Wildlife Watching in Montana

Montana's animals are not pets. They are wild animals in their natural habitat. Tread lightly when animal watching. Stay on designated roads and trails to minimize the human impact. Keep in mind that wildlife can be dangerous. Most animals will attack if they feel threatened, especially if they have young to protect.

Black Bear

Black bears roam throughout Montana. The bears are curious and intelligent. They inhabit most of Montana’s forests. Generally, the bears avoid people, but female bears are fierce defenders of their young.


Montana’s wild moose gather near lakes, streams, rivers, and in the depths of the forests to obtain food and shelter. The bulls are the largest antlered animals in the world and weigh from 800 to 1200 pounds. They are at home in the water, can submerge for three to four minutes, and can swim for miles.

Mountain Lion

Mountain lions, also called cougars or pumas, maintain home ranges. The size of the range depends on various factors such as availability of food, seasons, and landscape features. The mountain lion is second in size to the jaguar, which is the largest cat in the Americas. Females give birth to an average of three kittens every other year.

The light-colored areas in the following map display the primary location inhabited by the black bear, the moose, and the mountain lion.

Montana Map