Spring Bear Season Has Finally Arrived

Spring bear hunting seasons provide great opportunities for hunters to get into the woods. Here are some reminders for safety tips around bears.

Spring Bear Season Has Finally Arrived

With spring bear seasons opening it's a good idea for a refresher on safety tips and how to tell the difference between black bears and grizzly bears.

Some states require bear identification tests prior to buying a license. It's always smart to study the differences between the two, even if there is no test. Here's a great chart from the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Division to help distinguish between the two.

Bear Safety and Awareness

Here are some tips from Montana FWP whether you’re bear hunting, shed hunting, hiking, camping or mountain biking in bear country:

  • Always carry bear spray and know how to use it.
  • Never approach a bear. Respect its space and move away.
  • Travel in groups of three or more people whenever possible and plan to be out only in the daylight hours.
  • Make your presence known by talking or other means, especially when near streams or in thick forest where visibility is low. This can be the key to avoiding encounters. Most bears will avoid humans when they know humans are present.
  • Don't approach a bear; respect their space and move off. Remember, female bears are very protective of new cubs.
  • When camping, always secure food attractants, whether it’s in a bear-safe container or by hanging all food, trash and other odorous items well away from camp and at least 10 feet above ground and 4 feet from any vertical support. Keep a clean camp at all times. Never cook or eat in your tent.
  • When hunting, immediately field dress the animal and move the carcass at least 100 yards from the gut pile.
  • When mountain biking, slow speeds around sharp corners and in densely forested areas.
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