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Springtime on reservation means bears are emerging from dens

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News from CSKT 

The Tribal Wildlife Management Program reminds the public that springtime on the Flathead Indian Reservation means spring bear activity. Both black bear and grizzly bear are yearlong residents, and once the weather begins to warm up, you can expect to start seeing signs of bear activity.  

According to Tribal Wildlife Biologist Stacy Courville, all of the management program’s activated collared grizzly bear females are showing locations already in the valley or working their way down to the valley.

While recreating on the reservation, we strongly encourage people to carry bear spray. Bear spray should be readily accessible, and the user should know how to properly use it. Studies show that the proper use of bear spray is the best method of protection. Hiking in groups and making noise, especially in dense vegetation or near running water, is strongly suggested to prevent an unexpected encounter. Please be bear aware and respect bears in their natural space.    

We ask residents to keep attractants such as garbage and pet food in bear-safe containers. Bear proof garbage containers may be available in your area. We suggest contacting your local garbage service. Birdfeeders can also attract bears. We suggest only feeding birds during the winter months when bears are sleeping. Hummingbird feeders and barbeque grills during the summer months can also attract bears to your home.  

Chickens and other small livestock such as pigs, goats, and sheep can create problem bears. We ask residents to use electric fence properly to protect and secure their small livestock and feed. For more information on securing bear attractants and preventing conflicts, please call the Tribal Wildlife Management Program at 406-883-2888.  

If a grizzly bear is observed, please report it to the Wildlife Management Program at 406-883-2888. Report bear conflicts or problems to Tribal Law and Order Dispatch at 406-675-4700. When calling regarding a bear, always tell Tribal Dispatch you are calling about a bear problem or conflict.  

 

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