What YOU do really matters!

If we minimize bear attractants, bears won’t frequent our homes looking for easy handouts like garbage.

COOPERATE WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS. PREVENTING BEAR PROBLEMS IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY. Work within your neighborhood to encourage others to manage their garbage, dog food, bird seed—anything that might attract a bear. Encourage your neighbors not to put out garbage for pick-up the night before. If there is a bear in the neighborhood, let people know. Work together to protect your neighborhood and to conserve bears.

STORE GARBAGE AND ANIMAL FEED INSIDE SECURE BUILDINGS OR IN BEAR-RESISTANT CONTAINERS. Secure garbage and animal feed so bears can’t get into them. Use a bear-resistant container; keep trash inside, in a reinforced shed, or in a garage. Don’t put out trash until the morning of trash day. In some states and municipalities, you can be fined for attracting wildlife with unattended garbage. If you take your garbage to a collection site, do so regularly. Make sure to place it IN the dumpster and close the lid. These collection sites attract bears, AND dumpsters need to be bear-resistant too!

Tips for Residents in Grizzly Country

To reduce the risk of problems with bears on or near your property, we urge you to follow this list of simple precautions. Avoid attracting bears to your residence. Please do your part so people and bears can live together.

Garbage should be stored where bears can neither smell nor gain access to it: either in a bear-resistant container or inside a building bears can’t get into. Use outside garbage cans for non-food items only. Haul garbage to an approved disposal site as often as possible, but at least once a week, to avoid build-up of odors.

Fruits trees attract bears, especially when wild foods are scarce. Electric fencing is the most effective way to keep bears out of orchards. Pick all fruit from trees and the ground as soon as possible; do not leave fruit through the fall.

Vegetable and flower gardens also attract bears. Gardens should be located away from forests or shrubs, which bears use for security and travel. Bears will dig up carrots and bulbs, so electric fencing is a good idea.

Visit Defenders of Wildlife to learn about its Electric Fencing Incentive Program

For More Information

For more information on bear safety and about living with bears in grizzly country, please contact the following agencies and organizations:


Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
490 North Meridian Road
Kalispell, Montana 59901
Phone 406-752-5501

Idaho Department of Fish and Game
P.O. Box 25
Boise, ID 83707
Phone: (208) 334-3700