Safety reminders as human and bear activity increases
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: May 5, 2023

Stay safe at home and on the trails

BILLINGS – Spring in Montana means the return of outdoor recreation, greenery and bears. Both grizzly and black bears are now active in south-central Montana, especially along the Beartooth Mountain Front. As the busy summer recreation season approaches and as bears become more active, it’s important to keep bear safety tips in mind.

Bears are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Food sources and habits for bears change seasonally. Following emergence from hibernation in the spring, bears can be especially territorial over food sources. Be aware of your surroundings while hiking and recreating outdoors and use extreme caution if you find an animal carcass.

Seeing a bear can be an exciting wildlife viewing opportunity. However, human and bear safety must be prioritized above photographs and wildlife viewing. Never approach a bear. Respect and awareness are key components to keeping everyone safe —including members of the public, FWP staff and wildlife.

For many communities in Montana, bears are a common occurrence in town. Bear safety is not just something to practice while recreating, but a necessity for everyday life. Always make sure your home, property and vehicles are clean and free of potential attractants. Common attractants include garbage, barbecue grills, pet food, bird seed, horse pellets and livestock feed, and should be kept inside locked buildings. After grilling and outside cooking, clean decks and patio areas to remove any food odors.

Always remember, avoiding a conflict is easier than dealing with one.

For more information on staying safe in bear country, please visit: 

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