Human-bear conflicts increase in autumn as bears gorge in preparation for hibernation, and people take to the woods for archery and rifle hunting seasons. Elk and deer rifle season opener is Oct. 23, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is hosting two virtual bear safety training events, followed by two bear spray give-away opportunities in Bozeman and Helena.
The virtual bear safety events are focused on bear awareness for hunters and will cover bear safety, biology, conflict prevention, responding to bear encounters, handling carcasses in bear country, and how to use bear spray. The two events will be held Oct. 18 and Oct. 21 from 6-7:30 p.m. Virtual presentations are free and open to anyone. Each event will cover the same material.
To attend the virtual training on Oct. 18, click here:
To attend the virtual training on Oct. 21, click here:
In-person bear spray giveaways will feature a short bear spray tutorial, followed by a free bear spray give-away while supplies last. First come, first served. One bear spray can per person 18 years of age or older.
Bozeman: Wednesday, Oct. 20, 5:30 p.m. at FWP Region 3 office, 1400 South 19th
Helena: Wednesday, Oct. 20, 5:30 p.m. at Montana Wild, 2668 Broadwater Ave.
If you are interested in learning more about hunting safely in grizzly bear country and can’t make it to one of these events, you can watch a recording of the “Bear Safety for Hunters” presentation here: https://youtu.be/tihgSHMHVhA
Hunters can expect to see grizzly bears in the western half of Montana. Preventing conflicts with bears is easier than dealing with them. Storing food and other attractants properly helps keep you safe and bears away from camp. Prepare for bear country by carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it. Learn what to do if you have a bear encounter and communicate with your companions about how to respond if you have a bear encounter.
More bear safety information can be found on the FWP website: