TheВ Division of Wildlife Resources plans to go “bear denning” Saturday morning, with ETV10news.com in tow. Brad Crompton will be leading the group as head biologist.
About a year ago the DWR presented a news article explaining the reasons for denning.
“The reason we do bear denning is because they are a very difficult animal to observe,” Conservation Outreach Manager Brent Stettler said. “We trap them and affix radio collars for several reasons. Radios help us learn where they go, how far they move, what foods they eat, the habitat they associate with, how long they live, what the causes of mortality are, how many cubs they give birth to, etc.”
Stettler went on to describe how important the radio collars are in the study.
“These radio-telemetry studies, when applied statewide, help us determine general trends in the statewide population and general data concerning all of the elements mentioned in the previous paragraph,” he said.
With Crompton having located the den already the expedition should take less time making the trip more successful. In a meeting earlier with Crompton, Stettler was informed of the conditions and distances they would be travelingВ duringВ the course of the day.
“As we viewed the den site together, using a topographic map, it appears that the distance from the asphalt road to the den is approximately 1.5 miles as the crow flies,” he said. “The actual hiking distance will be considerably longer, because we will need to cross several drainages to get to the den. That may lengthen the hike by .5-1 mile.”
The steep and uncertain terrain will make the expedition more difficult.
“The elevation gain from the highway to the den is 1,000 feet, although since drainages must be crossed, the elevation gain and loss will change along the way,” Stettler said. ” Brad thinks the hike will take about two hours one way. Part of the terrain may be muddy, snowy or icy, depending on the elevation and exposure to the sun.”
He also explained that the bear may have a cub, so the members of the group will need to be cautious.
The Division’s black bear management goal is to manage Utah black bear populations consistent with habitat, biological and social constraints and to meet the needs of the resource and the resource user.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife Resources is to serve the people of Utah as trustee and guardian of the state’s wildlife, and to ensure its future and values through management, protection, conservation and education.
You can watch exclusive footage of the bear denning expedition Wednesday on ETV Channel 10. The channel is only found on Emery Telcom’s cable service and will start at 6 p.m.