Free Bear Spray Offered to Some Montana Hunters
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks is trying to get a public safety message out about bears to hunters and hikers in Western Montana. FWP spokeswoman Vivica Crowser says there are particular areas to avoid.
"It's been pretty busy here over the past month or so, we've had lots of reports of bears in various places. The spots you really want to watch out for are those areas where there are late berry crops that are still lingering, fruit trees with fruit on the ground, or areas with dense brush, where you might surprise a bear."
Hunters in some of the block management areas of the Blackfoot this year will receive free bear spray with their permits, but everyone needs to take precautions.
"Bears are still out and very much active throughout most of the Fall hunting season. It's a priority to us to make sure that hunters are aware of that, to give them the tools that the need, just having those bear safety tips on the top of their minds, and having bear spray and knowing how to use it."
An average about 100 cans of bear spray are given away to Montana hunters each year. Those cans are paid for out of a discount offered by bear spray manufacturer Counter assault and donations from the Montana chapter of the Sierra club.