Over the course of the past week, a few troubling incidents have occurred involving black bears. On Tuesday, September 29, 2015 an elderly woman was attacked in her home by a bear, only a few days after two black bears were euthanized by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks because they had become food-conditioned. Here at Fort Musselshell Outfitters, we would like to stress how important it is not to feed wildlife.
The feeding of wildlife has many unfortunate effects, including injury to humans and animals alike. When you feed a wild animal, it becomes dependent on human food sources, harming its ability to survive in the wild and making it a danger to you and other individuals in the area.
With black bears across Montana preparing for hibernation, an increase in activity has occurred as they search for food. Hunters and bear country residents alike should take steps to keep their campgrounds and homes safe. Residents: Keep windows closed while you’re cooking or out of the house. Hunters and campers: Be sure to keep food away from where you are sleeping and out of reach of bears. After a successful deer or elk hunt, use caution when approaching or returning to a carcass and remove it from the area as quickly as possible.
If you see a bear near your home or while you are out in the field, do not approach it. Instead, follow these guidelines from Montana FWP to protect yourself. Also keep bear pepper spray on hand in case of a close encounter.
The fall black bear hunting season began on September 15 and runs until November 29. Learn more about the quota status and regulations here.
Remember that feeding bears is illegal and dangerous, to you and others. Especially during the fall months, pay attention to your surroundings while hunting and be careful of where you keep your food to prevent a potentially dangerous encounter with a bear.