Hunters, Be Prepared for Bears

Hunters, Be Prepared for Bears

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

MALTA, Mont. –-( With upland bird, archery and backcountry rifle seasons underway, hunters should be prepared for what to do in case of a bear encounter.

“This is the time of year when bears are in a constant search for food before winter, and hunters should be extra careful, particularly in areas with dense cover where you can surprise a bear at close range,” said James Jonkel, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 2 Bear Management Specialist.

Hunting is a prime time to encounter a bear.

Hunters should follow these tips in bear country:

  • Always carry bear spray, have it close at hand and know how to use it.
  • Hunt with a partner or let someone know your plans and periodically check in.
  • When field dressing the carcass, keep your can of bear spray within easy reach.
  • Get harvested game out of the woods quickly.
  • Carry a lightweight tarp or space blanket to put the entails on and pull them well away from the carcass and then cover the carcass with the tarp to reduce the scent, if the carcass is left unattended.
  • When returning to a site where harvested game is left unattended, study the site at a distance for any movement or changes and signal your approach by making plenty of noise.
  • Do not attempt to frighten or haze a bear from a carcass.

If a bear finds a carcass unattended and is eating it or has covered it with debris and it is not salvageable, contact FWP.

For more on black bears, got to the FWP website at on the Wild Things page and click on Living With Wildlife.

A “How to Hunt Safely in Grizzly Country” brochure is also available at FWP regional offices.

Montana 2010 Black Bear Regulations