WISCONSIN ELK HUNTER KILLED IN IDAHO – Chris Perow (Wisconsin, 33y/o) was tragically killed on an elk hunt in Idaho when a tree fell on his tent. Chris leaves behind his wife, Lauren, and two sons. Family and friends remember Chris as a family man and an avid soccer player. Chris and Lauren met on the soccer field.

Western hunters are a different kind. It is saddening to learn of this and know how the family is suffering. It is safe to assume many in the community of mountain hunters will have this family in their thoughts and prayers.

This situation is heartbreaking. We give our deepest sympathies to Chris’s family and friends. This also serves to remind those hunting in the mountains that the colloquial term “widow-maker” isn’t to be taken lightly.

In the original report by CBS 58, Milwaukee, Lauren was open to commenting:
“We had plans as a family. We had plans to build a home, and we had plans to have more children.”
“He owned his own business, he’s very hardworking. He would do anything for his family and anything for anyone he loves.”
”We had played [soccer] together. I mean our last game we played together was a couple of weeks ago before he left. Soccer is a big part of our life.”
”The Brewers were a big part of our life and you know, we just want to keep and make sure the boys have a good memory of their dad and keep that memory alive.”

There are real dangers associated with being out in the mountains. Some can be taken into account and mitigated with proper planning. Some are harder to plan around.

The report indicates that lightning struck the tree that fell on Chris. However, whether it was alive or standing dead, the forestry term also used by hunters stands true. A widow-maker took Chris’ life.

Typically, the term refers to a broken limb or dead treetop that could easily fall, or simply a standing dead tree. Therefore, it is common practice when setting up camp to evaluate the area for widow-makers.

It’s hard to make sense of something so tragic. Maybe Bear Claw said it best in the 1976 film, Jeremiah Johnson:
“…mountain’s got its own ways.”

A GoFundMe is now operational to help set up a memorial for Chris.

Do you keep an eye out for widow-makers? What other safety procedures are standard for you?

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