Bear kills experienced elk guide in Jackson; hunter runs

Discussion in 'General Hunting' started by Bee, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. Bee

    Bee 8 pointer

    Mar 14, 2005
  2. EC

    EC 12 pointer

    Jul 13, 2003
    Louisville, KY.
    That's horrible!

    Seriously? You threw the gun to the guy who was being attacked?? You didn't fire at the bear??
  3. Bee

    Bee 8 pointer

    Mar 14, 2005
    Then the hunter got on a plane and left Jackson Wy before the guides body was found. .... lots of questions in this tragic story. A comment made in reference to the story in Jackson media report is an interesting and entirely plausible theory of the circumstances surrounding the tragic event:
    '''"It is hard to get the facts with a story like this but from my own experiences hunting and dealing with bears this is what makes the most sense, While looking for the wounded elk they encountered a mother and big cub that was doing the same thing, following the blood trail of the elk. The client was attacked and the guide jumped into save him. The guide would have been the one carrying the gun, and while trying to engage the bear it was knocked away. The guide would have been trying to get the client to shoot the bear since he could not get to the gun. The terrified client ran off and called for help. They will know the truth about certain events because they will find an empty holster on the guide and the gun registered to him. Archery hunting clients are not allowed to carry a firearm during a hunt without a concealed weapon permit or special regulations like Alaska has. Even then it is the guide that is required to carry/protect themselves and clients. No one from Florida is going to fly to Wyoming with a hand gun."""
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    1FowlHNTR likes this.
  4. Feedman

    Feedman Cyber-Hunter

    May 28, 2003
    In the basement
    I thought the same thing. Something is wrong here
    1FowlHNTR likes this.
  5. mudhole crossing

    mudhole crossing 12 pointer

    Aug 20, 2007
    East ky
    Just saw where two guys sneaked in smokey mtn national forest. Only one came back. A bear that was found near his body had been eating on him. They killed the bear. I'm not sure if it killed him or the bear found him already dead and had eaten some of him. I hate bear!
  6. Carl

    Carl 12 pointer

    Dec 1, 2003
    Underground Bunker in KY
    I might ruffle some feathers but I don't want bear in KY. If a man wants to feel "manly", he can shoot a deer or catch a rattlesnake or something.;):rolleyes:
  7. Dark Cloud

    Dark Cloud 12 pointer

    Aug 14, 2009
    Lawrence Co.
    Don’t want bear or big cats,got no use for neither
    Carl, EdLongshanks, barney and 2 others like this.
  8. elkaholic

    elkaholic 12 pointer

    Jan 12, 2012
    Pendleton County
    I feel the same way you do.
    Carl and hotdog like this.
  9. Drahts

    Drahts 10 pointer

    Apr 7, 2015
    I've read a conflicting story to the one posted, where the elk was shot the night before but couldn't continue the track due to darkness. They picked up the next morning and found the elk. They were quartering when charged. There were 2 bears, but only one was involved. Bear got on the guide, client ran to guides pack to get his pistol, but couldn't shoot due to the position of the bear on the guide. The bear then charged the client, and was somewhat wounded, and tossed the gun to the guide. The bear went back after the guide, and client ran to the top of the ridge and called 911. And headed to camp/vehicle. But he cooperated with officials at the hospital. I believe that was off Eastmans site.

    Those Griz are super unpredictable. I hunted the thorofare for elk and saw 22 on my hunt in 4 days. Closest was
    10 yards. Not fun.

    There were 2 or 3 bears moved from the Cody area to the Jackson area 2 weeks (I think) before this occurred. They haven't, and probably will never admit it even if it was one of those bears.
  10. carnivore

    carnivore 12 pointer

    Nov 17, 2007
    No way in hell would I ever hunt in griz country without a 44mag on my hip. That rule sucks.
    elkaholic likes this.
  11. Bee

    Bee 8 pointer

    Mar 14, 2005
    Guys--i'm just passing on what i read ...quote in a post saying "Bee said..." are not accurate when Im quoting another commentator...the commentator said it and l quoted him in the post..I didn't say it. fwiw. The following information is likely the most accurate and factual I have read

    Game & Fish: We Got The Right Bears, One Was Sprayed – More Details Of The Encounter

    [​IMG]BuckrailPOSTED ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

    JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Wyoming Game and Fish Department is working to finalize its investigation into a recent grizzly bear attack that killed a local hunting guide and injured his client. Yesterday, Game and Fish killed the two grizzly bears believed to be involved in the attack.

