FWP to host bear awareness workshop on June 13 to teach bear safety skills
BOZEMAN – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff will host a bear safety event next month to offer training and hands-on practice with bear spray and other safety resources.
The workshop will be Tuesday, June 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the south parking lot of FWP’s Bozeman office, 1400 S. 19th Ave.
This event will include bear displays and safety talks on the hour. The displays include grizzly bear and black bear full-body mounts, skulls, tracks, food storage options, bear spray holsters, and a remote-controlled bear spray target. Participants will have the unique opportunity to practice using inert bear spray in a simulated charging bear demonstration.
FWP staff will give away up to 30 cans of bear spray on a first-come-first-served basis to those who attend the first presentation at noon.
FWP staff will be available to discuss bear safety practices, bear biology and how to handle bear encounters. They will provide in-depth training on how to carry and use bear spray. This event is family friendly, and everyone is welcome.
Bears can be found throughout Montana. In recent years, grizzly bear populations have expanded. People venturing into the outdoors should be “bear aware” by following these precautionary steps:
- Carry bear spray, know how to use it, and be prepared to use it immediately.
- Travel in groups whenever possible and plan to be out in the daylight hours.
- Avoid carcass sites and concentrations of ravens and other scavengers.
- Watch for signs of bears such as bear scat, diggings, torn-up logs and turned over rocks, and partly consumed animal carcasses.
- Make noise, especially near streams or in thick forest where hearing and visibility is impaired. This can be the key to avoiding encounters. Most bears will avoid humans when they know humans are present.
- Don’t approach a bear.
- Keep attractants secured and follow all food storage regulations.