skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, April 19, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; Healthcare decision planning important for CT residents; Debt dilemma poll: Hoosiers wrestle with college costs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Civil Rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Helping Hunters Identify Black Bears to Prevent Grizzly Kills

play audio
Play

Thursday, June 8, 2023   

Nine conservation groups are calling on wildlife agencies in Wyoming and Idaho to require black bear hunters to take a bear identification course before getting a hunting license.

Kristin Combs, executive director of the group Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, said at least 14 Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bears were killed between 2010 and 2022 because of mistaken identity, and added the actual number is likely much higher.

"There are also 113 cases of mortalities still under investigation," Combs pointed out. "Seventy-one percent of those cases actually are in Wyoming. There's likely a higher mortality through mistaken identity."

Last month, a man shot a 530-pound grizzly bear just outside Yellowstone National Park, claiming he thought it was a black bear. Wyoming Game and Fish said it is reviewing the proposal, but recent moves by Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon suggests the state is moving in the opposite direction. Gordon has called for restoring trophy hunting, and recently filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for taking too long to remove Endangered Species Act protections for all grizzlies in the state.

Combs noted relying on color alone to identify a black bear is problematic because grizzlies and black bears often display multiple colors. She pointed to Montana's bear identification course where hunters learn to spot key differences. For example, grizzly bears have smaller, more rounded ears that are fuzzier than the ears of black bears, which seem larger in proportion to head size, longer, more erect, and pointed.

"And a grizzly bear, it's going to have a hump behind its head, which is a mass of muscles they use for tearing open carcasses and logs," Combs emphasized. "It's going to have more of a disc shaped profile on its nose. Black bears usually have just a very straight down profile."

Combs believes the loss of even a single grizzly is a threat to the species' full recovery, especially for bears trying to connect with more genetically diverse populations outside Yellowstone. She added it is ultimately up to Wyoming Game and Fish and other state agencies to protect the iconic species people from all over the world travel to see in the wild.

"I think it really just all goes back to a hunter knowing their target before they shoot," Combs stressed. "Pulling the trigger on a gun, it's a serious act. If you're not 100% certain about what is at the other end of that barrel, you just shouldn't take the shot."

Disclosure: Wyoming Wildlife Advocates contributes to our fund for reporting on Endangered Species and Wildlife, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The Bureau of Land Management's newly issued Public Lands Rule is designed to safeguard cultural resources such as New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Park. (Photo courtesy SallyPaez)

Environment

play sound

Balancing the needs of the many with those who have traditionally reaped benefits from public lands is behind a new rule issued Thursday by the Bureau…


Health and Wellness

play sound

Alzheimer's disease is the eighth-leading cause of death in Pennsylvania. A documentary on the topic debuts Saturday in Pittsburgh. "Remember Me: …

Social Issues

play sound

April is Financial Literacy Month, when the focus is on learning smart money habits but also how to protect yourself from fraud. One problem on the …


Social Issues

play sound

The need for child care and early learning is critical, especially in rural Arkansas. One nonprofit is working to fill those gaps by giving providers …

Workers harvest a field before the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. (Jeff Huth/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

An annual march for farmworkers' rights is being held Sunday in northwest Washington. This year, marchers are focusing on the conditions for local …

Social Issues

play sound

A new Gallup and Lumina Foundation poll unveils a concerning reality: Hoosiers may lack clarity about the true cost of higher education. The survey …

Environment

play sound

As state budget negotiations continue, groups fighting climate change are asking California lawmakers to cut subsidies for oil and gas companies …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021