Every year, Idaho Fish and Game deals with a small number of bears causing problems for ranchers and people. If the bears become too comfortable with human food, or cause too many problems for ranchers, they’re relocated or in some cases put down. So far 2015 has been a normal year as far as human/bear interactions, a nice surprise for Fish and Game.
“Initially when we looked at what the berry crops were doing and other natural foods, we were concerned that the bears would come down early,” said Gregg Losinski of Idaho Fish and Game. “It did happen in other parts of the country, but here for whatever reason there were enough natural foods that the bears did stay high.”
So far for 2015, federal officials have documented 25 bear deaths with 19 of those deaths human caused. That’s close to the final tally for 2014 and 2013 which both had around 30 grizzly deaths, but far from 2012’s total of 56 grizzly deaths.
“We’ve mainly ran into are bears that are attracted to human related things like garbage, bbq’s, bird feeders, those kind of things,” said Losinski “We’ve had problems, like we do all other years, but they did come later and they didn’t come in excess compared to the past.”
Losinski says there’s been a few problems related to livestock, but it hasn’t been as widespread like it was in 2012. Idaho Fish and Game says their work isn’t done yet as hunting season is just around the corner.
“While the tourists for the most part are gone, we do have more hunters coming in for the deer and elk season,” said Losinski. “What that means is that they’ll be more people out in the woods, being very quite, sneaking around. That’s very good from a hunting perspective, but very bad from a bear perspective.”