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Fall wildlife safety tips to avoid harmful encounters

mountain lion
Posted at 6:26 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 20:54:53-04

HELENA — With a recent sighting of a mountain in Bull Run Drive and Gold Rush Avenue this week, many animals are out and about, but there are ways to avoid a harmful encounter.

“We see [mountain lions] periodically throughout the years. we get reported of sightings fairly regularly, but not frequently, but regularly," said Greg Lemon the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Communication and Education Division Administrator.

Lemon says the beginning of autumn with the deer rut, bears preparing for hibernation, can bring unwanted critters into neighborhoods within city limits. It's always a good idea to keep an eye on children and pets.

Protecting your garbage is also one way to avoid animals coming into your area.

"Store their food and attractants in so garbage, pet food, bird feeders, get those put away so that they don't have access to them. Don't set your garbage out till the morning of when the pickup is going to be and then get it right back in inside,” said Lemon.

Lemon says if you do have an animal encounter to not run but stand your ground, and to take precautions before hitting the trail.

"As a precaution, you know folks out on the trails that can always carry bear spray and that comes in handy for if you run into a bear, run across some mountain lion and it gives people a level of comfort and another tool to ward off any sort of problem,” said Lemon.

Bear spray works on warding off almost all mammals.

To find more safety tips and information you can visit the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks website here.