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Missoula not the only Montana community seeing more bear sightings

Bear .jpg
Posted at 9:31 AM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 12:05:00-04

BOZEMAN - Missoula isn't the only place in Montana where bears have been seen making the rounds recently.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) responded to more than five separate reports of bear sightings in the area over the weekend.

One bear in Bozeman wandered into Montana State Senator JP Pomnichowski’s backyard.

“Climbing, climbing in a couple of seconds,” says Pomnichowski.

Pomnichowski was doing the dishes Sunday night when she looked up and noticed something odd.

“I looked up and saw a black bear,” Pomnichowski.

She quickly grabbed her phone and snapped pictures of her visitor.

“I came out just outside the backdoor zoomed in and took some photos and footage,” says Pomnichowski.

FWP notes as we head into hibernation season bear sightings become more common.

“We routinely see multiple calls a day of bear activity, especially in places like Bozeman and Big Sky,” said FWP spokesperson Morgan Jacobsen.

Jacobsen says when bears are active, from March to December, people should make sure to secure items that bears might be attracted to.

“Be bear aware no matter where you live but especially in western Montana make sure that garbage and pet food and bird feeders are secured,” said Jacobsen.

This is something Pomnichowski knows all too well, so she makes sure to take down her bird feed in order to have fewer things bears could eat.

Even then there is no escaping what is in her yard.

“What smells tasty to us smells tasty to a bear and then some. They have been eating choke cherries - we have choke cherries,” says Pomnichowski.

Pomnichowski says although the bear was close to her backyard, at the end of the day she understands it’s also the bear’s territory.

“We just leave him alone- let them live their little lives, all is well,” says Pomnichowski.

FWP reminds you to be alert and keep your distance if you see grizzly or black bears as you head outside or even in your neighborhood.

“Secure attractants, carrying bear spray, and be prepared to use it while recreating or working outside,” says Jacobsen.

Visit the FWP website to learn more about how to "Be Bear Aware" in Montana.