By Henry Netherland

Recreating safely in bear country


Henry Netherland, Pathfinder

Danielle Oyler, bear education coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, shows first graders how to warn off an approaching bear during her encounter training session at Seeley Lake Elementary School's Bear Academy May 4.

As the weather warms and recreationists venture into the woods, Be Bear Aware Campaign Director Chuck Bartlebaugh wants everyone to be informed on how to avoid confrontations with black and grizzly bears, the correct methods of using bear spray and protecting oneself if a bear attacks.

According to, bears are omnivorous, have an excellent sense of smell and must gain enough weight during the warmer seasons to sustain them for four to seven months of winter. Bears are able to sniff out attractants like bird seed, garbage, livestock, toiletries and food through sealed contai...

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