Intermingled Bones of Moose and Man

   01.31.19

Intermingled Bones of Moose and Man

This photo recently found its way across my social media feed, with the following caption:

This photo should serve as a constant reminder to us all about the inherent risks of hunting.

We may never know what happened to this hunter, did a bear claim his moose kill? Was the moose wounded and put up a fight? Part of the story is told by a rifle with a jammed cartridge and a knife who’s[sic] blade was broken off at the handle found amongst the bones… whatever the case, he fought, to the very end.

According to Sporting Classics Daily, this scene was discovered back in 1923 in Glacier National Park, Montana and was reported in “The Daily Inter Lake” as follows.

From The Daily Inter Lake
Kalispell, Montana, July 16, 1923 –

Mute evidence of a tragedy of the woods was discovered a few days ago by Joe McKelvey, park ranger, in the vicinity of Many Glaciers chalet, Glacier National Park.

In a thicket about three miles north, Mr. McKelvey ran across the skeleton of a moose, and upon closer investigation, found parts of a human skeleton, which clearly showed that some hunter years ago had shot and wounded a moose and then been killed by the animal. Close by was found a Springfield 45-70 rifle with the breech open, and a shell which had stuck told how the hunter had lost his life. He had evidently fought to a finish for a broken knife (that) was found on the ground.

Old-timers in the vicinity of the park are of the opinion the skeleton is that of a French-Canadian trapper who disappeared about 18 years ago, but none remember his name. There is no doubt that the man lost his life a long time ago, for the bones are bleached and the rubber shoes which the hunter was wearing are badly weather-worn.

Mr. McKelvey got an excellent photograph of this tragedy of the hills. It shows the two skeletons where the combatants fell after their fight, together with the rifle and other equipment of the hunter.

Whatever you choose to believe about the cause of death of these two creatures, it’s certainly worthwhile to remember that wild animals can be dangerous — and hunters sometimes come out on the losing end.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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