Skip to comments.Grizzly mauls sheepherder; kills dogs, sheep
Posted on 09/15/2009 2:27:56 PM PDT by jazusamo
After what could be the first grizzly bear attack on a human in the Upper Green, a 46-year-old sheepherder was life-flighted to Idaho Falls early Monday morning after being seriously mauled.
The grizzly began its rampage in the early hours in a sheep herd grazing near Forest Road 617, at the eastern edge of the Gros Ventre Wilderness near Tosi Creek.
The herd is tended by Marcello Tejeda, of Rock Springs, and Jorge Mesa, both of whom were awakened by what they thought was a black bear in the sheep, according to their employer, rancher Mary Thoman of Fontenelle.
Monday, Thoman was concerned for Tejeda and her sheep, which have been harassed by predators all summer, she said.
We have had a nightmare, she said of the W&M Thoman Ranches forest allotments on the Upper Green. Nothing but grizzlies and wolves all summer long.
At 3:30, the Sublette County Sheriffs Office received a call from Mesa that a bear had attacked a man and that an ambulance or doctor was needed to help him, according to preliminary reports.
Thoman said they have always had problems with black bears getting into the sheep but the grizzly situation has been worsening since 1998 when she said grizzlies were moved into that area from elsewhere.
The dogs were raising heck and they thought it was a black bear, Thoman said her sheepherder told her.
This was a grizzly sow with one cub, though, she was told. Thoman said she recently saw a collared grizzly sow with three cubs that had just showed up but didnt know if they were the same animal.
The guard dogs stay with the sheep and protect them as best they can, she explained.
Once they found out a bear was in the sheep the sheepherder (Tejeda) sent his (guard) dog in and the bear killed that one, Bardin related .
Tejeda then sent in another guard dog and apparently was attacked by the bear when he tried to save the second dog, which was killed, he said.
The sheepherder received a seven-inch gash on top of his head, two punctures to the left side of his chest, three claw wounds to the right side of his abdomen and a puncture wound to his right wrist, early reports stated.
This is the first human attack there that I can remember, Bardin said.
Mesa used pepper spray twice to drive the bear away from Tejeda and then called Thoman for help.
Thoman said giving her sheepherders guns to shoot marauding predators isnt a solution or we just have more trouble.
Mesa then notified the sheriffs office, and a team was sent in including an Emergency Medical Services unit, Kendall Valley Fire Departments first-responders, three deputies and a Forest Service officer while Air Idaho, a search-and-rescue team and a doctor were put on standby.
Because of the poor travel conditions, a deputy drove Tejeda and Mesa (who had pepper spray in his eyes) out to a waiting ambulance and they were transported to the Pinedale Clinic.
Mesas eyes were cleaned and Tejeda was airlifted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) in Idaho Falls.
Tejeda was listed in serious condition Monday afternoon, according to EIRMC spokesperson Nancy Browne.
Wyoming Game & Fish team investigated the scene of the attack Monday.
Weve heard this person has been injured and thats our primary concern, said G&F spokesman Mark Gocke. We hope hes all right.
Gocke had no further information Monday but said G&F is participating in the investigation and more details will be forthcoming.
Predators have heavily targeted sheep and cattle on Upper Green permitted grazing allotments this year, according to Thoman.
Most of the publicly confirmed predations are sheep killed by wolves but there are plenty of others in the mountains.
Thoman said she cant put a number to their losses yet, not until the herds are gathered and brought back home.
What they verify doesnt match up, though, she said of investigating agencies.
The trouble is by the time you notify them, if they dont get there within three or four days they cant confirm, she said, adding other animals will feed on the carcasses.
We just have to put up with them, she said. They need to put them away. Theyre just getting too thick.
Thoman said most people dont realize how heavy livestock losses are in the Upper Green and public land managers seem to not care I think theyre just trying to get rid of us (livestock ranchers).
Thoman doesnt plan on giving in to bears, wolves or public agencies lightly, she said. Thoman sheep have grazed on the same allotments since 1978 and her family began ranching before 1900.
It isnt like we just sprang up, she said.
On Aug. 6, Wildlife Services confirmed a grizzly had killed two head of cattle in the Upper Green.
In a slew of late July and August attacks in western Wyoming, wolves killed dozens of sheep, a handful of cattle and a half-dozen guard dogs, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reports.
Recent reports reveal lethal control efforts have removed 10 wolves to date from the Green River Pack and five from the Dog Creek Pack.
Thoman worries that wolves and bears have run the sheep around so much that right now without anyone up there to keep an eye on them, her herds could be scattered throughout the forest.
