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Hunters Must Expect To See Bears

Hunting

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

With Montana's upland game bird season opening Sept.1—and the bow hunting season set to open Sept. 7—remember that slow moving, quiet and camouflaged hunters will soon be 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.