Best wishes to the injured and missing... Please keep us updated Jake...
So sorry to hear this brother! We will hold them all n in prayer! Please keep us posted!
Prayers for the attack from here as well.
The amount of questions re this attack will be very long. One guy is getting mauled and the other doesn't have a clear shot- I get that. However when the bear turns on him he throws the gun to the guide? I dont get that. It does indicate however, that at least at that moment the hunter thought or knew that Mike was alive.
With todays technology i also question the need to call off the search at night. If there is any chance Mike was alive you need to get in there and get him medical attention asap. I totally understand the helo might have to pull back but with a team of guys together equipped with thermal gear I cant imagine why they couldn't keep after it.
I would almost think this was good news. Had it been the worst you would think there would be a somewhat short, easy to follow trail, with Mike and the bears at the end of it.
With them not finding Mike potentially he did retrieve the handgun and was split up up from the hunter and he is slowly moving away on foot.
I really do hope this is the case
Everyone do themselves a favor and stay away from any comments sections on new articles about the attack that will sure to be coming...
I sure hope he is up a tree waiting on help
I'm hoping that the guide will be OK. I have my fingers crossed... with no gun being found, I hope that there'll be a good ending for him and his family. I doubt the bears made off with the gun. The authorities need to amp up that search as best as they can.
At this point it's all a WAG. Thoughts and prayers they find the guide OK.
That poor family and those poor kids. My heart goes out to them.
This is very tragic for the family, and my heart goes out to them.
Hunting of these bears might not of prevented this but the bears need to fear man again. These bears have zero fear of man and during gun season a shot is like ringing a dinner bell. The hunt must happen.
Already way to many tree hugger comments and it absolutely sucks.
Emotional responses regarding hunting more grizzlies is not the answer. Grizzlies are completely different than Black Bears when it comes to defending territory and aggressive behavior. They need to be respected for their natural instincts. Whether or not there was a season for grizzlies would not have prevented this tragedy. The risk of hunting where grizzlies are present needs to be taken into consideration before planning any trip. I've had large boar Black Bear come running into my calf and cow elk calls. I was able to deter them with an emergency whistle which always hangs around my neck. Had those bears been Grizzlies I wouldn't be writing this message.
The best wildlife conservation organizations have the health of individual species and animals as their primary focus. Those are the organizations I support with my time and money. Any emotional response to these tragedies simply results in more ammunition that anti-hunting groups can use against hunters. Let wise and calm minds lead the way.
Furthermore, bears are like elk, dogs, or people. Some are shy and less confrontational, and some are more aggressive and “looking for a fight”. Those bears that think they’re boss are going to be the bears that are more likely to encounter a hunter and more likely to end up at the business end of a rifle. Is attitude an inheritable trait, passed from generation to generation? I think so. If hunting results in some of these aggressive bears being removed from the gene pool, once again this will lead to less encounters. Not sure where the emotion is?
Calm and wise minds?!!! You’re dealing with an adversary that would rather see a human bein die than ONE single bear. Nobody is calling for SSS or encouraging people to do something illegal. Time to get your head out of the sand.
Thanks for the link Jake...
Greg Kush's Link
Man, those are some kind of aggressive bears to come back to the site and be caught within a day after all the activity of search parties and such... Dang, scary...
Here's something for all the keyboard warriors out there.
If I had to bet the hunter had already made a so so shot on the bull which resulted in the delayed recovery. Id bet the guide was screaming for the gun just saying.
Just depends on what info was available at the time of the report. Rapidly developing situation.... and the search engines are likely to rank older info a bit higher, just based on how long it has been available...
I haven't seen any reputable research that proves that hunting grizzlies has any effect on their behavior. If you are aware of any solid research, please post it here.
Traci Lea LaRussa
And Ik “you don’t know what you do in that situation right?”
Well, actually yes I do. You dnt leave another man behind. Period.
Also saw that a 48 year old from MN was also mauled while hiking by a different bear......unless people start dropping the hammer on these things I don't see this trend reversing.
If they were processing a carcass in heavy grizzly country, why was the gun in a pack?
Why not simply point it and shoot the bear. He was no longer being attacked!
