Home Forums Campfire Forum Last Colorado Grizzly

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    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      For anyone who every hunts in CO and is interested in the story of the last CO grizzly, killed near here in ’79 by a bowhunter, Denver CBS TV news has a pretty good report, including bits of interview with the guy who killed the bear, Ed Wiseman, both in hospital right after the event, and today, retired to MI I believe.

      http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/05/23/man-recounts-a-fight-for-life-with-colorados-last-grizzly

    • bruc
      Member
      Post count: 476

      Interesting story! Lucky guy!!!

      Hard for me to imagine they can just disappear in all those mountains and gorges, but I guess they did.

      A lot of truth in that toilet paper thing. I really do feel those squares slipping away a lot faster than they used to:wink:

      Bruce

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Dave –

      I recall that wiseman story in the news at the time.

      It made one wonder if their still might be a few Grizz running around the wilderness in the SW. Spiced up some of my wilderness adventures! especially in North western NM.

      Scout

    • JEMBO
      Post count: 29

      In May of ’79 I moved my family from Louisiana to Colorado for some Rocky Mountain adventure. When the story broke it added a new dimension of excitement and mystery to our treks, especially being young bayou transplant.

    • handirifle
      Post count: 409

      I too, remember reading about this encounter, in one of the outdoor magazines, not sure which now, but I remember thinking how fortunate this guys was to have strong arrows and sharp broadheads. They saved his life.

      I also remember thinking he must have been a pretty strong guy to jab that arrow in that hard. I guess when your life hangs in the balance you pull the reserve strength out and use it.

    • redwag
      Post count: 1

      I hunted with Ed Wiseman that same year about 2 weeks before the grizzly attack. It was pretty remote country. Ed was a super nice guy.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      I’m not sure why Colorado grizzlies are suddenly so popular with the local media, but this article is in today’s Colorado Springs Gazette:

      http://articles.outtherecolorado.com/articles/grizzly-1129-darkens-quickens.html

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Well written story — great pix

      who knows — might be a Grizz up there yet———–

      Scout

    • ksbowman
      Post count: 15

      Great thread! I’ve hunted off the Conejeos river near Platoro and it is pretty rough in alot of places. I was lucky enough to talk to Ed Wiseman and listen to him tell his story on the bear attack and I believe every word he said. Ed is a good man and he spoke the truth.

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      I have the Jan 1980 issue of Outdoor Life with the article by Ed Wiseman recounting the event. Has a cool rendering of him fighting the great bear on the cover. I’ll post a pic of it if no one objects.

    • Robin ConradsRobin Conrads
      Admin
      Post count: 907

      I think we’d all like to see that. Post away! 😀

    • Brazos
      Post count: 4

      Thanks for posting the arcticle. I had heard the last grizzly was killed in CO back in the 70’s but never realized there was such a dramatic story behind it. I hope there are some still up there somewhere. Thoughts like that make life richer somehow.

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      OK here it is. Not the best photo but…..

      Cool huh? That mailing address no longer exists. DOT built a road through it.

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Ah Yes –

      the Grizzly’s are always HUGE [in the stories] – and even a small one, would seem that way –if all you had was an arrow to stab em with —

      Scout —

    • vajd
      Post count: 29

      In September of 2010 I hunted alone for elk in Wyoming.

      Near the end of the trip I see some movement up ahead of me, two small brown things runing towards me, the first second I thought that it was peccarys, then moma griz came into view, hump and all I froze they dissapeared into a dip in front of me.

      I tucked into the nearest juniper, they came back into sight but now they thanfully were about 40 yards downhill from me. passed on by without seeing me.:lol: I think see had caught wind of me and was getting her cubs out of there. I’m glad I didn’t come across one before light.

      JD

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Yep, JD, if I were hunting in grizzly areas I’d really keep my eyes open, always wear bear spray and never use a game call. (In Yellowstone, grizzlies kill lots of bulls during rut, ambushing them in their distraction.) In daylight, I love the feeling and have never felt fear even when a grizzly once walked right through out campsite in a MT backcountry area. At night, well, I don’t get much sleep. 🙄

      Here are a couple of pics of “the Wiseman bear,” Colorado’s last “confirmed” (that almost always means dead) grizzly, Sept. 23, 1979, S. San Juan Wilderness, right where it fell. Not a great shot but all that survived; I took it from a 5×7 print. The skull is the same bear and it’s easy to see why it didn’t make short work of Wiseman. A very old bear, around 25, it had horrible teeth and jaws pocketed with abscess and heavy arthritis growths on every joint in its body. Had it been a prime grizzly, Wiseman would not have lasted long.

      attached file
    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Sorry, for some reason I couldn’t get both pics into the same post. Here’s the other …

      attached file
    • Brazos
      Post count: 4

      I would like to believe there are still a few grizzlys roaming around Colorado. When I hunt elk there it does cross my mind. It seems to me if an effort was made to heavily bait out multiple spots in remote wilderness areas with the use of trail cameras a picture would eventually emerge. Trail cameras are relatively new technology. Has the CO Dept of Wldlife looked for grizzlys in recent years?

