A responsible Utah gun owner went camping with his wife over the holiday weekend, as one does. And he heard that there were grizzly bears in the area, as one does. So he decided to start indiscriminately firing off his gun, as one does:
“The individual heard that there were bears in the area and he thought that he was supposed to make noise,” Grand Teton park spokeswoman Denise Germann said Monday. “But my understanding is that they did not see any wildlife or shoot any wildlife. He shot at a tree twice.”
If he was camping in the nearby Bridger-Teton, the Utah man would have been legally firing his weapon. But the couple wasn’t clear on their location.
“They thought they were in the national forest camping,” Germann said, “but they were actually in the park.”
The incident happened within Grand Teton’s boundaries along Bailey Creek Road, she said.
While making noise when moving around in grizzly country is standard best practice, discharging a gun as a deterrent is not advised. Come fall, gunshots actually have a dinner-bell effect that attracts some grizzlies that have learned to feed on gut piles from hunter-killed ungulates.
Grand Teton’s avid wildlife watching community didn’t hesitate to berate the Utahn’s decision-making.
I’m going to guess alcohol was involved in this one. What really amazes me is that if he had been camping in the national forest, this kind of gun idiocy would actually have been legal.
Shaking my head.