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Bear safety training events happening in Big Sky, Bozeman

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FWP to host bear awareness events to teach safety skills

MONTANA FISH WILDLIFE AND PARKS

BOZEMAN – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff will host two bear safety events next week to offer training and hands-on practice with bear spray and other safety resources. 

The first event will be Thursday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the basketball court in the Big Sky Community Park in Big Sky. 

The second event will be Friday, June 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the south parking lot of FWP’s Bozeman office, 1400 S. 19th Ave. 

Both events will include bear displays and safety talks on the hour. The displays include grizzly bear and black bear full-body mounts, skulls, tracks, food storage options, bear spray holsters and more. Participants will have the chance to practice using inert bear spray in a remote-controlled charging bear demonstration. 

FWP staff will be available to discuss bear safety practices, bear biology and how to handle bear encounters. They will provide in-depth training on how to carry and use bear spray. This event is family friendly, and everyone is welcome. 

Bears can be found throughout Montana. In recent years, grizzly bear populations have expanded. People venturing into the outdoors should be “bear aware” by following these precautionary steps:

  • Carry and know how to use bear spray.
  • Travel in groups whenever possible and plan to be out in the daylight hours.
  • Avoid carcass sites and concentrations of ravens and other scavengers.
  • Watch for signs of bears such as bear scat, diggings, torn-up logs and turned over rocks, and partly consumed animal carcasses.
  • Make noise, especially near streams or in thick forest where hearing and visibility is impaired. This can be the key to avoiding encounters. Most bears will avoid humans when they know humans are present.
  • Don’t approach a bear.

For more information on bear safety, visit FWP’s page on bears in Montana at go.usa.gov/xJB6U or visit the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s website at igbconline.org

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