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Bears focused on food right now

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Posted at 5:46 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-03 11:55:02-04

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is reminding everyone to be bear aware this fall.

Bears are very active this time of the year as they enter hyperphagia, a time when they continuously eat to prepare for hibernation.

“There is always a risk of a bear encounter and you should be practicing all of those good bear aware strategies,” said FWP Education Bureau Chief Laurie Wolf.”But particularly at this time they’re a little more focused and they’re not paying attention as much as what’s going on around them. So it’s much easier to startle them.”

Homeowners should take precautions around their property by making sure bears aren’t tempted by things like trash, compost or pet food.

Hikers and hunters should always carry bear spray, as it is an effective tool at reducing the severity of a bear attack.

“We know know that grizzly bears can be found anywhere west of Billings, so it’s a really good idea to always carry bear spray when recreating,” said Wolf.

Hunting in pairs or a group is also recommended to help fend off a bear during an attack.

Hunters should take care to quickly field dress any animal they shoot and move the carcass well away from the gut pile.