Hunters: Be Prepared for Bears
by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
October 9, 2005
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks bear biologists say hunters need to take steps to bear proof their hunt by thinking ahead about what they will do if they see a bear.
The likelihood a hunter will encounter a bear is real and it may increase when a game animal is taken with a bow or rifle. Here are precautions that will help to prevent potential conflicts between hunters and bears.
* If you are alone in grizzly country let someone know your detailed plans, better yet, don't go alone.
* While hunting, pay attention to fresh bear sign.
* After making a kill, get the carcass out of the area as quickly as possible.
* Use special precautions in returning to a carcass, including placing it where it can be easily observed from a good distance.
* Do not attempt to frighten away or haze a grizzly that is near or feeding on a carcass.
* Carry bear pepper spray and know how to use it.
* If physically attacked, play dead. Lie face down, covering your neck and head with your hands and arms. Leave your backpack on. Remain still until the bear is gone.
Finally, take time to rehearse various scenarios in your mind in advance. Sports trainers say, "If the mind has never been there before, the body does not know how to respond."
For details on how to hunt safely in grizzly country, check the 2005 Deer, Elk and Antelope Hunting regulations. On the FWP web site, click on Hunting, then Regulations, then click on 2005 On Line Regulations.