproduce.
If a griz gets on any animal that I have shot before I do, it is his.
If I get there first, I will try to maximize the potential to protect my meat from a bear.
A couple of years ago, I was hunting up in Ron's country near Cody, WY. He had some great advice on what to do to keep a griz from getting all your meat.
Basically, break the elk down in quarters and move the quarters at least 100 yards from the gut pile in two separate stashes in two different directions that you can slip into and see before walking right up on it. Hopefully, the bear will go to the gut pile first. If he gets one stash of meat, you may be able to save the other stash.
Hunting in grizzly/wolf country is definitely interesting...
I have often wondered what I would do in a situation like was asked about and after reading these posts I have an answer. I'm gonna call Pop-r and while he's busy whippin that grizzs ass, I'll be packin my elk out. All you guys should get his number in case you need him this year.
I'll be in the area boys! To get you another laugh...I carry a lil air horn with me as well... never used it yet but I figure it'll scare the hell out of one & send him gone! Not every situation sure but most i figure long before I could spray him/her.
I have a problem with some of the stats on spray vs firearms WRT bears. I think a good many "encounters" are thwarted with firearms by a "warning" shot or two. That counts. The folks doing that likely aren't hippy girls with bear spray and aren't going to report such an encounter.... just go on and keep hunting. In fact they may feel as I would that you would just be opening a big ol can-o-worms relaying the encounter to folks that may not be firearm friendly, much less hunter friendly. I would bet very few bear encounters and results with firearms are actually reported. Just knowing the nature of the people who would be carrying, as well as trusting in it.
I'd venture those with firearms are hunting.... not the vastly higher number of folks on a hike, fishing or camping trip. So you will have a great many more that carry spray. And if those folks encounter an "aggressive" bear and spray at it.... they would be FAR more likely to seek out and report such to any official that will stand around long enough to tell them.
Didn't read them all....but got the gist...after I changed my short os would RUNNNN...or this or that, what you could do or not do according to the law...bears are big and scary. and can run fast with big chompy things.....
Not sure anybody mentioned the magic of that moment...that rarity and amazing thing that can still happen in this modern world...Good Lord you have just killed ...an elk in the wilderness with your bow...and somehow you are confronted by a Grizzer Bar...it primal..... it is Friggen cool beyond belief...it is a magic moment you will never forget...and if it really goes south...I'll take that exit over lying in a hospital next to a machine that goes beep
There is anecdotal evidence that air horns can be a deterrent to bears. I've been studying that for almost a decade, and always have one in camp with me for (hopefully) dissuading midnight raiders. I can assure you I wouldn't pull it first in a rowdy bear encounter where I felt threatened. As a means to deliberately haze a bear out of camp or away from an area (maybe a kill site) it may have merit. I'm of the opinion the horn should be activated in a continuous blare...not shorter blasts, honks or shrieks which could arouse a bear's curiosity. Even though they are very annoyingly loud, they aren't going to work at 300 yards....shorter ranges = louder volume. Best have a Plan B in your other hand, too.
For the record: If I'm on a kill and a grizzly shows up I might try to haze/bluff him if the situation is right. 'Right', as in bear acts nonaggressive, kill site has good visibility, partner is there and can help, etc. If it feels bad to me, I'll grab my stuff and get away. If a bear gets on a kill before I do or while I'm away...that's a different deal. I'm pretty sure it was a bear who first said "possession is nine-tenths of the law". In every case (if there is a case) I would evaluate the situation and go with my priorities which are 1) no injuries to me or the bear, and 2) game recovery.
My personal code would be to punch my tag if I killed, even if I recovered nothing. Maybe that's easier for me because I've tossed away so many unfilled tags anyway in my lifetime....coming home with zip isn't a big deal anymore. I don't know or worry about what others might do...it's up to them.
After perusing several of the responses, my initial reaction is that several posters have really not had the pleasure of being "up close" with an unhappy griz or brownie. Perspectives may change after you have had the opportunity. I think Mr. Dill has it about right.
