Grizzly Bear Captured on Stevensville Golf Course Saturday
After reports of a bear digging and causing damage to the Whitetail Golf Course during October, the Montana Department of Wildlife and Parks set a trap northeast of Stevensville and captured a young grizzly bear, which is not all that common in the Bitterroot Vallley. Early reports led the wardens to think they were going to catch a black bear, but when the barrel trap closed, it had a 249-pound male grizzly inside. The bear has already been transported to the Blackfoot Valley, on the southern edge of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE), which is one of two main grizzly bear areas in the state.
James Jonkel, Region 2 Bear Management Specialist said, "The NCDE is not far away, and grizzly bears are expanding in several directions from there, slowly recolonizing historic ranges." A few reports in past years have confirmed grizzlies in the Sapphire Mountains on the east side of the Bitterroot Valley and to the west near Lolo Creek. Grizzlies have also been spotted in the Big Hole Valley. Jonkel said the bear was captured near the Bitterroot River, where food like rosehips and snowberries are common.