He fled the scene only worried about himself. Hurray for me and **** everyone else.
Maybe I’m more harsh thinking but god damn man. How can a man abandon someone he’s been hunting with is beyond my imagination.
So yea, easy to cast judgements right??
Being a “tough guy” and NOT being a candy a** are two very diff things. I can and will face my challenges everytime vs run. Period. If I die, I die.
Old saying, die on my feet vs live on my knees.
ID NEVER LEAVE A FRIEND!
And for the “facts” I never said a word till watching the guys interview, he STATED the facts!
But yea ik, I’m full of **** and an Internet bad ***
And these handles show where ppl live, not where they go!
Also from that link seems there was another bear attack in the Beartooths just days before this attack...
The bear was on him, had injured an arm and was "swinging him around" by the leg when he tossed the gun to the guide. The gun never made it all the way to the guide. Wasn't like the bear was on the guide and he tossed the gun to the guide to defend himself with and then just ran away.
I would imagine the "run away" part started about when, you know, the bear LET GO of him. Was he supposed to go hand to hand with the bear again? Maybe i'm a candy azz too.... my first reaction after being released after being swung around and shaken by a grizz would be to put some distance between us and especially if injured look for help..... but apparently that's just me.... must be a wuss... I don't think jumping on a grizz's back at that point would have been very high on the list....
Not always easy to DO the right thing.
We all want to think that we would never abandon another man to face something like that alone, but only those who’ve been there really know.
I thought it was interesting that the survivor said something about how it was the guide’s approach to dealing with bears that saved the client’s bacon, but I don’t recall reading any reports as to what Uptain actually DID, unless it was that he drew the bear off of his client.
Just one thought for the guys who want to pack an auto: can an auto be discharged when it’s shoved into a bear’s ribs? Seems to me that the likelihood of having a bear on top of you before you know what happened is high enough that a DA wheel gun might be a better bet...
It’s Monday so let’s talk about what our quarterback should have done right?
Everyone is different. Brought up in different areas under different circumstances. I know a few grown men who are afraid to be in the woods of Pa after dark where the biggest thing to fear is a skunk. Some people panic very easily. I’m not a fan of panickersbut I don’t judge them for it. I just happen to have the ability to remain calm in some really dicey situations. A pissed off grizzly bear is about as dicey as it gets though! I know what I would have done but I was pretty young when my scoutmaster ingrained it into me to ALWAYS BE PREPARED. But that’s just me.
Let’s not forget that had the hunter shot his guide we would have a whole other subject to debate.
Let’s just be glad one guy survived and give honor to the one who didn’t and respect to his poor family.
Sounds like there are some folks here who've only watched videos of being punched in the mouth. Maybe only saw it in a video game? But they just know how they would handle it *if* they were.
I think most of us have experienced extreme duress - maybe not even that extreme - and, upon relfection, realized we did not handle he situation in the most "logical" manner.
It just seems bizarre to throw a gun to someone who's being mauled when you could shoot it yourself at close range. Maybe he was afraid to hit the mauling victim, but I still don't understand it.
If I'm ever being mauled by a bear, I hope none of you throw me a gun. Shoot the bear. If you hit me, I forgive you in advance.
The hunter stated he was being swung around by the bear and tried (unsuccessfully) to throw the gun to the guy who wasn't.
Always have your weapon ready and be able to use it within 2 seconds. Don’t depend on anyone but yourself and consider help from others a bonus.
Prayers to all involved.
They lack opposable thumbs. They can't throw you. They can only swat, scratch, and bite. If you can throw a gun, you can point it, or at least try. It just seems bizarre to me.
IF one of the bears had bear spray used on it during the attack...... it wasn't exactly effective. Unless it was the one that didn't attack? Going to take some real CSI to figure out the sequence of events. If nothing else comes from this, maybe some education into what to do and what not to do will come out of it.
A sad tragedy for sure that will effect the living the rest of their lives.
Respectfully, trying to apply the standard of "sense" in a situation like this is nonsensical.
It makes me wonder how many grizzly charges the critics have collectively faced?
One arm had injury, that was stated a few times so far, I don't know to what extent nor which arm..... maybe the guide was calling for the gun while the bear was attacking the hunter.... I don't know. One report said the bear had him by the back of the leg. If you were on your face while being shaken around that would make it tough to bring the gun to bear.... so to speak. I don't know. Neither does anyone else.
But I do know it's not fair for some to be calling anyone who literally survived a grizzly attack with injury any names, much less questioning his "courage". The whole story isn't known. But from all I have read, there is likely not much that anyone can really say other than he was one of two victims of a grizzly attack and the only one to survive it, with injuries.
If there is any "fault" IMO it is with the bears. I don't really care if "the bears were doing what bears do" If that were actually the case then bear hunters should be let to do what bear hunters do...... I'm not big on double standards.....
Ryanrc saw where one of the bears had been sprayed with bear spray. Right now I am more interested in if the guide had used spray (which may make sense? or was the guide totally defenseless?) or if the spray was used by those tracking the bears? Or some other party used spray on them? Or if indeed any spray was used at all.
Read my post just above yours again - "the sow had been sprayed by the guide and the handgun was a Glock belonging to the guide"
That is what the link printed... Don't know what more to say for you to understand... The guide had bear spray (likely on his person) and used it,,, and the gun must have been somewhere between the guide and hunter, (likely on one of the horses) and the hunter has able to reach the gun and toss it, likely because he didn't how to use it... Think I read somewhere the gun wasn't loaded... Personally, I've been shooting guns for a half century, even shot completion for a while, but have yet to shoot a Glock, so I don't even know where the magazine release or slide release and safety are... Am sure if I had one in hand for a minute or two could figure it out, but first time handling one while being chewed on by a grizzly, I could understand why he tossed the gun towards a person that knew how to use it... I've been told Glocks don't have safeties, the trigger is the safety... Okay, it's a double action pistol, I understand how they work, but have never owned or even shot one before and I've been shooting a long time... Am not giving the hunter an excuse, just saying he probably never handle that gun before... Why he didn't have his own firearm, couldn't say...
Back in the day I was 18 years old and attended a professional hunting guide school in Montana... There was about half a dozen or so of us students, (can't remember exact number), but anyhow, after the first week or so at the ranch we traveled back on horses and camped for a few days in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area... Grizzlies were rare in the lower US back in that day, but we camped near Scapegoat Mountain which had the highest concentration of grizzlies in the lower 48 at that time... The professional outfitter would not allow us to carry our own gun back into the wilderness... (looking back, that was dangerous) Never forget trying to sleep at night in thin skinned tent without a weapon with beavers slapping their tails close outside at something in the darkness... Was really unnerving... First night around the campfire the outfitter showed us his revolver and explained that is why we students weren't permitted to carry because he was carrying... Sounds silly, but that's the truth... He was the only one packing in the group while in grizzly country... He didn't let any of us to handle the gun around the campfire that night but it was a revolver (either .357 or .44 mag, don't remember) simple to use, not like some of these complex double action autoloading pistols...
Am guessing this guide told his hunter he had the Glock, but hadn't instructed him how to use it... Also, this is another instance of bear spray failing to deter an attack... Personally I'd never enter grizzly country, especially recovering a bleeding elk without some kind of firearm strapped, locked, and cocked on my side at ALL times...
I have heard several AK guys saying they were not fans of bear spray...... in their opinions a pizzed off grizz won't quit because of it any more than a non-nervous system (brain/spine) firearm hit will stop them when they are intent on pressing an attack home. These bears seem to be able in cases to eat pain and discomfort and turn it into rage.
Glocks aren't double action per se and no "hammer" like some semi-autos, they have a center "safety" in the trigger, like a trigger that must be lightly pressed a bit (from the center of the trigger) to unlock the main trigger, a normal straight back pull on the trigger and they fire, but theoretically a glancing touch, bump or hit from any other angle and they won't. It's a good and reliable system, mine has never been any issue and they are fairly well proven in combat type situations, as much as any sidearm. But if you don't have one in the chamber you're gonna have to rack one in first for sure.
As the saying goes, "Whats the best gun for self defense, the one you have on you."... I'll never trust bear spray...
