This has been followed by a decline to 690 bears in 2016. Glacier National Park ranger Leonard Landa with the grizzly bear that killed Michelle Koons in 1967 at Trout Lake. (Photo: Bert Gildart) Ben Goldfarb. No amount of management can make the wilds a danger-free zone. https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/management/lawsandpolicies.htm, 255: Reflections on a Montana Fly Fishing Trip, 254: Fishing the Transition of the Season, 253: Not-So-Obvious Questions for Your Next Fly Fishing Trip, 251: Key Factors in Your Fly Fishing Success, 249: Photographing Your Entire Fly Fishing Experience, 248: The Complete Guide to Fly Fishing with Streamers – with Dave Kumlien, 247: Our Love-Hate Relationship with Salmo Trutta, 246: 7 Under Explained Aspects of Fly Fishing, Part 1, 245: Summer Wearables for Fly Fishing Comfort, 244: Fly Fishing the Small Creeks of Montana, 240: Simplifying Your Fly Fishing Experience, 239: The Intrigue of Fly Fishing a Familiar River, 238: Best All Around Fly Rod for Normal Folk, 235: Flies that Work Anytime and Anywhere, 234: 4 Questions for Your Next Fly Fishing Trip, 231: The Wading Risk of Soft River Bottoms, 230: Montana Outfitter Dave Kumlien on Safe Wading, 229: The Hope of Fly Fishing in the Waiting, Drowning While Fly Fishing Is Always on the Table, 228: The Makings of an Outdoors Friendship, 227: A Conversation about Yellowstone Runners, Fun Facts about the Movie “A River Runs Through It”, 5 Questions to Determine If You Should Tie Your Own Flies. Patrol ranger Bert Gildart was driving down the highest pass in Glacier National Park just after midnight on Aug. 13, 1967, when a woman's voice suddenly crackled over his two-way radio. Here is a link to an article in today's Interlake: I was a friend of Michele Koons and that day still haunts me as if it happend yesterday. - After her first year of college, Julie went to Glacier Park June 12, 1967 and took a job as laundress at Glacier Park Lodge. First, while its effects are temporary, bear spray usually incapacitates a grizzly instantly. Twenty-seven-year-old Bert Gildart, a ranger at Glacier National Park, found the mauled body of Michele Koons. ... A friend and I were going to go and hike where Michele Koons was mauled to death, I guess you â¦ The surprise encounter resulted in the grizzly mauling and killing Treat. Over forty years after the “night of the grizzlies” in Glacier National Park, the father of victim Michelle Koons expressed no ill will towards grizzly bears. She struggled to unzip her sleeping bag, but the zipper stuck. Four were of undetermined cause, 4 were natural deaths, and 14 [are] still under investigation.”. Packing out trash and keeping clean campsites is a great place to start. Second, bear spray is the only safe way to get a grizzly off of a human being during an attack. One couple left their young child and ran. This was the first fatality from a bear attack since the park officially opened in 1910. Mangled beyond belief, Koonsâ body made Gildart question everything that he knew about grizzly bears. The bear made its way down a hill on to the road and right into a big group of tourists. Last fall, my podcast partner, Dave Goetz, and I fly fished a couple days in Yellowstone National Park. An additional 100 grizzlies live in northern and eastern Idaho. That same summer of 1967 two Glacier Park Inc. employees were mauled to death by grizzly bears on the same night - about 8 miles apart. KALISPELL (AP) - Aug. 13, 1967, marked one of the most tragic and important events in the history of Glacier National Park. I was just in Missoula last week and read an article about the increasing range of grizzly bears in Montana. Glacier National Park, Montana. “The most distant place in the lower 48 states from the nearest road is 23 miles,” says Douglas Chadwick, a Wildlife Biologist and Conservationist, “which would take a bear a morning to walk out of. I still remember making eye contact with a park ranger who was on patrol. I’ve heard that as well, but I’ve also read quite a few stories where hunters have had high powered rifles or .44 magnum handguns – and neither the shot to the heart or head (or the sound) stopped the charge. When Michelle Koons, 19, and four other friends arrived at Trout Lake late in the afternoon of Saturday, August 12, it did not take the grizzly long to appear. It was the first time in the parkâs 57-year history that the usually placid Grizzlies had killed anyone. 1967: The Night Of The Grizzlies. There are, of course, more complex issues related to grizzly bear management. So what should outdoor enthusiasts do to help manage grizzly bears and their habitat? When Michelle Koons, 19, and four other friends arrived at Trout Lake late in the afternoon of Saturday, August 12, it did not take the grizzly long to appear. Bert Gildart was a 27-year-old patrol ranger in 1967 when two campers were killed in a pair of attacks by grizzly bears. Mountain bikers are, perhaps, more vulnerable to surprise encounters due to the high rate of speed at which they can approach a grizzly. Great article. by friendofmichele » Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:56 am, Post Where do you serve in Wyoming? Michelle Koons did not. Great point. So much so that for a time it was believed to have contributed to what happened to the young women. In an interview, he said: “I always would think about what civilization has done to bears, forcing them to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do.”