Bozeman Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Report Wild Number of Bear Sightings Over Weekend

by Lauren Boisvert

There were more than five individual reports of bear sightings in Bozeman, Montana over the weekend, with one even appearing to State Senator Jennifer “JP” Pomnichowski. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks say they’re getting more reports recently because we’re heading into hibernation season.

Meanwhile, Senator Pomnichowski took footage of the animal that appeared in her backyard. “I looked up [from doing the dishes] and saw a black bear,” she told KBZK out of Bozeman. “I came out just outside the backdoor zoomed in and took some photos and footage.”

Pomnichowski’s footage features a curious black bear in what looks to be the neighboring yard. She describes it “climbing, climbing in a couple of seconds,” so it’s possible it climbed the fence between her yard and her neighbor’s. Pomnichowski knows about being bear-aware, though, considering where she lives. She told KBZK that she always takes down her bird feeders and secures anything that might smell like food.

“What smells tasty to us smells tasty to a bear and then some,” she said. “They have been eating choke cherries – we have choke cherries.” She also explained that she knows to let the bear be, even if it’s in her yard. “We just leave him alone,” she said, “let them live their little lives, all is well.”

Bozeman Reports Large Number of Bear Sightings Over the Weekend

“We routinely see multiple calls a day of bear activity, especially in places like Bozeman and Big Sky,” FWP Region 3 Communication & Education Program Manager Morgan Jacobsen told KBZK. These animals are usually active from March to December, leading into hibernation season. Jacobsen reminded residents to make sure any attractants are safely put away, covered, or secured. This includes things like bird feeders, trash cans, outdoor fridges, and pet food storage.

“Be bear aware no matter where you live but especially in western Montana make sure that garbage and pet food and bird feeders are secured,” said Jacobsen. “Secure attractants, carrying bear spray, and be prepared to use it while recreating or working outside.”

Essentially, if you live in bear country, be prepared to possibly see bears in your neighborhood, as well as out in the woods. Never approach these animals and know how to stay aware in your community. National Parks and wildlife department websites have tons of resources out there.

Another Sighting in South Carolina Community, DNR Warns Residents to Be Aware

A huge bear was seen over the weekend in Landrum, South Carolina, and the SC Department of Natural Resources warned the public about the massive animal. Resident Zach Clardy took photos and sent them to the DNR for analysis. Greg Lucas of the DNR shared them with experts to establish weight and size comparisons with other subjects.

September is when these animals go into “eating hyperdrive,” preparing for hibernation. This giant black bear was most likely just husky from preparing for his long sleep. “Bears enter hyperphagia in September and may look for food up to 20 hours a day,” says BearWise. “Berries, nuts, and acorns are important fall foods. Bears can gain two to three pounds a day. Even bears that don’t hibernate eat as if they’re going to.”