Skip to comments.Hunter's widow files appeal
Posted on 03/06/2006 4:07:08 PM PST by george76
Suit says state at fault in grizzly mauling...
The widow of a hunter mauled by a grizzly bear while he was gutting an elk has filed an appeal with the Montana Supreme Court after a district judge here dismissed her lawsuit against the state.
Mary Ann Hilston contends negligent management practices led to the death of her husband...in the fall of 2001.
She filed a lawsuit in federal court in September 2004, claiming the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks knew there was an aggressive grizzly bear with two cubs prowling the Clearwater Wildlife Management Area northeast of Missoula at the time of her husband's death.
A judge dismissed FWS as a defendant, and determined federal court wasn't the proper venue for a suit against FWP.
Hilston then filed a wrongful death suit against FWP in state District Court.
She argued that the agency knew an aggressive bear had taken over a hunter's elk carcass in the management area just days before her husband's attack.
In addition, the suit claims that FWP's practice of planting livestock carcasses in the area to draw bears away from surrounding ranch lands created an increased risk of conflict between bears and humans.
The FWP failed to warn hunters of the risk,...
Hilston's attorneys filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Robert Vermillion, one of Hilston's attorneys, said the case revolves around the Montana Recreational Use Immunity Act.
(Excerpt) Read more at billingsgazette.net ...
Dog say....never hunt an animal that can hunt you.
There was a reason why my grandfathers generation hunted these things to local extinction. Arrogant lefties today think they know better.
To me, it sounds like grounds for the Darwin Award. What the heck was he doing gutting an elk in grizzly country?
Then one should not hunt alone.
Buddy System is the best protection. I'm a fisher...and I'm never alone for the sport. Sorry about the tragedy, but that's the risk of hunting of any type.
One guts the elk where it is shot. It is way to heavy to carry for a horse, so it has to be cut up for several horses.
Maybe he was preparing to hoist the meat up so bears or wolves could not get it.
That said, no one should hunt alone in Montana...
Sorry for the family where Dad was trying to put some food on the table.
After this question you should change your user name.LOL
i was wondering about that. it seems that if you were kneeling over an animal carcass in bear territory, you'd need another person to stand guard.
(however, i'm not a hunter, so i'm just guessing here.)
Up here, hunting alone is just not a smart thing to do.
i sure wouldn't think so.
i'm a long islander, where we don't have such fierce critters, but i sure wouldn't do ANYTHING alone in places where grizzlies live.
and it seems like the smell of an amimal carcass would be exactly the sort of thing to attract a grizzly. and i would guess that the position you would be in when you gut a carcass would be a pretty vulnerable position.
whenever i have been in places where a lot of bears live, i have been warned about carrying anything that might attract the bears.
the long island equivalent would be to throw a bunch of bloody fish guts in the water, then jump in and expect sharks to ignore you.
I'm sure the grizzely will be glad to hear her appeal.
Well, maybe he needed to find a different place to hunt. That was asking for it.
Let me put it this way.... I'm alive, he's dead. That makes me more brilliant than he.
iT IS WRONG NOT TO HOLD GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES LIABLE FOR THIER ACTIONS OR INACTIONS ;THE KING CAN DO NO WRONG SHOULD LONG AGO HAVE BEEN REJECTED.
"Hunting in Grizzly Contry
Never hunt alone in areas where grizzlies live.
One hunter should keep watch while a second guts a downed animal"
Arrogant lefties today think they know better.
I read an article that at least one western state said they had a surplus and wanted to open a hunting season for grizzlies.
If that does not fly, I would suggest trapping and releasing grizzlies in red states.
The arrogant lefties should have the true nature experience of having a grizzly in their back yard.
"Hilston was aware that grizzly bears inhabited the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area, located about thirty-eight miles northeast of Missoula, and he took a calculated risk on October 30, 2001, when he decided to go alone to the area to hunt elk."
The wife sounds like she listened to Timothy Tredwell, too much. Just WHERE did she think her husband was hunting? Has she seen a map?
"Let me put it this way.... I'm alive, he's dead. That makes me more brilliant than he."
Well, the logic of that can not be disputed. Personally, as a hunter, I never go alone, and certainly would not gut an animal in bear country without a trusted fellow watching the AR back.
Worst possible situational thinking always pays dividends.