. Several years ago, I bow-hunted elk with a friend in Taylor Fork, a grizzly-dense drainage just north of Yellowstone National Park. We saw a lot of grizzly sign—both scat and overturned logs and rocks—but never encountered a bear. Because of some very strange events that occurred this year I was able to meet with Michele's parents as well as her brother and two sisters. I’ve forgotten the third one …. Another 600 members of the Ursus arctos horribilis subspecies live in Wyoming in the Yellowstone-Teton area. What an important cautionary tale. The grizzly which killed Brad Treat a year ago did not consume any part of its victim’s body. Well, they don’t actually roam any longer. Julie Helgeson set off that fateful day on a hike to Granite Park Chalet, a small shelter high on the east side of the parkâs mountains. It is posible that two of the people Michele was with that day knew Roy and Julie. Jack Olsen, at the time a senior editor for Sports Illustrated, provided the definitive account of this double-tragedy in his 1969 book, “Night of the Grizzlies.” In 2010, Montana PBS aired a documentary titled Glacier Park’s Night of the Grizzlies, which featured interviews with living survivors of the attack, as well as park officials and hikers involved in the events of that fateful night. In fact, he expressed sympathy for them. Let us know if you figure out that third one … before it gets you . In 1975, grizzly bears were classified as a “threatened species” under the 1973 Endangered Species Act. Some outdoor enthusiasts celebrate this. Even a bear shot in the vital organs can keep coming. by friendofmichele » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:19 am, Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited. Featured in Ripleyâs Believe It or Not! Upon researching my source, it turns out that it is quite possible, but inconclusive that they actually knew each other. Thank you for calling us all to steward creation in all areas. Also, I don’t know if I ever told you but Brad Treat was a friend of mine. Two separate grizzly attacks. Eight miles away, as the crow flies, around 4:30 a.m., another Glacier grizzly dragged another 19-year old woman, Michelle Koons, from her sleeping bag to her death. âA preliminary investigation indicates we probably have the culprits.â The Grizzlies savagely attacked and killed Julie Helgeson of .Albert Lea. They carried her to Granite Park Chalet, but she died after doctors staying at the chalet tried to save her life. I did the same when I lived in Montana for two decades and hiked and bow-hunted elk in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park. So they pitched a new campsite along the lake shore, built a bonfire, and tried to settle in for the night. While driving with their aunt we ran into a bear jam. Is this true? Same night. Lawrence: Glacier grizzly gives photographer last photo â¦ That same night Michele Koons was also killed by a grizzly while camping at Trout Lake; Paul Dunn and three other campers escaped by climbing trees. About 800 grizzlies live in Montana, including 300 or so in Glacier National Park. We must continue to listen to each other and work together to insure management practices which will allow grizzlies and humans to co-exist. Thanks, Michael. For everyone involved, it was an unforgettable night of crisis, â¦ 1967: The Night Of The Grizzlies ... â August 4, 2020. Unlike the “garbage bears” of the 1960s, this grizzly disappeared and has not developed a pattern of bothering hikers or mountain bikers. On August 13, 1967, two grizzly bears mauled Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons to death in Glacier National Park. I did want to leave you this link. They dumped garbage and leftover food at a site about two-hundred yards from the building. The combined number of grizzlies in Montana and Wyoming includes the 690 in Yellowstone National Park. Today, about 1500 grizzly bears roam in the lower 48 states. Rather, it has learned that it can obtain food from people either by raiding campgrounds, bullying hikers, or - worst case scenario - using people as food, evidenced by the brutal deaths of Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons in Glacier National Park in 1967â¦ Michele Koons was killed by a bear near Trout Lake on Aug. 12, 1967. P atrol ranger Bert Gildart was driving down the highest pass in Glacier National Park just after midnight on Aug. 13, 1967, when a womanâs voice suddenly crackled over his two-way radio. Others are outraged. One morning, we came across a fresh set of grizzly bear tracks. Post Thankfully, we had no bear encounter. The group debated hiking out, but it was late in the day. My friend charged the bear and shot it with a cloud of bear spray. There was lightning the night Michele Koons and Julie Helgeson died. Michele Koons and Julie Helgeson were both 19-year-old seasonal park employees. The use is prohibited but not carrying. Great to hear from you. Minn., and Michelle Koons of San Diego, Calif., in separate incidents early Sunday. See 10 Profile