With bear season, make sure your after the right bear

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Montana’s spring black bear hunting season opened April 15 and it’s important for hunters to refresh themselves on tips for identifying the difference between black bears and grizzly bears, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials note.

All black bear hunters are reminded that they must successfully complete FWP bear identification test before purchasing a black bear license.

Take the bear identification test online at fwp.mt.gov; click the Education tab, then click “Bear Identification Program.” Complete the training and test, and then present the printed on-line certificate to purchase a license. The training and test can also be obtained on paper, with a mail-in answer card, at FWP regional offices.

The 2019 black bear regulations are available online on the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov , at FWP region offices and license providers.

Spring black bear hunters should have purchased their license by April 14. Black bear hunting licenses purchased after April 14 may not be used until 24 hours after purchase. Black bear hunters are limited to one black bear license a year.

This year’s regulations include an important change. While successful black bear hunters must present a complete hide and skull to FWP within 10 days of harvest, including evidence of sex, evidence of sex is not required to be naturally attached. This is a change from previous years.

The print version of the regulations contains an error and still reads that evidence of sex must be naturally attached to the hide when presenting it to FWP (pg.4).

In general, evidence of sex is not required to remain naturally attached to big game animals. However, it is required to accompany the animals from the field to the point of processing.

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