KALISPELL — This time of year it is common to see people decorate their homes with Jack-o-lanterns and pumpkins.
But is it possible that those decorations could be making you a target for a hungry bear?
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Dillon Tabish notes that bears can smell food up to a mile away.
He told MTN News that the sweet smell of pumpkins sitting outside your home could attract them right to your front door.
While it's not a dangerous issue in Northwest Montana, Tabish says residents need to 'Be Bear Aware'.
As the weather gets colder, bears are preparing to hibernate Tabish says bears are still active, and people need to take action to keep bears away from their homes.
"If you have bears in the area I recommend maybe putting them in at night, you can leave them out during the day. And then when you're going to bed, maybe bringing those pumpkins inside just to avoid any possible conflicts with bears," explained Tabish.
Tabish added that while bears are preparing for hibernation they eat 20,000 to 30,000 calories a day and actively seek any food, like pumpkins, to consume.
He notes that if you do move your pumpkins inside, make sure to put them in a secure, locked location so that bears can not reach them.