Searchers. since I was in my 20’s, I’ve said there are three potentially deadly things I will respect and am afraid of, grizzly bears, railroad crossings, and …. Finally, the goal is to rescue a human from being mauled — not to destroy a bear. Of course, firearm use is prohibited in Glacier or Yellowstone National Parks. When Michelle Koons, 19, and four other friends arrived at Trout Lake late in the afternoon of Saturday, August 12, it did not take the grizzly long to appear. Killed were Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons. So while it is very likely that there were mutual friendships between the groups, it doesn't verify that Julie and Michelle knew each other. It was the summer of August 1967, and since the parkâs â¦ The bear came up onto the road and the people ran. My kids were made to stay in the car but their aunt went to help the ranger that was trying to get people out of the way. The article goes on to say "Instead, they stuck out their thumbs and hitched a ride toward Granite Park." Four of them escaped to climb nearby trees. The ban on carrying weapons in, at least Yellowstone National Park, was lifted in 2010. ... Michele Koons and four friends settled in for the night in a campsite â¦ She told me that they did not know Julie. Iowa Public Television has uploaded Montana PBS' documentary Glacier Park's Night of the Grizzlies to their website and I highly recommend that everyone watch this! Wow! Maybe I can help clear some of this up for you. Survival of both grizzlies and humans means learning to adapt and keep at a healthy distance from the other species. An article by Jim Gorman quotes Roy Ducat as saying in recalling the tragic night, "We were going to go with the group that got attacked at Trout Lake, but we'd been there a couple of weekends before". In the summer of 1967, one underfed, underweight grizzly in the area had been terrorizing campersâincluding a girl scout troop. (Courtesy photo) As a Wyoming pastor it spoke volumes!!! Two dead. I still shudder when I recall a group of tourists in Yellowstone a few years ago standing outside their vehicles — with their young children — about sixty yards from a grizzly. in national parks.” So that .44 magnum is still not an option (as I understand it), even though concealed carry is allowed. I have seen several people carry openly in the Park. Your email address will not be published. Gone are the grizzles that became habituated and lost their fear of human beings. It provides a breath-taking panoramic view of ice-capped mountains. Previous Addresses: Rome, NY, Lee Center, NY, Escanaba, MI Michele Koons, 19, female August 13, 1967 Wild Glacier National Park, Montana Koons was camping with a group at the Trout Lake campsite. Because of some very strange events that occurred this year I was able to meet with Michele's parents as well as her brother and two sisters. He and another ranger loaded about seventeen burlap sacks of garbage onto a Huey helicopter. Shortly after midnight on August 13, 1967, a grizzly bear dragged a 19-year old woman, Julie Helgeson, from her sleeping bag and mauled her. I make noise, pack out my garbage, avoid going alone, and always carry bear spray. I was told that the loud blast of a air horn, like you sometimes see at sporting events, will stop a charging grizzly. On June 29, 2016, in Glacier National Park, Brad Treat, a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer, rounded a blind curve on his mountain bike at about 20-25 miles per hour and ran into a grizzly. The bear began biting into his right shoulder. My children were not happy when I refused to let them get out and join the crowd of onlookers. The bear returned briefly around 2:00 a.m. and snatched a package of cookies left on a log. Thankfully, the sow and her cubs took off running. I will do more research, as I am now curious what the relationship was. She died four hours later at 4:12 a.m. It is a stirring, emotional look at the inexplicable incident that claimed the lives of Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons in 1967. Great question. The grizzlies were nightly visitors due to a long-standing practice by chalet staff members. A place to talk about Glacier in general, if you have something that is political, please post it in the "Politics" section of the chat system. Author Jack Olsen later wrote an article and book about the incident called "Night of the Grizzlies." Night of the Grizzlies (1969) is a book by Jack Olsen which details events surrounding the night of August 13, 1967, when two young women were separately attacked and killed in Glacier National Park, Montana, by grizzly bears.Both women, Julie Helgeson, 19, of Albert Lea, Minnesota, and Michele Koons, 19, of San â¦ Giving grizzlies their space is another. The grizzlies are learning to do this. There is no reason to eliminate a grizzly that attacks in self-defense. The following fall, my friend was hunting the same area with an orthopedic surgeon when a grizzly charged them. When my kids were young their aunt was a wrangler at Roosevelt and we went to see her. Then it left him and began tearing away at Julie’s body, eventually dragging her down the dark flank of the mountain where rescuers later found her. According to the National Park