May 31, 2016, west shore of Lake Frances
Female griz that killed forty sheep May 29 was shot from a helicopter as it bedded on the west shore of Lake Frances. Decision was by consensus among FWP, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the US Dept of Ag’s Wildlife Services.
Bear was 6 and a half years old, weighed 352 pounds, and had killed sheep on Don Sporleder’s ranch last July. She and two cubs were relocated to the North Fork of the Flathead River. She was radio-collared, so wardens could track her up to Canada, where she followed the Belly River, and came back 260 miles to her hibernation den at 7,300 feet on the Rocky Mountain Front. She left the den March 7 and was on Dupuyer Creek, east of Highway 89 by the 9th. The cubs had separated and the sow had been seen with a male on the Marias River, which is the boundary of the Blackfeet Reservation. She was clearly imprinted with sheep near here.
Snares were set, but Craig Glazier, a Wildlife Services employee was asked to shoot the bear on private land with Terry and Donna Vandenbos giving permission to take a vehicle in so the bear could be removed to Great Falls for “crime scene” processing.
This Spring near Choteau, no other information
A bear was shot in self-defense east of Choteau this spring.
May 30, 2016, west of Interstate 15
Also over this Memorial Day weekend, the FWP and Wildlife Services went to a calf-depredation at a ranch on the Marias River west of Interstate 15. There were four bears in the area. A foot snare caught a female that had nothing to do with the calves but did have this year’s cubs. She was released.
May 30, 2016, 15 miles east of Conrad
On Sunday a sub-adult bear was reported 15 miles east of Conrad. It had dug a hole in a grain bin so it would leak wheat. Shields put up a temporary electric fence to keep the bear out of the barn.
These may be the bears who have been walking through Valier at night. Several blocks of the town are occupied by grain bins and there is generally spilled grain around them.