August 2017

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August 24, 2017

Region-wide: Bears are being seen frequently in the river bottoms and anywhere chokecherry and hawthorn is plentiful. These are important natural food resources for bears this time of year. Domestic apples are starting to ripen and apples are a major attractant for bears. There are resources available to help with gleaning and the Missoula Valley Fruit Exchange provides a forum for those looking to pick fruit and those looking to get rid of fruit. Please pick apples as soon as they ripen. There has also been an increase in wildlife activity in heavily irrigated fields and lawns. As the dry conditions continue, wildlife will utilize these areas for available food and water. Please contain all attractants, bring in bird feeders, and as a reminder, it is against the law in Montana to deer and elk.

BLACK BEAR

Bitterroot: FWP continues to field reports of bears getting into garbage along the riparian (wetland, creek, river) corridors. Please contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup.

Helmville: FWP responded to a black bear feeding on domestic apples.

Rattlesnake: There have been multiple reports of people seeing bears feeding on chokecherries and hawthorn. Please keep in mind that black bears are frequently seen near trails in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area this time of year. Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

South Hills: There have been reports of bears feeding on chokecherries. Please store garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup and bring in bird feeders. If you have domestic fruit pick it as soon as it ripens.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Blackfoot Valley/Swan Valley: A young grizzly bear that was caught and relocated previously in the year for getting into chickens was killed by a resident. The bear was again getting into chickens and this case is under investigation. Electric fence is a highly effective deterrent that prevents grizzly bears from getting into chickens, protecting both livestock and bears. If you have chickens and live in bear habitat it is highly recommended that you secure your chickens/coop with a bear-resistant electric fence. Grizzly bears continue to be seen in river corridors and agricultural fields in the Blackfoot Valley.

MOUNTAIN LION

Rattlesnake: Residents continue to see a mountain lion in the Upper Rattlesnake. FWP is monitoring.

Grant Creek: A mountain lion has been seen near homes and has killed housecats. The scent of outdoor housecats can draw in mountain lions which may view them as prey. FWP is closely monitoring this situation.

Seeley Lake: FWP is attempting to trap a mountain lion that killed housecats and a goat.


August 11, 2017

Region-wide: In the Missoula area, huckleberries are waning so bears will be shifting to hawthorn and chokecherry which are ripening early. Expect to see a lot of black bear activity in the lower elevations as they take advantage of these food resources. Apples are also beginning to ripen early and there have been a couple of incidents of bears in domestic fruit trees. Please pick fruit as soon as it ripens. Electric fence can also be effective at securing fruit trees from hungry bears.

BLACK BEAR

South Hills: A black bear was seen feeding on domestic cherries. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Lolo Creek Bottom: There have been multiple reports of 3-4 black bears feeding on chokecherries along the creek and getting into garbage. One bear entered two vehicles when the windows were down. FWP is actively trying to catch this bear in the area. Please contain all attractants and store garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup.

Johnsrud: A black bear entered a garage when the homeowner was in the garage. This bear has also tipped over freezers. FWP captured this bear previously so they recaptured and removed this bear.

Bitterroot: There continue to be reports of bears in garbage. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Lower Clark Fork: There have been sporadic reports of bears getting into garbage. Please contain all garbage in bear-resistant manner.

Georgetown Lake: Black bear activity continues to be high in the Georgetown Lake area. Please contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup or until you remove it from the site.

GRIZZLY BEARS

Blackfoot: FWP is working with residents on several electric fencing projects to keep bears away from attractants. Grizzly bears continue to be seen in agricultural fields feeding on alfalfa, hay, barley, and oats.

MOUNTAIN LIONS

Victor: A family group of lions was seen in agricultural field. FWP is monitoring this family group.


August 3, 2017

Region-wide: With the dry and hot conditions, expect bear activity to increase in wetter, riparian areas such as near creeks and streams and in areas where berries are still plentiful. The chokecherry and hawthorn will ripen as we move into August. Also, keep in mind that wildlife will take advantage of watered lawns and fields this time of year. It is not unusual to see everything from bears to deer feeding on watered crops and grass. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner and bring in bird feeders.

BLACK BEAR

Georgetown Lake: Black bears continue to get into garbage near homes around Georgetown. Please contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until it is picked up or removed from the site.

Seeley Lake: There continue to be reports of bears near residences. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Rattlesnake: A tri-colored black bear and other lighter colored black bears have been seen in the Rattlesnake area. Repeated reports have come in of a possible grizzly bear. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) has not been able to verify that a grizzly bear was in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area. However, it could be possible for a grizzly bear to move through the area. Over the last 4-5 years, there has been verified grizzly bear activity within and adjacent to the Rattlesnake Wilderness. If you have a picture of a bear or a picture of a front track that you believe to be a grizzly bear you should contact FWP. The Rattlesnake Recreation Area has plentiful natural foods for bears this time of year. People should expect and plan for bear activity in this area. Please know how to use and carry bear spray when recreating on trails in bear country. This includes trails around Missoula.

Bear Creek/Bitterroot: Black bears continue to get into uncontained garbage. Please contain all garbage in a bear-resistant manner.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Ovando/Helmville: Grizzly bears have been seen in agricultural crops.

MOUNTAIN LION

Lincoln: A mountain lion was involved in a depredation. Wildlife Services removed this mountain lion.

Upper Rattlesnake: FWP is monitoring a mountain lion that has been seen in the Upper Rattlesnake residential area.

Superior: A mountain lion was seen near a home.