Dubois residents spot grizzly bear moving through town

Aug 13, 2015 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Game and fish officials think the same bear has been spotted twice in and around Dubois this week.

A resident called at about 9 p.m. Sunday to report that the grizzly was on her porch on Bald Mountain Road northwest of Dubois. At about 7:20 a.m. Tuesday, another woman said there was a bear in her neighbor's yard on Mickel Drive in town.

"I'm pretty convinced it's the same bear," said Brian DeBolt, large carnivore conflict coordinator for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

He said the latter call in particular drew his attention, as Mickel Drive is not far from the Dubois downtown.

"(That) gives us a lot of concern," DeBolt said. "West of Dubois it's not unusual at all, along the river there, to have both black and grizzly bears --they use that river frequently. It is unusual for them to wander right through town."

The bear hasn't been aggressive toward any humans, DeBolt said, and it hasn't been rummaging through trash or feed.

"One person that saw it said it just wandered on by (without) a care in the world," DeBolt said Wednesday. "From what we know, it's just passing through. Hopefully, it's moved on. But if not, we'll deal with it."

If the grizzly seems to be making a home for itself in the area, DeBolt said he'll try to trap it. At that point, officials would decide whether to release the bear elsewhere or euthanize it.

"We look at all the problems we've had up to that point that we may or may not be able to attribute to that bear," he said. "We look at sex, age, physical condition and all that stuff then determine (what to do)."

Based on witness statements, DeBolt said the animal weighs about 200 to 300 pounds --"relatively small" for a grizzly.

If anyone sees a bear in town, DeBolt said the animal should be left alone. He warned residents to be vigilant, especially at dusk and dawn when bears are most active.

"If people are out and about after dark you can probably be aware that you might bump into a bear somewhere, even in town," he said.

He noted that no bears have been seen "on the pavement" in downtown Dubois. The animals are more likely to be spotted along the waterways that run through town.

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