I suppose well be hunting sheep up there until Christmas, she said.
No one from the Forest Service, which manages the grazing allotments, responded before press time.
“Thoman said giving her sheepherders guns to shoot marauding predators isnt a solution or we just have more trouble.”
An S&W .44 Magnum Mountain Gun could have stopped this from happening.
There’s the only guy around who was happy he was maced. Prayers up.
Yep, I’ll bet the sheepherder in the hospital would have rather had that than pepper spray.
Well, Mary... seems you’ve tried it without guns and have had increasingly “more trouble”.
Sounds like you need to rethink your plan now that you’ve continually had livestock and dogs slaughtered and employees hurt.
Amen! The guy is very lucky he survived.
Grizzly Bears are not known to respond to harsh language.
They should sue their employer for gross negligence.
Very well said. LOL!
The problem comes from the Feds. Killing wolves and grizzly bears even when protecting livestock can bring you harsh penalties. Both are federally protected.
The eco’s who have taken over many DOWs arrest and fine ranchers who shoot bears that kill and eat their livestock.
Part of their plan.
The woman has to be insane to send an unarmed man and some dogs out to face off with bears or wolves.
Who allows this woman to graze up there. She seems not to have any sense whatsoever.
I don’t go out of my house onto the farm unarmed and we don’t even have bears, just coyotes and snakes.
Yes it would as would a .454 Casull, .460 S&W, 500 AE or .458 Winchester Magnum.
You’re right, 30 years ago and before the state game depts were not infiltrated with econuts nor were the feds.
I would prefer a Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 with Garrett’s 540 grain Hammerhead loads. Better penetration than a .458 Winchester with quick follow-up shots. Pretty stout grizzly medicine I think.
You need more penetration that that. A .416 Rigby ought to do the trick.
If I was going on a deliberate grizz hunt, a .416 or .458 would probably be the right medicine. If I was a shepherd and packing strictly for the defensive "close encounter" I think I'd give the nod to a short lever action with a big hole in the muzzle.
I love the .416 Rigby but the .458 Lott is the ultimate killing round for big game. Best gun would be a CZ 550 Safari Magnum in either caliber. On my list of things to buy next year.
More trouble for her from the a$$hole game wardens who are trying to get more wolves and bears in places they shouldn't be, but maybe a lot less trouble for the guy who was hurt.
Sad, isn’t it, that bears and wolves are protected, while the people are not. (same thing goes for timber....we used to have a sawmill in Wyo.)
The “trouble” she meant was probably with the state Fish and Game Dept. I’m sure these animals are protected up one side and down the other, and shooting one would probably land her employee and her in jail. State and Federal wildlife management systems are completely nutz when it comes to protecting predators...they are encouraging a revival of marauding, and the animals have lost their fear of humans.
I bet the dead dogs and sheep would have other thoughts on this as well.
Maybe the O can have a beer sumit with the grizzlies to reason with them to stay away
Yes, that’s it but people do have the right of self defense, the problem lies with having to prove self defense.
“The trouble she meant was probably with the state Fish and Game Dept.”
Shot a grizzly, especially a COLLARED sow with a cub...
there aren’t enough lawyers in Christendom (or on the planet)
to save somebody from the wrath of the US guvmint and their bosses
in the environmental-extremist groups.
Even if it was transparently clear that the shooting was an absolutely
necessary act to save a poor shepard.
A Saiga 12 with a drum and 3” slugs...Maybe some breach loads, expensive yes, but what is your life worth?
Shoot, shovel and shut up.
LOL! I’ll buy the beer.
That was my thought too. I swear this is insane. I visit Spain and the government there stopped sheep ranchers (wool and meat are big products in Spain, where lamb is a popular meat) from shooting wolves. End result? Wolves are now coming down from the Pyrennes, the mountains in Northern Spain. They are suspected in a few deaths of elderly rural people who were out walking in the fields by themselves and were found torn apart and eaten, but the government always blames it on "wild dogs." But there are no packs of wild dogs there and everybody knows it's the protected wolves that did it.
Exactly. No matter what people do, the government will say there is something they could have done other than killing the grizzly. I think we’re living in a completely psychotic upside down world.
So long as the bullet holes indicate the predator is facing the intended snack, things are different than if the predator was shot facing in another direction.
If the bullet holes in the predator are congruent with the snack’s statement that “I feared for my life”, then regardless of the zealotry of the AgencyPersons, any criminal case filed would have to be dismissed.
