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Montana's Spring Bear Season Begins April 15

February 22, 2008.

From Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks:

Montana’s spring black bear hunting season begins April 15.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials said all spring black bear hunters must purchase their licenses on or before April 14.  Licenses purchased after April 14 can only be used for the fall black bear season. Black bear hunters are limited to only one black bear license a year.

Black bear hunters must successfully complete the FWP bear identification test before purchasing a black bear license. Hunters who have already passed the bear identification test do not need to retake it. However, FWP officials said, to avoid accidental taking of grizzly bears, all black bear hunters are urged to sharpen their bear identification skills each year to better distinguish a black bear from a grizzly.

To take the bear identification test, go to fwp.mt.gov and click on Bear Identification Test under Online Services and complete the training and test. Those who are taking the test for the first time will need to present the printed on-line certificate to purchase a bear license this year. The training and test are also available on paper with a mail-in answer card at all FWP regional offices

Grizzly bears, still a federally protected, threatened species in the Northern portion of Montana, cannot legally be hunted anywhere in Montana.   Hunters should note that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement employees say, based on investigations of human conflicts with grizzly bears since 1992, those who defended themselves with pepper spray during an encounter with a grizzly bear escaped injury most of the time, and experienced briefer attacks and less severe injuries than those who defended themselves with a firearm .   FWP urges hunters and others to carry bear pepper spray when recreating in bear country.

The tentative 2008 black bear regulations are available online on the FWP web site at fwp.mt. gov


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