KALISPELL (AP) - Aug. 13, 1967, marked one of the most tragic and important events in the history of Glacier National Park. Is this true? 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. The ranger and my kids aunt ran grabbed the kid who was right in the scared path of the bear. 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¦ The bear began biting into his right shoulder. Thanks for your research and work in writing this fantastic article! I’ve forgotten the third one …. Survival of both grizzlies and humans means learning to adapt and keep at a healthy distance from the other species. We referred to it on one of our podcasts. Nor did it attempt to cache the body by covering it with dirt or rocks. Let us know if you figure out that third one … before it gets you . They carried her to Granite Park Chalet, but she died after doctors staying at the chalet tried to save her life. Then shortly after 4:30 a.m., it returned and attacked the campers. No longer do grizzlies scavenge food out of garbage dumps. 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. Glacier Park grizzly attacks are, today, not exceptionally rare. Bert Gildart, a former park ranger in Glacier, remembers flying into Trout Lake a few weeks after the fatal attack to pick up garbage. 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.”. I still remember making eye contact with a park ranger who was on patrol. It is a stirring, emotional look at the inexplicable incident that claimed the lives of Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons in 1967. I was just in Missoula last week and read an article about the increasing range of grizzly bears in Montana. Finally, the goal is to rescue a human from being mauled — not to destroy a bear. Packing out trash and keeping clean campsites is a great place to start. 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. “We could no longer stand by and either actively feed or allow garbage to be left out for grizzly bears.”. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. In the summer of 1967, one underfed, underweight grizzly in the area had been terrorizing campers–including a girl scout troop. The surprise encounter resulted in the grizzly mauling and killing Treat. In 1975, grizzly bears were classified as a “threatened species” under the 1973 Endangered Species Act. Dave and I saw a grizzly a few years ago just a mile from Roosevelt Lodge. 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. 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. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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. So much so that for a time it was believed to have contributed to what happened to the young women. Some outdoor enthusiasts celebrate this. While driving with their aunt we ran into a bear jam. (Photo: Bert Gildart) Ben Goldfarb. An additional 100 grizzlies live in northern and eastern Idaho. But they were 50 years ago, when an unimaginable night of terror unfolded in Montana’s Glacier National Park. Defensive attacks, unlike predatory attacks, like those on the night of the grizzlies do not increase the likelihood that the bear will attack again. I did want to leave you this link. Food conditioning is dangerous because a food conditioned bear has not learned to tolerate people. Hikers left behind their trash and unused food, so bears treated the area like a feeding ground. The same night, a different grizzly bear killed another 19-year-old, Michelle Koons, at the Trout Lake campground. 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. Unlike the “garbage bears” of the 1960s, this grizzly disappeared and has not developed a pattern of bothering hikers or mountain bikers. Two women, in campsites miles apart from one This kind of behavior puts grizzlies at risk just as much as it puts humans at risk. Of course, firearm use is prohibited in Glacier or Yellowstone National Parks. Author Jack Olsen later wrote an article and book about the incident called "Night of the Grizzlies." 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 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. People don’t realize that these are not house pets and will hurt or kill you. ... Itâs a sentiment that has not been lost on friends and family of Koons and Helgeson. Summer of 1967. It was the summer of August 1967, and since the parkâs opening in 1910, dangerous encounters between grizzlies and humans were almost nonexistent. 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. See 10 Profile Searchers. 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. I was a friend of Michele Koons and that day still haunts me as if it happend yesterday. Bear management was far more lax back in 1967, even though some biologists could see trouble was coming. by friendofmichele » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:19 am, Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited. In the summer of 1967, one underfed, underweight grizzly in the area had been terrorizing campersâincluding a girl scout troop. In fact, he expressed sympathy for them. They are crowded as it is. 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. âThe 1967 maulings changed everything,â Gildart said recently. She died four hours later at 4:12 a.m. Michelle Koons did not. For everyone involved, it was an unforgettable night of crisis, â¦ Well, they don’t actually roam any longer. A bear invaded their camp, and while other campers climbed up trees, Koons was caught in her sleeping bag, and attacked. 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. I have seen several people carry openly in the Park. It was the summer of August 1967, and since the parkâs â¦ The group debated hiking out, but it was late in the day. 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. Hey Steve! Terrific article. 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. She screamed when the bear approached her. 