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FWP Employee showing a resident a bear transportation trailer.

Conservation > Bear > Bear Aware Living in Bear Country

Bears are curious, and food driven. Feeding bears puts people and bears at risk. Securing attractants will greatly reduce the chances of a conflict with a bear.

Avoid Attracting Bears to Your Property

  • Garbage
    • Store garbage in an IGBC-certified bear resistant bin in a secure location
    • Keep garbage and recycling in a secured building at all times  
    • Put garbage and recycling out only on collection day.
  • Pet food, bird feeders and bird seed, or BBQ’s.
    • If feeding pets outside, feed only during the day and clean up spilled or uneaten food
    • Avoid feeding birds during active bear season. Consider using bird houses, bird baths, and native vegetation instead
    • Clean BBQs thoroughly after use
  • Fruit-bearing trees and bushes, gardens, and compost piles
    • Pick fruit immediately once it is ripe.
    • Store all picked fruits and vegetables inside a secure building
    • Consider installing an electric fence around fruit trees and gardens.
  • Livestock
    • Store livestock feed in a secure building
    • Secure vulnerable livestock (chickens, goats, sheep) with an electric fence.

Methods for Securing Attractants

  • In a hard-sided building, shed or barn with a securable door. Doors can be easily secured with a hasp and carabiner or latch mechanism.

  • In a steel drum with locking lid, or another bear-resistant container.

  • Within an effective and maintained electric fence.

    • FWP can assist with design and installation

    • Partial cost reimbursement programs are available

    • Click here to view a video about electric fencing.

    • Download: Electric fence guide (PDF)

  • Nails and screws facing outward from building and silo doors or on boards on the ground may deter a bear from attempting entry.

Deterrents and Repellents

  • Deterrents and repellents can be used to deter grizzly bears from an area and include:

    • Motion activated sirens or lights

    • Loud noises

    • Electrified "Unwelcome" mat

Vacation Rental Property Owners

Do you or someone you know own an Airbnb or VRBO? We encourage you to print one of these flyers off to leave in your rental property! It has great information to help keep people and bears safe in Montana. Thank you for helping us to educate the public about bear safety.

Urban Black Bears

Missoula, Montana is working on a fix good for people and bears.