Still makes you far short of brilliant, you dress an elk where you kill it, do you have the least bit of an ideal how much an elk weighs? When way off the beaten path, the hunter normally carries out the hind quarters the first trip. But you really shouldn't hunt alone in brown bear country.
"But you really shouldn't hunt alone in brown bear country."
You just proved my point. It was a bone-headed move. You don't have to be brilliant to see that.
Honest question, no intent to insult but do you hunt ?
What this guy was doing is done thousands of times during elk and deer season....... always safer to hunt in pairs and in dangerous game (grizzly) country one hunter ALWAYS watches while the other hunter dresses out the game harvested.
Any grizzly with cubs is defensive of her cubs which is interpreted as aggressive by most. Of late the sound of a gunshot is a pavlov's doggie dinner bell to hungry critters somewhat. Not proven but suspected.
What is worse in national parks firearms are banned. Bad idea.
May I suggest Golden Gate Park? Good cover. Lots of forage. Plenty of animal huggers to protect them.
Griffin Park would be a good second choice.
Maybe a few in Yosemite & Kings Canyon, or Mount Diablo.
Since California even has one on its state flag, it just seems fitting.
In fact, a pair of them loose in the halls of the state capitol building during a legislative session has been a dream of mine for decades.
"Say, I've found a perfect spot to catch us a bear."
"How can you be sure?"
"I saw a sign that said Fine for Hunting."
I read an article that said one way to get rich in this country is to have a dead relative.
I have had it with frivolous lawsuits and threats of lawsuits whether it is by the ACLU or morons with dollar signs in their eyes.
Large, bloody carcass & known bear country.... recipe for diligence.
Add in a bit of conditioning for the "dinner bell" gunshot, a hungry Sow griz with cubs, and dressing your kill could get dicey.
One should always take another bear with them.
Especially if the dead relative smoked, got served hot coffee, or drives an SUV.
That kind of mentality would in essence outlaw hunting in North Idaho and Montana, some of the best elk hunting around!
I lived in Kodiak Brown bear country in Alaska and grizzly country in Montana and North Idaho and I usually went hiking alone...knowing the risks.
It was just hard to come up with a hiking partner all the time, and I preferred to hike alone.
I can understand, but "knowing the risks" assumes responsibility and the state (this is OUR money folks) doesn't owe someone money for a mishap in dangerous country.
If this bear wouldn't have gotten him, a number of other life-threatening mishaps might have, risks he ran by going alone. Hell, he could have died easily from twisting his ankle or throwing his back out trying to pack the thing out. I don't ride alone in the wild country here, and we don't even have grizzlies...
All that said... I have real concerns and qualms if they're baiting bears.
You're right, they had reasons... not ~good~ reasons, but reasons nonetheless ;~D
The government admits to baiting bears.
Individuals have also been baiting bears.
Well, baiting bears is sometimes the best way to hunt them... but baiting bears to merely 'satisfy' them into not killing livestock is extortion... not gonna be a good idea in the long haul.
All part of the circle of life.
Seems like he died of natural causes to me.
Getting rid of predators that will come into your tent and eat you was a pretty good reason. And in a day when cowboys and miners and such lived in the wilderness for extended periods, getting rid of something that could kill you practically without warning was a good thing.
I'd prefer it if they weren't out there today. I don't like taking my life in my hands just to enjoy a hike in the woods. We can save the Griz genome in zoos.
I think Grizzlies have a place, and so do hunters. "I don't like taking my life in my hands just to enjoy a hike in the woods." is scaredypants wildlife management.
If you want to walk in the woods without bears, go to Central Park. If you want to walk in the woods where bears are, bring a big gun. Life isn't about eliminating all conflict with the natural world, but rather mastering it.
The grizzly danger was gone from a great deal of the country, and there was no good excuse to bring it back merely to massage the feelings of people living on 5th avenue.
Grizzlys have their place, in the zoo.
There's lots of other room for Grizzlies than just the zoo. I'll concede only that where they conflict with the dwellings of man, they should be hunted. But a grizzly-free back-country just so we can go play in the woods doesn't pass the test.
And spending tax money bringing grizzlys back to areas where they were eliminated is certain to get people killed merely to make some feel good. It's yet another example of the government endangering our citizens for no positive good.
I thought all momma bears with cubs are overly aggressive.
I guess the motto is never bring an elk carcas to a grizzly bear fight, of course picking up your rifle and shooting grizzly may help if you do...