    Game and Fish officials say they are certain they got the bears involved. Uptain was able to deploy bear spray during his struggle and the larger sow grizzly had traces of it on her when captured.

    “This is a tragic situation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families and friends,” said Brad Hovinga, Jackson regional wildlife supervisor for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

    On Friday evening, Sept. 14, Game and Fish personnel were notified by the Teton County Sheriff’s Office that a guide and his client were attacked by two bears while the men were field dressing an elk shot by the client the day before in the Terrace Mountain area.

    Game and Fish immediately responded to the area to provide assistance to the Teton County Sheriff’s Office in their search for the victims. The hunting client was flown to a local area hospital by helicopter where he received treatment for his injuries and the search began for the guide who was missing at the time of the initial response. Using information provided by the hunter, Game and Fish began to investigate the attack simultaneous to searching for the missing victim. This is standard operating procedure when wildlife attack humans.

    The interagency search for the missing guide was suspended Friday evening and resumed early Saturday morning. The guide’s body was found that day, his fatal-injuries consistent with a bear attack.

    An investigation found a discharged can of bear spray with the safety off near the body. It was later determined that the sow (female bear) had been sprayed with bear spray.

    Later Saturday afternoon, foot snares were set at the site in an attempt to capture the offending bears. The use of foot snares allows Game and Fish personnel to live capture a bear in order to evaluate the individual bear and determine if the bear was involved in the attack prior to any management action.

    On Sunday, a team of five Game and Fish personnel traveled to the site to check the foot snares. Upon reaching the site, it was determined a yearling grizzly bear was captured in the snare and an adult grizzly sow was in the vicinity. The sow charged the team in an aggressive manner and was shot by Game and Fish personnel. The yearling bear was chemically immobilized and determined to be involved in the attack of the victims. The yearling bear was then euthanized.

    All evidence collected leads Game and Fish investigators to believe these two bears were responsible for the fatal attack. Based on these findings, Game and Fish has discontinued all trapping operations in this area.

    The bears have not been previously captured, relocated or handled by Game and Fish in either conflict mitigation or research efforts.

    “The investigation revealed the two men approached the undisturbed elk carcass and there was no sign of bears in the immediate area of the carcass,” said Hovinga. “It was after they started field dressing the elk that the attack happened.”

    “This type of bear behavior is not consistent with what we would normally see, especially from a family group. It is more typical for bears to behave in a defensive manner to protect a food source, cubs and their personal space in a surprise encounter,” explained Hovinga.

    Game and Fish wants to thank the Teton County Sheriff’s Office and Teton County Search and Rescue for their professionalism during the response and coordination in this incident.

    A complete and thorough investigation is still ongoing and will continue with a forensic analysis to provide additional scientific evidence.

    Bears are a reality in Wyoming and anyone can encounter a bear. Game and Fish has an extensive online resource to help people learn how to safely hunt, fish and recreate in bear country. Learn more about being bear aware and reducing the risk of an encounter by visiting the Game and Fish website.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    elkaholic likes this.
  12. carnivore

    carnivore 12 pointer

    Nov 17, 2007
    Bee. I simply replied to your post. Read every single reply to any and every post in this whole forum. The “bee said” is a forum default that cannot be changed.
    Bee likes this.
  13. Drahts

    Drahts 10 pointer

    Apr 7, 2015
    Bee I meant no offense to you whatsoever, I was just pointing out that I had read differing statements from what the quoted story stated. I was not saying you misquoted anything but that the two printed stories differed. All good guy!
    Bee likes this.
  14. Munson

