Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bears... They're b-a-a-a-a-c-k!

Around these parts, bears are plentiful. In fact, NW Montana has the highest population of grizzly bears in the lower 48 states. And now they have awakened from their winter slumber, and are on the prowl because they are hungry - very hungry. I has been my experience that bears only bother people when they are grumpy. Unfortunately, they are always grumpy.

They're beautiful creatures to see in the wild, but the are NOT cuddly and cute. Bears awe wild, dangerous, unpredictable creatures and common sense says that you give them a wide berth.

My family lives "out", about 10 miles from Kalispell, Montana. We have many homes, farms and ranches all around us, but we also get visits from bears quite frequently. They are such a problem that for seven months of the year, I have to keep my trash cans behind a bear-proof electric fence.

Just today, two stories hit the wire that illustrate what a problem bears can cause in our area.

Grizzly bear captured after livestock attack

A 425-pound grizzly bear, captured Sunday by a Blackfeet wildlife crew after attacking livestock near Kiowa, was released without incident in Glacier National Park near Polebridge on Monday, park officials said.
This was the 6-year-old bear's first capture and first known offense, officials said. Both grizzly and black bears have been sighted this spring, and officials are reminding visitors... see rest of story

Train kills two bears north of Whitefish

KALISPELL — A train struck and killed two young male grizzly bears about a mile north of Whitefish, state wildlife officials said Tuesday. The collision occurred early Monday along Whitefish Lake, said Tim Manley, a bear-management specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.... see rest of story

The point of this post is to remind you to be bear aware. When you visit this beautiful area, remember to keep a clean camp. Glacier National Park regulations require that all edibles, including pet food, food containers and cookware, be stored inside hard-sided vehicles or in food lockers. Garbage should be placed in bear-resistant containers. A little awareness and preparation will ensure that your visit is a memorable one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good reminder. Always nice to know that a short day hike can turn into a major emergency if one is not careful. I always carry a walking stick with little bells on a cord that jingle as I walk through the trails. Just that little extra noise to announce myself to unseen bears. And I ALWAYS carry bear spray. See you on the trail [Billy D]