An adult male grizzly bear and a sub-adult female grizzly bear both were captured on Sept. 21 in northwest Montana. The bears were fitted with GPS radio collars and released along the North Fork Flathead River drainage.
The adult male was captured near Coram after killing unsecured chickens at a private residence. The bruin is more than 20 years old and weighs 412 pounds. The bear was first captured in 2004 near Martin City for eating cat food that was left out on a porch. It was recaptured in 2012 for killing two domestic turkeys, again near Martin City.
The bear was released in the Yakinikak drainage near the upper end of Trail Creek.
The 4-5-year-old, 334-pound female grizzly was captured on private property just south of Eureka along the Tobacco River. There had been several observations of a grizzly bear along the river walk on the edge of town. The trail was temporarily closed while traps were set. This grizzly had no previous conflict history and was released in the Shorty/Whale Creek area of the North Fork.
During the last week there have been additional reports of grizzly bears in the Whitefish, Ferndale, and Lake Blaine areas. The hard freezes that have occurred in the last two weeks have caused the huckleberries to start dropping and bears are switching gears to browse other foods.
Some of the grizzly bears have moved to lower elevations where they are finding fruit and attractants that haven’t been secured such as garbage, pet food, bird seed, livestock feed, and poultry. Residents can reduce or avoid conflicts with bears by securing attractants and installing and maintaining electric fencing around fruit trees and livestock. In Montana, it is illegal to feed bears and ungulates.