New Study Uses Electric Fences to Keep Grizzly Bears Away from Farms and Private Property
A research project is currently underway up in the Blackfoot valley and it could help hunters and campers sleep a little more comfortable in grizzly country.
"We know electric fences work well, especially if it's multi-strand, five-wire or seven-wire hot brown alternated," Montana FWP Management Specialist Jamie Jonkle said. "We're trying to come up with a very basic three-wire fence that can be put up very quickly around an alfalfa field, an oat field, or even an outfitter camp."
A few of the three-wire electric fences have been set up on private properties in the Blackfoot, in the center of the fence is something the local wildlife has a hard time resisting.
"In the middle with a mixture of some rotten blood and rotten fish oils," Jonkle said. "We've had quite a few visitations. I think [a graduate student] had 50-plus grizzly visits and I think 30 or 40-plus black bear visits. We also had wolves and lions come in, too."
The study will last for the next two years. It is too early to tell if the setup is actually working just yet as the fences are being tested with electricity and without.