Urban Wildlife

Feeding Wildlife

To reduce human-wildlife conflicts that result from animals becoming habituated to finding food in neighborhoods, feeding of wildlife is prohibited within city limits. For the full text of the ordinance, you can view Missoula Municipal Code 6.07.12. To report violations, please contact Missoula City-County Animal Control.


  • Bird feeders that can be accessed only by birds and squirrels
  • Ornamental plants
  • Vegetable gardens


  • Bird feeders that can be accessed by bears, deer, raccoons, skunks, and other wildlife
  • Salt licks
  • Grain, hay, and any other food items that may attract wildlife

Bear Buffer Zone

Some areas on the edges of Missoula have special requirements for garbage disposal because bears are present in or near these neighborhoods. If you live in the bear buffer zone (PDF), please familiarize yourself with the requirements in Missoula Municipal Code 8.28.085.

  • Store all garbage in a bear-resistant container or enclosure.
  • If your garbage containers are not bear-resistant, you must keep them inside a bear-resistant enclosure. These containers may only be outside the enclosure between 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on the day of waste pickup.

Bear Buffer Zone Map

Bear Zone Map

Living with Wildlife

Fencing can be an effective way to keep deer out of your yard. Fence regulations are set out in Missoula Municipal Code 12.30 with additional resources available on the fence permit information page. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks also has good information about making your yard less welcoming for wildlife.

Dead Deer Disposal

  • Republic Services no longer picks up dead deer.  
  • If the deer is located in the middle of the road, or otherwise poses an immediate human safety concern, call 911.
  • To dispose of the deer yourself, you can drop it off free of charge at the Missoula Landfill at 3737 Coal Mine Road between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • There are private contractors that will come and remove the deer for a fee, including Nature's Best Inc. and Ibey Sprinklers and Landscape.
  • If a deer has been hit by a car and is injured in the roadway, call 911.