Biker Encounters Mountain Lions North of Whitefish

FWP reminds people to not approach animals and always carry bear spray

By Justin Franz

A biker encountered a family of mountain lions on the Whitefish Trail in Haskill Basin last week.

The encounter prompted officials from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to remind the public to always be aware of wildlife while recreating.

According to a press release from FWP, a man was biking on the Whitefish Trail near Haskill Creek, not far from the new trailhead off Big Mountain Road, on June 28. The man said a family of three or four mountain lions briefly followed him down the trail. The mountain lions did not make physical contact with the man before disappearing into the forest.

Based on the description of the encounter, it does not appear that the animals displayed predatory behavior. FWP determined that no management action is needed.

“Trail users are advised to be aware of possible encounters with wildlife and review our recommended safety tips for avoiding conflicts,” said Chad White, FWP Region 1 bear and lion technician.

FWP reminds people to never approach a mountain lion. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation so always give them a way to escape. People should never run from a mountain lion because it triggers the animal’s instinct to chase. People should never crouch or bend over in front of a mountain lion. Instead, people should try to appear larger by opening their jacket or waving your arms slowly. Speak in a loud voice and throw rocks and branches at the animal.

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