Berry picker has harrowing encounter with sow griz at Lion Lake

Print Article

A grizzly sow and her cubs feed in a patch of huckleberries in Glacier National Park in the Swiftcurrent Valley in this file photo. A bear like this one charged a huckleberry picker near Lion Lake Tuesday.

Hunter Dana, 17, had a nerve-wracking encounter with a grizzly bear sow and three cubs at Lion Lake Tuesday morning.

Dana of Columbia Falls hiked up to his family’s usual huckleberry-picking spot near Hungry Horse and sat down to pick. Dana’s mother, Jennifer Wheat-Dana, said that her son reported “something didn’t feel right.”

One of Dana’s empty gallon jugs clanked against another jug and the sow came flying out of the woods.

“She kept coming after him,” Wheat-Dana said. “He would spray her, get away, and she was coming again. She followed him clear around the lake.”

At one point, the sow charged Dana, he sprayed her, and her nail caught his pant leg and tripped him. The spray had subdued her enough for him to get up and get moving, she said.

Dana is scratched from the underbrush and hit the ground hard but is uninjured. He lost his voice from screaming at the bear.

Dana’s father was on the phone with him during the attack, and simultaneously called 911 with a co-worker’s phone.

When Wheat-Dana arrived, Flathead County Sheriff’s deputies and a game warden had already arrived. Dana was picked up at the south end of the lake.

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks wildlife manager Neil Anderson said the agency will not be removing the sow or cubs.

“We have no intention from my standpoint. It was just a bear protecting her cubs. No one was injured,” Anderson said.

But recreationists and berry-pickers should plan to avoid the area.

“She’s a pissed-off momma bear so I highly recommend staying out of the area,” Wheat-Dana said, and confirmed that the bear spray had saved her son’s life. “Imagine if he had a gun, if he only injured her. He wouldn’t be here.”

Print Article

Read More Local News

Corvallis man killed in Glacier Park Haystack Creek Fall

July 24, 2017 at 11:46 am | Hungry Horse News A Corvallis man died Saturday in Glacier National Park after he fell into Haystack Creek and was swept under the Going-to-the-Sun Road and over a waterfall. According to initial witness accounts, Gl...

Comments

Read More

FAMILY TREES

July 20, 2017 at 6:17 am | Hungry Horse News About 50 yards from the Chrisman family home up the North Fork, there’s a lodgepole pine tree. It isn’t doing very well, at least not compared to the trees near it. The bark is rubbed off in several ...

Comments

Read More

Sparkler bomb suspect turns himself in

July 19, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Hungry Horse News The Hungry Horse man whose sparkler bombs allegedly injured a teenage girl on Fourth of July turned himself to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday night. Sheriff Chuck Curry did not rel...

Comments

Read More

After deal, Kreck Trail is no more

July 19, 2017 at 8:06 am | Hungry Horse News Back in 2010 a host of volunteers got together and made a path through Loren Kreck’s property along the Flathead River near the Old Red Bridge. Kreck, a noted environmentalist, blessed the trail as ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2017 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X