Some Upper Clark Fork hunters will receive a free can of bear spray this fall, thanks to local partnerships aimed at spreading the word on bear safety and reducing conflicts.
During hunting season, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is distributing cans and offering on-the-spot training to hunters that would like it. The bear spray is made possible by donations from Defenders of Wildlife, along with discounted prices from the supplier, Counter Assault.
“All of our Block Management Area employees in the Upper Clark Fork will have bear spray with them,” said Kendra McKlosky, FWP Region 2 Access Coordinator. “We are offering cans to hunters that we meet that don’t have bear spray and are interested in learning how to use it.”
FWP Bear Management Specialist, James Jonkel, said that this is the second year that this program will be available to hunters in the Upper Clark Fork area.
“We hope this effort will help more hunters and residents in the area feel comfortable with how to use bear spray,” said Jamie Jonkel, FWP Bear Management Specialist. “We regularly have black bears in the Upper Clark Fork and grizzly bears are becoming more common.”
For many years, FWP and partners distributed bear spray and training in the Blackfoot Valley and is now focusing on more areas around western Montana.
For more information on hunting safety in bear country, visit fwp.mt.gov and click on “Living with Wildlife” and “Be Bear Aware.”