Man killed in Hope mauling identified as 46-year-old Alaskan, search for bear continues

An Alaska State Trooper cruiser parked on Nome’s Front Street in January 2015.
An Alaska State Trooper cruiser. (Matthew Smith/KNOM)

Alaska State Troopers identified the man killed by a bear last week near Hope as 46-year-old Daniel Schilling, a resident of the small, Turnagain Arm Community.

It’s believed the attack happened while Schilling was clearing a trail about a mile behind his cabin, troopers say.

Wildlife biologists believe a brown bear attacked Schilling based on samples they gathered at the site, including hair. They also found evidence that bear spray had been used, said Cyndi Wardlow, Alaska Department of Fish and Game regional supervisor.

“An bear spray canister was found at the attack site during the investigation,” she said. “It was empty when it was located.”

It’s still unclear what led to the attack, Wardlow said.

Fish and Game continues to search for the brown bear and, if it’s found, they will kill it, she said.

Wardlow said the agency offers its deepest sympathies to Schilling’s family and friends and is doing everything it can to put the pieces together about what happened.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at eearl@kdll.org.

Alaska Public Media’s Tegan Hanlon contributed to the report.