On Sunday, October 16, a man was attacked by a bear about 3-1/2 miles northeast of Whitefish on F. H. Stoltze land between Wisconsin Avenue and Haskill Basin Road.
FWP responded last night to the site and began investigating the attack. The investigation to date shows that a man and his daughter were hiking along a gated road on Stoltze property in the Haskill Basin area. A bear charged the daughter from the left side of the road who at the time was leading 2 dogs on leashes. The bear charged past her and attacked the man. During the attack the man deployed pepper spray and the bear ran off the left side of the road. The investigation further showed that the father and daughter unknowingly walked between what is believed to be an adult female grizzly bear and her cubs. The two cubs crossed the road from right to left during the attack. The bears had been feeding on a deer carcass, which was cached about 35 yards to the right of the roadway.
FWP returned to the attack site this morning. They removed the carcass and set up trail cameras to begin monitoring the site and area.
The man was transported to Kalispell Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, including bites to the wrist, shoulder, and head.
In the interest of public safety, Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks worked with F. H. Stoltze and posted and closed the area where the attack occurred. The closure includes F. H. Stoltze land in the Haskill Basin area, west of Haskill Creek Road and Haskill Basin Road east to Wisconsin Ave. The area will be closed until further notice.
FWP has consulted with the USFWS Grizzly Bear Coordinator to plan further actions. The monitoring results will determine any further FWP actions. FWP is currently not trapping for the bear(s).
FWP’s Wildlife Human Attack Response Team is investigating the incident and it is still currently under investigation. The team is comprised of wardens and biologists trained for investigating these incidents.