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Grizzly bear and cubs captured and relocated

By Adriana Fehrs

A trap was set in a field along Mission Creek where a mother grizzly bear and two cubs had been residing. It took the tribal wildlife biologist approximately one week to capture the bears. After which, they were relocated. (Courtesy photo Stacy Courville) A trap was set in a field along Mission Creek where a mother grizzly bear and two cubs had been residing. It took the tribal wildlife biologist approximately one week to capture the bears. After which, they were relocated. (Courtesy photo Stacy Courville)

ST. IGNATIUS — The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MTFW&P) reported on June 30, a female grizzly and her two cubs were captured and relocated by CSKT wildlife biologists.

A six-year old, 252-pound female grizzly and her two 25- pound male cubs were captured along Mission Creek outside of St.Ignatius on June 26 by CSKT Biologist Stacy Courville.

The mother had been residing in a field for two to three weeks. The landowner reported the sightings to Courville. The owner was given a cracker shell to scare off the bears, but did not succeed. “The bear was use to eating in the field. There was a lot of grain and peas for the bear to eat. She got into a tub of grain, next to a chicken coop.”

A six-year old, 252-pound female grizzly and her two 25- pound male cubs were captured along Mission Creek outside of St. Ignatius. The trio was relocated to the Deep Creek drainage on the east side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir. (Courtesy photo Stacy Courville) A six-year old, 252-pound female grizzly and her two 25- pound male cubs were captured along Mission Creek outside of St. Ignatius. The trio was relocated to the Deep Creek drainage on the east side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir. (Courtesy photo Stacy Courville)

The capture was considered a preemptive measure to move the bears before they came into conflict with local residents.

The female bear had been captured before; she was trapped three years ago by Courville and later released into the Jocko wilderness area. She was then recaptured by FWP Grizzly Bear Management Specialist Tim Manley in the Yellow Bay area, and then released back into the Jocko wilderness area again. Courville says, “She made a big movement, wandered through the Rattlesnake. Until this year I hadn’t known what happened to her.”

A trap was set in the field where the bear and cubs had been residing. It took the biologist approximately one week to capture the bears.

Two sleeping grizzly bear cubs rest comfortably in a trap set by tribal wildlife biologists. The two cubs and mother were captured on June 26, and relocated the next day as a preemptive measure before the bears came into conflict with residents. (Courtesy photo Stacy Courville) Two sleeping grizzly bear cubs rest comfortably in a trap set by tribal wildlife biologists. The two cubs and mother were captured on June 26, and relocated the next day as a preemptive measure before the bears came into conflict with residents. (Courtesy photo Stacy Courville)

The cooperative decision was made to relocate the bears on June 27 to the Deep Creek drainage on the east side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir. Manley assisted in the release along with the CSKT biologists.

The adult female grizzly was fitted with GPS radio collar so her movements can be monitored. Locations are transmitted automatically once a week.

A male grizzly bear cub awaits its release. The cub, its sibling, and mother were captured outside of St. Ignatius on June 26. A cooperative decision was made to relocate the bears on June 27 to the Deep Creek drainage on the east side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir. (Courtesy photo Stacy Courville) A male grizzly bear cub awaits its release. The cub, its sibling, and mother were captured outside of St. Ignatius on June 26. A cooperative decision was made to relocate the bears on June 27 to the Deep Creek drainage on the east side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir. (Courtesy photo Stacy Courville)

The attractants at the resident’s house were cleaned up to prevent future encounters.

Courville says there is a potential for the bear to wander back into residential areas. “I hope she stays away, but we don’t know if she will. I just hope that her cubs survive. It was her first litter, and you could tell she was struggling.”

For more information contact CSKT Tribal Wildlife Biologist Stacy Courville at (406) 675–2700 ext. 7284, stacyac@cskt.org. Or contact John Fraley, MT FWP Information Officer, (406) 751-4564, jfraley@mt.gov.

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