Grizzly Captured on Kuhns Wildlife Management Area Moved to Elk Mountain Montana
A sub-adult male grizzly was captured at Kuhns Wildlife Management Area (WMA) yesterday morning after it had an encounter with a bowhunter on September 19. Kuhns WMA is a popular youth hunting area located about 10 miles northwest of Kalispell. Grizzly bears have been known to use the Kuhns WMA area in the past, especially during spring and summer.
The bowhunter was returning to the WMA to track a deer that had been wounded the previous day. The hunter encountered the grizzly on the deer carcass. The bear came toward him, the man yelled, and the bear left. The hunter called FWP to report the incident. Grizzly Bear management specialist Tim Manley and his crew set a culvert trap in the area and captured the bear yesterday morning.
The grizzly was instrumented with a radio collar and released yesterday afternoon by Biologists John Vore and Logan Degenhardt at Elk Mountain. Elk Mountain is a (IGBC) Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee pre-approved nuisance grizzly bear release site on the Stillwater-Kootenai divide, 25 miles northwest of Kuhns WMA. According to Jim Williams, R-1 Wildlife Program Manager, if a grizzly bear is captured south and west of Kalispell, it will typically be moved to the IGBC pre-approved release site on Blacktail Mountain. In this case the bear was northwest of town on Kuhns WMA near the Salish Mountains so the decision was made to utilize the Elk Mountain release site. According to Williams this was a pre-emptive move in the interest of public safety.
Manley said that the 3-year old adult male grizzly weighed 380 pounds. The grizzly had been previously marked with an ear tag chip. Two years ago it was captured as a yearling in the valley with its sibling and an adult female grizzly. The group was relocated to the Spotted Bear area. Its female sibling is the grizzly that later swam across Flathead Lake as reported recently.