WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS -- As young mountain lions are displaced from their mothers this time of year, they must learn to fend for themselves. It's a tough lesson that often brings them into suburban and even urban settings as they explore food sources, like they did last week moving into neighborhoods of Butte and Bozeman.
Newman Lake and Spokane-area homeowners also have reported cougars in neighborhoods this month.
Most areas surrounding cities and towns also have healthy white-tailed deer populations that may attract lions.
Most mountain lions are so stealthy they're never seen, and if they are, it's usually a fleeting chance.
But Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials offer these tips should you encounter a mountain lion that lingers to size you up:
FWP says propert owners should avoid wildlife feeding, which – in addition to being dangerous to those animals – may bring unwanted predators into the neighborhood.