We recently caught up with local forester and outdoor recreationalist extraordinaire, Jocelyn Dodge and she shared some great news for those experiencing a bit of cabin fever.  "Thompson Park is now open for the summer from 8 AM to 9 PM through Labor Day," she told us.  But with the warm weather comes more active wildlife.  "It’s also bear and tick season and bears are beginning to come out of hibernation and will be looking for food."


Photo: Townsquare Labs/Diy13
Photo: Townsquare Labs/Diy13

Dodge told us that there are easy steps to take if you are heading into any wooded area.  "Remember food storage requirements if you go camping and be sure to carry bear spray or bells when in the forest."  But spray and bells won't work on ticks.  How do you avoid them?   "In areas where ticks have begun to emerge, you can minimize exposure to ticks by walking in the center of trails and avoid walking through tall brush or other vegetation, she said, adding " use a repellent on clothing for short term protection."  And your fur and hide-bearing friends need attention as well.  "Don’t forget to check for ticks on your dog a horse after being outdoors," Dodge told us that this time of year when tick activity is at its peak.  "Ticks are going to be most active in the early spring when temperatures go above freezing."

If you have any questions about bear safety, tick prevention or anything related to the Montana outdoors, please contact the Butte ranger district at 494-2147.

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