This time of year, there are lots of bow hunters in the woods. At the same time, grizzly bears are preparing for the winter season. This isn’t anything new to veteran hunters, but it is important to avoid confrontations with grizzlies.
If you don’t carry a firearm, another effective tool for personal protection is bear spray. But don’t just keep it in the top of your backpack, it should be within reach. Remember the small 8 ounce bottles, only spray for about four seconds, so obviously, don’t miss.
Here are some other pointers to avoid bears:
- Try to avoid hunting alone
- Try to avoid walking through dense cover
- Pay attention to signs of bear activity
- After killing a deer or elk, immediately separate the carcass from the guts
- Hang the carcass, if you have to leave it overnight
- When returning to the carcass, look for any bear activity
- If a bear claimed the carcass, leave it and contact FWP
Ron Aasheim, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesman had to say:
“Each year we urge hunters to avoid riparian areas with dense cover because that’s where grizzly and black bears seek berries and other food. Just like many hunters, bears like the cover. Hunters need to expect to see and possibly encounter bears, so be smart, be alert and hunt the edges. Don’t get into the dense cover.”
Also, general rifle season in Montana begins Sept. 15 to hunt black bear, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and moose .