June 2021

Montana map with region 2

UPDATES: June 28, 2021

Region-wide – It is an extremely busy time for bear activity throughout Region 2. FWP is receiving continual calls of grizzly and black bears getting into garbage and bird feeders. Black bears are also going onto porches and getting into BBQs, cat food, and freezers throughout the entire area. There have been several road-killed bears trying to access garbage and other attractants along the highways. Please bring down bird feeders, contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup, and secure all attractants.

Berry crops, including serviceberries, huckleberries, hawthorne, and chokecherries, all look like good crops this year. However, extreme heat could interfere with berry production. Serviceberries will be ripe soon and a lot of the prime serviceberries are right at the creek bottoms where there are homes. Sometimes the driving force for conflicts can be the amount of natural foods such as berries around homes, so this year it is very important to secure all bear attractants on your property.  

BLACK BEAR

Region-wide – Bears are very active throughout Region 2 and these are just some examples of the current activity.

Bitterroot Valley – Black bears are getting into garbage that is being left out, sometimes all week, bird feeders, and finding attractants on porches through the entire Bitterroot Valley area. FWP is dealing with dozens of food-conditioned black bears in the Bitterroot. When there is no rain, bears find natural foods along creeks and drainages where the moisture is best. This also brings them close to home sites. Be sure to bring in your bird feeders, secure all attractants, and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup.

Bonner –Black bears are very active in the area. Contain all attractants and bring down bird feeders.

East Missoula – FWP had to euthanize a black bear that dug through a front door to get to cat food. There have been a lot of reports of black bears in the area. Bring in bird feeders, contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup, and secure all attractants.

Evaro – FWP captured and relocated a non-target black bear in the Evaro Hill area. The trap was set for a black bear that was breaking into vehicles. The trap was pulled after the non-target bear was relocated and FWP is continuing to monitor.

Grant Creek –FWP is investigating a possible wildlife-feeding situation in the Upper Grant Creek area.

Hellgate Canyon area – There are several black bears active in the Hellgate Canyon area. One bear has been getting into attractants at the homeless camps. FWP is working with the City of Missoula to get those sites cleaned up.

Ninemile and Sixmile –There were several reports of a black bear on a picnic table at a campsite in the Ninemile. There are a lot of black bears active in the area and have been observed in residential areas. FWP set a trap in the Ninemile for one black bear.

Rattlesnake – There are multiple bears active in the area. For the most part, the Rattlesnake is doing a good job at keeping garbage contained and not accessible to bears. However, there have been several reports of people forgetting to close their garages and bears getting into them. Bring in bird feeders, continue to contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup, and close garages when not in use.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Region-wide – Grizzly bear activity is high right now. FWP would like to remind everyone that grizzly bears should be expected throughout Region 2. Bring in all bird feeders, secure all bear attractants, and do not put garbage out until the morning of pickup or keep it secured until it is removed from the property.

Blackfoot and Clearwater – There is steady grizzly bear activity throughout the Blackfoot and Clearwater drainages. Reports of grizzly bears in agricultural fields feeding on alfalfa and barley are increasing. FWP has verified multiple family groups of females with cubs or females with subadults in the area.

Helmville – There was a cow depredation in the Helmville areas. Traps were set but no bear was captured. The Blackfoot Challenge is assisting with a largescale electric fence at the ranch where the depredation occurred. There was a calf depredation by a bear of unknown species also in the Helmville area.

Rattlesnake – FWP has still not verified reports of a female grizzly bear with cubs in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area.

South of I90 in Flint Creek and Sapphire Mountain Ranges – FWP has grizzly bear reports in the area. FWP says to expect grizzly bears in southwest Montana.

MOUNTAIN LION

Region-wide – There is a lot of mountain lion activity in and around irrigation sites. Irrigation sites are heavily watered and therefore have a lot of deer and elk activity. Wherever you see a lot of deer, also expect mountain lion activity. FWP has responded to incidents where deer have been killed in backyards and they have removed the carcasses.

Highway 200 – A mountain lion was road-killed along highway 200.