A 9mm solid has deep penetration and a hit to the skull will instantly kill a grizzly, and now a days there are .380+P loads to rival 9mms... Have a little .380 LCP will carry on me in backcounty at ALL times even setting at the campfire with 12 gauge a few feet away... Might not be adequate, but may save my life from a man or a beast...
Sorry, didn't mean to get off topic... Again, my condolences to the Uptain family...
What sticks with me is after he got 50 or hundred yards had time to calm down and think. At that point he still did not go back. Maybe would take two or 300 yards to regain your composure.
The split second decision to run is one thing following through with it is an entirely different thing.
Don’t forget that there were 2 bears. I’m sure the client didn’t. He probably wasn’t going to be able to come off of the panic while he could hear the sounds of the attack, and was probably terrified of what might happen or what he might see if he did go back. This bear had already proven herself willing and able to take on 2 uninjured men, and she had back-up.
Sure it would be a comfort to many if a skilled tracker could recreate the sequence of events and explain why the guide was found at some distance from the kill site. I guess they had to go looking for him...
Having been attacked by 2 wild animals that could have killed me (mountain lions) and it was well documented in the news and here on the bowsite, I feel like I have a unique perspective on this.
I too gave lots of questions.... Why would someone who had control of a gun toss it?
Why wasnt the guide carrying a gun on his person?
Why was the search called off the first day?
Why does it look like the hunter only has minor superficial scratches after being "swung around by a grizzly?" The list goes on and on but the fact is none of us were there. Its likely none of us have ever been attacked by one, let alone two Grizzlies. I've encountered Grizzlies at close range either hunting or hiking several times in Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming and they are all unique and highly unpredictable. I just can't imagine a scenario where I would be processing or packing meat in grizzly country and I wouldn't have a firearm on my person at all times.
I have a crazy story from hunting Montana opening day this year. Heard 6 gun shots close to us. Sounded like one, then 10 seconds later 5 more shots like you'd hear from a revolver. My buddy and I were like "what the hey was that?". Not more than 30 seconds later we hear branches breaking and crashing coming toward us. We thought it was elk spooked and reached for our bows.
Low and behold it was a yearling grizzly hauling a$$ straight at us. As I stepped over my pack to grab my camera, I said "f that" and grabbed my semi auto pistol and jacked one in. That sound made the bear stop dead in his tracks at 18 yards! My buddy always carries his 10mm with one locked and loaded at all times and had it aimed at the bear. As I poked my head out from around the tree we were on either side of to take aim, he bolted as fast as any animal I've ever seen move in the woods... fortunately. Needless to say having your gun at the ready at all times in grizzly country is imperative if you want to ensure you can save your and/or your hunting partners lives when it counts.
Casting bad thoughts about the hunters actions in the Wyoming case was my first thought too, but after replaying my situation, the exact same thing could have happened to me as I wasn't prepared to take action in a moments notice. I've always carried a double/single semi auto decocker so my first shot will be double action like a revolver and single from there on. That way I will always have it on my waist belt or in my pocket with one in the chamber at all times.
If anyone knows the story of those gun shots in the Centennial's opening day, please let me know. We went looking for what happened and never did find anyone to find out what the story was.
Cheers and be safe out there folks, Pete
We all have lots of questions, some are very frustrated at the lack of straight news that paints the picture of the events that took place leading up to this tragedy. I’m mad too, with the info I know, but I don’t know the facts yet.
But I feel everyone posting here is wanting to know what happened and adding comments wants to resolve this to help so this never happens again, and wishing it could have been avoided.
My main concern/question is why only 2 people, One clearly inexperienced we’re going to retrieve the elk after being left overnight with 12 hours of scent of dead elk in the air. Why no one was standing guard with a high powered rifle or shotgun. This should be standard when retrieving game in Griz country.
I had a lot of the same questions some of you had at first glance. But it is EASY to sit safely behind a computer screen and second guess the "what ifs" all day.
I think I have a pretty good idea of what may have happened, but out of respect for the deceased and the survivor I will wait to see if and when it comes out.
I think the hunter was from FLa and likely did not have a lot of experience hunting the west, since he hired a guide. May not have even had much experience with handguns.
And as some have said, since I, like most of us have had no experience being attacked by a Grizzly, I will not comment on what I would do or would have done. Nobody really knows until they are in that situation.
