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Montana FWP Euthanizes Grizzly On Rocky Mountain Front

Montana FWP Euthanizes GrizzlyA grizzly bear that had been feasting on cattle along the Rocky Mountain Front near Rogers Pass was captured and killed last week.

The five and a half year old male grizzly had spent 10 days along the South Fork of the Dearborn River, killing three large heifer calves and a cow.

The 612-pound bruin was captured by the USDA Wildife Services and euthanized on October 7 by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, says game warden Bruce Auchly.

"It hung around occupied ranch homes, buildings, corrals. It had associated humans with food reward. And being a male, it was felt best to remove it from the population than move it to another part of the state,” Auchly says.

So far this year there have been 32 grizzly bears mortalities in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem.

The cold and snow from the recent winter storms has led to the loss of some of the bear’s natural autumn food source, like chokecherries, so the bruins are looking for other food, like harvested big game, livestock and garbage, to consume the 20,000 daily calories they need to prepare for hibernation.

This Saturday pheasant season opens and Auchly reminds bird hunters to be bear aware.

“Pheasants are going to be in riparian areas and brushy areas down along streams and creek bottoms along the Rocky Mountain Front and bears are also going to be in those areas,” Auchly says.

Auchly reminds hunters to carry bear spray, even if they have a firearm. Statistically bear spray works better and Auchly says in an encounter between hunter and bear, both have a better chance of survival.

Copyright 2019 Yellowstone Public Radio

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.
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