FWP issues warning after biker encounters mountain lions on Whitefish Trail

Print Article

A mountain biker had a brief encounter with a family of mountain lions on Wednesday, June 26 on the Whitefish Trail north of town.

An adult man was riding a mountain bike on the trail near Haskill Lake when he encountered a group of three to four mountain lions, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The man reported the incident to FWP, which determined that no management action was needed as a result of the encounter.

The lions did not make physical contact with the biker at any time and based on the description of the encounter, it appears that the lions did not display predatory behavior, according to a FWP release.

FWP officials are reminding folks to not approach wildlife and carry bear spray when recreating.

“Trail users are advised to be aware of possible encounters with wildlife and review our recommended safety tips for avoiding conflicts,” said Chad White, FWP Region 1 bear and lion technician.

FWP says bears and mountain lions, along with most wildlife, will try to avoid confrontation. Recreationists should give wildlife at least 100 yards of space. Mountain lions and bears are most active at dusk and dawn when their prey is active, but they do travel at any time of the day or night.

FWP offers tips in case of encountering a mountain lion.

Don’t approach mountain lions as most will try to avoid a confrontation. Don’t run from a lion as this may stimulate their instinct to chase, but instead stand and face the animal by keeping eye contact. If small children are nearby, while still facing the lion, pick them up if possible so they don’t panic and run.

Don’t crouch or bend over because a person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal.

Appear larger by raising your arms and speaking in a firm voice with the idea being to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.

FWP also gives some tips in case of encountering a bear.

Always carry bear spray and make certain it is ready. If a grizzly bear charges, the first option is to remain standing and direct the spray at the charging bear. A bear may “bluff charge” or run past.

Do don’t run, but slowly back away from the bear if possible and keep a distance of at least 100 yards.

Behave in a non-threatening manner and do not attempt to frighten or haze a grizzly bear that is near or feeding on a carcass.

For more information, visit fwp.mt.gov. To report wildlife conflicts, contact the FWP Region 1 Headquarters at 406-752-5501.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Large buildings in business zone could see more review

October 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Whitefish Pilot Whitefish is considering requiring new large buildings and those involving hospitality uses or service stations in its secondary business zone to go through a conditional use permit review process. ...


Read More

Brunch and a bunch more

October 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Whitefish Pilot At Farmhouse Inn and Kitchen, Brandi Peerman strives for “home cooking.” For one, the inspiration for the menu comes straight from her family’s passed-down Czech recipes. “When I grew up we would h...


Read More

Lawsuit filed over commercial subdivision on U.S. 93

October 15, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Whitefish Pilot A neighborhood association has filed a lawsuit against the City of Whitefish and a developer over a commercial subdivision approved last month for along U.S. Highway 93 South. The South Whitefish N...


Read More

Great Fish campaign awards $2.8 million to nonprofit groups

October 15, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Whitefish Pilot The Great Fish Community Challenge hit another high this year, raising a total of more than $2.8 million for 53 nonprofits. Check after check was presented to nonprofit representatives Thursday nig...


Read More

Contact Us

(406) 862-3505
312 E. Second Street
Whitefish, MT 59937

©2019 Whitefish Pilot Terms of Use Privacy Policy