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Spring Facts about Montana Animals

Spring in Montana will always hold a special place in our hearts. As we transition from the never-ending Montana winter, we can feel our excitement growing as we witness the birds return, the foliage grow, and Montana wildlife being born! From bears and wolves to marmots and even a wolverine, Montana is home to a vast array of wildlife that continues to fascinate us. Follow along as we list off a few fun facts about Montana animals in the springtime:

1. Bears

Bears are known for their behavioral instinct to hibernate in the the winter. But what does hibernation actually mean? While many people assume that bears simply sleep all winter long, this is not technically the case. Hibernation in bears means that they do not need to eat or drink, and as such, live a highly inactive lifestyle. This being said, they still get up and move around, and will even leave their den on occasion!

Mother bears are known for giving birth during hibernation, and although their metabolic rate is extremely slow due to their given state, they are able to wake up and give birth to and care for their young! 

Black Bear in The Spring

Yellowstone National Park 

Black Bears are a classic species known for inhabiting forests all over Montana. From Glacier National Park, to Yellowstone National Park, and everywhere in between, you may spot one of these unique omnivores snacking on berries, or even picking on their mom! 

Here at Montana Gift Corral, we offer a wide variety of Black Bear-inspired products that are sure to make you smile. We do have one tip, though, although this adorable Bearfoots Bear says "Free Bear Hugs", we recommend keeping your distance from a live one. 😉

MT Black Bear Products

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2. Bison

When you think of Yellowstone National Park, we're sure that Bison come to mind. Which makes sense, as YNP is the only place in the lower 48 states that Bison have continually lived since prehistoric times! Did you know that Bison are actually the largest mammal in North America? In fact, a male bison can weigh up to 2,000 lbs., and can stand as tall as 6 ft! 

If there is one thing we know for sure, its that bison calves are absolutely adorable. These youngsters are typically born in the early spring, and have coined the nickname "Red Dogs" due to their orange-reddish colored fur. So cute!

Baby Bison Yellowstone National ParkYellowstone National Park

Here in Bozeman, Yellowstone National Park is simply a hop, skip, and a jump down the road. In a matter of a couple hours you can step foot within the bounds of Yellowstone National Park, and if you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a Bison or two!

If you don't feel like leaving town, however, you have no need to worry! Simply head to any of our Montana Gift Corral locations to get your fix of Montana-wildlife. 

 Bison Postcard by Noteworthy Paper & Press

Bison Flat Lay

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3. Mountain Goat

If there is one species of mammal that we find absolutely fascinating, it is undoubtedly Mountain Goats. Best known for their presence in alpine and subalpine environments, head up to the mountainous landscape of Glacier National Park to get a look at these unique animals. Mountain goats are known as the largest mammal capable of living in extremely high environments and can even inhabit spaces up to 13,000 ft high. 

We can't help but find humor in the common names of Mountain Goats. For example, baby mountain goats are called "kids", males are called "billies", and females are called "nannies". Too funny!

Glacier NPS Mountain Goat

Glacier National Park

While Bozeman is not as close to Glacier National Park as it is Yellowstone, part of our heart still stays with this stunning national park and its various forms of wildlife - Mountain Goats especially! If you don't feel like traveling all the way to the park to see them for yourself, head to the Montana Gift Corral to check out all of our Mountain Goat themed goodies. We have so much to choose from! 

Mountain Goat Wildlife Ceramic Mug by Dean Crouser

MT Goat

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4. Moose

Most people are aware that moose are big, but when we say they are big, we mean they are MASSIVE! The average adult moose typically weighs around 900 lbs. and can even weigh as much as 1,800 lbs. on occasion. Did we mention that they can stand up to 7 ft tall at the shoulder? So yeah, we'd say they're quite large. 😲

During the fall, moose are known to grow velvet on their antlers, which they will rub on trees until it eventually falls off. During the winter, they will then drop their antlers. Once spring rolls around, moose will began to regrow their iconic paddles, which will typically fully return by summer. Interestingly a healthy moose can grow as much as 1 lbs. of antler per day! So don't be surprised if you see a bull elk roaming around without antlers in the springtime, it is both normal and completely natural.

bull moose

Glacier National Park

While moose are very fascinating, they are also known for being very aggressive, so we recommend keeping your distance from them. This being said you know what you don't have to keep your distance from? Any or all of our lovely moose-inspired products, of course! From decorative pillows, to baskets, or even cribbage boards crafted from real moose antler, we have everything you need to finish off any rustic-styled space in your home. 

MT Moose Products

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5. North American River Otters

One of the cutest critters that calls Montana home, is undeniably the North American River Otter! These semi-aquatic mammals, known for inhabiting the rivers of the big sky state, can typically be spotted alone lakes, rivers, and even swamps. River otters are excellent swimmers and can even stay underwater for several minutes, can swim up to 7 mph, and can even dive as deep at 60 ft!

North American River Otters can weigh up to 18 lbs., however, newborns typically weigh only about 4.6 oz! When born, river otters are blind, toothless, and immobile. This being said, they typically remain in their den, under the protection of their mother, for the first few weeks of their life.  

North American River OtterGlacier National Park

While they look so cute and cuddly, it is always best to admire wildlife from afar, as to not disrupt them. While they are still wild animals, and should be left alone in nature, that doesn't mean you need to miss out on all of the fun! The Otter Warmies by Intelex USA is the perfect little plush for anyone looking for a new cuddly buddy who is always down to join you on your wildest of adventures. This adorable Warmies Plush has been gently scented with Lavender sourced from Provence, France. Simply toss this little fella in the microwave or freezer for both warm and cool relief! 

warmies otter montana gift corral

Bonus: Rare Wolverine Spotted in YNP!

In March of 2022, a rare wolverine was spotted and photographed in Yellowstone National Park. While this many seem ordinary to someone unfamiliar with the park, this is actually extremely uncommon! There is only 7 reported wolverines currently living within the park bounds, featuring two females and five males!

This species of mammal, a part of the weasel family, prefer environments that are both cold and snowy. Wolverines are known to be elusive, and typically inhabit locations that are remote and secluded. 

Wolverine photo yellowstone

NBC News

 

Written by: Alexa Jorgenson, MGC Content Creator

Blog cover designed by: Averi Thompson, MGC Graphic Designer

Photographs: Haven Windsor, MGC Photographer

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