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FWP: Grizzlies are out on the Rocky Mountain Front

Posted: 12:33 PM, Apr 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-03 15:28:12-04
A female grizzly digs into a beaver den for food along the Rocky Mountain Front in April 2019. (Courtesy: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)

While spring brings warmer weather, it’s also a sign grizzly bears are emerging from their dens on the Rocky Mountain Front.

Mike Madel, bear management specialist with Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Choteau, flew over the Front April 2 and located eight grizzlies with radio collars and saw five other non-collared bears, according to a press release.

“The collars turn on April 1,” Madel said. “So it’s a good time to fly on the Front and try to locate them.”

He added most bears have emerged from their winter dens in the mountains although some are still near their dens. Most grizzlies are generally lethargic, but looking for food, he said.

The grizzly den, circled in red, is in the Wrong Creek drainage of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. (Courtesy: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)

Landowners and residents along the Rocky Mountain Front are advised to remove attractants that could cause conflicts with bears, according to the press release. Attractants would include livestock feed, bird feeders, pet food, garbage, spilled grain and livestock carcasses.

In addition, recreationists, like shed antler hunters, should carry bear spray.

Wesley Sarmento, FWP bear management specialist in Conrad, said he had not observed any grizzlies but had some reliable reports of bears north of Valier along the Marias River and Birch Creek.

On April 1, the Montana FWP Prairie Bear Monitor reported grizzly activity in the Marias River Valley from Birch Creek down to Interstate 15.

-Information provided by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Region 4