There has never been a better time to be a big game hunter in southeastern Montana. For the past several years, the black bear population throughout the area has been quickly rising. In fact, the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission has decided to double the harvesting quota to eight for this hunting season. For the past several years, the fall quota for black bears has been consistently met. However, no one has yet to meet the spring quota.
Because of the increase in bear sightings, many experts suspect that the black bear population is far larger than previously estimated. In fact, the average age of bears is projected to be higher than once thought, due to many bears continually surviving hunting seasons.
In addition to the 20 legal black bear harvests that have been reported since 2006, there have been six additional harvests throughout the last decade. In some instances, farmers were forced to kill black bears due to the animals harassing their crops and livestock. Because these are incidental, they do not count towards the seasonal quota.
Even though the black bear population has been rising for several years, no one is predicting that growth to slow down any time soon. They are quickly spreading throughout the region while at the same time becoming more densely populated. If you are a big game hunter, you can take part in the spring harvesting quota. For all of the right gear that you’ll need for the job, you can always trust Fort Musselshell Outfitters when it comes to your big game hunting needs.
*Image courtesy of United States Department of Agriculture