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Grizzly bear confirmed in Montana's Tobacco Root Mountains

Posted at 10:57 AM, Jul 09, 2024

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has confirmed a grizzly in Southwest Montana where there haven't been grizzlies since recovery efforts began.

A private landowner in the southern Tobacco Root Mountains captured a grizzly bear on a trail camera, a first for that mountain range.

The sighting confirms what FWP officials have been saying, that anywhere west of Billings is bear country.

“We do have confirmation for the first time since grizzly bear recovery (there is) grizzly bear presence in the Tobacco Root Mountains,” FWP spokesman Morgan Jacobsen told MTN. “So this in itself is new. But it doesn't change the bear safety practices that we recommend anywhere west of Billings in Montana.”

Expanding grizzly sightings have led to more frequent calls to state wildlife officials from people who venture out.

“A common question that we get from both hunters and other recreationists is they call and say, am I going to encounter a grizzly bear in such and such drainage,” Jacobsen said. “And it’s not a question we can answer other than well you should be prepared for a bear encounter no matter where you're recreating.”

Jacobsen stressed that venturing outdoors is still possible and encouraged. The fact that someone is in bear country only changes how they should be prepared. preparation.

“The last thing we want to happen is for people to think, well there's one more place I can't go anymore. Nothing's further from the truth,” Jacobsen said. “These places are here for people to enjoy and there's so much to enjoy about them. But how you approach that activity, and that visit is important.”

Bear spray, traveling in groups, making noise and situational awareness, such as staying away from kill sites and paying attention to surroundings — are all important. People should be prepared and remember they are in bear country.