Remove Backyard Bear Attractants This Fall;
Events and Organizations Help with Fruit Picking and Pressing
Help keep neighborhood bear conflicts to a minimum this fall by removing or securing backyard bear attractants such as fruit, birdseed, pet food, compost piles and garbage.
Even in areas where natural food sources are plentiful, bears can be tempted by attractants in our yards and neighborhoods, especially in the fall as they stock up and prepare to den. This can lead to safety concerns and prompt bear removals if they become hooked on these backyard foods instead of natural sources.
Keeping neighborhoods free of attractants is the key way to keep people and bears safe. Be sure to keep garbage indoors until the day of collection; consider using electric fencing around chickens, garden areas and compost piles; and move other attractants such as pet food and fruit indoors or into a secure building.
Domestic fruit is one of the primary attractants in the region in the fall. Pick fruit as it becomes ripe and remove any fruit on the ground. Store all fruit inside or in a secure garage or shed or consider electric fencing.
Fruit Picking Assistance
If you are unable to pick your fruit and would like assistance in Missoula, there are several organizations that can lend a hand. For more information, go to missoulabears.org and follow links to “community resources” and “attractant management.” West of Missoula, in the Huson and Alberton areas, contact the Ninemile Wildlife Workgroup online at ninemilewildlife.org, by phone at 406-626-4274 or by email at email@example.com.
Nine Mile Cider Pressing Oct. 13
Several local organizations also make minimizing bear attractants part of fun family events. On Saturday, Oct. 13 from 11am-3pm, the Ninemile Wildlife Workgroup is hosting a Cider Pressing and Chili Cookoff at the Nine Mile Community Center (25620 Nine Mile Road, Huson). Bring your backyard apples and get assistance pressing them into cider for free. The free event is open to anyone, and a chili lunch is offered for $5/person. Learn more at ninemilewildlife.org.
For more information on minimizing backyard bear attractants, visit fwp.mt.gov and following links to “fish and wildlife,” and “living with wildlife.”
(via MT FWP)