The ranchers need to find a law firm willing and able to defend such cases. Only then may the predatory beast’s intended snack defend their life as necessary without the fear of criminal law suits by one of the jack booted Scumbos or Scumbalinas in the agencies.
Any employee sending employees into a fight with a grizzly bear with less than an appropriate bear gun is risking a whopper of a law suit.
Pepper spray is a vastly inferior predator repellent than is gunpowder.
Should any ranchers be interested in setting up such a legal defense team, please FR mail me.
Sorry, but the drum won’t handle 3” shells, unless you are referring to the metal drum.
That has a number of problems, according to the forum members.
The plastic drum is for 23/4” shells, and actually only handles 2.40 length shells. That means that even some 23/4 shells won’t fir. Some Wolf shells come to mind.
IMHO, the drum is best for nasty crowd scenes, riots in the Big Sh*tty, or a pack of wolves closing in.
PS Beware of Winchester Universal shells for practice. Supposedly, they wont reliable cycle the Saiga 12.
PPS Reliable 8, 10, and 12 shot mags are available for the Saiga 12. Do not use 3” max loads in the 12 shot mag, due to inertia. Cut it to 8 or 10 rounds.
Dixie makes a superb range of 12 gauge shells, some of which equal or exceed the old Paradox shells.
People are expendable to the feds managing grizzly and wolves. We carry bear spray ini the woods AND A GUN. There are also mountain lions in that area.
That is if you're quick at pulling yourself up off the ground after the previous shot...
We’re having major mountain lion problems here. One got my cat, Dunbar, three weeks ago. My daughter teaches in Wyoming. They had to call all the kids in from recess last week because a lion was spotted near the playground.
I agree with the “shoot, shovel, shutup” principle.
Mary sounds like a real jerk...her sheep won’t last long and no shepards will apply for jobs with her. Hope she goes broke via terminal stupid..
The only trouble I see with your solution is you’d need a back hoe to dig the hole deep enought...My hubby had to bury a couple of dead goats when we were farming and that hold was 4 foot deep..the goat was buried the next day and had already bloated to twice her size...(it was middle of summer) and originally she probably only weighted about 65 pounds...
I wanted to load it with those flamethrower rounds, but that would not be too popular these days what with all the metrosexuals and all... Yet, again, I digress... a flaming blackie running through a tinderbox would be really unsafe.... Desert Eagle????
Yeah, I will admit that the recoil is a bit stout, but in the heat of combat it’s amazing what you can do when you think you’re gonna die.
This is the largest bullet they have tested free on their web site.
Test # JK1
Cartridge : .50 Beowulf Alexander Arms 325gr HP
Test Parameters : Nominal 10% ballistic gelatin block. No barriers present. (15.5x9x9) gelatin block
Block calibration velocity : 573 ft/sec
Block calibration penetration : 3.0 inch
Block calibration temperature : 35.2 degrees Fahrenheit
Block core temperature : 36.0 degrees Fahrenheit
Bullet impact velocity : 1956 ft/sec
Deepest penetration depth : 15.5 inch
Maximum crack diameter : 7.5 inch
Maximum crack diameter location : 5.8 inch
Cavitation depth : 0-14.7 inch
Weapon : Alexander Arms Beowulf Entry; 16.5 inch barrel length
Distance from weapon muzzle to impact face of gelatin block : 10.0 feet
Test site conditions : 69 degrees Fahrenheit, 44% relative humidity
Time out of refrigeration prior to shot impact : 4 minutes
Bullet recovered weight : 271.4gr
Bullet recovered average diameter : 0.798
Bullet recovered length : 0.253
I don’t know if you live in the Rocky Mountains? Many of us who have lived here for many years (35 plus) realize that grazing allotments always involve risk of predation. Some allotments are being eliminated or exchanged for ones located in areas with less predator populations. It makes no sense to respond to this unfortunate accident with anger or political ranting (other comments). If the sheepherders had guns perhaps they would have been able to defend themselves? You have to me a very accurate and fast shot. The adrenaline is bumping and the bear is moving at 35mph or more. Pretty terrifying. In Montana (where I live) some people have been able to ward off bears with guns and some people have had luck with bear spray. Perhaps the sheepherders should have been armed with both? I am a lousy shot so I opt for bear spray. Being a sheepherder is obviously a potentially dangerous line of work and I hope both men recover soon. I also feel badly for the financial loss to the rancher and the death of the dogs. I value wildlife and I value the hardworking people who work the land. There is no easy solution and I have not heard anyone advocating total extermination of bears, although I know a some people would like to get rid of wolves (another issue).
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