Grizzly bear activity along the Rocky Mountain Front continues in October as bear specialists with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks have captured one bear just south of Choteau eating fruit near homes and are looking for another bear that has been coming into town also looking for food.
A 3-and-a-half-year-old male grizzly, weighing 399 pounds, was captured Monday night just south of town. It had been feeding on buffalo berries along the Teton River, but moved into the edge of Choteau to eat plums and apples in yards.
The bear will be relocated far north on the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest along the Continental Divide.
A large male grizzly bear was captured over the weekend west of Dupuyer, and euthanized on Monday, after consultation with the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The capture was conducted by specialists from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the USDA Wildlife Services. The bear was removed in response to recent cattle depredations in the area.
FWP is also trying to trap another young grizzly in Choteau that has been feasting on apples in yards.
In recent weeks, FWP bear specialists have responded to reports of bear activity and livestock depredation at several locations along the Front and around communities east on to the prairie. People have reported bears getting into spilled grain, corn fields and fruit trees.
This time of year, as bears look to put on weight in anticipation of winter, it’s critical for people to secure their attractants, keep fruit picked up off the ground and make sure pet food is put inside.
In recent years, grizzlies have wandered out onto the prairie away from the Rocky Mountain Front, following streams and river bottoms, including the Sun, Teton and Marias rivers.
With bird hunting and deer and elk archery season under way, hunters along the Front, especially in riparian areas, need to be aware they are in bear country.
Hunters moving through thick brush along streams during the big game season could encounter a grizzly well into November. FWP recommends hunters carry bear spray and be ready to use it at all times. Statistically bear spray offers better personal protection than a sidearm when faced with a charging bear.