August 9, 2017

Grizzly bears and me

Posted by: Jennifer Fisher

Grizzly bears and me

A lot of press has gone out recently on the 50 year anniversary of the Night of the Grizzlies (two human deaths). I appreciate the perspective provided in this article by Chris Peterson.

I am a native of Montana just as the grizzly bears are native. When a visitor says "I want to see a bear", my mind adds a selection of caveats for them "if I am far enough away, if I don't threaten her, if he is not acclimated to human food, if she doesn't have a cub with her, if I'm not holding a full bucket of huckleberries". I am pleased that grizzly bear populations are growing because it means the habitat is healthy enough to support them. Grizzly bears need a very large home range (50 to 300 square miles for females; 200 to 500 square miles for males). I'm hopeful that grizzly bears and humans can continue to enjoy the majestic landscapes of Montana together. It appears bear spray may support that wish. Since camping as a child along Montana's rivers while dad wielded his fly rod for the elusive trout to the hiking and camping we enjoyed with our boys and now heading to the mountains with friends, I have not met a bear face to face. That is really alright with me. It is enough to know that they are there somewhere (not too close!) and my bear spray is at hand just in case the time has come.

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