Living in Montana comes with the perk of being close to nature and wildlife. However, this can also present challenges for new homeowners. While it's exciting to see deer, elk, and other animals in your yard, it's important to know how to coexist with them safely. Here are some common Montana wildlife you may encounter as a new homeowner, and tips on how to handle them.
Montana is home to both black and grizzly bears. While they are fascinating creatures, they can also be dangerous if they feel threatened. To avoid attracting bears to your property, make sure you store your trash in a bear-resistant container or in a secure location. Avoid leaving pet food outside and keep your grill clean. If you do encounter a bear, it's best to give it plenty of space and make noise to scare it away.
Moose are the largest members of the deer family and can weigh up to 1,500 pounds. They are generally docile but can become aggressive if they feel threatened. If you see a moose in your yard, keep a safe distance and do not approach it. If a moose charges at you, run to the nearest tree or other sturdy object and try to put something solid between you and the moose. Though they look like they move slowly, they don’t. If you see one in the yard, bring your pets inside immediately.
Mountain lions, also known as cougars, are rarely seen but can be dangerous if encountered. Sometimes you only know about them by the tracks or the chickens disappearing. If you see a mountain lion in your yard, make yourself look as large as possible and make noise to scare it away. Do not turn your back on the mountain lion and avoid running away as this may trigger its prey response.
Deer are commonly seen throughout Montana and can cause damage to your property if they decide to munch on your garden. To keep deer out of your yard, consider installing a fence or planting deer-resistant plants. If you do encounter a deer, keep a safe distance and avoid approaching it, during the rut those antlers can be deadly.
Montana is home to a variety of snakes, including rattlesnakes. If you see a snake in your yard, keep a safe distance and do not attempt to handle it. Rattlesnakes will rattle their tails as a warning if they feel threatened, but also watch where you step and never stick your hand in a hole or under a rock without checking first. If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical attention immediately.
As a new homeowner in Montana, it's important to be aware of the wildlife that you may encounter. By taking the proper precautions, you can safely coexist with these fascinating creatures. Remember to always keep a safe distance and to never approach wildlife. With these tips in mind, you'll be able to enjoy the beauty of Montana's animals while keeping yourself and your property safe.