    Munson 10 pointer

    Dec 24, 2011
    Natural Bridge
    I read some differing articles as well on another forum. Seems sketchy to me that the client was drug off his horse. I have a hard time believing the horses was still there after the initial attack unless they had a log chain around their neck.
  15. Bee

    Bee 8 pointer

    Mar 14, 2005
    Wyoming Fish and Game report, from Jackson Wy paper two hours ago, reconstructing the entire event from WGF investigation----

    """The grizzly bear that caused tragedy high in the Teton Wilderness never let up from a full-bore charge before hitting the Jackson Hole outfitter she fatally mauled.

    When the approximately 250-pound sow bruin first came into view, pounding downhill out of a clearing, Mark Uptain was removing the head of a four-by-four bull elk for his client, Corey Chubon.

    It was Friday afternoon, and the elk’s four quarters had been removed without any sign of bears. Chubon had killed the elk with an arrow the day before, but the hunters didn’t find the carcass until Friday. Even so, the hunters saw no sign grizzlies had touched it.

    The sow grizzly, in other words, was not coming back to claim her meal. Her 1 1/2-year-old male cub was nearby, but ultimately he was watching from the outskirts and wasn’t being threatened. Nevertheless, she was not bluffing.

    “It just came on a full run,” said Brad Hovinga, who supervises the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Jackson Region. “There was no hesitation.”

    Even for grizzlies, which are inherently protective and aggressive animals, this is unusual behavior.

    “A female with a yearling attacking in this manner, I’ve never dealt with that,” said Dan Thompson, Game and Fish’s large carnivore chief.

    The now-dead grizzly, around 10 years old, was in good shape, with plenty of fat and nothing outwardly wrong.

    Chubon, who did not respond to repeated requests for interviews, provided the above account to Wyoming Game and Fish investigators. The Florida man, who was on a guided Martin Outfitters bow hunt with his father, relayed his recollection to Game and Fish at length on several occasions.

    As the bear first hit Uptain, who carried bear spray in a hip-slung holster, Chubon went for a Glock that his guide had left with their gear a few yards uphill. For some reason, he could not get the handgun to fire. When the female grizzly diverted her attention away from Uptain and toward the Floridian, he tossed the pistol to his guide. Evidently, it didn’t make it to Uptain, who was a lifelong elk hunter, small-business owner and family man.

    Within moments, the bear turned back toward Uptain. Chubon, whose leg, chest and arms were lacerated by the bruin, ran for his life. His last view of Uptain, which he relayed to investigators, was of the guide on his feet trying to fight off the sow.

    In an interview with the Orlando, Florida TV station WKMG, he described Uptain as his hero.

    “I’m just extremely blessed and fortunate to have made it out of this situation alive,” Chubon told WKMG.

    Bolting from the chaos, Chubon huffed it uphill to the duo’s horses, mounted one and rode uphill to a ridgeline near the crest of 10,258-foot-high Terrace Mountain in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Amazingly, he caught a signal to phone authorities, who flew in to rescue him. Teton County Undersheriff Matt Carr, who was among the first responders, said the call out was a feat in itself.

    “I’m not quite sure how he did that, because there’s no cell service out there at all,” Carr said. “That’s something we could not duplicate when we were there on the scene.”

    Using the description from Chubon, searchers in a helicopter were able to locate the elk carcass that caused conflict around 7 p.m. Friday. There was less than an hour of daylight left, and the call was made to suspend the search until sunup Saturday.

    “We ran out of flight time,” Carr said. “Helicopter restrictions don’t allow us to fly past a hard-and-fast time. And by that point, we couldn’t get ground teams in. The risk to the rescuers was far too great at that moment.”

    It will never be known exactly what unfolded between the grizzlies and Uptain after Chubon left the scene.

    When Carr and Game and Fish wardens Jon Stephens and Kyle Lash arrived at the quartered elk early Saturday morning to continue the search, they initially assumed that a drag mark heading downhill was from Uptain. Later, investigators discovered this was the slick left from the elk’s gut pile.

