August 2020

Montana map with region 2

UPDATES: August 31, 2020

Region-wide: Bear activity is high in valleys and riparian corridors across Region 2. There is a bumper crop of chokecherries, hawthorn, and serviceberry this year. The bears are feeding on this important resource to fatten up before winter hits. Bow season is starting soon. If you are hunting or recreating in these areas be very alert. Carry bear spray and know how to use it. In addition, bears are often hit on the roads this time of year as they travel the valley bottoms for berries. As always in Montana, it is important to watch for wildlife while driving.

BLACK BEAR

Anaconda: A black bear has been getting into garbage and other attractants in the Warm Springs creek area. FWP is monitoring. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Between Florence and Missoula: There are multiple black bears eating chokecherry along the river bottom and have been seen crossing the highway and from the bike trail. Please use caution when traveling this corridor.

Bonner/Turah: Multiple black bears have been seen crossing roads and the highway to get to the chokecherries along the river bottoms. Please use caution when traveling along these corridors. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Grant Creek: A family group of black bears and several lone bears have been seen near residences feeding on the abundant chokecherry and hawthorn. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner and do not put out bird feeders.

Lower Clark Fork: FWP has received multiple reports of black bears near homes feeding on chokecherries and other natural foods. Bears are feeding on natural foods but can easily shift to items more close to home like garbage, pet food, and bird feeders if you leave those out and available. You do not want to teach bears that these items are a good source of food or that coming close to homes is rewarding. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Rattlesnake: Multiple black bears have been seen in Greenough and Bugby parks. There is a heavy crop of chokecherry and hawthorn this year and the bears are utilizing this resource. Soon many bears will start shifting to the plentiful domestic fruit that will be available in the neighborhoods. It is really important to contain attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Do not put out bird feeders. Pick fruit as soon as it ripens and do not let it collect on the ground. Temporary electric fence can also work to secure trees that you would like to harvest the fruit from before the bears can get it.

Ravalli County: FWP has received multiple reports of black bears near homes feeding on chokecherries and other natural foods. Bears are feeding on natural foods but can easily shift to items more close to home like garbage, pet food, and bird feeders if you leave those out and available. You do not want to teach bears that these items are a good source of food or that coming close to homes is rewarding. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Blackfoot Clearwater Game Range: A motorcyclist surprised a grizzly bear in a berry patch and had to discharge bear spray and the bear left. There are multiple grizzly bears using this area to feed on the abundant natural berries. Be vigilant if you are in this area. Carry bear spray and know how to use it. Stay aware of your surroundings.

Blackfoot and Clearwater valleys: There is a bumper crop of hawthorn, chokecherry, and serviceberry this year. There have been multiple grizzly bears and grizzly bear sign reported in areas with berries. With bow season starting, hunters and recreationists need to remain alert in all areas but particularly river bottoms and foothills where people can expect high bear activity.  

Seeley: Dumpsters were tipped over in several campgrounds by a grizzly bear in the Seeley area. This bear was able to access garbage in one of these dumpsters. FWP is actively trapping for this bear.

MOUNTAIN LION

Big Flat: A mountain lion killed and consumed a deer fawn near a residence.

Grant Creek: A mountain lion killed a deer near a residence in Grant Creek. FWP relocated a carcass.


August 21, 2020

Region-wide: As the summer comes to a close, bears are entering into hyperphagia. They are searching for food and eating as many calories as possible before the winter. Domestic fruit is also ripening and bears like to eat apples, pears, and other domestic fruit. Please pick your fruit and do not let it gather on the ground below the tree. There are programs available to assist with gleaning in the Missoula valley. Now is a good time to take a look around your property and see if your attractants are stored in a bear-resistant manner. Is your garbage stored in a bear-resistant manner? Have you brought your bird feeders in? Electric fence is also a good way to secure attractants and temporary electric fences can be used around domestic fruit trees to allow time for the fruit to ripen and be picked. Taking such steps can make help minimize conflicts with bears. Check out this link for what might be an attractant on your property.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Parker Lake: A grizzly bear approached a camp. The bear was scared off but FWP is monitoring.

Seeley Lake: FWP is actively trapping for a grizzly bear that has been getting into dumpsters in the community. Please contain garbage in a bear-resistant container or store it in a secure building or shed until you have garbage picked up or until you can take it to the dump.

BLACK BEAR

Big Flat/Kelley Island/McClay Flats: Black bears have been seen feeding on chokecherries. Be bear aware when recreating in these areas. Residents should contain all attractants and pick domestic fruit as it ripens. Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

Georgetown Lake: FWP trapped and relocated a brown, black bear that was getting into garbage. Another black bear is still getting into garbage and other attractants. FWP has a trap set for this bear. Do not leave garbage out and accessible to bears. Secure in a bear-resistant container or inside a building or shed until it is taken to the dump or picked up.

Lolo: Multiple black bears have been seen feeding on chokecherries in the area.

Potomac: A black bear got into uncontained garbage and pet food. Do not leave pet food outside and accessible to bears.

Rattlesnake: Black bears are starting to move into the area for all the domestic fruit and plentiful chokecherries. FWP has received multiple reports of people seeing black bears at close range in Greenough Park. Black bears frequent Greenough Park and all the riparian corridors in the Rattlesnake. These areas have natural food resources for wildlife and water. Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

Rock Creek: A black bear got into garbage at a resort. FWP is monitoring.

Seeley Lake: Black bears continue to find unsecured garbage and other attractants. A black bear broke into a garage. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Garbage should not be out and available to bears.

MOUNTAIN LION

Region-wide: FWP continues to field reports of mountain lions in and around irrigated fields where deer are congregating.

McClay Flats: A mountain lion was observed at McClay Flats. This area is rich wildlife habitat and species like mountain lions, black bears, and moose have been seen there.