May 2015

map_newBLACK BEAR UPDATE
May 27, 2015

Ambrose Creek – Bitterroot: A black bear was seen near homes and in a horse pasture

Maclay Flat Trail: A female black bear with cubs was seen in a tree on this popular hiking trail yesterday. Please do not approach wildlife.
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BEAR UPDATE: Regionwide
May 26, 2015

Bears have been seen in multiple areas feeding on green grass. Spring green up is a common food source for bears. This can be concerning for some residents when bears choose to graze on green grass near homes. Bears doing this most often move on quickly. However, if bears find other anthropogenic food sources like birdfeeders, chicken coops, BBQ grills and unsecured garbage, then the bears may stick around and start to escalate negative behavior by going onto decks and porches. It is important to secure all attractants from bears. By taking the effort to secure attractants (ex. garbage, birdfeeders, chicken coops) in a bear-resistant manner you can minimize conflicts with bears at your residence which also benefits the larger community by improving safety for both bears and people.
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GRIZZLY BEAR UPDATE
May 26, 2015

Lincoln: A grizzly bear was seen grazing on grass at a residence. This bear investigated a BBQ grill. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is monitoring.
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BLACK BEAR UPDATE
May 26, 2015

Seeley Lake: A black bear was in a tree at a campground all day Saturday. The bear moved on naturally as night fell.

Seeley Lake-Double Arrow: A large male black bear was getting into garbage containers in the Seeley Lake area. This bear was legally harvested.

Target Range: The bear that was removed from the Target Range area a few weeks ago returned. Wardens were called to tranquilize the bear and unfortunately this bear was injured and died as a result of the wound. It should be noted that this bear was going to be euthanized anyway due to his conflict history. During this spring, this bear found numerous birdfeeders full of birdseed which “taught” this bear that birdfeeders were a food source. This bear was on at least 25-30 different porches in one month and had started looking in windows. Please bring in birdfeeders if you live in bear habitat. Bears will follow their nose. If they find a food resource they will capitalize on it and learn how to recognize it elsewhere. This “trains” bears to look for birdfeeders which are often close to homes and on porches and decks. This becomes a human safety concern and almost always ends badly for the bears involved.

Graves Creek: A bear was accessing unsecured garbage at a business.

Superior: A bear was in birdfeeders outside of Superior. Please bring in birdfeeders.

St. Regis: A black bear was killed by a homeowner in St. Regis. This bear was getting into unsecured garbage. FWP recommends garbage be stored in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup or until you can take it to the refuse site.

Alberton: A female black bear with cubs of the year was seen near homes grazing on grass. FWP is monitoring.

Evaro: A black bear accessed a chicken coop in the Evaro area. FWP is working with homeowners to install an electric fence around the chicken coop.
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GRIZZLY BEAR UPDATE
May 20, 2015

The Blackfoot Clearwater Game Management Area opened last Friday, May 15, for antler hunting. Hundreds of people were in this area, which is frequented by both individual grizzly bears and females with young and, while some people did see grizzly bears, there were no negative interactions.

Lincoln: A grizzly bear accessed a turkey coop at a residence in the area. FWP is working with the homeowner to electrify the area. Electric fencing is highly effective in deterring bears and other predators from getting into poultry.
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BLACK BEAR UPDATE
May 20, 2015

South Hills: FWP reports 3-4 different black bears have been seen in the South Hills. The bears are coming down off of Mount Dean Stone and following the natural big draws or creeks. These bears have been getting into unsecured garbage including residential dumpsters that are brimming with garbage. This activity is teaching the bears that they can get a food reward in the neighborhood. Most of this area is within Missoula’s garbage ordinance’s bear buffer zone which means it is against the law to leave garbage out where bears can access it.

The South Hills is quickly becoming a new hot spot for human-bear conflicts in the Missoula area; however, this can be avoided by taking steps that contain attractants that “reward” bears for being in the neighborhood. This includes bringing in birdfeeders and storing garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the day of pickup. If you have questions about how to contain attractants or what might be an attractant on your property feel free to contact us.

Miller Creek: Residents have reported black bear activity in the Miller Creek area. Please contain attractants.

