Help keep bears and people safe this apple season

September 4th, 2019

Keep bears out of the apple trees

Apples, plums, pears and grapes are ripening up across Montana and North America, offering a delicious bounty for fruit-lovers to pick. What could be better than a tree full of ripe fruit on a golden September day? All that natural sugar and bright flavor!

The trouble is, we humans aren’t the only ones who love to spend a gorgeous fall day picking apples–bears love fruit, too! And, apples ripen at just the right time when the bears are really concentrating on eating as much as possible to prepare for a long winter sleep. What’s the problem, then?

Trees loaded with fruit can draw bears and other wildlife into residential areas, where wild animals come into conflict with people. While it’s nice to see wildlife from the safety of our homes, and it’s a privilege to share habitat with wild creatures like bears, with that privilege comes responsibility. For people and bears to safely share habitat, we humans need to do what we can to set the bears up for success. That means that, while it can be a wonderful experience to see a bear pass through our yard, we need to do what we can to make sure that bear doesn’t stick around and get food rewards from us. That means picking the fruit from our fruit trees, securing garbage, chicken coops, and compost with a bear-safe solution like an electric fence, and storing attractants (anything smelly) securely inside.

People and bears can share habitat, but we need to help the bears by making our homes free of bear attractants.

Would you like to help us keep bears and people safe this apple season? Contact us to volunteer with our Bears & Apples program, helping local residents in the Missoula area pick the fruit from their trees.

Do you need help picking fruit on your property? Contact us and we’ll get a volunteer out to your property to help!

Thank you for keeping bears and people safe!

We’d like to thank Western Cider for their generous support of our Bears & Apples program, transforming the unwanted apples our volunteers harvest into delicious, local cider, and donating 10% of the proceeds from their Great Bear Community Cider to our program! The Bears & Apples program is also generously supported by grants from Vital Ground Foundation, Pagatonia Environmental Grants, and donations from our supporters.

Click here to donate to the Bears & Apples program!

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