Category Archive 'Montana'
27 Oct 2017

Man Shot Grizzly Off His Front Porch

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Bozeman Daily Chronicle, October 24:

A man shot a grizzly bear on his front porch near West Yellowstone last weekend after it broke into his garage to get a hanging elk carcass.

Andrea Jones, a spokeswoman for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said the incident happened on Sunday evening south of U.S. Highway 287 and near the Grayling Arm of Hebgen Lake. She said an agency investigation determined that the man shot the bear in self-defense.

“We have a pretty clear case of self-defense here,” Jones said.

Jones said the bear was a sow grizzly likely more than 15 years old. It broke through a metal door to get into a garage where an elk carcass was hanging.

The homeowner heard noise coming from the garage. He grabbed a gun and went onto the front porch to see what was going on.

“There was a bear not 10 paces from him on his porch,” Jones said.

Jones said the man told FWP investigators that the bear turned and began to approach him. He shot the bear dead.

Jones said investigators saw bloody paw prints around the property, including within 10 feet of the front door. They also saw paw prints on the home’s living room window.

The bear had been trapped by Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team researchers once before, but it didn’t have a history of run-ins with people.

Jones said it appeared that the garage was secured properly and that there was nothing the homeowner could have done differently.

She added that it’s important for people to recognize that both grizzly and black bears are still wandering around and trying to fatten up for the winter.

RTWT

I hope the black bear raiding my bird feeders reads this one.

08 Sep 2017

Bow Hunter Mauled by Grizzly in Montana

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Rexburg Standard Journal:

A grizzly bear mauled a bow hunter in southwestern Montana, slashing a 16-inch cut in his head that required 90 stitches to close.

“I could hear bones crunching, just like you read about,” said Tom Sommer, as he recovered in a Montana hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

Sommer said he and a hunting partner were looking for an elk they had been calling Monday morning when his partner spotted a grizzly bear feeding on an elk carcass in the southern end of the Gravelly Range, just north of the Idaho border.

“The bear just flat-out charged us,” Sommer said. He said it closed the 30-foot distance in 3 or 4 seconds.

His hunting partner deployed his bear spray, which slowed the bear’s charge. Sommer said he grabbed his canister so quickly that he couldn’t release the safety and he couldn’t afford to look down as the bear closed in. He ran around a tree twice and dropped his bear spray in the process.

Sommer then grabbed his pistol and turned to confront the bear.

“It bit my thigh, ran his claws through my wrist and proceeded to attack my head,” Sommer recalled Tuesday.

He still had his pistol in his hand and was going to shoot the bear in the neck when it swatted his arm down, Sommer said.

“Just like that it stopped. He stopped biting me, he got up and started to run away,” said Sommer, who splits his time among Idaho, Missouri and Florida.

His hunting partner had been able to deploy the rest of his bear spray, ending the attack Sommer estimated lasted about 25 seconds.

“It could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Sommer found his bear spray canister. His hunting partner had some blood coagulation powder and they made a turban, stopping the bleeding after about 15 minutes.

They walked a mile back to their spike camp and rode mules another 4 miles out to their base camp, followed by a two-hour ride in a pickup truck to get to the hospital in Ennis.

“Through it all I was very conscious, very level-headed and low key about it,” Sommer said. “Besides some scars, it doesn’t appear that I will have any problems.

RTWT

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First reported by gun writer Mike Venturino on FB.

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Extensive gossip, wisecracks, discussion at 24 Hour Campfire.

03 Nov 2016

Archery Hunter Stops Bear Charge with One Arrow

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bearwarrow

Russel Ferster is one heck of a bow shot is all I have to say.

Sporting Classics:

Ferster was hoping to put his archery skills to good use September 11, 2016, but not on a bear, and certainly not in a life-or-death situation. He and his 11-year-old brother, Lane, were elk hunting in Montana’s Crazy Mountains when a black bear responded to their cow call.

“We weren’t even fifteen minutes out of the pickup and I decided to cow call twice,” Ferster told the Billings Gazette.

The bear burst from nearby cover and closed to within 15 yards in an instant. Ferster said it appeared to be after the “elk” and not after he and his brother. Ferster has had this occur before while elk hunting, so he raised his hands and shouted at the bear as he had done in the past.

This bear, however, wasn’t deterred.

The bear began pouncing up and down on its front legs, much like a grizzly does when it presses down on a recently killed animal. Ferster is used to dealing with grizzlies, too, so much so that he has quit hunting in several areas that held the bigger bears. But despite his usual caution, he had failed to bring either a handgun or bear spray with him on this elk hunt.

He drew his bow in readiness for a possible attack, but his movement caused the bear to surge toward him.

“He came at 100 miles an hour,” Ferster said. “I had a split second to aim and hit him in the only place that would stop him in his tracks.”

