October 2020

Montana map with region 2

UPDATES: October 29, 2020

BLACK BEAR

Region-wide: Black bears should start denning up around the first week of November. Please do not hang bird feeders until after the first of December.

University of Montana/Hellgate Canyon, East Missoula, Bonner, Piltzville: There are 8 or more bears in this general area getting into garbage, fruit trees, and pulling down bird feeders. FWP captured and relocated one bear and continues to monitor ongoing activity. A black bear was killed on Interstate 90 near Bonner.

A black bear was killed on Highway 93 at Buckhouse Bridge.

Rattlesnake: There are still black bears active in the Rattlesnake. Please contain all attractants. Do not put out bird feeders until after the first of December.

Grant Creek: There are still black bears active in the area. Please contain all attractants. Do not put out birdfeeders until after the first of December.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Region-wide: Please do not put birdfeeders out until after the first of December.

Northeast of the Wye, Missoula: FWP responded to a grizzly bear breaking into a chicken coop. FWP set up critter gitters, a motion sensor alarm system, and the bear has not returned.

Blackfoot/Clearwater: FWP continues to get a lot of reports from hunters seeing bear tracks and seeing bears. There continues to be bear activity throughout the Blackfoot and Clearwater valleys. Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

Between I-90 and Drummond: FWP captured and relocated a grizzly bear that had found multiple attractants. This bear had no conflict history. This bear was relocated northwest of Lincoln, MT.

Helmville: A cow was killed by a grizzly bear. Wildlife Services and FWP have set a trap for this bear.

MOUNTAIN LION

Region-wide: Due to the recent snow, FWP is getting increased reports of mountain lion activity in valleys where there are deer. This is not unusual at this time of year.

Milltown: A mountain lion has been seen in several backyards. FWP is monitoring.


October 23, 2020

Region-wide: Well it looks like we are skipping fall for a bit and jumping into winter. Please remember that bears are still very active despite cold temperatures and snow on the ground. Continue to contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Do not put out bird feeders. Remember that feeding deer and elk is against the law and can draw in other animals. Also, please remember that bears love pumpkins. FWP has already received reports of bears taking pumpkins off porches. If you live in an area with lots of bear activity, pumpkins can draw bears to your porch or residence. Parents should bear aware of bear activity in your neighborhood when planning for Halloween. Accompany trick or treaters in areas where there is known bear activity, such as the Rattlesnake.

Hunters should expect and plan accordingly for grizzly bear activity anywhere in Western Montana. Hunters should be particularly vigilant in the Blackfoot and Clearwater drainages and other areas where there is more grizzly bear activity. Carry bear spray and know how to use it. Be knowledgeable and follow the food storage regulations in the area you are hunting. If anyone wants information about grizzly bear activity in Region 2 call James Jonkel at 406-542-5500.

BLACK BEAR

East Missoula/Bonner: Multiple black bears have been seen in the area. Many of these bears are getting into domestic fruit but unfortunately, some are also getting into garbage and pulling down bird feeders. Please bring bird feeders in and do not put garbage out until the morning of pickup. Talk to your local waste hauler about bear-resistance garbage options.

Rattlesnake: Some of the bears active in the Rattlesnake have shifted to the east, but there is still quite a bit of bear activity in the residential areas and surrounding lands. Do not put out bird feeders and do not put garbage out until the morning of pickup.

University of Montana: There have been several reports of black bears on campus as well as on trails near campus.

Pattee Canyon, South Hills, Big Flat, Grant Creek: All of these areas have black bear activity. The bears are still largely focused on domestic fruit but have also been finding unsecured garbage. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Bring in bird feeders.

Butler Creek: A black bear killed chickens. FWP is monitoring and is talking with the landowner about electric fencing for their chickens.

Lolo Creek and throughout the Bitterroot: There have been numerous reports of bears in domestic fruit trees and also getting into garbage and bird feeders. Please contain all attractants in a bear resistant manner. Talk to your local waste hauler about bear-resistant garbage containers if you do not have a way to store your garbage securely until the morning of pickup.

