Outdoors blog

THURSDAY, DEC. 19, 2013, 3:13 P.M.

Most bears hibernating, but not all of them

The eyes of a grizzly bear glow in the dark in the beam of a spotlight as it sits tangled in the brush after being caught in a wolf trap Dec. 17, 2013, west of Dupuyer, Mont. (Mike Madel)
The eyes of a grizzly bear glow in the dark in the beam of a spotlight as it sits tangled in the brush after being caught in a wolf trap Dec. 17, 2013, west of Dupuyer, Mont. (Mike Madel)

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- A wolf trapper has answered the question on whether all of Montana's bears have snuggled in dens to hibernate through winter.

A steel leg-hold trap set for a wolf nabbed a 4-year-old male grizzly bear instead on a ranch west of Dupuyer on Tuesday, prompting Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to help the trapper tranquilized and release the bear.

  • The photo above indicates the glowing eyes in the spotlight beam were all the officers saw when they drove up in the dark to encounter the trapped grizzly.

If a bear has plenty of food available, it won't necessarily head into its den, even in mid-December, wildlife biologists said.

Read on for the story from the Great Falls Tribune.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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