October 2017

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October 25, 2017

BLACK BEAR

Region-wide: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is fielding multiple reports of bears in domestic fruit trees adjacent to homes. If you have a domestic fruit tree near your home please pick all the fruit. FWP is also getting a lot of calls from people who want FWP to trap and remove black bears that are feeding on domestic fruit and garbage that has been left out all week. FWP will not simply trap and remove black bears for getting into garbage or domestic fruit unless the homeowner(s) remove and/or secure attractants, and then only if the issue continues. More often than not, once the attractants are removed/contained the bears leave.  FWP recommends that communities experiencing chronic issues with bears getting into garbage and other attractants organize and work towards making your communities bear smart. For information on containing attractants please check out www.missoulabears.org. There are several communities that have successfully minimized their conflicts with bears by organizing together, increasing communication, and directly addressing their conflict issues.

Big Flat: A black bear entered an open garage and got into garbage. Please close garage doors.

Rock Creek: There have been reports of several black bears getting into garbage. Contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup.

Rattlesnake: There have been several black bears reported in trees in the neighborhood. These bears are using these trees to rest during the day. They will usually move on during the night. Do not approach black bears in trees. Please remove attractants and pick fruit near homes.

Mid-Blackfoot Valley: A female black bear was killed during an encounter with a dog in someone’s yard. The bears were there eating apples. The cubs were taken to the rehab center in Helena. Black bears continue to be seen in the area, including another family group. FWP is working with residents in the area on getting attractants contained and apples picked.

Superior area: A homeowner killed a black bear in a yard. The bear was eating apples and had an encounter with their dog.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Blackfoot and Clearwater: Hunters, including duck hunters, continue to report encountering grizzly bears at close range (50-60 yards) as well as seeing grizzly bears at a distance. Duck and bird hunters with dogs should be especially aware because a free-roaming dog can occasionally lead to an encounter between the dog and a bear and the dog can bring the bear back to you. Two elk that were left by hunters overnight were taken over by grizzlies. Hunters should know how to use and always carry bear spray. A female with cubs was seen crossing Hwy 200 in front of vehicles. A bear of unknown species was seen pulling a road-killed elk off of Hwy 200.

Beavertail Hill Area: FWP is investigating several reports that a possible grizzly bear got into garbage.

MOUNTAIN LION

Region 2: There are multiple reports of lions throughout Region 2 and in and around Missoula. Mountain lions will follow the deer herds. Feeding wildlife such as deer is illegal and can congregate deer and lure in predators. Do not feed wildlife.

Frenchtown: A mountain lion killed a lamb and was subsequently injured by the homeowner. FWP located the injured lion and euthanized it.

East Missoula: There have been reports of lion sightings near the river. No conflicts have been reported.

Seeley Lake: There have been multiple mountain lion sightings. If you have livestock such as free-ranging chickens, goats, etc., it is advised that you contain such livestock with electric fence to deter bears and mountain lions.


October 11, 2017

Region-wide: Halloween is approaching and pumpkins are starting to show up on porches. At the same time, we continue to see bear activity in neighborhoods. A pumpkin makes a tasty treat for both bears and deer. Keeping pumpkins inside, at a minimum, at night could prevent bears and deer from snacking on them.

BLACK BEAR

Anaconda/Clear Creek: There are multiple reports of bears getting into garbage and fruit trees. Please do not put out garbage until the day of pick up or until you can take it away.

Bitterroot: Multiple black bears have been seen in domestic fruit and getting into garbage. Please pick fruit and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pick up.

Drummond: Black bears have been seen feeding on apples. A black bear did enter an open garage to get into garbage. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is monitoring.

Farviews and the South Hills: There have been reports of black bears in domestic fruit and getting into garbage. Please pick fruit and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pick up.

I-90: Two black bears were hit and killed crossing I-90.

Lolo Creek: FWP attempted to trap a black bear that was getting into garbage. FWP captured a non-target black bear and this bear was relocated. There have been multiple reports of bears getting into garbage and domestic fruit trees.

Miller Creek: Multiple black bears have been seen in domestic fruit and getting into garbage. Please pick fruit and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pick up

Ninemile and Sixmile: Multiple black bears have been seen in domestic fruit trees. Please pick fruit and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pick up.

O’Brien Creek: Bears continue to be seen in domestic fruit trees. Local residents are working with FWP to increase communication among community members about containing bear attractants.

Pattee Canyon: There have been reports of bear activity but it appears active neighborhood outreach has been effective in curbing conflict.

Potomac: There continue to be reports of black bears getting into garbage. FWP is working with local residents to find a solution to this issue.

Rattlesnake: Multiple black bears have been seen in the Rattlesnake neighborhoods feeding on domestic fruit and bears are continuing to find unsecured garbage. Please pick fruit and put garbage out only on the morning of pick up and contain all other attractants.

Rock Creek: FWP is working with residents in lower Rock Creek to contain bear attractants. Black bears have been getting into garbage and other attractants in the Upper Rock Creek area and FWP is reaching out to residents in this area.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Seeley Lake: A grizzly bear got into a chicken coop. FWP is monitoring the situation and the landowners decided to not continue to raise chickens. Please pick fruit and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pick up.

Blackfoot: Local residents, hunters and those recreating in the Blackfoot valley continue to report grizzly bear activity. A female grizzly bear and two cubs were seen close to a home. The bears moved on without conflict. A hunter’s downed elk was taken over by a family group of grizzly bears in the backcountry of the Scapegoat Wilderness. Visit FWP’s Hunting in Bear Country for helpful information.