Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is reminding hunters to be bear aware as general big game hunting season kicks off on Saturday.
Wildlife officials said grizzly bear populations continue to grow in the western half of the state, but not all hunters are prepared for an encounter.
To keep yourself safe on the hunt, FWP recommends you carry bear spray and know how to use it. They also recommend hunting with a partner and ensuring someone else knows your hunting plan.
Hunters are also advised to remove harvested game quickly and be careful if you are returning to a carcass to finish packing it out.
Just last week an Idaho man bowhunting near Gardiner was attacked by a grizzly with her cub.
Bob Legasa said he and his hunter partner surprised the bear when she was just 12 yards away.
The hunting partner was able to end the attack using bear spray and Legasa was treated for injuries at a Bozeman hospital.
Click here to learn more about how to “Be Bear Aware” in Montana.
-Joe Huisinga reporting for MTN News