Lower Clark Fork: FWP continues to get reports of bears feeding on domestic fruit and also getting into garbage and bird feeders.

Anaconda: There have been multiple reports of black bears feeding on domestic fruit trees and also getting into garbage. Do not put garbage out until the morning of pickup.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Seeley Lake: FWP continues to have a grizzly bear that is getting into uncontained garbage on the edges of town and further from town. FWP is monitoring but may set a trap for this bear.

Clearwater Junction: A grizzly bear got into an open barn and got grain and accessed a freezer. FWP set up electric fences but the bear broke into another building. FWP set a trap for this bear; however, the bear was not captured because it moved on. FWP is monitoring if this bear returns.

Blackfoot Valley/Clearwater Valley: Grizzlies were seen feeding on cattle that had died. Wildlife Services responded and determined the cows died of natural carcasses. Carcasses were taken to the compost site and the bears moved on. FWP continues to get multiple reports from ranchers, hunters, and recreationists seeing a lot of grizzly bear activity, especially in the Clearwater Drainage area.

Between Drummond and Garrison Junction, south of I-90: FWP has been monitoring a grizzly bear that was reported to have killed ducks and chickens that were not within an electric fence. FWP has set traps for this bear.

Upper Miller Creek and Lolo Creek: There have been no additional reports of the grizzly bear seen in Upper Miller Creek or the grizzly bear seen in Lolo Creek.

MOUNTAIN LION

Region-wide: There have been multiple reports of mountain lion tracks in fresh snow throughout Region 2.

Ovando: A mountain lion has been hunting deer on the edges of Ovando. FWP is monitoring.

Seeley Lake: There have been reports of a mountain lion near residences in the Seeley Lake area.  

McClay Flat Area: FWP responded to an angler that encountered a mountain lion at close range. FWP is investigating.


October 13, 2020

BLACK BEAR

Region-wide: There is increased black bear activity across the region. Bears are going through hyperphagia and intently looking for food winter approaches. Berries are waning so they are focusing on domestic fruit across the region. In doing so, many black bears are also getting into garbage, chicken coops, bird feeders and other attractants. It is really important that you contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Hunting season means more people in the woods during the same time that bears are in hyperphagia. Know food storage orders in the area you are in and carry bear spray and know how to use it.

Rattlesnake: There are multiple black bears active in the Rattlesnake neighborhoods. Bears have been seen frequently in all the various parks and in domestic fruit trees. Unfortunately, there have been multiple black bears finding uncontained garbage. Please secure all attractants. The black bear that was previously captured and relocated a couple weeks ago in Kiwanis Park was captured again this weekend in the Rattlesnake. FWP euthanized this bear because he was seriously wounded.

East Missoula: There are multiple black bears active in the area. Secure attractants and pick fruit.

Grant Creek: There are multiple black bears active in the area. Secure attractants and pick fruit.

Hellgate Canyon/UM Area: There are multiple black bears using the river corridor and have been seen on the trail systems and in the University area.

Pattee Canyon/Farviews and South Hills: Black bears are active in the area. They are keying into domestic fruit. Please contain attractants and pick fruit.

Big Flat: Black bears are active in the area. They are keying into domestic fruit. Please contain attractants and pick fruit.

Lolo: There continues to be black bear activity near residential areas. Please contain attractants in a bear-resistant manner. There were also reports of an orphan black bear cub. FWP is monitoring.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Upper Blackfoot: There have been a lot of reports of grizzly bears active in the area. Bears have been seen by hunters and anglers as well as in agricultural fields. The berries are waning so bears are shifting to other food sources. Keep attractants secured. Carry bear spray and know how to use it. Know and follow the food storage orders in areas you are recreating.

Seeley Lake: There are reports of a grizzly bear that has been seen on the outskirts of town. This is probably the same grizzly bear that got into garbage earlier in the year, but there have been no reports of this bear accessing garbage recently. Thank you to those of you who have contained your garbage in a bear-resistant manner.

