Black bear killed in self-defense southwest of Big Horn – Sheridan Media
On July 1, 2021, at around 6 p.m., Game and Fish staff received a report that a black bear had been shot by an owner near Red Grade Road. The intervening game warden questioned the owner and investigated the scene. He determined that the bear, an adult female, was killed in self-defense after charging the owner within 10 yards. The warden searched the surroundings, but found no carcasses, cubs or other cached resources that the bear could have defended, which could explain the aggressive behavior.
“Human-black bear encounters are rare and usually result in the bear fleeing the area,” said Craig Smith, Sheridan Area Wildlife Supervisor. “However, this incident is a stark reminder that bears can be unpredictable and can exhibit aggressive behavior when they feel threatened.” Game and Fish staff also responded to several other bear conflicts on July 1. That morning, a bear was reported accessing unsecured garbage at a cabin in the Bighorn National Forest. Another bear was reported in the yard of a residence in Dayton. A third bear was reported accessing unsecured garbage at a residence west of Sheridan. He had accessed unsecured garbage in the same location the day before.
The increase in activity reported in the past few days may be linked to the reduction in natural food sources due to the hot, dry weather of the past few weeks. It is not uncommon for bears to roam parts of Sheridan County, but if drought conditions persist, conflict can increase. “We need the help of the public, especially the rural owners and homeowners on the outskirts of Sheridan and other communities, to make the effort to keep garbage and other potential food sources out of reach. bears, ”Smith said. “The best way to do this is to keep your garbage in a hard-sided building until the scheduled garbage collection day. Additionally, bears access or attempt to access other food sources near homes, such as pet food, livestock or poultry grains left outside, and birdseed. Homeowners need to assess their property, identify possible attractants and secure them. Electric fences can be very effective in securing chicken coops, beehives, compost piles, vegetable gardens, and other outdoor areas that can attract a bear.
The Game and Fish website has several informational resources for people living or recreating in bear country to learn more about bear behavior and conflict prevention in bear country. https://wgfd.wyo.gov/bear-wise-wyoming Any sightings of bears in residential or developed areas should be reported as soon as possible to the Regional Hunting and Fishing Office at 307-672-7418 during normal business hours or to a local law enforcement agency. .