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. 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. ... A friend and I were going to go and hike where Michele Koons was mauled to death, I guess you â¦ The fiftieth anniversary of the night of the grizzlies reminds us of the fragile relationship we have with the wild places — whether we’re fly fishers, hunters, hikers, photographers, or mountain-bikers. These guys are going to have to learn to live with us, which I think they are doing.”. There are, of course, more complex issues related to grizzly bear management. Where do you serve in Wyoming? So they pitched a new campsite along the lake shore, built a bonfire, and tried to settle in for the night. 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. Two separate grizzly attacks. 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. 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. The bear walked into camp and stole food as the campers ran along the lake shore to get out of its way. Bert Gildart was a 27-year-old patrol ranger in 1967 when two campers were killed in a pair of attacks by grizzly bears. I will do more research, as I am now curious what the relationship was. In the summer of 1967, one underfed, underweight grizzly in the area had been terrorizing campersâincluding a girl scout troop. No amount of management can make the wilds a danger-free zone. He offers this advice to mountain bikers in grizzly country: Some outdoor enthusiasts prefer carrying a .44 magnum to a canister of bear spray. Same night. by llholmes1948 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:06 pm, Post His sudden death was so tragic & I’ll never forget where I was when one of our former teammates shared the news w/ me. Maybe I can help clear some of this up for you. by friendofmichele » Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:56 am, Post Mountain bikers are, perhaps, more vulnerable to surprise encounters due to the high rate of speed at which they can approach a grizzly. This was the first fatality from a bear attack since the park officially opened in 1910. It was garbage campers had left behind. Upon researching my source, it turns out that it is quite possible, but inconclusive that they actually knew each other. About 800 grizzlies live in Montana, including 300 or so in Glacier National Park. Granite Park Chalet sits just below timberline at the hub of several back-country trails. According to the National Park Service, “There were 58 known and probable grizzly bear mortalities in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in 2016. Others are outraged. 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. 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. We must continue to listen to each other and work together to insure management practices which will allow grizzlies and humans to co-exist. There is no big wild left out there. 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. 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) This has been followed by a decline to 690 bears in 2016. 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. Humans must continue to do so as well. So what should outdoor enthusiasts do to help manage grizzly bears and their habitat? They are confined to particular areas in the intermountain west. I watched as a small grizzly tried to escape the people. They dumped garbage and leftover food at a site about two-hundred yards from the building. Thankfully, the sow and her cubs took off running. Thank you for calling us all to steward creation in all areas. Glacier National Park ranger Leonard Landa with the grizzly bear that killed Michelle Koons in 1967 at Trout Lake. Your email address will not be published. A place for discussing all things Glacier! There was lightning the night Michele Koons and Julie Helgeson died. Today, about 1500 grizzly bears roam in the lower 48 states. Whenever I fly fish in grizzly bear country in Montana and Wyoming, I follow the standard safety protocol. 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¦ If you want Judy's address just send me a private message and I will forward it to you. Second, bear spray is the only safe way to get a grizzly off of a human being during an attack. The following fall, my friend was hunting the same area with an orthopedic surgeon when a grizzly charged them. Granite Park Chalet was full at sunset on Saturday, August, 12. Another 600 members of the Ursus arctos horribilis subspecies live in Wyoming in the Yellowstone-Teton area. Dave: It was the summer of August 1967, â¦ 1967: The Night Of The Grizzlies ... â August 4, 2020. We saw a lot of grizzly sign—both scat and overturned logs and rocks—but never encountered a bear. Aug 11, 2017. Michele Koons, 19, female August 13, 1967 Wild Glacier National Park, Montana Koons was camping with a group at the Trout Lake campsite. Shortly after midnight, Roy heard Julie whisper, “Play dead.” Suddenly, a blow from a grizzly bear paw knocked him five feet away. Mangled beyond belief, Koonsâ body made Gildart question everything that he knew about grizzly bears. Mangled beyond belief, Koonsâ body made Gildart question everything that he knew about grizzly bears. Four were of undetermined cause, 4 were natural deaths, and 14 [are] still under investigation.”. Killed were Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons. Most men in my area never trust spray and carry into the parks https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/management/lawsandpolicies.htm. My children were not happy when I refused to let them get out and join the crowd of onlookers. Glacier National Park, Montana. in national parks.” So that .44 magnum is still not an option (as I understand it), even though concealed carry is allowed. I was told that the loud blast of a air horn, like you sometimes see at sporting events, will stop a charging grizzly. 