Dad and I had packed my elk to the trailhead and were leaving for home the day this picture was taken right up the road from where we were. This griz was hit on the road. I'm not a griz expert, but they estimated it at 700 pounds. Unless I'm hunting them in Alaska with a .300 Win Mag or bigger, I'm not interested in a confrontation with a Griz.
Now I am curious... I wonder how many people have had an encounter with a griz on a kill... 1 in 1000, 1 in 10,000? I don't think it's very likely or common, but I could be wrong. I'm not talking about walking along a trail and seeing one, I am talking about a real event where the bear is now, or shortly will be the proud owner of a downed animal.
I think it's the "Boddington on Lion" DVD, where Ivan Carter shoots a charging lion in tall grass with a .600 NE. Drops the lion with the second barrel, turns to the camera and calmly says "That's why you carry a double rifle."
Seems like a good idea to me . . . The speed at which it happened, he wouldn't have been able to work a pump shotgun or a bolt on a rifle for his second killing shot . . .
Maybe this is a dumb question, but in addition to an electric fence, would it possibly help to spray a can or two around the meat in a circle, or if hung in a tree, around the tree? I'm guessing when/if a bear come sniffing around a snoot full of that stuff may help serve to deter the bear. For sure a guy would want to be careful not getting it in your nose/eyes, but a thick line of that stuff around the perimeter of the meat may help keep it safe, no?
Deerslayer, pepper spray is sometimes an attractant after it settles. The instructions tell you to NEVER spray it on a tent, pack, or on your clothes. There are instances of bear attacks where the tent was sprayed ahead of time.
I think bear spray loses its potency pretty rapidly after being released to the atmosphere. You could easily test the theory though; just pick a fight with a griz and then spray a circle around you on the ground and see what happens. ;^) I think heavily "contaminating" the area with human scent would be about as effective, but that is just an opinion without any evidence to back it up with any certainty.
Ivan's videos remind me of the late Steve Irwin. Sometimes luck is the only thing that keeps'em alive, and generally it is bound to run out at some point. RIP.
deerslayer: It has been demonstrated that spraying pepper spray on the ground acts as an ATTRACTANT to bears. It is only the direct spray into nose/eyes that may deter them. Once sprayed on the ground it dissipates and basically just smells like spice or pepper and they will come to investigate it. Not recommended!
Jaquomo,I'm no expert on the subject but have spent some time in grizzly country.I killed a moose in Southern BC,a lot of years ago and the guide and I dismantled it,and were coming back the next day,with pack horses.After it was quartered,he had us get all the pieces into openings that we could glass from the opposite hill,on our approach,the following day.Everything went off without a hitch and no grizzly problems.
I think if I had an elk down,in grizzly country I'd try to hang the quarters to be visible on approach,even if that is only 50 yds.Even some scraps hung up, could act as a signal that something has hit the kill.Anyway,have a great hunt and stay safe.
Have I missed Randy 'Big Fin' Newberg posting on this thread? He's posted some good advice on his YouTube channel about elk hunting in grizz country As a bowhunter thinking about bowhunting elk in S/SW MT, I'm all about researching how to avoid grizz as much as I am about researching the units themselves PS could we be seeing the rise of TBM II?! TBM = Titanic Bear Meister :-D
I spent about 30 minutes with my daughter watching the grizzly bears at the Denver Zoo yesterday, they are BIG. I'm sure there are a lot of 'tough' folks who would turn to absolute mush if one of those charged at full speed...
Im double afraid of the ones in the denver zoo they will molest you then eat you! Our last visit my youngest told me that the mommy bear and daddy bear were making babys problem is they were both daddy bears lol. Only Lou would stand a chance with those big boys!
You buy a license to hunt an elk, you shoot an arrow INTO that elk, your tag is punched. Anything more than that, and you're just trying to convince yourself that it "wasn't a killing shot", but in the end, it always is. This is where the age old debate about individual ethics comes into play. The law is the law. Not really any gray area there. Any Military Man knows this, and to do the wrong thing is to lose your Military Bearing which you have worked so hard to achieve and live by. No problem, just realize you strayed, and get your compass oriented.
