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Black bear sightings outside Helena

Posted at 6:49 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 14:56:03-04

HELENA – The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest said black bears have been spotted at various places around the tri-county area.

Black bears have recently been spotted on the backside of Mount Helena on the national forest land as well as up Priest Pass road west of Helena. The Forest Service said spottings have also occurred at the Vigilante Campground and Trout Creek trail near York. At that location a bear actually entered the campground and rummaged through a tent.

Kathy Bushnell with the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest said everyone heading outdoors should be taking precautions in case of bears.

“Hike in groups of three to four and make noise,” Bushnell said. “One of the things we don’t want to do especially with bears is surprise them. So feel free to talk or have a little bell so that they know you’re coming down the trail.”

Bushnell said bears will be attracted to the smell of food and campers should keep any food away from where bears can access it. If you’re hiking and see a bear, Bushnell said to avoid the area and select a different trail to hike and make sure to carry bear spray where you can access it quickly.

For more tips on staying safe from bears, click here.