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Old September 17, 2009, 10:39 PM   #1
wolfbait
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Grizzly mauls sheepherder; kills dogs, sheep

http://www.subletteexaminer.com/V2_n...&story_id=1258

Grizzly mauls sheepherder; kills dogs, sheep
Posted: Tuesday, Sep 15th, 2009
BY: Joy Ufford with Derek Farr






After what could be the first grizzly bear attack on a human in the Upper Green, a 46-year-old sheepherder was life-flighted to Idaho Falls early Monday morning after being seriously mauled.

The grizzly began its rampage in the early hours in a sheep herd grazing near Forest Road 617, at the eastern edge of the Gros Ventre Wilderness near Tosi Creek.

The herd is tended by Marcello Tejeda, of Rock Springs, and Jorge Mesa, both of whom were awakened by what they thought was a black bear in the sheep, according to their employer, rancher Mary Thoman of Fontenelle.

Monday, Thoman was concerned for Tejeda and her sheep, which have been harassed by predators all summer, she said.

“We have had a nightmare,” she said of the W&M Thoman Ranches’ forest allotments on the Upper Green. “Nothing but grizzlies and wolves all summer long.”

At 3:30, the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Mesa that a bear had attacked a man and that an ambulance or doctor was needed to help him, according to preliminary reports.

Thoman said they have always had problems with black bears getting into the sheep but the grizzly situation has been worsening since 1998 when she said grizzlies were moved into that area from elsewhere.

“The dogs were raising heck and they thought it was a black bear,” Thoman said her sheepherder told her.

This was a grizzly sow with one cub, though, she was told. Thoman said she recently saw a collared grizzly sow with three cubs that had “just showed up” but didn’t know if they were the same animal.

The guard dogs stay with the sheep and protect them as best they can, she explained.

“Once they found out a bear was in the sheep the sheepherder (Tejeda) sent his (guard) dog in and the bear killed that one,” Bardin related .

Tejeda then sent in another guard dog and apparently was attacked by the bear when he tried to save the second dog, which was killed, he said.

The sheepherder received a seven-inch gash on top of his head, two punctures to the left side of his chest, three claw wounds to the right side of his abdomen and a puncture wound to his right wrist, early reports stated.

“This is the first human attack there that I can remember,” Bardin said.

Mesa used pepper spray – twice – to drive the bear away from Tejeda and then called Thoman for help.

Thoman said giving her sheepherders guns to shoot marauding predators isn’t a solution – “or we just have more trouble.”

Mesa then notified the sheriff’s office, and a team was sent in including an Emergency Medical Services unit, Kendall Valley Fire Department’s first-responders, three deputies and a Forest Service officer while Air Idaho, a search-and-rescue team and a doctor were put on standby.

Because of the poor travel conditions, a deputy drove Tejeda and Mesa (who had pepper spray in his eyes) out to a waiting ambulance and they were transported to the Pinedale Clinic.

Mesa’s eyes were cleaned and Tejeda was airlifted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) in Idaho Falls.

Tejeda was listed in “serious” condition Monday afternoon, according to EIRMC spokesperson Nancy Browne.

Wyoming Game & Fish team investigated the scene of the attack Monday.

“We’ve heard this person has been injured and that’s our primary concern,” said G&F spokesman Mark Gocke. “We hope he’s all right.”

Gocke had no further information Monday but said G&F is participating in the investigation and more details will be forthcoming.



Bad Summer

Predators have heavily targeted sheep and cattle on Upper Green permitted grazing allotments this year, according to Thoman.

Most of the publicly confirmed predations are sheep killed by wolves but there are plenty of others in the mountains.

Thoman said she can’t put a number to their losses yet, not until the herds are gathered and brought back home.

“What they verify doesn’t match up, though,” she said of investigating agencies.

“The trouble is by the time you notify them, if they don’t get there within three or four days they can’t confirm,” she said, adding other animals will feed on the carcasses.

“We just have to put up with them,” she said. “They need to put them away. They’re just getting too thick.”

Thoman said most people don’t realize how heavy livestock losses are in the Upper Green and public land managers seem to not care – “I think they’re just trying to get rid of us (livestock ranchers).”

Thoman doesn’t plan on giving in to bears, wolves or public agencies lightly, she said. Thoman sheep have grazed on the same allotments since 1978 and her family began ranching before 1900.

“It isn’t like we just sprang up,” she said.



Predators

On Aug. 6, Wildlife Services confirmed a grizzly had killed two head of cattle in the Upper Green.

In a slew of late July and August attacks in western Wyoming, wolves killed dozens of sheep, a handful of cattle and a half-dozen guard dogs, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reports.