That place was the eye. His arrow met the bear’s left eye, driving inward and upward through the bear’s head. It dropped the bear almost at Ferster’s feet, the broadhead lodged just inside its skull and the nock touching Ferster’s leg.

Read the whole thing.

13 Feb 2015

Old Ephraim Versus Electricity

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“A Montana grizzly bear attempts to retrieve an electrically charged, road-killed deer. The deer is electrified as an experiment to protect hunters’ game kills and, in turn, to minimize bear-human encounters.”

Hat tip to Henry Bernatonis.

06 Jul 2014

Interesting Derailment

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Derailment
Three Boeing 737 jet fuselages lying in or near the Clark Fork River.

KTVQ:

A Montana Rail Link train en-route from Kansas City to Renton, Washington derailed east of Superior Thursday afternoon, sending three cars of aircraft components into the Clark Fork River.

MRL spokeswoman Linda Frost says 19 cars derailed around 4p.m.

Thursday 18 miles east of Superior near Fish Creek Road and Interstate 90.

Frost tells MTN News a total of 19 cars derailed; seven cars with aircraft components, three cars carrying soybeans, three cars with denatured alcohol and the other seven were empty.

Frost says three aircraft components landed in the Clark Fork River. Frost says no alcohol or soybeans leaked.

She said no one was hurt.

19 Apr 2014

I Could Vote For This Guy

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15 Mar 2014

Civil War-Era Musket Found Packed in Bear Grease in Montana Tree

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Montana native Maxx Martel found this 19th century muzzleloader packed in bear grease in the hollow of a tree. Field & Stream

It’s actually a Pattern 1853 Enfield, specifically a Moore-Enfield.

Nice ones sell for about $2500.

12 Oct 2013

Montana Elk Chases Couple on Motorcycle

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18 Aug 2013

Both Fell to Their Deaths

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Gallery

The dead mountain lion and bighorn sheep were found on a closed road in Glacier National Park. Both evidently fell from somewhere very high on the cliffs above and to the right during the struggle which took place when the lion attacked the ram. The dead lion’s mouth can be seen to contain a large clump of the ram’s hair.

The Imgur commentator confused the bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) with a mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus)

Facebook commentators were quoting Tolkein: “Until at last, I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountainside.”

28 Mar 2011

Stoner Gets Workman’s Comp, But Business Closes

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HuffPo quotes a humorous local events item from the Missoulian.

The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a Workers’ Compensation Court ruling that about $65,000 in medical bills incurred by a man who was mauled while feeding the bears at a tourist attraction should be covered by workers’ compensation, despite the fact the man had smoked marijuana on the day of the attack.

The court filed its opinion Tuesday, the Daily Inter Lake reported.

Brock Hopkins filed a claim with the Uninsured Employers’ Fund in December 2007, saying he suffered injuries to his legs and buttocks when he was mauled by a bear at Great Bear Adventures near Glacier National Park on Nov. 2, 2007. Hopkins was treated for his injuries at a Kalispell hospital.

The UEF denied Hopkins’ claim because Hopkins had smoked marijuana before entering a bear enclosure. The fund also argued that Hopkins was acting outside the scope of his duties.

Park owner Russell Kilpatrick, who did not have workers’ compensation coverage, argued that Hopkins was a volunteer who Kilpatrick occasionally gave cash to “out of his heart.” Hopkins fed the bears that day after Kilpatrick told him not to because he was tapering their food as they prepared for hibernation, Kilpatrick said.

The Workers’ Compensation Court ruled last June that Hopkins was an employee and noted that while his “use of marijuana to kick off a day of working around grizzly bears was ill-advised to say the least and mind-bogglingly stupid to say the most,” there was no evidence presented regarding Hopkins’ level of impairment.

The WCC found that grizzlies are “equal opportunity maulers” without regard to marijuana consumption. …

[T]he agency [paid] an estimated $35,000 in discounted medical bills on behalf of Hopkins. Kilpatrick paid a small penalty for failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance, Nevin said.

A phone listing for Kilpatrick in Coram has been disconnected and there is no phone listing for Great Bear Adventures.

Both outlets overlook the more serious moral here. The Montana’s Supreme Court’s witty and charitable decision and the consequent “small penalty” seem to have closed the Great Bear Adventures Park operation and put its owner out of business. Ho, ho, ho.

Hat tip to John Whiston.

01 Dec 2010

Supercell Storm Cloud

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Near Glasgow, Montana, July, 2010.

10 Nov 2010

One More Warmlist Entry

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It is always a good day for NYM when we are able to add one more dire effect to the Warmlist catalogue.

