No Sign of Bear that Attacked Hiker in Whitefish

Area along Haskill Basin Road where attack occurred remains closed

By Beacon Staff
A tour of F. H. Stoltze land in Haskill Basin on Sept. 4, 2014. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The bear that attacked a man hiking with his daughter near Whitefish is nowhere to be seen, according to state wildlife officers.

Investigators with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks set up wildlife cameras near the site where the attacked occurred earlier this week but have not captured any images of the animal, FWP spokesperson John Fraley said Tuesday.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, a man was attacked by a bear about 3.5 miles northeast of Whitefish on F. H. Stoltze land between Wisconsin Avenue and Haskill Basin Road. The man was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Officials believe the man and daughter unknowingly walked between what FWP believes was an adult grizzly sow and her cubs. The two cubs crossed the road during the attack – the bears had been feeding on a deer carcass cached about 35 yards off the roadway.

FWP responded that night to the site and began investigating the attack. FWP returned to the attack site Monday morning and removed a deer carcass that the bears had been feeding on and set up trail cameras to begin monitoring the site and area.

FWP will continue to monitor the site, Fraley said. The monitoring results will determine any further actions.

In the interest of public safety, FWP worked with F. H. Stoltze and closed the area where the attack occurred.

The closure area has been refined to include only F. H. Stoltze land in Section 21 and State Land in Section 16 located west of Haskill Creek Road and east of Wisconsin Avenue. The area will be closed until further notice. Biologists note that other bears may be present in this area as well as surrounding areas.

FWP’s Wildlife Human Attack Response Team is investigating the incident.

Here is a map of the area closed, provided by FWP and marked in Xs:

temporary-closure-area-final-2016

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.