My understanding is in some states a bear claims your animal they can issue another tag. That is the law there..... and as stated, the law is the law.
I know CO can issue you a ticket for not recovering what they think is the proper amount of meat, they even have a formula to weigh it out if I remember right. So you have a punched tag and no meat. That is against the law as well. And a good many folks here hunt to fill the freezer, that is their purpose, a noble one IMO.... thus the often extra cow tag.
I would have no qualms about loosing all my elk to a big bear, contacting the authorities explaining what happened. If they issue me another tag..... I'm going hunting.....
Punching a tag for an unrecoverd animal, however, isn't the law, it's a personal choice. There is no law in MT that says my tag is punched if I cant recover an elk. In fact as stated above, in Montana you have the potential to have a tag reissued if the meat is stolen after you tag it.
You can debate the ethics of it all you like, but its not law.
One spring, coming home from a morning hunt, I noticed a tree with plenty of ravens in it about a hundred yards off the road. I had a black bear tag, a grizzly tag and no tag needed for wolves or coyotes. I knew there was an old road work pit at the end of the little trail that the highways guys sometimes dumped road kill moose in. I was hoping to catch a wolf or yote on a carcass. I sneaked in, arrow on string, looking for the carcass in the open pit. Couldn't see anything, yet there were ravens hanging around.
After about five minutes, I stopped slinking and moved to the semi-open and looked around. SH!T!!!!.. About twenty five yards away, there is a very good grizzly, laying calmly on a mound and looking at me. I just stood there trying to clam down and formulate a plan. I had bear spray on my belt, which I quickly took the guard off of.
The bear showed no signs of aggression. After about another five minutes, I finally decided maybe I should try to kill him. But he was laying down on his belly, quartering toward me. I slowly and casually ( in motion only) started to circle the bear. His head followed me, but that was it. Still no shot. I circled the other way. Trees in the way.
I went back to the other side again and just waited, perhaps maybe he would stand up. After a bit, he would even put his head down and look like he was sleeping. Every time I made some noise, his head would come up, but still no sign that he was losing patience, unlike myself. Eventually I did something foolish and yelled while kicking gravel and advancing a few yards. He stood up and huffed!!. I could almost feel the percussion!! Pure adrenaline and fear poured from me. Just as casually, he laid down again and turned his head away. I backed up and rested, recouped and regrouped a bit. I was a bit of a mess.
Ten minutes later, I repeated the bluff. Same result.
I threw a fairly big rock at him. He seemed to know that I throw like a girl and ignored me. My nerves are frayed and shot, by now. I circled back around the other side. Finally I growled as load as I could and shuffled my feet hard on the gravel. He jumped to his feet and in two leaps was on the edge of the alders about thirty yards away. He stopped broadside looking at me. With all the calm and presence of mind of a moth banging repeating into a porch light, I drew and launched my arrow. Then I watched it skip off a branch! A branch that I would have easily seen had I been even slightly in control and it missed the whole bear by about two feet.
The bear left. Never once did that bear threaten me other than a few huffs. But he was a big older bear, and likely had little need to do anything more to get his way.
Two days later there was a small grizzly on the moose carcass that he had been laying on and a good sized black was hanging around to, so I knew the big grizzly had left the area.
So you never know what you might get with a grizzly. I've seen others that were not so relaxed or tolerant.
Scar, I've had a Griz take an elk. We even had it half skinned and caped. Doesn't bother me a bit to admit it either. Every person, bear and encounter may be different. In my case, that's what the situation dictated. I believe it probably happens a few times a year in WY.
If by chance this is the year I finally shoot a bull while hunting Wyoming. I will tag the elk as soon as I recover it. If by chance a Griz takes possession before I do. It's his elk. I will contact the authorities and go from there. If they let me hunt I will be hunting.
If a griz finds a meat stash I will contact the authorities. It sounds like I will be done hunting per Wyoming law. So I will be the picture guy for the rest of the trip.