    “It was confusing, because there was blood and struggle and debris from the elk dying,” Hovinga said. “There was a blood trail from the wounded elk coming in. On the scene, it was difficult to determine whose blood was whose.”

    The gut pile drag mark heading downhill drew searchers attention away from where Uptain had died 50 yards uphill from the elk carcass, in a grove of timber. The nature of the 37-year-old’s fatal injuries and lack of a drag trail uphill suggest that he was able to walk after the initial attack, about 50 yards, but ultimately was killed by the grizzlies near where he was found.

    “From the nature of his injuries, his death was pretty instantaneous,” Teton County Coroner Brent Blue said. “His fatal injuries were fatal instantly. He wasn’t going to be walking after the fatal injury.”

    Bites to Uptain’s head likely ended his life, Blue said. Although there was massive trauma, his body was intact and showed no signs of having been fed upon.

    At some point during the struggle, Uptain was able to douse the adult sow with bear spray, which has a high probability of thwarting an attack.

    “When we were looking at the [adult female bear’s] head,” Hovinga said, “we could smell it, and we could feel it.”

    Hovinga was quick to point out that bear spray was not put to use at the time of the initial attack — perhaps because there wasn’t time.

    “We feel that he deployed that bear spray sometime after the initial attack, but before he succumbed to his injuries,” he said. “A lot of people have said, ‘Well, he sprayed the bear, and it didn’t do any good.’ We can’t say that. We can’t say that bear spray wasn’t completely effective.”

    The discharged canister was near where he died, not at the elk carcass downhill. The thrown firearm was found uphill of the bull elk’s scattered remains, but downhill and distanced from Uptain’s body.

    After locating Uptain around 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Teton County Search and Rescue, Game and Fish and citizen search teams that grew to about 30 people flew out and rode out on horseback.

    Game and Fish large carnivore biologists set out three leghold snares concealed in cubbies in an attempt to livetrap one or both of the grizzlies in the overnight hours. Aboard an airship that clattered overhead Sunday morning, they could not see if it worked. But after unloading from the chopper late Sunday morning, Thompson, Lash, Stephens and Game and Fish colleagues Brian Baker and Mike Boyce could make out bawls that told them they had captured the cub.

    “Based on the vocalizations and the different tones, we knew we had a younger bear,” Thompson said.

    The worst-case scenario was trapping the cub, with mom running free. That’s what happened. The quintet of biologists and wardens, four of whom were armed, chose a path in the relative open in the effort to gain a vantage point of the trap. The sow heard them coming.

    “She appeared on a full charge,” Thompson said. “When she visualized five of us standing there, she paused for a second. We had guns up. There was a question, ‘Do we take her?’ I said take her.”

    A barrage of gunfire ended the life of the grizzly that killed Mark Uptain. Her stomach was “full of elk meat,” one indication that told the Game and Fish folks that they had killed the right bear. Paws with pads and claws that matched tracks left at the scene the day before further corroborated the connection, and DNA evidence has been sent to a Laramie lab to cement that the right bears were killed.

    The cub, about a 150-pound animal, was sedated before Thompson made the call to kill the sow’s dependent as well. His primary reasoning was that Uptain’s injuries suggested the cub was not a passive bystander.

    “That yearling was involved in the attack,” Thompson said, “and was a contributing factor to his fatality.”

    Asked if there were lessons to be learned from the fatal attack, Thompson said there was no “overt” wrongdoing or decisions made that belie best practices for hunting in grizzly country. Game and Fish’s large carnivore chief also stood behind his decision-making.

    “I’m 100 percent confident that we removed the target individuals, and I’m also 100 percent confident that was the right thing to do,” Thompson said. “She was teaching an offspring that killing humans is a potential way to get food. We’ve had 10 other human injuries [from grizzlies] in the past couple years, and we haven’t attempted captures in those situations because of our investigations and the behavior of the bear.

    “This was completely different, dangerous behavior,” he said. “It’s not something we want out there on the landscape.”

    Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067, or @JHNGenviro.

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