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Last month, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials preemptively captured and relocated a subadult grizzly bear to the Blackleaf Wildlife Management Area. The bear was caught north of Conrad near the Dry Fork. It was a preemptive capture because the bear had not caused a conflict under the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines.

Wesley Sarmento, Mont-ana Fish, Wildlife and Parks  (FWP) biologist, asks area residents to “please report any bear activity that occurs at your residence. We need to track these bears that come close to homes to keep people safe. If bears are going around to homes there may be a need to capture those bears. Call 450-1097 when there is a bear close to your home,” he advised.

The Montana FWP Prairie Bear Monitor Facebook page posted the following alerts of bear activity during the past three weeks.

June 30

Single feeder hog depredation by grizzly occured during the evening near the Marias river Sullivan Bridge north of Valier. FWP officials responded to the situation.

June 24

Single bear observed at Rock City Road and Sullivan Bridge Road intersection during the vening hours. The bear was last seen headed west.

June 20

FWP officials investigated a report of bear scat in Conrad today. At first glance it appeared to be bear, but after closer examination we determined it was horse scat. The smell test is 100% accurate. The neighbors also observed escaped horses the day prior.

June 19

Three bears observed off the Bullhead Road near the Bullhead Creek.

June 18

Two bears were observed last night at 3 a.m. walking along canal west of Lake Frances.

June 16

Single bear observed off Highway 44 near the Dupuyer Creek Bridge.

June 14

Female grizzly and two cubs were observed on the west end of Midway Road, which is northeast of Pendroy. 

FWP pre-emptively captured and relocated a sub-adult grizzly bear to the Blackleaf Wildlife Management Area. The bear was caught north of Conrad near the Dry Fork. It was a pre-emptive capture because the bear had not caused a conflict under the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee guidelines. 

Officials were permitted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to preemptively capture this bear because residents had their attractants secure, yet the bear was still frequenting areas near homes and was not responding to aversive conditioning. Due to these factors there was a high likelihood that the bear would come into conflict and therefore we preemptively marked and moved the bear. She was a small animal – 142 pounds – and young. 

June 12

Three small bears were observed near the intersection of Rock City Road and Beaverhead Road, which is north of Valier.

Another bear was observed about one mile northwest of the intersection of the Conrad-Dupuyer Road and Dry Fork Road, which is northwest of Conrad.

June 11

The two bears that were hazed away from the Lake Frances campground this morning were both observed west of the lighthouse at 9:30 a.m. 

FWP hazed a grizzly bear on the west end of Lake Frances this evening. It came close to homes while following the canal and then fled into brush at the inlet after aversive conditioning. 

Due to its nearness to people FWP officials consequently hazed the bear to help it associate people/homes with risk, which will help keep it away from people. It’s safer for both bear and person when bears fear people.

A bear was also observed near the Lake Frances gravel yard. Officials were quick to respond and had two trucks patrolling, but did not see the bear.

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