Bear conflicts up in south-central Montana, FWP reports

Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Lockwood, Big Timber, Absarokee and other communities have been experiencing more bear conflicts than usual this fall, according to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

During the fall, bears are busy eating anything they can to fatten up for winter hibernation. To keep bears and humans safe, Montana residents need to ensure their property is free of any attractants such as open garbage cans, barbecue grills and fruit from trees.

Natural food sources such as berries are in short supply this year, so bears may be more likely to seek out food in residential areas. 

To remain safe and prevent bears from getting into trouble, FWP is asking residents to eliminate any opportunity for bears to find food in or around their homes, businesses and vehicles. Residents should store all garbage, barbecue grills, pet food, horse pellets and livestock feed in a locked building. They should remove all bird feeders and clean up apples, berries and other potential food sources from their yard. Bear-proofing also includes thoroughly cleaning decks and patios around barbecue areas to remove odors from previous cooking.

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