Twenty-seven-year-old Bert Gildart, a ranger at Glacier National Park, found the mauled body of Michele Koons. ... Michele Koons and four friends settled in for the night in a campsite â¦ It was garbage campers had left behind. 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. Within the last few weeks, the Yellowstone grizzly bear has been delisted from its status as a “threatened species” under the Endangered Species Act. 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. My children were not happy when I refused to let them get out and join the crowd of onlookers. Mangled beyond belief, Koonsâ body made Gildart question everything that he knew about grizzly bears. 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. Nor did it attempt to cache the body by covering it with dirt or rocks. Upon researching my source, it turns out that it is quite possible, but inconclusive that they actually knew each other. On August 13, 1967, two grizzly bears mauled Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons to death in Glacier National Park. 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. 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. I was told that the loud blast of a air horn, like you sometimes see at sporting events, will stop a charging grizzly. These guys are going to have to learn to live with us, which I think they are doing.”. Most men in my area never trust spray and carry into the parks https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/management/lawsandpolicies.htm. They carried her to Granite Park Chalet, but she died after doctors staying at the chalet tried to save her life. 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¦ 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. (Photo: Bert Gildart) Ben Goldfarb. She screamed when the bear approached her. 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. Great question. Two women, in campsites miles apart from one Where do you serve in Wyoming? Mountain bikers are, perhaps, more vulnerable to surprise encounters due to the high rate of speed at which they can approach a grizzly. 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¦ It was the summer of August 1967, and since the parkâs â¦ Gone are the grizzles that became habituated and lost their fear of human beings. 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. Another 600 members of the Ursus arctos horribilis subspecies live in Wyoming in the Yellowstone-Teton area. 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 Two dead. A place for discussing all things Glacier! Shortly after midnight on August 13, 1967, a grizzly bear dragged a 19-year old woman, Julie Helgeson, from her sleeping bag and mauled her. It is a stirring, emotional look at the inexplicable incident that claimed the lives of Julie Helgeson and Michele Koons in 1967. Your email address will not be published. The surprise encounter resulted in the grizzly mauling and killing Treat. Is this true? 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¦ 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. 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. The grizzly which killed Brad Treat a year ago did not consume any part of its victim’s body. Eight crow-flight miles to the southwest on the other side of a majestic mountain peak, Trout Lake had its own garbage problem. I appreciate the clarification on the Firearms Policy in the park. We both ran track & x-country for the University of Montana. For everyone involved, it was an unforgettable night of crisis, â¦ She told me that they did not know Julie. It was the summer of August 1967, â¦ sigh, that will probably be the one that gets me ,,,,, Haha! Learn how your comment data is processed. Then shortly after 4:30 a.m., it returned and attacked the campers. Bert Gildart, a former park ranger in Glacier, remembers flying into Trout Lake a few weeks after the fatal attack to pick up garbage. They dumped garbage and leftover food at a site about two-hundred yards from the building. 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. Unlike the “garbage bears” of the 1960s, this grizzly disappeared and has not developed a pattern of bothering hikers or mountain bikers. But in the mid-1960s, hikers trekked to the chalet to view grizzly bears. Required fields are marked *. Michele was a very beautiful young lady and her family exudes the same warm personality that Michele â¦ We must continue to listen to each other and work together to insure management practices which will allow grizzlies and humans to co-exist. I was a friend of Michele Koons and that day still haunts me as if it happend yesterday. The article goes on to say "Instead, they stuck out their thumbs and hitched a ride toward Granite Park." No amount of management can make the wilds a danger-free zone. by friendofmichele » Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:56 am, Post Maybe I can help clear some of this up for you. Michele Koons was killed by a bear near Trout Lake on Aug. 12, 1967. ... Itâs a sentiment that has not been lost on friends and family of Koons and Helgeson. The group debated hiking out, but it was late in the day. This kind of behavior puts grizzlies at risk just as much as it puts humans at risk. Others are outraged. Glacier National Park ranger Leonard Landa with the grizzly bear that killed Michelle Koons in 1967 at Trout Lake. People don’t realize that these are not house pets and will hurt or kill you. There are, of course, more complex issues related to grizzly bear management. Minn., and Michelle Koons of San Diego, Calif., in separate incidents early Sunday. My kids were made to stay in the car but their aunt went to help the ranger that was trying to get people out of the way. I did want to leave you this link. An additional 100 grizzlies live in northern and eastern Idaho. Then, less than a half hour later, it happened again. The park hadn't had a recorded incident of a grizzly death since its 1910 creation. Survival of both grizzlies and humans means learning to adapt and keep at a healthy distance from the other species. That same summer of 1967 two Glacier Park Inc. employees were mauled to death by grizzly bears on the same night - about 8 miles apart. in national parks.” So that .44 magnum is still not an option (as I understand it), even though concealed carry is allowed. Glacier Park grizzly attacks are, today, not exceptionally rare. I will do more research, as I am now curious what the relationship was. The bear walked into camp and stole food as the campers ran along the lake shore to get out of its way. The following fall, my friend was hunting the same area with an orthopedic surgeon when a grizzly charged them. Shortly after midnight, Roy heard Julie whisper, “Play dead.” Suddenly, a blow from a grizzly bear paw knocked him five feet away. Great article. My friend charged the bear and shot it with a cloud of bear spray. (Courtesy photo) There are good people (and arguments) on both sides. 1967: The Night Of The Grizzlies. The grizzlies are learning to do this. The same night, a different grizzly bear killed another 19-year-old, Michelle Koons, at the Trout Lake campground. 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. I will always carry bear spray when fly fishing these places. 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. He and another ranger loaded about seventeen burlap sacks of garbage onto a Huey helicopter. We saw a lot of grizzly sign—both scat and overturned logs and rocks—but never encountered a bear. Four were of undetermined cause, 4 were natural deaths, and 14 [are] still under investigation.”. Most were weapons too small in caliber to effectively repel a Grizzly. However, the stable number of females producing cubs in Yellowstone suggests that the park may have reached the “ecological carrying capacity” for grizzlies. Also, I don’t know if I ever told you but Brad Treat was a friend of mine. Ben Goldfarb. 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. Great to hear from you. The ban on carrying weapons in, at least Yellowstone National Park, was lifted in 2010. Two separate grizzly attacks. He offers this advice to mountain bikers in grizzly country: Some outdoor enthusiasts prefer carrying a .44 magnum to a canister of bear spray. Michele Koons, 19, female August 13, 1967 Wild Glacier National Park, Montana Koons was camping with a group at the Trout Lake campsite. There is no reason to eliminate a grizzly that attacks in self-defense. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. by llholmes1948 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:06 pm, Post Bert Gildart was a 27-year-old patrol ranger in 1967 when two campers were killed in a pair of attacks by grizzly bears. There was lightning the night Michele Koons and Julie Helgeson died. âA preliminary investigation indicates we probably have the culprits.â The Grizzlies savagely attacked and killed Julie Helgeson of .Albert Lea. 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.