On Wednesday, March 23, Craig Clouatre, a resident of Livingston, Montana, went hunting in the shed with his friend Hans Friedmann. At some point they parted ways, but Clouatre never reached their meeting place.
When the Park County Sheriff’s Department received notification that Clouatre had not returned home from the Six Mile Creek area of Paradise Valley, they sent the cavalry to search for him. According to the Missoulian, the search began on the night of March 24 with thermal imaging devices. The next morning, rescuers set out in helicopters, along with ground and horse teams.
Rescuers found Clouatre on Friday morning, but it was too late.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this update,” Sheriff Brad Bichler wrote on the Park County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page. “After an extensive search this morning, we have located Craig. He looks like he had an encounter with a grizzly bear and unfortunately didn’t survive. We will continue to work through the afternoon to bring Craig home. Please keep his family and everyone involved in your thoughts and prayers.”
Clouatre’s wife, Jamie, told Sheriff Bichler that “Craig loved being out in the wild and was well aware of the risks involved.”
“Of all the men I know, I can’t believe he died in the desert. He was so strong and so smart,” said Anne Tanner, a friend of Clouatre. the independent. “It just makes me mad that something like this could happen to such a good person.”
Craig leaves behind a wife and four children. Kristin Wachob, a friend of the family, started a Gofundme page to relieve the Clouatres of financial burdens during this difficult time.
“This family has an intimate familiarity with tragedy, having lost nearly everything in a house fire just two years ago,” Wachob wrote. “Anyone who knew Craig had a friend in him. He was a man full of joy and kindness. And more than anything, he loved his family.”
MeatEater sends its deepest condolences to his friends and family.