PEOPLE AND FOOD: Do not leave food outside unattended, particularly at night.  BBQ grills should be kept clean and in a secure building, garage or shed when not in use.  Do not keep refrigerators or freezers outside.

CHICKENS: Chickens are an attractant.  Electric fences will protect chickens.

TRASH: Keep all trash including aluminum cans recycling in a secure building, garage or shed.  Put out trash the day of pick-up.  Put trash out no sooner than 7:00am, Monday morning.

BIRDFEEDERS: The best option is not to feed birds while bears are active (March - November) but if you do, hang the feeders out of reach.  This means at least 10 feet up and 4 feet out from the tree trunk or pole.  Other options include bringing feeders in at night or only placing a cup of seed in the feeder per day, so if a bear finds it there is no food for him to get.

PET FOOD: If your pets are allowed in the house, feed them in the house.  If they are outside pets, feed only during the day, and feed only the amount the animal eats in a single feeding.  Bring the bowls in at night so there is no uneaten food left outside.

LIVESTOCK & POULTRY FEEDS: Especially attractive are horse pellets, 3-way mixes (corn, oats and barley mixed with molasses), cracked corn and oats, and chicken scratch.  Store all feeds in metal containers with lock down lids (55 gallon drums work well) inside a secure building, garage or shed.  Feed in a bucket or tub so that you can remove and secure any uneaten food.  Do not place these feeds out for other wildlife species.

FRUIT TREES: Pick fruit as it becomes ripe and remove any fruit on the ground.  Store all picked fruit inside a secure building, garage or shed.  Electric fencing is very effective if properly constructed.

VEGETABLE & FLOWER GARDENS: Most gardens are alright, however, bears will dig up and eat carrots and some flower bulbs.  Do not use blood meal.  Electric fencing is very effective if properly constructed.

COMPOST PILES: Not recommended.  If you must have a compost pile, enclose it with electric fencing.  Don't put meat, fish, melon rinds and other pungent scraps in the pile.  Better yet, compost only leaves and grass, not kitchen scraps.  Keep the pile aerated and properly turned.  Add lime to promote decomposition and reduce odor.

VEHICLES: Don't leave trash, groceries or animal feed in your vehicle.  Bears can and do pry open car and truck doors and break windows to get at food or coolers and other items they associate with food.

We are dedicated to providing the information and resources necessary to prevent conflicts with wildlife. This increases human safety and allows wildlife to move through the greater Ninemile-Sixmile area without becoming “food-conditioned” (i.e., expecting food from humans). Check out our many programs and informational links and do your part to keep our wildlife wild!

  • Links
    The Ninemile Wildlife Workgroup works with a lot of folks in order to meet our goals.  Please check out the great resources they provide:

        Center for Wildlife Information
        Defenders of Wildlife
        Five Valley Audubon
        Five Valleys Land Trust
        Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee
        Living With Wildlife Foundation
        Lolo National Forest
        Missoula Bears 
        Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
        Montana Land Reliance
        Montana DOT US 93 Wildlife Crossing Structure Monitoring
        Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
        The Nature Conservancy
        Montana Trout Unlimited
        Vital Ground
        Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

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