Guard dogs fix some, not all bear problems at Avon ranch

Editor’s note:

This story is part of the Lee Enterprises series “Grizzlies and Us.” The project examines the many issues surrounding the uneasy coexistence of grizzly bears and humans in the Lower 48, which have come  into focus in recent years as the federallyprotected animal pushes farther into human-occupied areas. The 10-part series, comprised of more than 20 stories, was produced by outdoor reporters and photojournalists across the Rocky Mountain West.

 

Rancher Brian Quigley doesn’t beat around the bush — he believes it’s time to take a firm hand with grizzlies.

“Problem bears, regardless of whether it’s a sow or a boar or whatever, need to be shot,” he said.

He isn’t advocating for extirpation of the species, however. And he’s willing to fight fur with fur – employing a pack of specially bred guard dogs to defend his cows.

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“The grizzly bear has as much a right to be here as you, me and anybody else. When they start destroying my property, and they’re killing my livestock, they’re in violation of my constitutional right,” he said.   

American jurisprudence has found wildlife are a public trust, belonging to all Americans, however. That builds tension between

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