A black bear captured on a ranch near the McCone County town of Brockway over the Memorial Day weekend has been moved by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wardens to a new home in the Little Belt Mountains.
FWP Region 6 Warden Todd Tryan of Glasgow received a report from McCone County Undersheriff Lonny Jensen on May 24 that a bear had just been spotted in the Brockway Cemetery.
Tryan immediately headed to the area and eventually located the animal in a scrap woodpile more than three miles north of Montana Highway 200. Area landowners Paul and Chase Gebhardt helped Tryan keep the bear confined to the woodpile until FWP Warden Shawn Briggs of Lewistown arrived with a culvert trap and a dart gun to tranquilize the bear.
The wardens successfully darted the male bear, which was then later released on public land in the Russian Flat area of the Little Belt Mountains southwest of Utica. The bear was released on May 25, after it had fully recovered from the effects of the tranquilizer.
Acting FWP Region 6 Supervisor Steve Dalbey said the bear was relocated from the Brockway area as a preventative measure.
“Lambs and calves were in the vicinity, and it was only a matter of time before the bear found trouble,” Dalbey said.
Tryan said he was very appreciative of the Gebhardts and Jensen for staying around for hours to help contain the bear and prepare it for transport.
Under a “Good Neighbor” statute approved by the 2009 Legislature, all introductions of bears, wolves or mountain lions or translocations of bears must be accompanied by public notification. A listing of all recent actions covered by the law, including last weekend’s Brockway bear translocation, is shown by year and can be found at: http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/livingWithWildlife/relocation/ on the FWP website.