Rattlesnake: There are at least two different bears but potentially others in the Rattlesnake area. There have been reports of bears accessing garbage. Please bring in birdfeeders and contain your garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup. While there is still work to do and most likely always will be, residents in the Rattlesnake have come a long way in securing attractants from bears. The Rattlesnake used to be the main hot spot of Missoula for bear conflicts but extensive efforts to contain garbage, bring in birdfeeders and just general awareness of the issue has spread conflicts have come down considerably. Thank you Rattlesnake residents for this accomplishment!

Pattee Canyon: Residents have seen a couple of different black bears in the area.

Seeley Lake: There have been reports of bears getting into unsecured garbage. Please contain your garbage in a bear-resistant manner. If you are interested in receiving a bear-resistant container and have garbage pick-up service you can contact Republic Services directly. Otherwise, the Seeley Lake Refuse site has less than 10 bear-resistant containers left for a free checkout program. The container must be maintained in good condition and returned by December 1st. Please contact them for more information.

Big Sky Lake: A black bear has been getting into birdfeeders in the Big Sky Lake area. Please bring in birdfeeders. Bird feeders “train” bears that they get a food reward if they venture up onto porches and close to homes.

Ninemile: A black bear has been getting into birdfeeders in the Upper Ninemile. Please bring in birdfeeders and tools such as electric fence can help minimize conflicts with bears. FWP is monitoring the situation.

Sleeman Creek: A black bear has been seen on porches in the area. This is the same bear that became food-conditioned in the Big Flat/Orchard Homes area by accessing multiple birdfeeders. FWP is monitoring the situation, but at this time if the bear is caught FWP will have to remove this bear. Bears and birdfeeders don’t mix. Birdfeeders train bears to come onto porches and close to homes which usually ends poorly for the bear and can become a human safety issue.

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MOUNTAIN LION UPDATE
May 20, 2015

O’Brien Creek: FWP is monitoring an area near a home site for suspected mountain lion activity.

Potomac – Hole in the Wall area: A mountain lion was seen harassing livestock. The situation is being monitored.
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MOUNTAIN LION UPDATE
May 12, 2015

Butler Creek Area: A mountain lion was sighted in the area. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is monitoring.

Sweeney Creek: There are reports of lion activity. FWP is monitoring the situation.

Kelly Island area: A mountain lion may have killed two chickens. FWP is monitoring.
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GRIZZLY BEAR UPDATE
May 12, 2015

Lincoln: A grizzly bear accessed a bee yard. FWP is working with the homeowner on an electric fence.
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BLACK BEAR UPDATE
May 4, 2015

Pattee Canyon: A homeowner shot and killed a black bear on their porch this weekend. This bear had reportedly been on multiple porches trying to get at birdfeeders. Please bring in birdfeeders. Birdfeeders are an irresistible draw for bears and they “train” bears to look for a food source on porches and near homes. Bird houses and bird baths are better options to view birds in bear country.

Fort Missoula / Target Range area:
As seen on the news, on Sunday a black bear found itself in a neighborhood on the west side of Missoula. FWP monitored this bear where it had climbed a tree and stayed with the bear until dark. The bear has moved on. Occasionally, bears will find their way into town via river corridors at night and then as the sun comes up realize they are amongst houses. Once it becomes dark again, they often work their way back to safer habitat.

Another black bear was reported in the Target Range area. FWP followed this bear until it reached the Kelly Island area. This appears to be a different bear than the one reported on Sunday. There was an additional bear sighting today near the location of the other bear from Sunday. FWP is monitoring the situation.

Rattlesnake: Hikers and mountain bikers reported seeing a black bear off the main trailhead in the Rattlesnake this weekend. We highly recommend people carry bear spray when recreating in bear country, even on trails right around Missoula.

Seeley Lake/Double Arrow:
This weekend was the first reported sighting of a black bear female with two young of the year in the Double Arrow. Please contain your garbage in a bear-resistant manner and please bring in birdfeeders.

A bear reportedly broke into a shed on the Double Arrow. FWP is investigating. _________________________________________________________________________________________________

GRIZZLY BEAR UPDATE
May 4, 2015

Grizzly bear sightings and activity have picked up in the Clearwater and Blackfoot valleys. May is when the rest of the bears will emerge from their dens, including females with young of the year. Please secure all “attractants” in a bear-resistant manner, carry bear spray, look for signs of bear activity and pay attention to your surroundings. By being “bear aware” you can avoid encounters and/or conflicts with grizzly bears. Report grizzly bear sightings to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park’s R2 Bear Management Specialist James Jonkel 406-542-5500.

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