BILLINGS – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is urging south-central Montana residents to clean their properties to keep bears away.
Open garbage cans, fruit on the ground under trees and other attractants are common in some neighborhoods, according to Fish and Wildlife.
Bears can be anywhere in the region, and they’re looking to eat to fatten up for winter hibernation. Residents should remove their opportunities to find food outside, according to FWP.
Residents should store all garbage, barbecue grills, pet food, horse pellets and livestock feed in a locked building. They should remove all bird feeders and clean up apples, berries and other potential food sources from their yard.
Bear-proofing also includes thoroughly cleaning decks and patios around barbecue areas to remove odors from previous cooking.
If bears do not find food in one location, they will look elsewhere. Animals will not stay where they find only clean, bear-proofed homes, businesses and vehicles.
Berries and other natural foods are in ample supply this year, so bears will go looking elsewhere if they do not find attractants near towns.