August 1-15th Range Rider Update

Bowhunting for antelope has begun in the Valley and bear sightings have increased, so if you plan on hunting, remember to be bear aware and carry bear spray while you’re out in this beautiful country! Bears are not only found in the timber, but out in the sagebrush as well. Good luck! The team has had a busy few weeks, so there is much to report.

Wolf and grizzly bear sign was found in the Sandhills. A calf, on a non-participating ranch, was attacked by a wolf, which was confirmed by Wildlife Services. Black bear sign was seen on the north side of the Valley. A grizzly was spotted by one of our Board Members west of Brundage Lane and another was caught on our Team’s trail camera in the northeastern portion of the Valley. Two moose have been seen: one on the north side and one on the Refuge.

The team has found several cow and calf carcasses throughout the Valley, but none have died due to depredation on participating ranches. Most causes of death have been due to weed consumption, illness, or lightning. In addition, the team has found several sick cows/calves that that subsequently succumbed to their illnesses. While this was unfortunate, the team was able to immediately communicate information to ranchers so that losses had known causes.  

For the first time in over 25 years, a wild bison (thought to be from West Yellowstone) made its way into the Valley. It was first spotted by the Team on North Valley Road just east of the Staudenmeyer corrals, and ended up just east of Brundage Lane on BLM land. Because the Centennial Valley falls within the Designated Surveillance Area for brucellosis, the bison was removed as per the Interagency Bison Management Plan. The meat was donated to food banks in Dillon and West Yellowstone. The Team had eyes on the bison from the time it reached the corrals to the time it was removed, and no interactions with cattle were observed during that period.

Thank you to the Centennial Valley community for your continued support and for reporting wildlife sightings!