I could not imagine the pain, horror and confusion of being mauled by an 800 lb killing machine. I was in a life threatening situation a few months ago and it was all I could do to just remain calm and clear headed. I could not imagine having to do that with a Grizzly gnawing on my leg! : (
Prayers going out to all those involved!
Can you imagine it? I've been in grizzly country some - not much. I've hunted western states, backpacked and tented and I always think ahead on what I'd do or not do in every scenario I can imagine.
A grizzly attack .... I can only imagine it. I can also imagine not leaving a man being mauled by a bear, I just don't think I would. I've risked my life for others before, when its happening the life of the other person seems more important than your own.
Everyone is different I know ...... can you imagine how this hunter is going to live the rest of his life? I'd have a hard, hard time believing there isn't going to be regret there, deep regret.
Don't forget, there were TWO bears. I am assuming one continued chewing on the guide when the other went after the hunter. If bears are like dogs, they will work together. Could be why the bear after the hunter went back to the guide to help his buddy.
I have seen guys trained in the medical field lock up when stuff hits the fan. Some folks just don't do well in extreme situations. No fault of the person, everyone is wired different.
Never dealt with a bear charge, but I have had some very aggressive dogs try to munch on me. It happens wicked fast. I am a firm believer in pepper spray, it has saved me from mean dogs, but you best get out of the area as quickly as possible. They will recover fairly quickly, and some will run, some want another try at you.
Praying for the family, I know a local couple that knew the guide. And how about everyone make a donation on Go Fund Me for those kids and his wife?
I have a hunt booked for September of 2019 with Swift Creek Outfitters. Their base camp is about 5 miles from Moran Junction. The last time I was there was in 2012 and one of the guides and the hunter he was guiding had an encounter with a large boar grizzly not all that far from where this attack took place. The bear didn't charge but got way too close for comfort according to them.
I think packing a side arm might not be a bad idea...
I’d say it’s a requirement and not optional! Be safe.
Which would you pull first? When I was charged in Alaska I used my gun and didn’t even remember I had spray on my hip until about an hour later. Just food for thought.
" 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. "
It was going with me before this happened but I hope someone will learn and take measures to prevent another occurrence.
Chubon is a damn coward! He left Uptain to die by himself.
Not to mention the coward skipped town before Uptain was even found dead or alive.
Hope the guilt kills him.
To bring up another attack with a completely different set of circumstances is “so internet”.
Let’s just keep it simple.... if you were just chewed on by a grizzly bear that subsequently gave you a blink of an eye opportunity to save your own life and you had no ability to save the other guys life what would you do? I’ll answer for you..... you wouldn’t act which requires a calculated thought process.... time. You’d react! He may have done things differently if he had it do do again but who hasn’t said that at some point in their life?
You guys are rough! But I guess speaking from your personal experiences being mauled by a bear you have every right to judge.
Uptain Fatality Map Buy Now
Uptain grizzly death Wyoming Game and Fish Department large carnivore biologists Mike Boyce, Brian Baker and Dan Thompson keep their heads low as a helicopter descends at a staging area near the Buffalo Fork River. Minutes later, the trio of biologists were inserted onto the slopes of the Teton Wilderness’ Terrace Mountain, tasked with checking foothold shares that were set to trap the pair of grizzly bears suspected of killing hunting outfitter Mark Uptain. MIKE KOSHMRL / NEWS&GUIDE Facebook Twitter Email Print Save 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
RIP to Mr. Uptain. Some would say it was a "good death", but I tend to think it was probably way too soon, without even knowing the man. Some here should definitely stick to keyboarding.
Chubon chewed on by the bear? Yea that puncture wound on the back of his leg looked like it almost ripped his foot clean off and that scratch on his arm practically went all the way to the bone.
ok let's say chubon did everything right up to the point where he's released from the hospital after being treated for his gruesome life threatening wounds.
A. - do everything in your power to help join the search for the man who saved your life.
B. - wait around town until word comes that the man who saved your life has been found.
C. - catch the first flight out of town before the man who saved your life is found dead or alive.
that right there tells you what kind of a man chubon is. or lack there of.
