July 25, 2019
Now that huckleberries and service berries are ripe we are getting a lot of reports of bears feeding on berries near trails and roads. It is especially important for those individuals living along streams or in rural areas where there are a lot of berries to remove bird feeders and contain all attractans. Note: FWP recommends that no bird feeders be placed out between April 1 and December 1.
We are starting to see an upsurge in road-killed black bears. This is due to the large number of bears crossing highways to access service berries in the riparian areas bordering highways and Interstate 90.
Lolo: FWP has received multiple reports of bears in and around the community of Lolo. Thank you Sleeman Gulch and Republic Services for placing bear-resistant dumpsters!!! Now that service berries are ripe around Lolo everyone needs to be especially diligent about containing garbage and other attractants.
Pattee Canyon and Rattlesnake: There have been a lot of sightings of black bears in the Pattee Canon and Rattlesnake Recreation Areas feeding on service berries and huckleberries. Carry bear spray and know how to use it when recreating in bear country. Garbage-related incidents in Pattee Canyon and Rattlesnake Residential areas have been low this year. We attribute this to all of the hard work, education and outreach done by local community groups. Please continue to contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner and do not put garbage out until the monrning of pick up.
Grant Creek, Lavalle Creek, and Butler Creek: There have been reports of bear activity in these areas and there are bumper crops of service berry in these areas. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.
Seeley Lake: FWP had a report of a grizzly bear checking out empty garbage cans on the North end of Seeley Lake. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Contain all garbage in an enclosed building or trailer until the day of pickup. It is best not to leave garbage in cans outside unless the garbage is in an approved bear-resistant garbage can.
Miller Creek: A lion was observed by multiple residents in Miller Creek the evening of July 23rd. FWP is monitoring the situation. Residents living in the Miller Creek Riparian area should be aware that lions, bears, and other wildlife use the stream course as a travel area. We recommend that garbage be contained and that any chickens or 4H livestock be secured behind an electric fence.
July 19, 2019
Harpers Lake: A black bear was testing the bear-resistant dumpsters but was unsuccessful.
Potomac: A black bear killed chickens and there have been reports of black bears getting into garbage. FWP is talking to the community about electric fence and other ways to store attractants.
Bitterroot: Across the Bitterroot there have been numerous reports of bears getting into garbage. Store your garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pick up and bring in bird feeders.
Mill Creek: Black bears have been getting into garbage. Please contain attractants in a bear-resistant manner.
Lolo/Sleeman Creek: Black bear activity is picking up in the Lolo area. A black bear has been getting into dumpsters. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.
Grant Creek: There have been reports of bear activity. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.
Rattlesnake: The serviceberry is now ripe. Expect bear activity in areas of serviceberry, including near homes. There is at least one bear accessing garbage in the Rattlesnake neighborhoods (see photo courtesy of a Rattlesnake Valley resident). Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner and do not put garbage out until the morning of pick up. Animal Control is patrolling for garbage ordinance violations. Carry bear spray and know how to use it when recreating in bear country.
Ovando: A grizzly bear got into garbage near Ovando.
Potomac: FWP hazed a mountain lion at a resort.
July 15, 2019
Rattlesnake: FWP has received reports of black bears using the urban interface in the Upper Rattlesnake valley. Most of these bears are feeding on huckleberries and serviceberries. There is at least one bear getting into garbage in the Lower Rattlesnake residential area and there was a report of a black bear in Greenough Park. Carry bear spray and know how to use it when recreating in bear country, including the Rattlesnake trail system throughout the neighborhoods. Please contain attractants and bring in bird feeders. Keep garbage contained in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pick up. Animal control is patrolling the area and will be issuing tickets.
Clinton/Turah area: There is a lot of black bear activity in the Clinton and Turah areas. There have been several incidents of goats, sheep and chickens being killed by black bears. Wildlife Services has removed one black bear. The majority of these issues involve uncontained garbage and livestock feed. FWP is working with several homes to put up electric fencing. Please contain garbage and grain inside enclosed buildings and make sure all doors and openings are secured. Livestock feed should not be stored in plastic containers next to pens. If grain must be stored outdoors, make sure it is contained and locked in a heavy, steel container or enclosed in a trailer.
Grant Creek: There continues to be a lot of bear activity in the Grant Creek area. There have been multiple reports of bears in backyards and adjacent to houses feeding on natural foods. There were several incidents of black bears finding garbage and bird feeders in Upper Grant Creek. Please contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pick up and take down all bird feeders.
Lolo: There have been several bears reported in Lolo and so far no incidents involving garbage. Please contain all your garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pick up and remove all bird feeders. As the serviceberry ripens, more bears will start frequenting the hillsides and riparian areas around Lolo.
Bitterroot Valley: There have been several reports in the Bitterroot Valley related to uncontained garbage and bird feeders.
Superior & St. Regis: There have been reports of black bears accessing uncontained garbage and bird feeders in the lower Clark Fork drainage communities of Superior and St. Regis. Please contain all attractants. Bring in bird feeders and do not put garbage out until the morning of pick up. Bear-resistant electric fencing can also be an effective way of securing attractants.
Potomac Valley: A black bear killed goats in the area and Wildlife Service trapped and euthanized a bear. FWP has received a lot of calls about bears getting into uncontained garbage and attractants in the Camas and Union Creek areas. Please contain your garbage and place electric fencing around any vulnerable livestock.
Upper Blackfoot: There is a bear of unknown species unsuccessfully attempting to get into bear-resistant dumpsters at Clearwater Junction, Salmon Lake and Placid Lake. This may be the same bear that got into garbage around Seeley Lake earlier in the month. FWP is patrolling the campgrounds and has issued tickets to campers with uncontained attractants. For more information on containing attractants and food, go to the IGBC website for information on hiking and camping in bear country.
Blackfoot & Clearwater valleys: There have been multiple reports of grizzly bears throughout the Blackfoot and Clearwater valleys hunting fawns and elk calves, especially in areas where there are agricultural crops. Bears are also being observed feeding on alfalfa and other irrigated crops. It looks like there is going to be good crops of serviceberry and huckleberry in the Blackfoot. There have been reports of ripe huckleberries in the lower elevation and the serviceberries will be ripe soon.
Region-wide: FWP has been fielding mountain lion reports throughout Region 2. Most of the mountain lion activity is occurring in mid-elevations and riparian areas along rivers and streams.
July 2, 2019
Region wide: Bears are being observed across the region in lower elevations and riparian areas as they shift towards feeding on serviceberry and other berries that will soon be ripening. If you are camping this week please make sure you do not leave your coolers out on the picnic table when you leave camp. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Make sure food and garbage does not remain out and accessible to bears. Carry bear spray and know how to use it when recreating in bear country. Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!
Bitterroot – Carlton Creek: A black bear entered a home through a dog door. FWP trapped and relocated the bear.
Clinton/Turah: At least three bears have been getting into garbage. A black bear killed small livestock. FWP is working with homeowners with small livestock to install electric fencing.
Seeley Lake: A grizzly got into a broken bear-resistant dumpster at the USFS ranger station. The USFS repaired the dumpster and when the bear returned it was unsuccessful at receiving a food reward.
Clearwater Junction: A grizzly bear was on a porch and pulled down a BBQ to lick the grease. The bear has since moved on.
Helmville: FWP is investigating reports of a possible grizzly bear with cubs getting into a barn.