HELENA – Human-bear conflicts increase in fall as bears gorge in preparation for hibernation and people take to the woods for archery and rifle hunting seasons. We had an unfortunate reminder of that fact last weekend, when a pheasant hunter was seriously injured after a surprise encounter with a bear near Choteau.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is hosting two virtual bear safety training events, followed by two bear spray give-away opportunities in Bozeman and Helena. Links for the ZOOM sessions are included below.

The FWP virtual bear safety events are focused on bear awareness for hunters and will cover bear safety, biology, conflict prevention, responding to bear encounters, handling carcasses in bear country, and how to use bear spray. The two events will be held Oct. 14 and Oct. 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Virtual presentations are free and open to anyone. Each event will cover the same material.

To attend the virtual training on Oct. 14, click here:

To attend the virtual training on Oct. 24, click here:

 If you are interested in learning more about hunting safely in grizzly bear country and can’t  make it to one of these events, you can watch a recording of the “Bear Safety for Hunters” presentation here:

Hunters can expect to see grizzly bears in the western half of Montana. Preventing conflicts with bears is easier than dealing with them. Storing food and other attractants properly helps keep you safe and bears away from camp. Prepare for bear country by carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it. Learn what to do if you have a bear encounter and communicate with your companions about how to respond if you have a bear encounter.

More bear safety information can be found on the FWP website..

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