The relocation of two grizzly bears in northwest Montana last week has the area on alert for increased bear activity heading into the fall.
A Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks release says the agency captured a two-year-old male just east of Kalispell last Tuesday, and a two- to three-year-old female southwest of Whitefish Wednesday.
FWP spokesperson Dillon Tabish says the area is experiencing good berry crops this year, and that could amplify bears seasonal activities.
"They’re trying to eat as many calories as they can before going into the den for a few months. They are coming down into folks’ yards, eating just about anything they can."
The Kalispell grizzly had begun eating from garbage cans, which Tabish says could lead to food conditioning. The Whitefish bear seemed habituated, but had not found human food. Both were relocated to a remote part of Flathead National Forest.
Tabish doesn’t think northwest Montana can eliminate fall bear relocations.
"I think it’s just part of our daily life here in Montana, living in a wild place with wild animals."
Tabish says homeowners can prevent problems by putting trash, birdseed, chickens and even domestic fruit like crabapples out of the reach of bears.