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GPS study tracks grizzlies as they follow hunters

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by Chee-to, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    grizzlyGPS.jpg

    This GPS system is a real bear.

    Eight Montana grizzly bears have been outfitted with GPS trackers in an ongoing study that could bring some unnerving news to hunters.

    The study is aimed at bolstering the theory that grizzlies, which can be as stealthy as they are ferocious, stalk hunters from as close as the length of a football field in order to steal their prey. Already, data has shown at least one grizzly following oblivious elk hunters almost from the moment they left the parking lot, according to the Billings Gazette. Scientists believe the bear may have been following the humans in hopes of getting to a fallen elk before they did.

    "Bears opportunistically scavenge carcasses throughout the active season and commonly usurp kills of other predators, such as cougars and, since their reintroduction in 1995, gray wolves,” stated a report last year by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. “Remains left by hunters also provide grizzly bears with meat, and bears are attracted to areas outside of national parks when these remains become available during the fall.”

    The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, part of the U.S. Geological Survey, started the project over the summer, by tagging the grizzlies in the Grand Teton National Park. Next, the study team asked elk hunters to voluntarily carry some 100 GPS units that track their routes.

    In the most clearly detailed example, a group of hunters turned on their GPS devices moments after leaving a parking area at around 6 a.m. When scientists analyzed their movements later and contrasted them with those of a nearby grizzly, it became clear the bear was tailing them.

    The bruin stayed downwind of the hunters, at one point coming within 100 yards of them as they moved around a lake. At around noon, the bear bedded down for a nap, but easily picked up the hunters’ trail again when it awoke, according to the report. Grizzly bears’ have a sense of smell seven times greater than that of a bloodhound, and 100 times that of a human by some estimates. Grizzlies also possess a Jacobson’s organ in the roof of their mouth that can detect heavier moisture-borne odors.

    Scientists tracked the bear as it appeared to smell an elk carcass from 4 miles away, follow the scent and even wound up swimming across the lake to get to it, according to the report. They also observed that the bear made some evasive maneuvers, possibly to avoid an untagged grizzly competing for the same meat.

    “The temporary movements away from the carcass could be indicative of this particular bear being ‘pushed off’ the carcass by a more dominant bear,” said Frank van Manen, of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team based in Bozeman.

    Grizzlies have been known to steal the prey of hunters and fishermen alike. Animals such as elk may travel for miles after being wounded, leaving hunters the task of tracking them even as bears may be doing the same.

    So attuned to the movements of hunters are the bears that scientists believe they may even listen for the sound of gunshots, knowing that they signal a meal to be scavenged. Grizzlies are known scavengers, and officials noted there have been cases of the mighty bruins attacking hunters as they dressed elk in the field. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks now requires successful bison hunters outside of Yellowstone National Park to move carcasses and gut piles 200 yards away from homes, roads and trails to lessen the chances of human-bear interactions, according to the Gazette.

    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/11/24/gps-study-tracks-grizzlies-as-follow-hunters/
     
    scrandall01215 and The Heretic like this.
  2. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    How does a grizzly know that a person is a hunter?

    As much as some people like to claim animals know you are carrying a firearm, they really don't know that. They don't know what a firearm is or what it does.

    Not saying they can't/won't associate gunshot sounds with offal piles, but following a group of people because they know they are hunting? I find that hard to believe.
     
  3. captqc

    captqc Tigard Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRf2DbyB9x-sC9mttxlxghxOKdjXNY_-UHJNK00W7dfkIYT5_5tIA.jpg
    Bears are smarter than you think! :)
     
    Danc, Just Me, Riot and 1 other person like this.
  4. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Well I shot a duck one time and went to go retrieve it as we didn't have a dog.
    The thing would stick it's neck out of the water when I didn't have the gun to my shoulder and barely his head when I did
    Just saying.
    But hunters in Alaska have known of this forever. They know the gun shot is a dinner bell for any predators in the area.I saw a video that a guy shot an elk and a grizz came a runnin' down the hill.
    Luckily he was quick on the reload and had a bear tag too
     
  5. concealedhunter

    concealedhunter Tualitan Valley Member

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    Having grown up in AK, I will vouch for this. No, they don't know that people are hunters or what guns are but they know what a gunshot means. Its kind of like scouting an area for elk or deer before a season and then all the animals disappear days into the season. Either every single animal was shot or they realized they are not safe anymore. I'd bet once the grizzlies associate gunshots with potential meals, during the times of year when they hear a lot of gunshots and realize there are a lot of humans in the woods, they put two and two together.
     
  6. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how but I had a black lab once who would go absolutely CRAZY when he saw me with a gun in my hand - he would go jump in the back of the pickup and be ready to go - but he was never trained to hunt in the 'formal' sense of the word. It was obvious he knew 'something' and it was once suggested dogs inherit memory. One final bit of information - do NOT try to train your Lab to be a 'rabbit dog' - they stand there and give you a stupid look when you try 'teach' them to retrieve a shot rabbit - don't ask!
     
  7. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    Gun powder has a smell guys, just sayin.
     
  8. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    So do egg-farts.... Just sayin' :D
     
  9. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Maybe that's how those dogs find guns and bombs.
    You think so?
    I believe a bear's sense of smell is like 1000X better than your average dog's
     
  10. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a bear smells left over powder from a gun, and follows it. I mean, I can't be that they are man eaters... Right?
     
  11. doggitter

    doggitter Oregon New Member

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    My dog also knows what's coming up when I grab a gun and head for the door. Knows a fly swatter very well too, as he loves hunting bugs in the house.
     
  12. bgdawgrr

    bgdawgrr Washington Member

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    I believe it's no differnt than your dog knowing what picking up his leash means. I shoot crows with air rifles in season. The will sit in a tree or garden plot when they see me, but bolt and crow if they see my air rifle. Nothing when I have a rack or broom lol.
    The real question for me is: do the Bears track all humans going into the woods during hunting season or can they distinquish hunters?
    Are hunters using sent block etc that would tip off the bears.