A Montana wildlife official says advances in using electricity to deter bears have made the technique more effective in the last 20 years.

Tim Manley of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says outfitters have charged horse trailers to protect grain, ranchers have fenced play yards for their children, and communities have wired garbage cans.

The fourth International Human-Bear Conflicts Workshop held last week in Missoula drew more than 300 bear experts who learned about advances in using electricity to turn away curious bears looking for a snack.

Research has been done to determine what type of system works best in various situations, ranging from fences that deliver a 7,000-volt zap to homeowners that place electrified mats below windows.