Mountain lion activity cause for concern

Alastair Baker
News Editor
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
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Photo by Jackie Ronning
A mountain lion seen at the 500 block of South Platt, Red Lodge, at 2 p.m. May 28.

“Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is currently monitoring reports and responding to calls and concerns about mountain lion activity in Red Lodge,” said FWP Game Warden Matthew Heaton.  

“FWP can confirm the presence of at least one mountain lion and recent reports may suggest the presence of two. These lions are likely young individuals that have recently dispersed from their mother,” said Heaton.  “Young lions and bears are the most likely individuals to wander into towns and cities while searching for areas to take up permanent residence.”

The response comes after numerous sightings of a mountain lion mostly along South Platt last week. It is believed that this mountain lion attacked a pregnant deer, killing her and two unborn fawns and buried the carcasses in a residential yard. 

Since then there have been numerous sightings, one on May 31 near the Red Box Car, south of town, and plus a report of a kill along a walking path on the west bench near the old Carbon County Memorial Hospital on S. White. 

Heaton responded to the recent calls saying “Mountain lions frequent the area around Red Lodge, however, the presence of lions within more developed areas during daylight hours is concerning.”

“FWP wardens and biologists are monitoring the situation closely. While it is not uncommon for mountain lions to be in town, passing through, or occasionally hunting deer, these activities are usually at night and on the fringes of town,” said Heaton.  “The recent activities are more common in juvenile individuals recently away from their mother. It is important to discourage predators from becoming comfortable near homes by yelling or making loud noises from a safe location. If the lions continue to occupy areas with high human population density, they will need to be removed for human safety.”   

“Residents should be reminded that feeding deer and turkeys creates artificial concentrations of these animals, and also can lead to truly urban populations of animals that do not possess some of the survival instincts of other more wild populations, thus leading to them being more susceptible to predation,” said Heaton. “This may attract predators into close proximity with humans to hunt the semi-tame wildlife.  When this happens, wildlife officials often have to take management actions to remove the predators.  Our local wildlife are an asset, but semi-tame wildlife are a liability.”

“Red Lodge sits in excellent wildlife habitat, and this includes predator populations.  It is not known exactly how many lions are in the area, but with ample numbers of prey animals such as deer and turkeys in and around town, it is expected that predators will continue to move through town, occasionally making a kill,” he said.  

Heaton suggested residents should limit or remove attractants that invite deer, turkeys, bears, and other wildlife into town.  These may include unsecured trash, birdfeeders, and some fruit trees.  Intentional feeding of wildlife should not continue under any circumstances.

Please report any sightings or relay any concerns to local FWP staff:

Game Warden Matthew Heaton (406) 860-7806 Wildlife Biologist Shawn Stewart (406) 446-4150 Bear Management Technician Kylie Kemble (406) 850-1131.



Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, September 20, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.
  • Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 11:30am
    Ross Orchards, located at 111 North Street in Fromberg, is proud to announce the opening of a farm stand this Fall. The orchard will be open Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sundays noon - 5 p.m. starting Sept. 21 and closing Oct. 13. The orchard is working in conjunction with the Last Chance Pub and Cider Mill and Red Lodge Ales to offer fun, family-friendly events.   Every weekend apples, fresh apple cider pressed with apples from the orchard, apple pastries, local honey, food, hard cider, and beer will be available.  There will also be pumpkins and a variety of local produce for sale. Additionally, each weekend will have a different event. Sept. 21 - 22 – Cider and Salutations yoga 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Sept. 28 – A farm to table dinner at 5 p.m. catered by the Last Chance Pub’s chef Kevin McNourlin. The dinner will feature local foods paired with cider. Contact to reserve seats (limit 40) Oct. 5 - 6 - Kidz Dayz. Bounce house, pumpkin carving, face painting and tractor rides through the orchard. Oct. 12- Orchard run 5k. A family-friendly run/walk through Ross Orchards. Visit to sign up. Sam Hoffmann, President of Red Lodge Ales, remarked, “it has been fun to get to know John, Laura, Hilary, and Elizabeth Ross over the last ten plus years. Together we have pruned, picked apples, and made cider on a home brew level and now commercially. We are proud to share our work with the public.” John Ross, owner of Ross Orchards, adds, “The orchard has always been a source of pride and happiness for me.  Our family has enjoyed working with Sam and Lindsey Hoffmann and their employees. We look forward to the success of Orchard days.” Contact for more info: John Ross 406-671-9614,; Sam Hoffmann 406-425-4607,; Lindsey Hoffmann 406-425-3734,  
  • Monday, September 23, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.

The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.