    • Shane Balow
      Post count: 24

      Who knows if grizzlies still exist in colorado, it took over 20 years since the last grizzly in the 50’s to be spotted. Unfortunetly the grizzly had to be killed and yet thankfully Ed survived. If they do exist I’m happy that they have been able to be unseen, live quietly, but it would be nice if there is a verified spotting we could put them on the endagereed species list! The articles were amazing and i agree with Peterson about reintroducing grizzlies into colorado when i read the article that was recently posted. I’m sure their would also be issues and complaints just like when they reintroduced the wolf population into idaho (i believe that was the state)

      . Thats just my opinion.

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      Man that is quite a story!

      I know the Grizz up here sure make a person more aware. Just last year I was out bunny hunting, around July I think it was, and was 3/4 of the way through walking a rough square of cutlines that would lead me back to my truck. I kept my eyes focused about 25 to 50 yards ahead of me hoping to see rabbits along the edges. Then for whatever reason I lift my head and look further down the line and see this big brown mass about 150 yards away heading in my direction. A quick look through the the seeing glass turned that brown mass into a Grizz sow and two cubs. Didn’t have no weapon on me besides my longbow and knife.

      Fortunately I saw them before she saw me, and the wind was crosswind to us both. Just kinda froze for a moment, not wanting move for fear of her seeing me, and not wanting to stay in their path of travel neither. Lucky for me there was a dip in the line about 100 yards out from me, and when they dropped into that I hopped into the alders and made my way back the way I came.

      Sure made for a memorable bunny hunt!

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Wildschwein –

      great story. Have you seen or heard of many Grizzly working there way east [plains] in your province [Alberta? -I am guessing you are in the foothill area of the Rockies]

      curious

      Scout

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      Actually I live in the north west portion of Alberta, which is mostly muskeg and heavy forest.

      Grizz are considered an endangered species in Alberta, but since the removal of the Grizz season a few years back their numbers seem to be on the increase. At least I see a lot more of them now. At least 4 a season for the last couple years, and I ain’t even looking for them. They are beutiful animals to watch and I can fully understand the desire to re-introduce them to Colorado. Still makes me a bit edgy carrying my longbow in the bush though. Perhaps thats a good thing.

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Wildschwein –

      I did not realize you were that far out in the bush – Way Cool {LITERALLY & Figuratively}, been to Calgery and Banff/Jasper NPs –Beautiful country. What caused the closing of the season? [ do vaguely remember something about that]

      Scout

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      The most oft repeated reason I have heard thus far, is population decline due to resource development and habitat encroachment. Another (but less repeated reason) are landowners who feel the only good Grizz is a dead one, whether it is minding it own buisness or not.

      At any rate the season was lost and we may never get it back again.

      What were the rasons for the extinction of the Grizz in Colorado? Was the situation there much the same as it is becoming here?

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Yes, pretty much the same reasons, with the later of the two -having the most weight. Although David Has studied the CO perspective much more than I – maybe he will comment —

      There has been talk of putting Grizz back in the Gila [I live in NM]but that seems unlikely any time soon, especially with how the “Mexican Wolf” re-introduction has gone.

      Scout.

    • Shane Balow
      Post count: 24

      Wildschwein, now are the grizzly bears the same size as alaskan grizzlies or are they smaller like the colorado grizzly seems (according to the magazine the 1979 grizzly was around 450lbs if i remember correctly). im sure habitat and the abundance of prey is affecting their size? if not can someone enlighten me on the size difference.:?

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      The majority of Grizz I encounter are roughly the same size as the one in the pic from Colorado. None have been anywhere near the size of bigger bears found in Alaska.

      Thats not to say they can’t get big. The biggest Grizz that I heard of in Alberta, was shot by R. Eben in 1944. The estimated wieght of the Grizz was 1000+ pounds, with a 25 6/16ths skull.

      There may have been bigger Grizz killed in Alberta but I have found no evidence of it.

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