Grizzlies killed after upper Blackfoot conflicts

Joshua Murdock

Two grizzly bears were killed by wildlife managers near Ovando this week after a series of conflicts with humans across the upper Blackfoot Valley this summer.

Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced Friday afternoon that officials killed the bears during the past week after at least 10 conflicts that began around mid-July near Ovando and Woodworth, an area about 4.5 miles east of Salmon Lake approximately between Ovando and Seeley Lake. 

The bears initially broke into multiple grain sheds, after which FWP worked with landowners to erect electric fencing. The bears moved on from the sheds, the agency stated, but remained around areas where humans also live and recreate. Last week, the bears broke into a grain shed, a garage and a barn around Monture Creek, north of Ovando, and frequented the Monture Creek Campground and Monture Guard Station “in close proximity to people.” 

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“The bears were exhibiting bold behavior that indicates they were conditioned to unnatural food sources,” the department stated. “This is a habit that is very hard to break and causes human safety concerns, as bears actively pursue food

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