MISSOULA — Bears are out and about now from their dens in Montana which means it’s time for residents to prepare their properties.
It’s a wake-up call for bears and people across the state and it’s also time to start containing all bear attractants on your property so you don’t get an unwanted visitor in your backyard
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks recommends pulling all bird feeders and making sure all garbage, livestock feed, and pet feed be completely contained.
Bears have acute eyesight and hearing and their sense of smell is seven times greater than a dog’s -- s and 100 times more sensitive than a human’s.
This means they have a keen ability to detect pet food, garbage, barbecue grills, and bird feeders and once they locate a food source, they always remember where it is.
People should also move grills away from their homes when it’s not being used.
Grills should also be cleaned regularly with ammonia or bleach. If you find bleach or ammonia fumes unpleasant, you can imagine what they smell like to a bear.
FWP also recommends putting the garbage out on the morning of collection, feeding pets indoors, harvesting fruits frequently and picking up fallen fruit.
In the summer, birds can make do with naturally available foods but if you do set up feeders, install them away from your home.
By inadvertently luring bears to your homes the animals can subsequently be destroyed.