UPDATES: June 1, 2021

BLACK BEAR

Big Flat – Black bears getting into garbage and bird feeders.

Bitterroot Valley – All over the valley there have been reports of black bears getting bird feeders and garbage. FWP is working with various communities and Bitterroot Disposal around the issue of bears accessing garbage in the area. Please contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup and bring bird feeders in.

Bonner/Milltown – There are multiple black bears getting into garbage and bird feeders. Bring in bird feeders and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner.

East Missoula – There is one big adult male black bear and several subadults active in the area. Bring in bird feeders and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner.

Evaro – A black bear has opened car doors, pulled down bird feeders, and gotten into garbage. FWP is monitoring this situation.

Frenchtown/Ninemile – Multiple black bears have tipped over garbage cans and gotten into bird feeders. FWP has alerted the community.

Grant Creek – There is a female with cubs of the year and multiple lone bears that have been seen along the creek. A few incidents of bears getting into bird feeders and garbage have been reported. Bring in bird feeders and do not put garbage out before the morning of pickup.

Lolo – There have been multiple reports of black bears active in the area. Some of these bears have gotten into garbage. A black bear killed a goat. FWP is working with the landowner on an electric fence. Please bring in bird feeders and do not put garbage out until the morning of pickup.

Lower Clark Fork/Superior/St. Regis – There have been reports of multiple reports of black bears getting into garbage. Please contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner.

Miller Creek/South Hills – Black bears have been seen getting into garbage. Please contain all garbage in a garage or in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup.

Pattee Canyon – There have been reports of black bear activity. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Bring in bird feeders.

Potomac – There have been reports of multiple black bears getting into garbage and bird feeders. Bring in bird feeders and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner.

Rattlesnake – There are multiple bears active in the area. Several of these bears, including one big adult male, is getting into garbage, investigating porches, and testing garage doors. FWP is monitoring the situation and will set traps for this particular bear when the opportunity arises.

Twin Creek/Gold Creek – There are multiple black bears getting into garbage. Contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner.

Seeley Lake – There have been multiple reports of a lone black bear getting into garbage. FWP did also set traps for a black bear that broke into a church basement and got into a freezer and also got into a bus door where garbage was stored. FWP was unable to capture this bear. There is also a female with subadults in the Double Arrow area. Please bring in bird feeders and contain garbage and other attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Avon – In the past month FWP has dealt with multiple conflicts in the area. One male grizzly bear was trapped and relocated. Shortly after, another grizzly showed up and killed yearlings. FWP did remove this grizzly bear. FWP issued press releases regarding these bears. There continues to be bear activity in the area. FWP has assisted with moving carcasses from a boneyard in the area.

Evaro Hill – There were verified grizzly bear tracks in the area.

Lincoln – There have been reports of lone grizzly bears and at least 1 female with young and 1 research female with two 2 year-olds.

Ninemile – FWP is attempting to verify reports of a grizzly bear in the area.

Ovando/Helmville – There have been multiple reports of lone grizzlies and at least 1 female with cubs of the year and 2-3 different females with sub-adults. A grizzly bear did get into a chicken coop. FWP is assisting with electric fencing for this coop.

Rattlesnake Recreation Area – FWP has continued to receive reports of a grizzly bear with cubs in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area. FWP has been unable to verify that it is indeed a grizzly bear. There is a black bear with cubs that looks a lot like a grizzly bear that has been seen on multiple occasions. FWP will continue to monitor this.

Seeley Lake – There have been multiple reports of 5 different lone grizzly bears moving through and around Seeley Lake. Only one bear is suspected to have gotten into garbage. There is a female with yearlings in Placid Lake area and a female with cubs of the year in the Woodworth area. Grizzly bears are likely moving through the area as they move into lower elevations for natural food resources. Please contain all attractants. Keep garbage secured in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup or until you can take it to the transfer site. Bring in bird feeders. If you are recreating in the area please do not leave coolers and garbage out and accessible to bears in campgrounds or where you are camping.

South of Interstate 90 – FWP is monitoring a radio-collared grizzly bear and has received additional reports of two grizzly bears traveling together in the Flint Range.