AVON – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wildlife specialists captured and moved a male grizzly bear on May 6 in the Ophir Creek area northeast of Avon.
Over the past month, several grizzly bears have been confirmed in the immediate area, in close proximity to cattle calving grounds on local ranches. A grizzly killed a yearling cow in early April in the vicinity, and bears have continued to remain in the area since then.
Wildlife staff moved the bear out of the immediate area as a measure to help prevent further livestock loss during the spring calving season. They took the 429-pound male to a more remote area in the upper Blackfoot Valley.
Other grizzly bears remain in the area, and FWP is working with local ranches to help secure livestock and other attractants.
Producers can reduce the risk of depredation by electric fencing small calving pastures, pens, and corrals. Distributing livestock away from brushy cover and creeks during the spring and summer when bears frequently travel along these areas can also help. Additionally, putting salt, mineral, and creep feeders out in the open away from brush and water can prevent problems. Removing or electric fencing bone piles can also prevent bears from being drawn in near homes and herds.
In and around towns, attractants can include still other things like pet food, garbage, barbecue grills, and bird feeders. These sorts of items should be secured to prevent attracting wandering bears.
FWP specialists work diligently to help landowners and communities avoid bear conflicts. To reach the FWP west-central Montana bear specialist, call Jamie Jonkel at 406-542-5508. In cases of depredation or wounded livestock, call your local USDA Wildlife Services agent.