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Video Extra: Grizzly bears make their presence known

Posted at 4:28 AM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 06:28:32-04

As spring continues, grizzly bears are increasingly making their presence known along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Brad Hodgskiss shared a video with KTVQ sister station KRTV of seven grizzly bears he saw just southwest of Choteau on Monday evening.

Mike Madel, an Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear management specialist, said last month: “We had reports, sightings and footprints in the last few days indicating maybe four or five or so bears out."

He noted that the bears emerging from their dens happened a bit later this year than usual.

Madel said Tuesday evening that the bears in the video appear to be two family groups, or female grizzly bear relationships, in the open-prairie grasslands.

When bears first emerge from their winter dens they usually spend several days or weeks near the den sunning themselves. Then they move down in elevation to search for food in lower elevation riparian areas.

People who live on ranches and in communities on the Front should take the normal precautions common each spring: store garbage securely and take down bird feeders.

In addition, recreationists, like shed antler hunters, should carry bear spray.

“People should be cautious in dense riparian areas and carry bear spray,” Madel said.