Posted: May 21, 2013 8:23 PM by Dax VanFossen - MTN News
KALISPELL - Spring is a busy time for just about everyone, but spring is also the time that bears are searching for food, which keeps bear managers pretty well occupied. It seems like those of us living in Western Montana hear more and more about bear activity and the need to manage them.
According to Kalispell Bear Manager Eric Wennum, there is a two part reason for that, there are more bears, yes, but there are also more people. We caught up with Wennum, who was relocating a 4 year-old male grizzly that found its way into Bigfork and into human food.
Wennum told us that every situation is different, and every bear is treated differently, "Early in the season like this I like to try and get ahead of the bear and get him to modify his behavior. So I went ahead and caught him and brought him out here, after we worked him up, and we did what we called a hard release on him, which is where he goes for a bumpy car ride and then when he thinks everything is good, the door gonna go up, the bears gonna step out, and he's home free. We shoot him with bean bags and rubber bullets so he knows all of these costs are associated with people."
In this case, he and his partner hazed the bear to teach it to avoid humans.