Grizzly Bear confirmed in Middle Piney Creek drainage
by Wyoming Game & Fish
June 3, 2009
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently confirmed a grizzly bear in the Middle Piney Creek drainage west of Big Piney in the Wyoming Range. This is outside of the area of northwest Wyoming where grizzly bears are usually encountered, and the area is also heavily used by black bear hunters. The department is urging bear hunters in the area to use caution and to be sure of their target before harvesting a bear.
An outfitter and a local hunter in the area reported seeing a grizzly bear while black bear hunting and provided photographs of the animal that allowed Big Piney Game Warden Adam Hymas to confirm that it was a grizzly bear. Zach Turnbull, Bear Management Specialist with the department, said: "It is not unusual to see young bears disperse long distances from their natal home ranges." Turnbull advises hunters to be sure of their target before shooting a bear. There is a possibility of encountering grizzly bears in any areas adjacent to known occupied habitat as bears are common in areas north of the Wyoming Range and many parts of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Grizzly bears are managed under state law and there are currently no open hunting seasons for grizzlies in any part of the state. If a grizzly bear visits a black bear bait, hunters are reminded to call their area Game Warden so the bait can be closed and the bait removed in accordance with state regulations. The Game and Fish is carefully monitoring the situation and encourages anyone with sightings or information from the area to call the Pinedale Regional Office at 307-367-4352.
The Game and Fish Department also reminds those recreating on the National Forest to follow food storage guidelines and store food and attractants unavailable to bears, and to carry and know how to use bear spray.