Recent reports reveal lethal control efforts have removed 10 wolves to date from the Green River Pack and five from the Dog Creek Pack.

Thoman worries that wolves and bears have run the sheep around so much that right now without anyone up there to keep an eye on them, her herds could be scattered throughout the forest.

“I suppose we’ll be hunting sheep up there until Christmas,” she said.

No one from the Forest Service, which manages the grazing allotments, responded before press time.
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Old September 17, 2009, 11:14 PM   #2
Huntergirl
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Was bound to happen. F&G relocate "problem grizzlies" from other areas to the upper Green. Kinda like an Australia for grizzlies. Except without the ocean. Geez, I've never heard of sheepherders without rifles....
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Old September 17, 2009, 11:40 PM   #3
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I thought the same thing... Why in the Hell didn't thet have at least one rifle?
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Old September 18, 2009, 03:42 AM   #4
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I love her quote “It isn’t like we just sprang up,” she said

Hmm I do believe the Grizzly was there a LONG time before her ranch was there.

I sure as heck wouldn't have sent another dog in after I saw the first one get killed let alone go in and try to save the second one from the bear, nothing good could come of it.
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Old September 18, 2009, 06:21 AM   #5
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I think what she is concerned about as far as rifles go is that if you kill a grizzly you are likely to have more interrogation than if you killed a human. Almost a lunatic element to the endangered species movement.
My friend went through that a few years ago.
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Old September 18, 2009, 07:23 AM   #6
NickySantoro
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Thoman said giving her sheepherders guns to shoot marauding predators isn’t a solution – “or we just have more trouble.”

I wonder if Tejeda agrees with that.
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Old September 18, 2009, 07:49 AM   #7
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In a remote area, I'd have my 338-06, a Marlin 45-70, and my Bisley 45LC. I'd use my dogs to hunt 'em within 5 miles of my ranch. If the LE and WE have trouble getting in, they'll have trouble finding the dead bears. If they've got tracking collars, they'd be smashed on the closest rock and thrown in to the nearest body of water.

Last edited by GeauxTide; September 18, 2009 at 09:09 AM.
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Old September 18, 2009, 09:06 AM   #8
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"or we just have more trouble"

I wonder if Thoman has considered the potential lawsuit against her by her mauled employee, for depriving him of the means to combat a known threat.

Here's hoping he survives, to bring that suit.
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Old September 18, 2009, 09:42 AM   #9
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I'll speculate that the "more touble" quote alludes to the sheepherders having a little firewater then possibly shooting stuff up........animals, each other.......
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Old September 18, 2009, 10:19 AM   #10
wolfbait
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A while back in Momtana a man went out to run a bear out of his sheep pen, the bear attacked him, he shot and killed the bear and was charged with poaching. The reason behind the charge of poaching was he left the safty of his house. See any property rights going out the door using the endangered joke list???
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Old September 18, 2009, 11:32 AM   #11
srt 10 jimbo
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I really dont like to kill Bears, but if I'm just sitten there and a grizzly charges, There's no doubt in my mind whom the endangered species is.
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Old September 18, 2009, 11:49 AM   #12
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This is why, whenever I go hunting in Brown or Griz country and there is a tag available without too much hassle I get one. Not that I spend any time actively hunting Brown/Griz, but if I have to shoot one I don't have to do any explainin.
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Old September 18, 2009, 12:36 PM   #13
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We don't have grizzly tags here. Wish we did. I have flyfished that upper portion of the Green many times. I know exactly where her summer ranch is. I always get a black bear licence each year tho.
Less than 5 mi south of there is a public campground, prolly only used about 3-4mo out of the year because of early and late snows. but it tends to be a fairly heavily traveled area in the summertime.. Tosi creek is dense, and looks like classic griz country. I always wondered why the heck someone would run sheep there, much less cattle, because of the bears, and now the wolves, and the short lasting summer range. Would hardly be worth it , it seems. Cheap lease? But having no rifles is just plain stupid, period. Talk about lack of regard for the sheepherders and their dogs. I know of some Thomans that have a ranch and run sheep, cattle outside of Kemmerer, but none in Fontenelle. Maybe the next generation of them.
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Old September 18, 2009, 01:04 PM   #14
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I went to high school with a Thoman in Green River, can't remember her first name though (class of 93').
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Old September 18, 2009, 01:10 PM   #15
hogdogs
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According to this, the range of the Grizz is smaller than we think...
http://www.sightline.org/maps/animat...izzly-CS06anim
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Old September 18, 2009, 01:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Thoman said giving her sheepherders guns to shoot marauding predators isn’t a solution – “or we just have more trouble.”
She is an idiot and will soon be herding her sheep by herself. Wonder how long it takes her to 'run' to the toy store and get herself a 45-70.
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Old September 18, 2009, 06:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
The grizzly began its rampage in the early hours in a sheep herd grazing near Forest Road 617, at the eastern edge of the Gros Ventre Wilderness near Tosi Creek.
Nope, the grizzly was just hunting a target rich environment that had easy pickings. Then the herder sent in dogs to attack the grizzly and it defended itself. Then the herder went in and fearing the herder was attacking like the dogs, the grizzly stopped that threat as well.

