Bear Sighted Near Broadus


On Saturday afternoon, an ursine visitor traveled near Broadus. Where the visitor traveled from, and where he is traveling to, is still a mystery. The Powder River Sheriff’s Office was alerted by a passing motorist of a black bear, which was seen along the river from the Powder River Bridge.

Sheriff’s Deputy John Gatlin drove out to investigate, and confronted the hairy traveler at around fifty yards distance, on the Broadus side of the bridge, and headed towards town. Gatlin jumped out of his patrol car with the intent of sending the bear elsewhere, and as soon as the deputy’s feet hit the ground the bear took off running, headed south into the timber.

Gatlin told us the bear looked to be young, and seemed quite skittish, so perhaps its visit to the Broadus vicinity will be a one time thing.

We have yet to hear of any other bear reports in more recent days, but interestingly enough, 30 years ago this week another black bear was spotted around the community. Details on that encounter may be found in this week’s “30 Years Ago” column.

In recent years, bear sightings have been increasingly common across SE Montana, as their range expands. In 2019, a black bear was killed by a homeowner in Miles City, and last year another bear was trapped in Forsyth and relocated by FWP, after being spotted raiding trash cans. These events happened in May and June, when young bears have been kicked off their moms or are out looking for new territory.

FWP recommends securing trash, bird feed, pet feed, and barbecues grills, as these attractants are what bring bears into contact with larger population centers.


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