By Montana Grant

Posted: May 31, 2020


Critter assaults are an issue wild states face. Predators like Grizzly and Black bears, mountain Lions, and wolves, and other mammals eat meat. Their dinners are often hard earned and require some fast chasing and attacking.

So, you are a hungry meat-eating predator waiting for a meal, and suddenly a fast-moving opportunity comes down the trail. A quick leap, lunge, or hug and suddenly they realize that their fat meal is not a wild deer, but rather a people! Whoops!

In California, a woman was mountain biking down a remote trail when she was suddenly assaulted by a Mountain Lion. A surfer was cruising along when a Killer Whale suddenly thought they were a seal. We have all heard the stories. Chomp, chomp, whoops.

When you live in any neighborhood, you must learn the risks. Survival depends upon education. The recent bear assault near Big Sky is a perfect example.

Grizzly bears live in Big Sky too. They are not invited to the Yellowstone Club for dinner. They will take any Fast Food they can get. Many big critters use the same trails as people. Don’t be surprised if you encounter other wild hikers along your favorite trails.

A 61-year-old mountain biker was enjoying his ride along a trail near Ousel Falls on Monday. The air was clear, cool, and wonderful. Big Sky Country was at its finest when the biker suddenly entered the food chain. He is still in the hospital after his near-death experience with a Grizzly Bear.

Most of his injuries were to his head, face, and neck. He also had a punctured lung, 2 broken ribs. His biking helmet prevented any brain damage, or more severe cranial trauma. This is where a predator targets their kill. His jaw is wired shut, facial reconstruction will be needed, and the biker can’t talk for a while. In just a few fast moments, this biker was almost a meal. The bear was surprised and made a fast food choice.

Maybe the bear thought the biker was a deer or small tasty elk. Maybe the bear was simply scared and defended itself. Maybe the biker could have had some bells, or other noise makers on his bike. How many joggers, skiers and bikers wear ear buds for their music as they stealth fully travel through predator country? Not being able to hear the predator is as much of a disadvantage as the predator not being able to hear the prey.

Officials have determined that the bear acted in self-defense and will not be killed, this time. The biker is no stranger to Montana. This could have happened to anyone.

What struck me was how quick the bear attacked and disengaged. The second thing was how the biker managed to travel to a nearby road with his wounds.

Let this story be a reminder to all of us that wild things can happen in Montana.

Montana Grant

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