In the news this week was a story out of Missoula about an employee at a cement plant who had to be rescued after getting trapped in a large silo of sand. Montana Right Now reported that authorities spent hours trying to free the man, who was buried up to his head in the cold, wet sand approximately 25 feet below the opening on the silo roof and was facing hypothermia.

Getting trapped and slowly suffocating in sand definitely makes our list of Horrific Ways to Die in Montana. Thankfully, the man in the story was not seriously injured. His tale got us thinking of other horrible ways to meet your maker in Montana. Read on, my morbid friend.

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Death by something poisonous in the woods.

Death by poison can be excruciating. While not very common, plant poisoning does happen in Montana, usually to livestock or pets and not humans. A report from Montana State University notes at least 8 fairly common toxic plants you'll find in Big Sky Country.


Water hemlock is found literally everywhere around the state and the USDA calls it "the most violently toxic plant that grows in North America." Another, the Meadow Deathcamas (seen above), can be deadly to humans and animals when ingested, even in small doses.

Getty Stock/ThinkStock Steve Oehlenschlager

Death by hunting accident.

We hear reports of Montana hunters injured or killed by accidental misfires every year. A Corvallis man died in 2020 when his rifle discharged in his pickup. Hunting is not necessarily dangerous, but accidents do happen. The worst is when a hunter accidently shoots another hunter, mistaking them for game. The resulting guilt for the shooter must be incredible.

eugene sergeev

Death by frozen lake.

In early 2021, a fisherman drowned when his UTV fell through the ice on Fort Peck reservoir. When we wrote about the incident, we literally got chills. Drowning seems like an unpleasant way to die... drowning with tons of ice on top of you just seems like it would be much worse.

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Death by Berkley Pit.

Swimming in the Berkley Pit in Butte wouldn't kill you instantly, but taking a daily dip in the giant poison-pit of toxic mining waste surely won't prolong your lifespan either. Last time we checked, heavy metals and cyanide aren't part of the FDA's recommended daily allowance.

Getty Stock/ThinkStock William Thomas Cain

Death by cow.

Don't laugh.. those cows may appear harmless but the large (tasty) herbivores could do some damage if you get it their way. Cows outnumber people in Montana by 2.5 to 1, so if those crazy cattle ever get their act together and planned an uprising, look out.

Michael Foth ~ Townsquare Media Billings

Death by Yellowstone River. 

This happens every year around the Billings area and it's always so sad. The Yellowstone appears docile, and by late summer you can practically walk across it without getting your knees wet. However, it's current is powerful, especially during the spring when hidden debris present hazards to unprepared or inexperienced tubers and floaters. A lack of life jacket often compounds the danger.

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Death by avalanche.

We've mentioned various forms of drowning in this story, but death by avalanche sounds pretty awful too. Getting crushed by tons of snow followed by suffocation does not sound like a good time, like.. at all. notes 37 deaths due to an avalanche in the 2020-2021 season, with two of those happening in Montana.

Read More: Top Causes of Death for Montana Guys 

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