Archery season is now in full swing for antelope, bighorn, black bear, deer, elk and mountain lion, so please remember to be safe and courteous hunters when out and about in the Valley. Additionally, for both hunters and non-hunters, with regular red flag warnings, be aware of where you are driving vehicles. Stay off dry grass that may be ignited by vehicles to avoid starting any more wildfires, and to avoid contributing to the poor air quality we are currently experiencing. Please reference the following photos: One taken in May and one taken as of September 4th.
Two wolves were seen in the northern portion of the Valley as well as sign being found in the same area, near Red Rock Pass, the Sandhills, and the northeastern section of the Valley.
Two adult sow grizzlies, one with two cubs of the year and one with two yearling cubs, were also spotted in the northern portion of the Valley. Grizzly and black bear tracks have been seen all over the north side of the Valley, with other bear sign seen on the eastern portions. A single moose was seen in Alaska Basin.
Over the past two weeks, the Team has found several cattle carcasses. Some have died to due natural causes and/or poison, while others were suspected depredations but could not be confirmed.
In the last update, we discussed the bison that had found its way into the Valley for the first time in over 25 years. Some folks were curious about what to do if a bison was spotted on their property or in their cattle. It is not likely that bison will begin visiting the Valley more frequently, but if one is seen, the first thing to do is call the Montana Department of Livestock for instructions on what steps to take (Bridger Cunningham in West Yellowstone: 406-444-2045, or Dan Bugni in Dillon: 406-683-6366). If they are unable to assist, the next person to contact would be the game warden with Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (Kerry Wahl, 406-490-0956). It is within state law, only if the state authorities do not have the ability to react within a timely manner, to remove a bison if it is in your herd and poses an imminent threat of brucellosis transmission. However, the degree of threat varies at different times of the year, so removal by landowners and ranchers is highly discouraged, especially if the Department of Livestock is not contacted in advance. If you would like more information, the executive officer of the Montana Department of Livestock, Mike Honeycutt (406-444-7323), can answer any questions you may have.
Thank you to the Centennial Valley community for your continued support and for reporting wildlife sightings!