July 2022

Montana map with region 2

UPDATES: 7/8/22

BLACK BEAR

Region-wide: Serviceberry production is plentiful in the lower elevations and black bears are responding. There is an upsurge of black bear activity throughout Region 2 and MFWP is receiving frequent calls from residents about bears getting into garbage and bird feeders. Bears are moving into low elevation areas where serviceberry is ripe. Now is the time to secure attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Do not put garbage out until the morning of pickup or until you can remove it to a waste transfer station. Take down all bird feeders. If you are camping do not leave coolers and other items that smell out and accessible to bears. For more information go to the IGBC Be Bear Aware website. https://igbconline.org/be-bear-aware/. Huckleberries will ripen soon and bears will be following the berries as they ripen in elevation through the course of the summer.

Rattlesnake: There is a lot of black bear activity in the Rattlesnake, especially in the recreation area. There are a lot of female black bears with cubs showing up in the lower elevations to feed on natural food sources. Let’s make sure they don’t also find unsecured garbage and bird feeders. Please contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup and remove all bird feeders.

East Missoula, Milltown, Turah, Piltzville areas: There is a lot of black bear activity in these areas with multiple food-conditioned bears. Contain all attractants. Store garbage in a bear-resistant manner and bring in all bird feeders.

Hellgate Canyon/Bonner area: There are 4-5 black bears in these areas tipping garbage cans every night. One bear has attempted to enter windows of homes. Traps have been set for these bears. All will be relocated except the bear that has tried to enter homes multiple times will likely be put down.

Bitterroot: Black bears are very active throughout the Bitterroot Valley. Traps are set for a radio-collared black bear that has been breaking and entering houses. So far this bear has not been captured, but two non-target bears were trapped and relocated. In addition to these bears, there is also a black bear that has been up on porches and testing windows in the Painted Rocks area. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner and take down bird feeders.

Big Flat area: There are reports of bears getting into garbage in the Big Flat area in Missoula. Contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup.

Lower Clark Fork: MFWP is fielding a ton of calls about bears getting into garbage and bird feeders throughout the Lower Clark Fork. There is a trap set in the Petty Creek area for a bear that broke into a vehicle.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Region-wide: There are many reports of grizzly bears, including activity, tracks, and signs of grizzly bears. There have been a handful of grizzly bears observed near home sites feeding on serviceberries and other natural vegetation. While activity is high, there currently are minimal conflicts. Please contain attractants in a bear-resistant manner and remove all bird feeders.

Clearwater and Blackfoot drainages: Hikers, ranchers, and community members have been seeing a lot of grizzly bears throughout the Clearwater and Blackfoot drainages.

Lincoln area: The 2 road-killed elk carcasses that a female grizzly bear with cubs was feeding on along the highway have been removed.

MOUNTAIN LION

Region-wide: Mountain lions continue to follow deer and elk into agricultural areas and home areas what are heavily watered.


July 1, 2022

BLACK BEAR

Region-wide: There are sightings of and conflicts with black bears throughout Region 2. MFWP is receiving a high volume of calls and the majority are related to uncontained garbage and bird feeders. Please contain your garbage until the morning of pickup or until you remove it and take down all bird feeders.

The berry production on the south end of northern continental divide appears exceptional. Huckleberries are starting to show in lower elevations and we are going to have a bumper crop of serviceberry in June, chokecherries in July and August, and hawthorn berries in August and September. Any people living in lower elevations with any types of these berries should expect lots of black bear and possibly grizzly bear activity.

East Missoula, Bonner, Milltown & Clinton area: There are a lot of calls to MFWP about black bears getting into uncontained garbage and bird feeders in these areas. Please contain garbage until the morning of pickup and remove all bird feeders.

Bitterroot valley: The Bitterroot valley is very busy with bear activity with most activity is occurring on the north end of the valley in and around the communities of Stevensville, Florence, and Lolo.  Again, most of these are related to garbage being left out all week, unprotected chicken coops (not electrified), and bird feeders. MFWP has set 3 traps and has trapped and relocated one bear from the Florence area and is attempting to capture a second, collared bear that broke into a home. If MFWP captures this bear it will most likely will be euthanized.

Alberton area: Conflicts in the Alberton area are due to uncontained garbage and bird feeders. MFWP has set a trap in the area and will continue to monitor. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner and take down bird feeders.

Seeley Lake: MFWP has reports of several black bears hunting deer fawns in and around home sites. There was one report of a black bear approaching a person and reportedly acting aggressively. MFWP has set traps for this bear.

Potomac area: Black bears are active in the area. There are 4-5 different black bears getting into attractants. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner and take down bird feeders.

Evaro area: MFWP is in the process of investigating a possible bear feeding in the Evaro area. It is illegal to feed wildlife in the state of Montana.

Rattlesnake: Bear activity continues to be an issue throughout the Rattlesnake drainage. Many of the same bears that are getting into attractants in the East Missoula, Bonner, Milltown areas are in the Rattlesnake too. Please contain all attractants. Keep garbage contained until the morning of pickup and remove all bird feeders.

Grant and Butler Creek areas: There is a lot of black bear activity in these areas. MFWP is monitoring another possible bear feeding case in the area.

Pattee Canyon, South Hills: There continues to be a lot of black bear activity in these areas. It is likely that one bear getting into garbage and bird feeders in the area is a collared black bear part of a research project outside of Florence.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Clearwater Junction: MFWP is monitoring the two-year old grizzly bear that was relocated from outside Bonner. The bear has moved out of the high country and is now in the Clearwater Junction area. MFWP is working with the community on aversive conditioning of this bear which seems to be working.

Outside of Bonner, near Gold Creek: Another smaller grizzly bear showed up outside of Bonner in the Gold Creek area. This might be the third subadult of the north hills female, but MFWP will not know for sure until DNA comes back.

Potomac area: A grizzly bear trained on garbage, bird feeders, and chicken feed in the Potomac area seems to have gone over the top of the Garnet Range and is now getting into attractants in the Clinton area. The bear is now back in the Garnet area and MFWP has set a trap. MFWP is also working with the community of Potomac on containing attractants. In addition to this grizzly bear there are 4-5 different black bears getting into attractants in the Potomac area as well. Please contain all attractants and take down bird feeders.

Seeley Lake: There are a lot of reports of grizzly bears in the area. There are at least 4 lone bears and 2 family groups. Thus far no issues; however, there are active issues with black bears getting into garbage in the area.

Lincoln area: There have been a handful of grizzly bears observed in and around Lincoln. A black bear was shot on a back porch in Lincoln. Please contain all attractants and remove bird feeders.

There were 2 road-killed elk on highway 200 near Lincoln and a female with cubs was trying to feed on the carcasses while people were driving on the road. She reportedly bluff-charged people slowing down to take pictures. MFWP temporarily moved the carcasses off the highway so the bears would not get hit and is planning to remove the carcasses as soon as possible.

Deerlodge valley: MFWP is monitoring the area after reports of an unverified grizzly bear. In the last few years grizzly bears are starting to show up in areas such as the Deerlodge valley, Bitterroot valley, Phillipsburg and the lower Clark Fork.

Missoula Bears