Fulldraw, I would still contact the local warden in the off chance that you have a meat cache taken. They are generally pretty reasonable folks and there is probably a decent chance that you might get another tag.
Punching your tag as soon as you draw blood is fine but if anyone is doing it because they don't want to screw up the elk management, they are fooling themselves. Wildlife agencies reissue tags all the time for different reasons after a kill. In CO they might reissue a tag if the animal has CWD or something else keeping it from being utilized. Heck, an auction sheep tag holder killed a ram illegally with an outfitter and they let him pay a fine and take another ram. Tag numbers and population objectives are set on trends effected by habitat, calf recruitment, harvest, disease and other mortality factors. Animals not recovered are part of that equation but such a tiny factor they won't even get a line on a spreadsheet.
One more thought for the tough-guy Alpha males: Even if someday you're involved in a legitimate case of self-defense, good luck in court after you've gone on a public forum and bloviated about how no bear's going to get "your" elk. Even a rookie prosecutor will eat you for lunch - if yogi hasn't already done so, of course.
Reading a lot of responses here and on other topics, it seems a lot of guys are scared to death of bears and lions. Most of that fear is just lack of knowledge about the animal. I was called out with my dogs to help look for some lion cubs after a guy shot and killed the female (turns out she had kittens) during archery season because he had walked up on her and it stood there looking at him. So he shot her. That's exactly what lions do when you walk up on them. They don't run off like most other animals would but lay low hoping you walk past. No reason at all to shoot this cat other then the guy was scared. Being a scardycat isn't a reason to kill an animal.
Exactly. The biggest reason so many here broad brushed everyone who didn't say they'd run away at the indication a grizzly had claimed their kill, is based on their own feelings of fear concerning the grizzly bear. They are surely scary when acting intolerable. But, most any bear on a carcus is going to woof at you when he finally realizes you are there. That doesn't mean it's going to attack you. Any bear intent on keeping the meat will make that intent known very quickly. Every situation is different. And, It takes a little bit of common sense before you can start telling someone they are stupid because they don't pull up their skirt and run off for good at the first indication there is a grizzly on your meat.
Not quite sure how we went from" grizz on a kill" to self defense, but it seems like it's the general consensus that one doesn't get to defend ones property and/or life. I don't understand that line of reasoning and reject it categorically. Not saying I have the balls to bluff a grizz off my elk, solo,( I don't) but I will find the tools and means to do so if I have help. That's within my rights, I don't care what some ignorant lawmaker came up with. If the law says you have to allow harm to come to yourself, before enacting self-defense, then the law is wrong. That simple. The fact that folks stating they will stand their ground in a reasonable manner, draws chastisement for being too gung-ho or crazy, says a lot about our society...
What are you going to do when you trail your elk, find it, and Hulk Hogan is standing over it , and tells you it's his...?? Get it all on video? Call a lawyer? Convince yourself that discretion is the better part of valor as you slink away? Put him in a rear naked choke?
I'm sure the answer if different for all of us, we have different levels of ability,and grit... but I won't disparage those that have the spine to stand up for themselves, even if I think the price they will pay for failure is too high.
If it comes down to shooting a grizz..... unless you can prove it was an unprovoked surprise attack the law is going to consider trying to run a grizzly off your elk.... provocation. You picked the fight so to speak, not the bear. The bear already has possession, most regs I'm aware of when the bear claims it, it's his by law. Pretty sure they are going to look at that as essentially shooting the bear to get your elk back, no matter if the bear charged or not. Basically, if you don't have a grizz tag..... your up that creek and have chucked your paddle.....
Or lie and say you just stumbled on him by accident and he charged..... but you can bet there WILL be an intensive investigation and the evidence had best be on your side.
Best course of action I've seen mentioned above is back out and contact the authorities to try and get another tag if possible. Or if it was a 400" bull wait out the bear however many days until he's done with it. =D
Ambush.... that was a cool story. Thanks. "all the calm and presence of mind of a moth banging repeating into a porch light" LOL! Never heard that one before, have to remember that line.... it's a good one, very descriptive...
