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Grizzly bear captured near Dupuyer after preying on livestock - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Grizzly bear captured near Dupuyer after preying on livestock

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A grizzly bear, similar to the one pictured, was captured over the weekend in connection with attacks on cattle (MTN News) A grizzly bear, similar to the one pictured, was captured over the weekend in connection with attacks on cattle (MTN News)

GREAT FALLS - A large male grizzly bear was captured over the weekend west of Dupuyer, and euthanized on Monday, after consultation with the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  

The capture was conducted by specialists from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the USDA Wildlife Services.

The bear was removed in response to recent cattle depredations in the area. 

The incident is one of several involving grizzly bears along the Rocky Mountain Front and adjacent plains in recent weeks. FWP has recently responded to reports of grizzlies showing up in and near Choteau, Valier, Conrad, Dutton, Augusta, and Ledger looking for food. 

FWP said in a press release that bears are very active this time of year across Montana as they try to put on weight prior to hibernation. This can put bears in conflict with people and livestock. 

As in years past, bears are using river and creek bottoms as travel corridors. In their search for food, they’re eating fruit out of trees and off the ground, spilled grain, corn in fields and livestock carcasses. 

“This time of year, it’s critical that people secure attractants – put away bird feeders, clean up grain around silos, pick up fruit from under your tree and make sure your pet food is inside,” said Gary Bertellotti, FWP’s Region 4 supervisor. “If you have bear problems or see bears, please call us right away.”

Bear country can be anywhere in the western half of the state and sometimes beyond. Recently grizzly bears have shown up in places they haven’t been for decades, maybe even in more than a century – the Highwood and Big Belt Mountains, for instance. 

This is also the time of year when bears move off seasonal sources of food, like berries and chokecherries. Livestock in and around these sources of food become more susceptible to depredation as bears look to put on weight for the winter. 

Additionally, archery and bird hunters who are hunting in these areas need to understand they could be in close proximity to bears even if they’re miles away from the Rocky Mountain Front. This is a critical time of year to be bear aware – FWP recommends that people do not hunt alone, carry bear spray and be ready to use it, and, if possible, make plenty of noise in areas where visibility is limited, even in areas where you wouldn’t expect bears.

Grizzly bears are currently listed on the Endangered Species List in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which includes the Rocky Mountain Front and points further east. Though the population in the NCDE has reached recovery goals, the federal delisting process for the population is just getting underway. 

With the federal protections in place, FWP coordinates all bear management activities with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

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