Service, “There were 58 known and probable grizzly bear mortalities in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in 2016. The bear walked into camp and stole food as the campers ran along the lake shore to get out of its way. In the summer of 1967, one underfed, underweight grizzly in the area had been terrorizing campersâincluding a girl scout troop. Humans must continue to do so as well. by llholmes1948 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:06 pm, Post Chris Servheen, who served on the board that reviewed the tragic death of Brad Treat, cautions mountain bikers to take it slow when their sight-distance is limited. It was garbage campers had left behind. A bear invaded their camp, and while other campers climbed up trees, Koons was caught in her sleeping bag, and attacked. I am the individual who was quoted in the article as saying they knew each other, and I figured I'd better verify where I obtained that information. Great article & a must read for anyone venturing into grizzly country. I was, however, of the impression that they were friends before I even read the 2007 Backpacker article, but can't recall where I read or heard that. We need to learn to live with grizzlies, too. Michele Koons, 19, female Killed by Bear attack August 13 1967 After 50 years with no fatalities from bear attacks, 2 females same age, are killed by bears in the same park Glacier National Park on the same day 9 â¦ Required fields are marked *. There are good people (and arguments) on both sides. Dave: Granite Park Chalet sits just below timberline at the hub of several back-country trails. 19 Cedar Ln, New York Mills, NY 13417. These guys are going to have to learn to live with us, which I think they are doing.”. But a week later, two fly fishers a few miles from where we were was fishing stumbled into a grizzly bear and narrowly escaped when it charged them. sigh, that will probably be the one that gets me ,,,,, Haha! Within the last few weeks, the Yellowstone grizzly bear has been delisted from its status as a “threatened species” under the Endangered Species Act. The ranger and my kids aunt ran grabbed the kid who was right in the scared path of the bear. Then shortly after 4:30 a.m., it returned and attacked the campers. The same night, a different grizzly bear killed another 19-year-old, Michelle Koons, at the Trout Lake campground. It was the summer of August 1967, and since the parkâs opening in 1910, dangerous encounters between grizzlies and humans were almost nonexistent. The bear dragged her away and mutilated her. One of them worked at the service station and it is possible that he or his brother had contact with employees from other parts of the Park. Eight crow-flight miles to the southwest on the other side of a majestic mountain peak, Trout Lake had its own garbage problem. Hikers left behind their trash and unused food, so bears treated the area like a feeding ground. Thankfully, the policies implemented in both Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks following the “night of the grizzlies” have limited grizzly attacks mainly to surprise encounters rather than predatory aggression. But even in national forests or private land where firearm use is legal, I’ll take a canister of bear spray over a sidearm every time. Two previous posts raised the question whether victims Michelle Koons and Julie Helgeson knew each other, as stated in the Daily Interlake article of September 21. Glacier Park grizzly attacks are, today, not exceptionally rare. Two 19-year-olds, Julie Helgeson, from Minnesota, and Michele Koons, from California, were both asleep under the big sky of northwest Montana, when grizzly bears found them and carried them off. âThe 1967 maulings changed everything,â Gildart said recently. ... Itâs a sentiment that has not been lost on friends and family of Koons and Helgeson. Grizzlies have killed eight people in Glacier since 1967, most recently in 1998, and most were food-conditioned bears. The most recent estimates from the National Park Service show a population increase among grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from 136 in 1975 to 757 in 2014. Food conditioning is dangerous because a food conditioned bear has not learned to tolerate people. There was no way my friend could have attempted a shot at the grizzly without the risk of shooting the surgeon he was trying to protect. The documentary chronicles the series of events leading up to the deaths of Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons, two young park employees out for overnight camping trips with their friends. Aug 11, 2017. This kind of behavior puts grizzlies at risk just as much as it puts humans at risk. However, the stable number of females producing cubs in Yellowstone suggests that the park may have reached the “ecological carrying capacity” for grizzlies. But in the mid-1960s, hikers trekked to the chalet to view grizzly bears. The point I wanted to make (but didn’t state it clearly enough) is what the NPS Fact Sheet says: “The new law does not affect existing laws and regulations regarding the use of firearms or hunting Mangled beyond belief, Koonsâ body made Gildart question everything that he knew about grizzly bears. We both ran track & x-country for the University