It cannot be emphasized enough that western Montana is shared with black bears and Grizzly bears. FWP wants to remind hunters that you may be stalking the same prey as Grizzly and black bears.
Below is the latest FWP report for hunters to be bear aware:
With Montana’s upland game bird season and bow hunting season in full swing—remember that slow moving, quiet and camouflaged hunters are sharing the landscape with the state’s even stealthier bears that may be stalking similar prey.
It may not be an encounter one hopes for, but it is one all hunters must expect.
Grizzly bears are found throughout western Montana, not just the Rocky Mountain Front, Bob Marshall Wilderness complex and the Yellowstone ecosystem. Black bears also range widely across the state.
Upland game bird hunters and archers hunting in bear country should:
- carry bear spray and know how to use it.
- hunt with a partner and let someone else know your plans.
- get harvested big game out of the woods quickly.
- upon returning to a site where harvested game is left unattended, study the site at a distance for any movement or changes and signal your approach by making plenty of noise.
- never attempt to frighten or haze a bear from a carcass.
- contact FWP if a bear has consumed a carcass or covered it with debris rendering it unsalvageable.
For more on bears, go to the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov choose “For Fish & Wildlife Information” and click on Be Bear Aware. Bear resistant products are described on the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s website at www.igbconline.org. A “How to Hunt Safely in Grizzly Country” brochure is also available at FWP regional offices.
(Report by Montana FWP; Cover photo: telegraph.co.uk)