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Be Bear Aware
Bear aware photo.

Being bear-friendly in Montana is a commitment. It may mean sacrificing the opportunity to see a bear or take pictures of it—for the welfare of the bear. It means taking steps to prevent bears from finding sources of food on your property or when you are out camping.

Once a bear is food-trained, it is often impossible to un-train them. That is why biologists so often say a fed bear is a dead bear.

Your vigilance in keeping your residence and outdoor camps "Bear Friendly" can make all the difference in helping keep Montana's grizzly and black bears wild and free.

"Bear Friendly" means allowing every bear to retain its wild and free nature.

Montana is a place where a bear is not viewed as entertainment but as a wild animal that shares its habitat with humans. Please make the commitment now to share bear country in a way that is respectful of bears and of the safety of other humans.

See Montana Bears

View many photos and videos of bears and their encounters with humans in our photo, video, and trail cam galleries.

Images branded as © Derek Reich are copyrighted by Zooprax Productions. All rights reserved. 

Living in Bear Country

Nine times out of ten, bears that repeatedly get into attractants around our homes are eventually euthanized. Please help save Montana bears from this needless outcome by learning some tips to help keep your residence bear-friendly.

  • Do not put out salt licks, grain, or deer blocks to attract wild animals as these create areas of concentrated animal scent that will then draw in bears and mountain lions.
  • Use native plant landscaping whenever possible. Be aware that a watered lawn with lush grass, clover, and dandelions is an attractive feeding site for bears.
  • Close all windows when not at home or when cooking.
  • Talk to your children about bears and how to avoid them.
  • Have a plan in case a bear comes inside your home and keep bear pepper spray handy. Give a bear that is in your home an escape route by propping all doors open with something heavy that will act as a doorstop.
  • Never approach a bear in your yard, always give bears an escape route and never crowd or harass a bear.

Learn about bear attractants, how to tell if your residence is bear-friendly, and some bear-aware tools to help keep bears wild.

Don't Feed Bears!

It is unlawful to intentionally, or to inadvertently feed bears. Those who do will be warned and possibly cited under this important Montana Law.

If You Care, Leave Them There

Sometimes people find young bears and other species and think they are abandoned or orphaned. This is often not true. If you care, leave them there. [Learn more]

Hunting in Bear Country

Hunters should take precautions while hunting in bear country. Due to weather and pine beetle issues, hunters are at a higher risk of bear attacks in 2010. [Learn more]

Bear Safety

Learn how to recreate in bear country, how to identify black bears and grizzly bears, what to do if you encounter a bear, and how to use bear pepper spray.

Learn how to be safe when hunting in bear country. Read the following brochure for more details:

Hunting Safely in Grizzly Country (Hunting Safely in Grizzly Country238 KB)

Bear Education

Teachers and students alike can find helpful tools and interesting information about bears. Find videos, posters, and teachers' aids to use in the classroom. [Learn more]

Contact Bear Managers

Contact FWP bear managers and other experts throughout the state.