USFS Press Release - Bears have been active and moving around the Big Hole, Beaverhead Mountains, Reservoir Lake and SW Montana in general. The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest has a mandatory forest-wide Food Storage Order. Bears that are rewarded by food and other attractants can become problem bears.
Our goal is to keep YOU and the bears safe during your visit to our forest.
Keep your camp clean and store attractants (food, drinks, toiletries, barbecue grill, etc.) out of reach of all animals. The Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF requires all food, attractants, and refuse must be acceptably stored or attended. Attended means that someone is within 100 feet and in sight of accessible items. While attended these items do not have to be stored.
The Forest has a bear-resistant container loaner program to help forest visitors comply with food storage regulations. Forest visitors can check out a variety of bear-resistant containers such as horse panniers, backpacking “bear barrels” and bear-resistant coolers for their planned outings. There is a limited supply of these containers, so contact your local Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF office for details.
When hiking in the woods, your best defense is bear spray. Here are some tips on how to effectively use your bear spray: draw it from an accessible location; remove the safety cap and press the trigger; spray at 30-60 feet away; aim slightly down and adjust for crosswinds; discharge the spray in front of the bear’s face; the spray will create a cloud in front of you; keep spraying until the bear changes direction.
To find out more about bear safety and links to certified bear resistant products go online to the Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF web page at https://go.usa.gov/xyYxt.