September 2020

Montana map with region 2

UPDATES: September 25, 2020

BLACK BEAR

Region-wide: There is a lot of black bear activity throughout Region 2. Bears are venturing out for apples and then getting into accessible garbage. Animal Control is actively patrolling all the bear buffer zone areas and issuing tickets for those not following the rules of the local ordinance. Please pick your domestic fruit, contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner, and bring in bird feeders.

Rattlesnake: Black bear activity is continuing to increase in the Rattlesnake neighborhoods as bears are accessing apples and other domestic fruit and then finding garbage. FWP is receiving multiple calls of bears throughout the Rattlesnake neighborhoods, including Greenough Park and the surrounding area. It is a good idea to keep dogs on leash in the park and creek bottoms. It is also a good idea to carry bear spray and know how to use it. One black bear went down Rattlesnake Creek and into the downtown area yesterday and got into garbage. FWP darted and relocated the bear. Please pick fruit, contain all garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup, and take down bird feeders. Also, remember to keep garage doors closed. A bear in the area accessed garbage in an open garage and, as you can see in the photos below, has been feeding on a lot of apples.

Hellgate Canyon: There are reports of multiple bears in Hellgate Canyon, between Bonner and the University, feeding on hawthorn and apples. FWP is investigating reports of a bear accessing food in the area. Please contain all garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup and bring in bird feeders.  

Grant Creek: There is a female with two cubs and several lone bears feeding on the last of the hawthorn in Grant Creek. Unfortunately, these bears are also finding bird feeders and garbage. Please take down all bird feeders and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup.

Big Flat: There are reports of bears in domestic fruit trees. Please pick domestic fruit, contain all garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup, and bring in bird feeders.

Bitterroot Valley: FWP is receiving a lot of reports of bears in fruit trees and getting into garbage and bird feeders. Contain all garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup and bring in bird feeders.

Lolo: Black bear activity is increasing as bears are coming down for domestic fruit and getting into garbage. Contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup.

Frenchtown: FWP is receiving reports of bears in the area feeding on hawthorn and in domestic fruit trees. Contain all garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup and bring in bird feeders.

Orchard homes: There are reports of black bears in the area. Contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner and bring in bird feeders.

Pattee Canyon: There are reports of black bears in the area. Please contain all garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup and bring in bird feeders.

St. Regis/Superior/Alberton: There have been reports of bears in apples trees and getting into uncontained garbage. Pick fruit and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup or until you take it to the dump.

Seeley Lake: There are still multiple black bears around the town of Seeley Lake. One black bear broke into a car and got food. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner, lock vehicle doors, and take down bird feeders.

Drummond & Anaconda: Currently, there are not very many reports of bear activity in the area. However, as fruit trees ripen, this will soon change. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup and bring in bird feeders.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Region-wide & hunters: There are a lot of reports of bowhunters seeing grizzly bears in hawthorn patches. Most bowhunters are running clean camps, however, FWP has received a handful of reports of hunters not following field orders. Wardens are patrolling for hunters not following food orders on Federal lands. There have also been several reports of ranchers seeing grizzly in agricultural fields.

Seeley Lake: There is at least one grizzly bear seeking garbage in the Seeley Lake area and FWP is investigating.  

MOUNTAIN LION

Region-wide: FWP is receiving multiple calls of mountain lion sightings throughout the region. Mountain lions continue to follow deer down to irrigated residential areas and agricultural fields.


September 18, 2020

BLACK BEAR

Region-wide: Bears are down in the valleys feeding on hawthorn and domestic fruit where it is available. Please pick your domestic fruit and contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. If you need help picking fruit or have excess fruit, here are a few options:

Big Flat/O’Brien Creek: Multiple bears are getting into domestic fruit. Pick domestic fruit and contain garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup. Bring in bird feeders.

Bitterroot: There have been a lot of reports of bears in the river bottom and drainages and getting into domestic fruit, especially apple trees. There are still a lot of natural foods available, but bears are also attracted to domestic fruit trees. Bring in bird feeders and store garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup.

Bonner/Anaconda: There haven’t been many reports of bears in domestic fruit trees yet because the apples come out later in this area. Expect bears to shift to fruit trees in the next few weeks. Bring in bird feeders and store garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup.

Grant Creek: There have been multiple reports of bears feeding on domestic fruit. Pick your fruit and contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Bring in bird feeders.

Helmville: FWP responded to a black bear that got into a septic tank one night. The next night the same bear climbed a power pole next to an apple tree and was electrocuted. Bears are attracted to all types of fruit trees – crab apples, pears, plums, etc. If you have fruit trees you should expect to have bears attracted to them. Please pick all fruit as soon as it ripens and do not let fruit collect on the ground.