Ovando: A grizzly bear entered an open shed and got into a freezer and then entered a second shed to get grain. FWP and the Blackfoot Challenge worked with the landowner to install electric fencing. The bear came back and was shocked by the fence and has not returned. The Blackfoot Challenge has completed multiple electric fencing projects this year.

MOUNTAIN LION

Bonner: Residents have seen mountain lion activity near the outskirts of residential areas.

Seeley Lake: FWP has received reports of a mountain lion in a residential area. A mountain lion killed a deer north of Seeley and FWP relocated the carcass.

Rattlesnake Recreation Area: There have been reports of people seeing mountain lions in the area.


October 2, 2020

BLACK BEAR

Rattlesnake: There are approximately 25 or more black bears in and around the residential areas of the Rattlesnake right now. Most of the bears are taking advantage of the plentiful domestic fruit. Roughly five of those bears are getting into uncontained garbage, entering garages, walking on porches, at least one has tested a door on a home, and a chicken coop was destroyed. There was also one incident of a bear trying to get into a bear-resistant enclosure and several incidents of bears trying to access bear-resistant garbage cans. FWP is setting traps to capture several bears that are exhibiting more extreme behavior like testing doors and entering garages. Recreationists are also frequently seeing bears on many of the trails. Do not put garbage out before the morning of pick up. Make sure bird feeders are not out. Electric fencing can be an effective way to secure attractants such as chicken coops and fruit trees. Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

East Missoula and University of Montana: There are several bears that have been seen near the trails and river area near the UM campus and Hellgate Canyon.

Grant Creek: There are several bears active in the area.  A female with three cubs was seen feeding on a road-killed deer. Bears are also getting into garbage. Please contain attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Bonner/Milltown: There have been multiple reports of black bears getting into domestic fruit and garbage. Please pick fruit and contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Seeley Lake: There has been a lot of black bear activity in town. Black bears are getting into garbage at both residences and businesses.

Highway 200: A black bear was road-killed on highway 200 near Lubrecht.

Potomac: There continues to be black bear activity near residential areas. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Johnsrud Area: A lack bear got into uncontained garbage and a freezer on a porch. Please secure attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Pattee Canyon and South Hills: Black bear activity is being reported in these areas. Bears are keying into domestic fruit trees. Please pick fruit and contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Big Flat: Black bears are keying into the domestic fruit. Please pick fruit and contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Lolo: There continue to be reports of black bears near residential areas. Please do not put garbage out until the morning of pickup, pick domestic fruit, and contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Bitterroot: FWP has gotten an increasing number of calls from people in the Bitterroot. Black bears are getting into the plentiful domestic fruit and unfortunately finding unsecured garbage. Please do not put garbage out until the morning of pickup.  

Superior/St. Regis: Black bears have been seen getting into domestic fruit trees and garbage. Please pick fruit and contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Blackfoot and Clearwater: FWP continues to get reports from hunters seeing grizzly bears and signs of grizzly bear activity throughout the area. Grizzly bears have also been seen in agricultural fields. Please carry bear spray and know how to use it. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Know the food storage regulations in the locations you are hunting in.

Bitterroot: A hunter reported an encounter with a grizzly bear.

Lolo Creek: FWP verified a report of a grizzly bear in the area getting into residential fruit trees. FWP is monitoring and is asking all homeowners in the Lolo drainage to contain all potential attractants on their property including: keeping garbage inside until the morning of pick up, picking domestic fruit, bringing in bird feeders, and keeping pet and livestock feed stored in a secure building. A properly installed and maintained electric fence can be effective at keeping bears from getting into things like chicken coops, fruit trees, garbage, etc. There are programs available to assist with the costs of electric fencing. For more information, contact us.

Ninemile Divide: FWP received a report of verified grizzly bear activity in the area. FWP is monitoring.

MOUNTAIN LION

Clearwater Junction: A mountain biker surprised a mountain lion at close range near Clearwater Junction. FWP is investigating.

Seeley Lake: There have been reports of mountain lions near home sites. FWP is monitoring.