GLASGOW, Mont. (NMB) – With snow and low temperatures across the Hi-Line, wildlife will often seek new areas for shelter and food resources, many times near residences or communities.
A press release says that while concerned members of the public may feel the obligation to feed wildlife in these difficult conditions, it is illegal to knowingly feed wildlife, particularly deer, elk, antelope, moose, wild turkeys, bears, and mountain lions. It is also illegal to continue to attract animals by filing to properly store attractants such as garbage, dog food, bird seed, and grain.
Not only is it illegal, artificially feeding is not recommended for the well-being of wildlife or people for many reasons as supplemental feeding encourages wildlife to become dependent on handouts that are not part of their natural diet. Young animals taught to depend on humans sometimes never develop normal foraging behavior and could starve if the artificial food sources are removed. Wildlife could lose their fear of humans, which could cause conflicts, nuisance behavior, and risks to human safety.