september, 2017

10sepallday13alldayRange Rider Trainings: Proactive Management for Minimizing Livestock Loss Due to Grizzly Bear and Wolf Predation

Event Details

Tom Miner Basin, Montana

Sponsored by:Tom Miner Basin Association, Western Sustainability Exchange & Natural Resources Defense Fund


This four-day class is designed to provide experience and background knowledge for ranchers, and others, who are interested in beginning or working with a range rider program to proactively minimize livestock losses due to predation. This class combines the fields of ranching and wildlife management/conservation, two fields that have historically and often opposed one another, with the intent of seeking creative solutions for moving forward on today’s landscape. Through a combination of classroom time, discussion, presentations and field time, we will introduce participants to progressive and innovative practices available to ranchers and wildlife managers and provide them with first hand experience applying these practices in the field.


The course will take place on the Anderson and B Bar Ranches in Tom Miner Basin, Montana. 


  • June 6th-9th, 2017
  • September 10th-13th, 2017

Participants and Cost

  • Class Size: Class size will be limited to 20 participants. 
  • Registration Fee: Cost is $600/person. This includes lodging, meals, snacks, transportation during the class and all necessary equipment and livestock to be used during the class. 
  • Deposit: A $300/person deposit is due at registration. The remaining $300/person is due on the first day of the training.
  • Cancellation Policy: Any deposit refund request prior to May 15, 2017 will be subject to a $50 administrative fee. No refunds will be issued at the May 15th date.


To register, please:

  1. Email your registration request to:  Lill at or register on line at
  2. Mail a 50% deposit to:

Western Sustainability Exchange

PO Box 1448

Livingston, MT 59047

Please note “Range Rider Training” in the subject line

Registration Fee $600/person

50% Deposit ($300/person) due at registration. Remaining 50% due at sign-in


Itinerary (order may change but content will stay the same)

Day 1

11-12 pm Arrival at B Bar Ranch

12 pm Lunch

Welcome and Overview of Tom Miner Basin and the B Bar and Anderson Ranches 

1pm  Classroom Session

Presentation:  The Importance of Feel

2:30 Field Session

Field:  Horse and Cattle work in Corrals

4:30 pm Free Time

6 pm Dinner

7:15 Evening Classroom Session 

Presentation:  Low Stress Stockmanship and the Holistic Approach

  • Grazing Practices and Holistic Resource Management
  • Bud Williams’ Low stress stockmanship

9:15 pm Conclude Evening 

Day 2

7:30 a.m. Breakfast

8:30 a.m. -12:30pm Field Session

Field:  Low Stress Stockmanship—cattle work in corrals and pasture

1 pm Lunch

1:30-4:30  Classroom Session

Presentation:   Predators and Prey

  • Wolf hunting behavior
  • Wolf pack dynamics
  • Bear hunting and feeding behavior 
  • Prey Defense strategies
  • Factors that allow Prey to out-compete predators
  • Factors that allow predators to out-compete prey
  • Cattle as prey
  • Co-mingled herds and predation
  • Different breeds of cattle and predation
  • Different age classes of cattle and predation
  • Sheep


Presentation:  Wolf and Bear Policy and Management

4:30 p.m. Free Time and Social Hour

6 p.m. Dinner

7:15 p.m. Evening Classroom Session

Presentation: Lethal removal and habituation

  • When and why it works and when and why it does not
  • What lethal removal means for achieving a collaborative approach

Day 3

7:45 a.m. Breakfast

8:30 a.m  Classroom Session

Presentation: Starting a Range Riding Program

  • Collaboration:  Partnerships between unlikely groups
  • The role of the state and federal agencies
  • The role of NGO’s
  • The role of the range rider
  • Your day as a range rider
    • Strategies 
    • Timeline
    • Goals
    • Responsibilities
      • Communication Protocol
      • Observation and Documentation
  • Economic Costs and Benefits of a Range Rider Program

11a.m.-4p.m.  Field Session (with Lunch in the field)

Field: Tracking  **(Hiking)

  • Wolves, Grizzly Bears and other species
  • Dens, Travel routes, patterns
    • Hazing and Conflicts


  • Safety in the mountains
  • Decisions Making
  • Protocols and communication plans

Field Equipment

  • Field Cameras, set up and management
  • SPOT, GPS, Bear Spray, hand held camera, Radios 
  • ATV/UTVs  safety and operation 


  • Necropsy (initial assessment, signs of attack or death due to other causes)
  • Safety around carcasses
  • Carcass removal techniques, equipment and options for different scenarios


  • Fladry, set up and maintenance
  • Electric fence, set up and maintenance

4:30 p.m. Free Time/Social Hour

6 p.m. Dinner

7:15 p.m. Evening Campfire Discussion

Day 4

8 a.m. breakfast

8:45 a.m. Morning Field Session

Field:  Collaboration (Team Building with Horses)

10:30 am Wrap Up Discussion

12 p.m. Lunch

1 p.m.  Depart Ranch


september 10 (Sunday) - 13 (Wednesday)

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