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". Two dead. Most were weapons too small in caliber to effectively repel a Grizzly. 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). What an important cautionary tale. The grizzlies were nightly visitors due to a long-standing practice by chalet staff members. He and another ranger loaded about seventeen burlap sacks of garbage onto a Huey helicopter. “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 appreciate the clarification on the Firearms Policy in the park. There is no reason to eliminate a grizzly that attacks in self-defense. I will always carry bear spray when fly fishing these places. 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. 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! - After her first year of college, Julie went to Glacier Park June 12, 1967 and took a job as laundress at Glacier Park Lodge. Twenty-seven-year-old Bert Gildart, a ranger at Glacier National Park, found the mauled body of Michele Koons. The grizzlies are learning to do this. (Courtesy photo) Twenty-seven-year-old Bert Gildart, a ranger at Glacier National Park, found the mauled body of Michele Koons. My heart still aches for his wife & family who have to live with the daily reality of his passing. Based on the map that accompanied the article, none of my favorite fishing locations are outside of grizzly range. ↳ 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. Thirty-eight were attributed to human causes. Also, I don’t know if I ever told you but Brad Treat was a friend of mine. 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. Great article & a must read for anyone venturing into grizzly country. 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. It is posible that two of the people Michele was with that day knew Roy and Julie. Ben Goldfarb. 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. Thank you for pointing that out. The use is prohibited but not carrying. Great to hear from you. Featured in Ripleyâs Believe It or Not! When my kids were young their aunt was a wrangler at Roosevelt and we went to see her. Julie worked at Glacier Park Lodge and Michele worked at Lake McDonald Lodge. I talked to Judy (I will leave her last name out) who was Michele's roommate at Lake Mcdonald. 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. The park hadn't had a recorded incident of a grizzly death since its 1910 creation. Helgeson and her friend Roy Ducat hiked to the Granite Park Chalet on Aug. 12, 1967, and were both mauled early in the morning on Aug. â¦ 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. 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. 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.”. One morning, we came across a fresh set of grizzly bear tracks. My friend charged the bear and shot it with a cloud of bear spray. by glacieraddict » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:14 pm, Post Michele Koons and Julie Helgeson were both 19-year-old seasonal park employees. 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. Michele Koons was killed by a bear near Trout Lake on Aug. 12, 1967. Then, less than a half hour later, it happened again. 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 bear returned briefly around 2:00 a.m. and snatched a package of cookies left on a log. The grizzly which killed Brad Treat a year ago did not consume any part of its victim’s body. Even a bear shot in the vital organs can keep coming. 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. 1967: The Night Of The Grizzlies. The bear attacked the surgeon, eventually breaking his fibula, ripping gashes in his thigh and arm, and tearing off his ear. 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. 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. The bear dragged her away and mutilated her. Required fields are marked *. Gone are the grizzles that became habituated and lost their fear of human beings. Great article. Your email address will not be published. Previous Addresses: Rome, NY, Lee Center, NY, Escanaba, MI 19 Cedar Ln, New York Mills, NY 13417. ... Michele Koons and four friends settled in for the night in a campsite â¦ First, while its effects are temporary, bear spray usually incapacitates a grizzly instantly. It was the first time in the parkâs 57-year history that the usually placid Grizzlies had killed anyone. On August 13, 1967, two grizzly bears mauled Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons to death in Glacier National Park. Great question. The bear made its way down a hill on to the road and right into a big group of tourists. Four of them escaped to climb nearby trees. However, the stable number of females producing cubs in Yellowstone suggests that the park may have reached the “ecological carrying capacity” for grizzlies. She told me that they did not know Julie. by llholmes1948 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:18 am, Post 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. I make noise, pack out my garbage, avoid going alone, and always carry bear spray. As a Wyoming pastor it spoke volumes!!! It provides a breath-taking panoramic view of ice-capped mountains. Giving grizzlies their space is another. Michele was a very beautiful young lady and her family exudes the same warm personality that Michele â¦ Eight crow-flight miles to the southwest on the other side of a majestic mountain peak, Trout Lake had its own garbage problem. There are good people (and arguments) on both sides. 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¦ 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. Great point. 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. Last fall, my podcast partner, Dave Goetz, and I fly fished a couple days in Yellowstone National Park. Wow! But in the mid-1960s, hikers trekked to the chalet to view grizzly bears.