Automated Bear Trap Newspaper Articles

Listen to a radio interview

between Ryan Alter, inventor of the Automated Bear Trap and Ed Nesselroad of Pentoad Productions. This interview was recorded at the 2012 Bear/Human conflict workshop in Missoula, MT.


March/April issue of Montana Outdoors

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Automated Bear Trap Patent #8112934<

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American flags and automatic bear traps

By Larry Wilson

One of their new tools is a one-of-kind automatic bear trap. Financed by a gift of money – no tax dollars involved – the trap sends an e-mail by cell phone or satellite to a base station anytime the trap catches something. The operator can then go online to view what is in the trap.

If it is not what the trap was set for, the signal is sent to open the door and release the unwanted victim. This is real handy when a skunk is caught. The trap can be reset if the bait is intact. Since bear traps need to be checked at least daily, the remote cameras can and do save hundreds of man-hours and thousands of dollars in gas driving to remote areas…

Read the full article here: Automated Bear Trap Article

High-tech bear trap let FWP biologists monitor bears from afar

Written by Rob Chaney of the Missoulian

ABT on location

Automated Bear Trap on location

If you think the bears Ryan Alter catches in his traps are cool, you should have seen the skunk.

Alter has built a bear trap that sets itself, takes mug shots and phones home when it catches something. It’s undergoing its third season in the field with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear managers.

“The nature of what we do is: You don’t know until you look,” said Alter, whose East Missoula-based Alter Enterprises builds high-tech gizmos for field biologists. So it wasn’t too surprising when his trap’s onboard camera got shots of a Condon-area skunk sneaking bites of the deer-haunch bait last fall.

“Then one day, he got more ambitious,” Alter said. “It’s like he thought, ‘I’m tired of coming in and eating my fill and leaving – I’m going to take the whole damn thing.’ That haunch weighed about 50 pounds, and we’ve got pictures of him dragging it a quarter mile through the snow. That’s four or five times his body weight. We were in shock and awe.”

Read the full article here: high tech bear trap

Automated Cage Makes Bear Trapping Efforts Easier

By Matt Leach KECI Missoula, Montana

Automated Bear Trap in Montana

Automated Bear Trap in Montana

MISSOULA, Mont. — Wildlife officials in Missoula had to put down a bear causing trouble in Missoula’s Rattlesnake neighborhood Wednesday. Fish, Wildlife and Parks says it’s unfortunate it had to happen, especially this early in the season, but it did give them a chance to try a new tool. It’s a sound a bear never wants to hear. “Right off this Spring we had a bear breaking and entering. About three or four different places,” says FWP bear manager James Jonkel. After a 10-day garbage rummaging spree, the 350-pound black bear couldn’t avoid the cage any longer. “Sadly there are going to be a handful of individual bears that won’t want to give up the gravy train,” says Jonkel. But this nab was different. FWP used a first-of-its-kind automated trap. It’s the newest invention of Ryan Alter and his company, Alter Enterprise.

Watch the news article here: automated bear trap

Roughing it

Written by Alex Sakariassen of the Missoula Independent

Wild bear den outfitted with video cameras

Wild bear den outfitted with video cameras

The photo is alarming to say the least. A man framed by a den entrance, hand poised over a sleeping black bear, all cast in black and white. The snapshot is one of more than 9,000 taken of the den from a remote camera this spring.

Think that’s impressive? Try live birdsong with real-time species identification beamed from the woods to your iPod.

“I build it, I walk away, they do the rest of the stuff,” says Ryan Alter, the man in the black bear photo and founder of two-year-old Alter Enterprise.
Friends nickname him the “Gizmo-logist.” Alter tinkers with remote camera equipment to capture photos of wildlife for, among others, Paul Gurinas, a wealthy hedge fund partner who visits his 200 acres in the Swan Valley just a couple times a year.

“He’s a bit of a wizard about it, works behind a curtain,” says Missoula businessman Mark Vander Meer about Alter.

Read the full article here: remote cameras

Live bear feed: Real-time video in the den sheds light on bruin behavior

Written by John Cramer of the Missoulian

Remote camera photograph

Remote camera photograph

SWAN VALLEY – When a young black bear awoke in his new den in a cottonwood grove along Rumble Creek last week, he probably thought he was alone. He was wrong.

The orphaned bruin was released by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks into an artificial den containing four real-time video cameras.

It is the first time the agency has been involved in an effort that uses live streaming Web video to monitor wildlife in Montana.

The remote camera system is not part of a FWP research study – the interactive satellite images are only available online to the private landowner who is financing the project – but Ryan Alter hopes the technology prompts interest from scientists and the general public.

“Think of it as your own personal ‘Animal Planet,’ ” said Alter, owner of Alter Enterprise in Missoula, which installed the remote viewing system. “This kind of technology instills a connection with nature.”

See photos and past video here: bear den pictures