A couple of recent grizzly bear incidents has Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks sending reminders about living in bear country.
Monday, the agency reported a black-bear hunter from Pennsylvania had misidentified a grizzly he allegedly shot and killed on May 20 in the Swan Valley. The adult male weighed 500 pounds and was believed to be around 18 years old. The hunter reported the incident to the FWP. He was licensed to hunt black bear and was hunting in-season when the incident happened.
Grizzly bears cannot be legally hunted in Montana.
“The hunter told FWP game wardens that he mistakenly identified the animal as a black bear,” the agency said in a news release. “Hunters are always reminded to learn how to identify bears, be absolutely sure of their target and, if in doubt, don’t shoot.”
It is unknown if the hunter faces any charges.
Black-bear hunters in Montana are required to pass a bear-identification test before purchasing a license, the state said.
Watch Below: These grizzly bear cubs grab a ride across the water on the Agulowak River in southwest Alaska
Video by Dave Roseman
On Wednesday came the report of the death of a young female grizzly after it had gotten into insecticides in an open garage in north-central Montana. The sub-adult bear was about 143 pounds, and died within hours of ingesting the chemicals, the agency said.
The bear had been seen in recent weeks with a sibling, which state bear specialists have been trying to trap after reports it had been getting into pet food and grain spills south of the Teton River.
FWP says it has been getting many recent reports of grizzlies on the plains east of the Rocky Mountain Front:
“Bears in search of food can get into grain spills, garbage, pet food, bird seed and other attractants. FWP bear specialists recommend that people make sure any attractants are put away or cleaned up to prevent bears from being drawn to homes.
“FWP also recommends safely scaring away bears that come near homes. For example, using a vehicle and loud noises to scare away bears from homes are good techniques that can keep people safe. However, the bears must be uninjured in the process because they are still a federally protected species.”
NOTE: FWP is holding a community meeting in Fort Benton at 7 p.m. June 13 at the elementary school (1406 Franklin Street) to discuss general bear awareness and answer questions from the public.