Pitching a tent near the water or way up in the mountains. It offers an undeniable attraction to many in Montana.

But, as we come in closer contact with grizzly bears on a more frequent basis, sleeping under the stars or even in a tent could become an increasing no-no. In fact, a number of campgrounds have already told campers to "put a lid on it."

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tells us that, as of yesterday, August 1, only hard-sided campers will be allowed at the Rattin and Sheridan Campgrounds near Red Lodge, due to grizzly bear activity.The order is in place until further notice, as mandated by the Beartooth Ranger District.

A grizzly sow with two cubs is frequenting these campgrounds, and the ranger district wants forest visitors to remain vigilant in ensuring that all attractants are stored appropriately. In fact, five of the seven ranger districts on the Custer Gallatin National Forest (Bozeman, Hebgen Lake, Gardiner, Yellowstone and Beartooth) implement an annual food storage order through December 1 each year.


>Hard-sided vehicles or trailers.

>Approved bear- resistant containers or other approved products.

>Outside items hung at least 10 feet above the ground and four feet away from a trees or poles to best keep them out of reach of wildlife.


>Attractants include items such as scented toiletries like toothpaste and deodorants, pet food and certain horse pellets.

>All beverages except water are included, as are empty food and beverage containers.

Even if you don't recreate in these parts of Montana, and there are no hard-sided campers only restrictions in your favorite areas, these are all pretty solid suggestions. A grizzly is not the kind of trouble you want to invite to your campsite.

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