That isn't to say that the grizzly didn't need to be put down or relocated for attacking the sheep, but saying it was on a rampage is a bit out of line. By her own description, the herder wife noted that the herd has been attacked numerous times around by bears and wolves. Something isn't right about that learning curve. Why would you send in only one dog at a time. Knowing the bear killed one and downed the other, why would you go in yourself without a vehicle or firearm?
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Old September 18, 2009, 09:41 PM   #18
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Colorado Grizzley

A few years ago a hunter in Southwestern Colorado killed a grizzly bear with an arrow in self defense. Got the s@#$! scratched out of himself. Another hunter about 10 years ago was bear hunting in north central Colorado and shot a bear that was not a black bear. He took it to a Division of Wildlife station and the game warden said it was not a black bear, but would not identifiy it as a grizzly.

I suspect that many of us would be surprised at how wide ranging grizzly bears really are. Officials are probably reluctant to reveal the facts. Does not excuse any of the crap that goes on.

I thought the Fish and Wildlife Service was obligated to recompense ranchers for livestock that was killed by endangered species. I don't know how much it would cost to reimburse a rancher for a sheep herder. Those dogs can be pretty pricey though.
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Old September 18, 2009, 10:33 PM   #19
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Never send a dog to do a guns job. Never hire an employee to look after your things that uyou do not trust with a gun.
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Old September 19, 2009, 09:18 AM   #20
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The absence of guns with the sheepherders has to to do with the trouble from the federal government if they kill a wolf or grizzly to protect the flock. The rancher and the herders will all get a bunch of grief. The rancher could lose the grazing rights, for example.

Basically, the ESA says that certain wildlife species are far more important than people and their livilihood. Just ask the farmers of California's Central Valley why they have 40% unemployment and food-producers are getting food from the food bank or food stamps. (This has been in the news for months; y'all already oughta be aware of it.)

http://www.rangemagazine.com has long exposed the unfairness of federal policies and laws toward farmers and ranchers in the west. There's a fairly-well coordinated effort to drive them not only out of business, but from the very land on which they've lived for generations.
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Old September 19, 2009, 10:52 AM   #21
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Dandy example Art, the reintroduction of the Canadian wolf is just another example of a means to run the ranchers out of business, stop hunting and a whole slew of land grabbng all in the name of a wolf that was brought down to the lower 48 illegally. The USFWS and their partners, the Defenders of Wildlife have been running the show from the start and they still are. How can it be that everytime the USFWS goes to delist there is always some loophole which allows the Defenders of Wildlife to sue and have the wolves relisted. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out, after the third or fourth delist/relist. Check out this info on "What they didn't tell you about wolf Recovery."

http://www.idahoforwildlife.com/Webs...l%20report.pdf

http://washingtonwolf.info/

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Old September 19, 2009, 11:22 AM   #22
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Quote:
The absence of guns with the sheepherders has to to do with the trouble from the federal government if they kill a wolf or grizzly to protect the flock.
The trouble is if ranchers start to pre-emptively kill predator animals. This situation was very different. There was an attack. If a wild animal is actually attacking the flock, less alone a human, you shoot it.
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Old September 19, 2009, 05:06 PM   #23
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It will come down to SSS, if it hasn't already. One thing they're also scaling back on is F&G officers.
And for the record, I've known many sheepherders that carried guns.
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Old September 19, 2009, 05:47 PM   #24
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You know, I wrote a whole page on this before I pulled my head out and realized it had become a political post rather than anything to do w/ hunting. I think it is unfortunate that this happened but do not believe that many here have a real grasp on the issues at stake. Perhaps it should be moved to another venue so that wemight talk to the issues w/o getting slapped.
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Old September 19, 2009, 09:24 PM   #25
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What is more important- Federal Wildlife laws or human occupational health and safety?

I agree, sending shepherds out without at least a rifle for personal safety is crazy.

If she is worried about shepherds shooting Bear at long range why not provide them with a shotgun with rifled slugs?
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