This time of year bird and bow hunters throughout Montana need to be alert for the grizzly bears in the area that are preparing for winter.
"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," said Ron Aasheim, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesman in Helena. "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."
Aasheim recommends hunters, especially archers and many upland bird hunters, carry bear spray.
"Statistically, bear spray is the most effective tool for personal protection in bear country," Aasheim said.
Follow these tips while hunting in bear country:
• carry bear spray and know how to use it,
• avoid hunting alone and avoid hunting in dense cover,
• learn to recognize signs of bear activity,
• after taking a deer or elk, immediately separate the carcass from the gut pile,
• if you must leave the carcass, hang it out of reach of a bear,
• when returning to a carcass, observe the area from a distance for bear activity—including a moved or partially buried carcass,
• if a bear has claimed the carcass leave it alone and contact FWP immediately.