Lolo: There have been multiple incidents of black bears in domestic fruit and garbage, particularly in residential areas along the river bottoms. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Rattlesnake: There are multiple black bears active in the Rattlesnake feeding on domestic fruit and unfortunately finding unsecured garbage and bird feeders. There have been a lot black bear sightings in residential areas and greenways. One bear entered a garage and FWP set a trap, but the bear didn’t come back and the trap was pulled. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Pick fruit as soon as it ripens, do not put out garbage until the morning of pickup, do not leave garages open, and take down all bird feeders. Bears attracted to fruit trees will find other attractants that are left out and accessible.

Seeley Lake: There are several black bears in the area that are getting into attractants left out. FWP is working with several food service establishments and getting them bear-resistant garbage containers and putting up enclosures around dumpsters and grease bins.

St. Regis: There are reports of bears getting into apple trees around St. Regis and the Lower Clark Fork area. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner and pick fruit.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Seeley and Placid Lake: There have been numerous sightings of grizzly bears crossing roads as well as grizzly bear signs (scat, tracks). There are a lot of grizzly bears and black bears throughout the valley feeding on natural food sources such as hawthorn. There are 1-2 grizzly bears that were getting into dumpsters and now have shifted to residential attractants. These bears have accessed multiple household garbage containers, bird feeders, and broke a window of a vehicle. FWP is trapping for these bears. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner and bring in bird feeders. Do not leave garbage and other attractants out and accessible to bears.  

Upper Blackfoot & Clearwater: There have been multiple reports of grizzly bears in agricultural fields. Hunters are seeing a lot of bear sign in the area. Please carry bear spray and know how to use it.

MOUNTAIN LION

Region-wide: With autumn approaching and increasing dryness, wildlife are shifting to green areas. Deer are attracted to watered lawns and fruit trees and mountain lions follow them.

Bonner: There are reports of mountain lion activity.

Seeley and Placid Lakes: There have been multiple sightings of mountain lions in the area.


September 11, 2020

Region-wide: Bears are in hyperphagia and trying to eat as many calories as possible right now. Many bears have been seen in berry patches feeding on hawthorn and the remaining chokecherry. It is also the beginning of hunting season. Hunters should be bear aware, carry bear spray, and know how to use it. Be especially aware in areas where there is a heavy berry load and in riparian areas. Keep a clean camp and be knowledgeable of food storage orders where you might be hunting or recreating. This is a helpful map when looking into food storage orders http://igbconline.org/food-storage-regulations-2/

BLACK BEAR

Region-wide: A black bear was killed on the highway near Helmville and another black bear was hit and killed on I90 in the lower Clark Fork. This is not uncommon this time a year as bears feed on berries along roadsides and railroad tracks.

Bitterroot: There are multiple black bears active in the foothills and along riparian corridors feeding on hawthorn and chokecherry. Bears will start to shift onto domestic fruit. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Bonner/Milltown/East Missoula: FWP has received reports of black bears in the area. Bears are moving down for the domestic fruit that is ripening and they are also feeding on chokecherry and hawthorn. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Grant Creek: There have been multiple reports of black bears in the area feeding on natural berries. Contain garbage until the morning of pickup.

Lower Clark Fork: There are multiple black bears active in the foothills and along riparian corridors feeding on hawthorn and chokecherry. Bears will start to shift onto domestic fruit. Contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner.

Rattlesnake: Bears are continuing to move into the residential areas getting ready for the apples and other domestic fruit that will soon be available. Bears are continuing to feed on the remaining chokecherries and abundant hawthorn. FWP has received multiple reports of new bears in the residential area and bears getting into unsecured garbage. Contain all garbage in a bear-resistant manner until the morning of pickup. Pick fruit as soon as possible and do not let fruit collect on the ground.

Seeley Lake: There are multiple black bears getting into garbage that is being left out all week. FWP is working with partners to try and get more bear-resistant garbage containers into the community. Please contain all attractants in a bear-resistant manner. Do not leave garbage out and accessible to bears.

GRIZZLY BEAR

Clearwater and Blackfoot: There have been multiple reports of grizzly bears feeding on chokecherry and hawthorn and along riparian corridors. Everyone should be bear aware, carry bear spray, and know how to use it. Hunters be bear aware in all areas but also pay special attention in areas of dense brush and where berry load is high.

Seeley Lake: A grizzly bear continues to tip bear-resistant dumpsters in the area. The last couple of attempts did not result in the bear getting a food reward because the dumpsters were bear-resistant. FWP is working with the community to develop solutions for bears getting into garbage. FWP is also planning to set traps for this particular grizzly bear.

MOUNTAIN LION

FWP has had reports of mountain lion activity in Miller Creek, O’Brien Creek, Grant Creek and Seeley Lake. This is not unusual as mountain lions are following deer and elk as they move around fall habitat.