In late May, FWP was notified that a grizzly bear got into and ate unsecured chickens and ducks after it had been visibly grazing in fields near residences south of Eureka. FWP captured the young male bear on May 28. The bear did not have a known conflict history. After consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service, FWP released the bear May 29 in a remote forested section of the Kootenai National Forest up Big Creek near Lake Koocanusa.
In a separate incident, on May 27, FWP captured a young female grizzly bear on Eastman Drive in Ferndale. The bear found a bag of unsecured garbage containing dog food and dragged it into a neighbor’s yard. Repeated attempts to haze the bear away after the garbage was removed were not successful. The bear did not have a known conflict history. After consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service, FWP moved the bear to a remote forested section in the Deep Creek drainage near Hungry Horse Reservoir.
Western Montana is home to black bears and grizzly bears that are active from springtime through late fall. Removing or securing food attractants such as garbage, pet food, bird feeders and bird seed can help to avoid conflicts with bears and other wildlife. Always position yourself near shelter and stay at least 100 yards away from wildlife if trying to haze bears and other animals away with loud noises. Chickens and other livestock should be properly secured with electric fencing or inside a closed shed with a door. Domestic fruit should be picked up as soon as possible. Recreationists are urged to “Be Bear Aware” and follow precautionary steps to prevent conflicts, including carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it, and traveling in groups while making noise.
Residents are encouraged to report bear activity as soon as possible. To report grizzly bear activity in the greater Flathead Valley, call FWP bear management specialists at 406-250-1265. To report black bear and mountain lion activity in the greater Flathead Valley, call 406-250-0062. To report bear activity in the Cabinet-Yaak area, call 406-291-1320.
For more information, visit fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/species/grizzlyBear.
Media contact: Dillon Tabish, 406-751-4564, Dillon.Tabish@mt.gov