You may think the law is wrong. It may be. But even if it is later proven justified (you have a witness and the bear has powder burns on his head) you'll be in for a time-consuming and likely costly adventure.
Let the bear have it. Not worth getting malled over. I have no problem Keeping hunting if a bear claims my kill. I also have no problem waiting to get the head and antlers after contacting G&F. I would definitely try to get pictures of the situation also.
The hunt up to the kill was the same. The only thing that changed was a bear gets the meal and I do not. I would hardly lose sleep over a meal, just fix something else for dinner for awhile. I never worry about such trivial things.
The plain and simple truth is that grizzlies are one of the "iconic mega fauna" that get inordinate amounts of attention.
You'd fare better shooting someone's grandma than "murdering" a grizzly. If it's just meat and not personal injury, then I don't need the hassle, expense of time, or the stigma of maybe having wildlife infractions.
Now if a grizzly was tearing up a few thousand dollars worth of camp gear, I may take that more seriously. In BC, the grizzlies, in general, are well behaved. That is definitely changing in some areas because of a lack of hunting. A few areas now experience the "dinner bell" scenario. Remote areas with lots of elk and moose hitting the ground and not enough grizzly tags handed out. The law is very clear that you cannot kill a grizzly to re-claim a carcass. And even if you have a tag, you could be charged with baiting, if the LEO wanted to be miserable. In the past, many grizzly tags were filled after the moose tag was cut. Gut pile bears didn't get to pass their habits on.
We are on the political verge of loosing our grizzly hunt here. And when that does happen, there is going to be regular cases of SSS. The saying " a fed bear is a dead bear" will be fulfilled often.
I'm with Adventurewriter - how friggen cool would it be to actually see something like this. What a camp story that would make! Talk about "once in a lifetime" - hummm, I guess you could take the "once in a lifetime" a couple different ways. lol.
However, at the same time, it would REALLY, REALLY, suck to loose an elk.
How defense of life, property and game kills get mixed up. I only know the law on this as it is applied in Alaska. You have the right to defend your life and your property from a bear attack. Plenty of bears are shot and killed there for breaking into sheds, killing chickens, damaging houses, etc. Your tent and camping gear are no different out on a hunt. Obviously you'd shoot a bear to defend yourself from harm. Dead game animals are a gray area.
It's "your" kill but it's not really considered essential to defend and keep. Saving, recovering, defending and keeping it is certainly desirable but not considered essential under the law. You simply cannot legally kill a second game animal to keep your first one. Advocates of doing that are putting out very bad advice both legally and ethically. If your goal is to bluff an occupying bear off the carcass, away from meat, or out of the area...you're within your rights. If you win....all is good. If the bear makes it a contest...you'll be fortunate not to be injured regardless of what ultimately happens to the bear. If you are good and solid enough to wait it out and determine it's a real charge and not just a bluff, you'll need to knock him down fast. You're required to notify troopers and document the occurrence. You must skin the entire animal saving the feet and claws, skull and hide. As soon as possible this must be given to wildlife troopers and then a detailed written report completed. The holes in the bear hide had better look defensive. No broadside shots unless the hair is scorched too. If they determine the kill was unwarranted it will be your skin taken and wallet gutted.
Of course there's always the good chance the bear will knock YOU down fast and redecorate your pumpkin. Regardless there is a decent chance the troopers will travel to the location and do an on-site investigation. If the bear wins you can be comforted knowing HE was just performing his genetically determined duty, and you were injured or killed in defense of his life and property.
If you kill a grizzly in Wyoming, you will need to convince a jury that there was a legitimate threat to your life, not "fear" or protecting personal property. A hunter was successfully prosecuted for shooting a grizzly that was on his moose carcass. He failed to persuade the jury that his life was truly in danger, even though he convinced them he was "afraid". There were hunters on the jury, so it wasnt just bear-huggers.
My minimal grizzly exposure leads me to be less cavalier. As I understand it, you can have a gun in your hand, pointed at a grizzly... and still have bad things happen. No need to look to create an issue.