Julie Cart, at the LA Times, consults the environmental seers who explain that grizzly bear predation on humans in Wyoming and Montana results from Global Warming.

A number of complex factors are believed to be working against grizzlies, including climate change. Milder winters have allowed bark beetles to decimate the white-bark pine, whose nuts are a critical food source for grizzlies. Meanwhile, there has been a slight seasonal shift for plants that grizzlies rely on when they prepare to hibernate and when they emerge in the spring, changing the creatures’ denning habits.

The result, some biologists say, is that bears accustomed to feasting on berries and nuts in remote alpine areas are being pushed into a more meat-dependent diet that puts them on a collision course with the other dominant regional omnivore: humans.

Of course.

12 Jul 2009

Culture Wars in Bozeman

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Bridget Kevane, a professor at Montana State University and resident of Bozeman, left three younger children in the charge of her twelve year old daughter and a girlfriend at the local mall. The two older girls went to try on clothing in a dressing room leaving the younger siblings, aged 3, 7, and 8, alone and unattended by a store counter. Store employees seeing the children alone called mall security, which in turn summoned the police.

The professor soon found herself charged with child endangerment, being prosecuted by a city attorney determined to teach someone like herself a lesson.

The city attorney made no secret of the fact that her own parenting choices informed her decision in backing up the police officer. She told my lawyer in their first meeting that she also had a daughter and would never have left her at the mall. She also said she believed professors are incapable of seeing the real world around them because their “heads are always in a book.” Her first letter to my lawyer ended on a similar theme: “I just think that even individuals with major educations can commit this offense, and they should not be treated differently because they have more money or education.” Despite the fact that Montana professors are among the lowest paid in the nation, and that undoubtedly the prosecutor has a law degree herself, she nevertheless categorized me as someone trying to receive special treatment.

My lawyer and I came to understand that, more than anything, the city attorney wanted me to plead guilty, to admit that I had “violated a duty of care.” She wanted me to carry that crime with me for the rest of my life, a scarlet A that would symbolically humiliate me, teach me a lesson, and remain etched in my being.

I now realize that her pressure—her near obsession with having me plead guilty—had less to do with what I had done and more to do with her perception of me as an outsider who thought she was above the law, who had money to pay her way out of a mistake, who thought she was smarter than the Bozeman attorney because of her “major education.” This perception took hold even though I had never spoken one word to her directly. Nor did I ever speak in court; only my lawyer did. I was visible but silent, and thus unable to shake the image that the prosecutor had created of me: a rich, reckless, highly educated outsider mother who probably left her children all the time in order to read her books.

In our contemporary media-driven culture, stereotype images of wrong-doing identified by news programs and television dramas as pandemic problems float abundantly in the national subconscious ready to be applied. The progressive ideal of public activism and aggressive ameliorism promotes doing something about these supposed “problems,” treating the impulse to do things, to act in such a context as enlightened and responsible, even heroic.

Even a basically trivial incident like the one involving Professor Kevane’s children can easily today become the pretext for an avalanching tragedy of exaggeration and paranoia. In this case, ironically, we seem to find what should be expected to be the more conservative native residents, in a man-bites-dog situation, bringing the heavy burden of statist paternalism down upon a liberal university professor, who this time finds herself on the defensive and losing in the culture wars.

Hat tip to Judith Warner.

24 Feb 2009

“Made in Montana”

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More gun makers and gun owners ought to be hanging “For Sale” signs on their current properties and getting ready to move West. Why would Auto Ordinance want to stay in the Catskills or Smith & Wesson in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, when there’s Montana?

Great Falls Tribune:

Montana lawmakers fired another shot in battles for states’ rights as they supported letting some Montana gun owners and dealers skip reporting their transactions to the federal government.

Under House Bill 246, firearms made in Montana and used in Montana would be exempt from federal regulation. The same would be true for firearm accessories and ammunition made and sold in the state.

“What we need here is for Montana to be able to handle Montana’s business and affairs,” Republican Rep. Joel Boniek told fellow lawmakers Saturday. The wilderness guide from Livingston defeated Republican incumbent Bruce Malcolm in last spring’s election.

Boniek’s measure aims to circumvent federal authority over interstate commerce, which is the legal basis for most gun regulation in the United States. The bill potentially could release Montanans from both federal gun registration requirements and dealership licensing rules. Since the state has no background-check laws on its own books, the legislation also could free gun purchasers from that requirement.

“Firearms are inextricably linked to the history and culture of Montana, and I’d like to support that,” Boniek said. “But I want to point out that the issue here is not about firearms. It’s about state rights.”

The House voted 64-36 for the bill on Saturday. If it clears a final vote, the measure will go to the Senate.

House Republicans were joined by 14 Democrats in passing the measure.

Hat tip to Bryan DiSalvatore.

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