of Montana. Twenty-seven-year-old Bert Gildart, a ranger at Glacier National Park, found the mauled body of Michele Koons. by glacieraddict » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:14 pm, Post He offers this advice to mountain bikers in grizzly country: Some outdoor enthusiasts prefer carrying a .44 magnum to a canister of bear spray. Julie graduated from Albert Lea Senior High in 1966 and was a pom-pom girl in the Y-teens, sang in the school choir, and was active in church work. Michele Lea Koons: Birthdate: May 15, 1948: Birthplace: Hill Afb, Roy, Ut: Death: August 13, 1967 (19) Glacer National Park (Killed by a grizzly bear) Hey Steve! Learn how your comment data is processed. It was the summer of August 1967, â¦ She screamed when the bear approached her. Bear management was far more lax back in 1967, even though some biologists could see trouble was coming. In the summer of 1967, one underfed, underweight grizzly in the area had been terrorizing campers–including a girl scout troop. My heart still aches for his wife & family who have to live with the daily reality of his passing. Yet, as Gildart looked at what remained of Koonsâ body, a resident of San Diego who worked in one of the parkâs gifts shops, he knew the impossible had happened. I talked to Judy (I will leave her last name out) who was Michele's roommate at Lake Mcdonald. They are crowded as it is. Thanks, Dace, for sharing this. Defensive attacks, unlike predatory attacks, like those on the night of the grizzlies do not increase the likelihood that the bear will attack again. So hikers Roy Ducat, 18, and Julie Helgeson, 19, headed to a spot about five-hundred yards from the building. His sudden death was so tragic & I’ll never forget where I was when one of our former teammates shared the news w/ me. Nor did it attempt to cache the body by covering it with dirt or rocks. Bert Gildart, a former park ranger in Glacier, remembers flying into Trout Lake a few weeks after the fatal attack to pick up garbage. Terrific article. ↳ Restaurant Reviews and Recomendations, ↳ Favorite backpacking recipes and food for the Trail, ↳ NPS Website News and Glacier Park Organizations, http://www.dailyinterlake.com/articles/ ... news01.txt. The bear attacked the surgeon, eventually breaking his fibula, ripping gashes in his thigh and arm, and tearing off his ear. The basis for my conclusion that they knew each other comes from a quote by Roy Ducat, Julie Helgeson's hiking partner that night in 1967, in Backpacker magazine, August 2007 (Midwest Edition). Whenever I fly fish in grizzly bear country in Montana and Wyoming, I follow the standard safety protocol. Then, less than a half hour later, it happened again. In 1967 I was a road patrol ranger and though I wanted to be out fighting fireâand had asked for such considerationâthe powers to be felt road patrol work was critical to visitor safety, and so my request was denied. Julie worked at Glacier Park Lodge and Michele worked at Lake McDonald Lodge. Thanks for your research and work in writing this fantastic article! Park Ranger Leonard Landa looks down at the paw of the grizzly bear believed to have killed Michele Koons in the early hours of Aug. 13, 1967 at Trout Lake in Glacier National Park. Thirty-eight were attributed to human causes. Students and teachers returning to the campus of Kearny High School in San Diego, CA in September 1967 (I was a junior that year) were shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Michele Koons, a vivacious, well-liked 1966 graduate, in a bear attack in Glacier National Park in Montana. If you want Judy's address just send me a private message and I will forward it to you. People don’t realize that these are not house pets and will hurt or kill you. Dave and I saw a grizzly a few years ago just a mile from Roosevelt Lodge. Based on the map that accompanied the article, none of my favorite fishing locations are outside of grizzly range. Most were weapons too small in caliber to effectively repel a Grizzly. I was a friend of Michele Koons and that day still haunts me as if it happend yesterday. I watched as a small grizzly tried to escape the people. But they were 50 years ago, when an unimaginable night of terror unfolded in Montana’s Glacier National Park. Ps. He returned my glance with a shrug and a look which seemed to communicate, “I’m not happy about this either, but there’s not much I can do.”. Michele was a very beautiful young lady and her family exudes the same warm personality that Michele â¦ We referred to it on one of our podcasts. Shortly after midnight, Roy heard Julie whisper, “Play dead.” Suddenly, a blow from a grizzly bear paw knocked him five feet away. Granite Park Chalet was full at sunset on Saturday, August, 12. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. That was the way Paul R. Dunn, remembered the grizzly bear attack that killed 19-yearold Michele Koons of San Diego, Calif., in Glacier National Park yesterday. No longer do grizzlies scavenge food out of garbage dumps. “The incidents that night were the catalyst for the move into a whole new era of grizzly bear management,” recalls Jack Potter, Chief of Science and Resources Management in Glacier National Park.
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