A black bear is dead after becoming too comfortable at a home on a mountain road near Canyon Ferry Lake.
Bobby Byrd has seen many bears in her 75 years and wasn’t too surprised when one weighing about 150 pounds showed up in her yard this month.
But when the bear climbed into her apple tree, onto her porch and tried to get into her house, Byrd figured the place wasn’t big enough for the two of them.
The bear first visited on Oct. 3.
“That day, he didn’t do much damage,” Byrd said. “He was eating apples on the ground and dragged a sack of garbage away and opened it over there before he left. I thought that would be the last time he would bother me.”
But the bear returned last Monday. “I heard something and came outside, and he was up this tree,” Byrd said, pointing to the apple tree next to her log house. “There were apples flying, branches flying; I hollered and hollered at him and he didn’t pay me much attention.”
Byrd said the bear headed toward her and she ran inside, slamming the glass patio door. She said the bear put its paws against the glass and raised itself to full height, then dropped to the ground, walked around the porch and peered in through a window.
The bear went up a tree and Byrd called a wildlife warden, who said his two bear traps were already in use.
“This is a year for bears, from Lincoln to Helena to Bozeman to Cascade,” Warden Mike Ottman said. “We have only so many traps, so we have to prioritize and do the best we can.”
Since Byrd wasn’t overly concerned about the situation, Warden Mike Ottman suggested she find someone with a bear license and have the animal shot.
Byrd called a tavern and found someone with a license, but when he arrived, the bear had gone.
After the bear returned to Byrd’s home Thursday, she called the man with the license and he shot it.
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