Now, one from the “I sure hope they’re right” file: The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) is investigating a report of a grizzly bear sighting which took place on Sept. 20 in the San Isabel National Forest near Independence Pass. According to the DOW, the two hunters (one of whom has extensive experience with grizzlies) reported watching a female grizzly bear and two cubs at a distance of about 80 yards for approximately a minute through binoculars and a spotting scope. The bears were observed in a clearing. The hunters were unable to find tracks or scat.
Although grizz haven’t been confirmed in Colorado in a couple of decades, there’s certainly still room for them here, and there’s more than a handful of folks who believe a few still roam the remote backcountry of southern Colorado. If this report is the real-deal, we hope that the DOW will do everything possible to ensure the safety of these bears, to include closing the area to hunters (especially bear hunters) for the season. Grizzly bears are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and it is a federal crime to kill one knowingly.
Click here to go to the DOW press release. We’ll keep this story updated as we learn more.