Hunters should be alert for bears

Antelope rifle season is in full swing, archery season is still underway and the general big game season starts Oct. 21. It’s important for all hunters to practice bear aware behavior.
In Montana, bear country can be anywhere in the western half of the state and sometimes beyond. Recently grizzly bears have shown up in places they haven’t been for decades, maybe even in more than a century—the Big Belt Mountains west of White Sulphur Springs for instance.
This is also the time of year when bears move off seasonal sources of food, like berries and chokecherries. Livestock in and around these sources of food become more susceptible to depredation as bears look to put on weight for the winter.
Additionally, archery and bird hunters need to understand they could be in close proximity to bears even if they’re miles away from the Rocky Mountain Front or other commonly known grizzly bear habitat, like the greater Yellowstone area.
This is a critical time of year to be bear aware.
Hunters should take every possible precaution when in bear country. In Montana, this is anywhere in the western half of the state.
Most grizzly bears will typically leave an area if they sense human presence. Hunters who observe a grizzly bear or suspect a bear is nearby should leave the area. Always keep the bear in sight as you back away, and leave the area.
For more on bears, visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov; then click Be Bear Aware.

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