I was raised in Island Park Idaho. I've heard about grizzly attacks my whole life and personally know 2 people that have been attacked. this is the only one that bugs me like this.
Oops looks like everyone was posting at the same time.
The Griz (250 pounds).... First hit Uptain............
Chubon grabbed the Glock but for some reason could not get it to fire...........
The Griz then came at Chubon........ And he tossed the pistol to Uptain.... but it ended up on the ground..........
The Griz then turns back at Uptain........... Chubon has minor injuries..........
Chubon runs for his life while Uptain is reportedly still on his feet fending off the attack and the gun is on the ground...........
Wow.....!! It also said that he was hunting with his father.... where was his father.......??
And then he flies home before the guide is located.......
Double Wow !!!!!!
Factors that can be used as lessons learned to prevent it from happening again........
Factors like one or both men having a loaded pistol in a holster on their belt readily available while bowhunting in grizzly country......Or better yet... A rifle or shotgun at the ready since they didn’t find the elk until the next day.
Factors like making sure the bowhuner actually knows how to operate that pistol he’s carrying.....
And regardless of what happened or didn’t happen...... I think it is terrible that he flew home before his guide was found..... When he says the guide saved his life......
Now put yourself into his shoes....... and let’s say the person getting mauled is your son........ or your wife. Do you still run for your life ??
Here's what we certainly do know:
1. Client was being attacked by a griz. Guide acts selflessly and helps get the griz off the client.
2. Guide is then attacked due to his selfless act. Client acts selfishly and saves his own hide. Leaving when he clearly sees the guide on his feet fighting the bear. Mind you the guide could've done the very same thing to him moments earlier - ran to the horses and fled up the mountain.
What would you or I do in the same situation - I'd hope we would all have stayed and helped the one who just saved us, even if it cost us our life - that is the right thing to do. However, in the heat of the moment, sometimes we make terrible decisions that are selfish and we live with for the rest of our lives.
His actions resulted in half the number of dead humans on the mountain than would otherwise have occurred. His actions saved a life.
his supposed "selfishness" resulted in half of the humans involved returning safely to their families. Too bad it was not all of the humans, but a hell of a lot better than none of the humans going home.
For the life of me I will never understand, and will say it was terrible, to be on a plane home before the body was found...........but that is different than questioning his actions in the heat of the moment when under extreme duress and terror.
Not necessarily true. Could have been zero dead. We will never know.
Hopefully the silver lining is that many more live due to their mistakes.
right on......... so assume the best not the worst in people's actions
You can say all you want that "you don't know how you'll react until it happens," but personally, I know in my heart that I would never run to save my own skin when my partner's was at risk. And I know that because I prepare myself for it before every hunt, I've stared down Grizz without panicking, I've put myself between loved ones and danger on multiple occasions, and my entire life is consistent with that statement.
Some men are cowards and some aren't. That's just a simple fact of life. By the time you reach your 4th or 5th decade of life, you ought to know yourself well enough to know what you're made of and how you'll react or else you've never tested yourself.
I'm not saying this guy is a coward, he may or may not be, but running to save your own skin when your partner's life is at risk absolutely is a cowardly act in my book. As is boarding a plane while he's missing. Can you imagine facing the man you left behind to die had he survived? I'm sure he didn't want to...
But that doesn’t answer my question......... If it was your son or wife or your brother or your dad or other loved one...... Would you run away and leave them alone there ????
If your answer is no........ Then would it be OK to run away and leave the guide alone..... just because he isn’t one of your loved ones ??
I’m with Ike on this. And there was still a gun on the ground there with bullets in it.
One thing about the client is his age; he’s young. Probably grew up being told to never fight for himself or others, because these days, a kid who takes on a bully is liable to face more punishment than the bully who was only “threatening” to do harm.
We’ve seen the same in the school & university shootings; you wonder how a lone shooter with a pistol can kill 37 people and it turns out he just walked from desk to desk and shot them as they cowered underneath.
So maybe it’s not cowardice as much as training? My guess is that this client ran because he had no idea what else to do. Run and get help, as he had been taught.
I’m thinking it’s a mistake to hunt Grizzly Country if you haven’t been trained to use a suitable Deterrent. Even if it’s “only” bear spray, but who goes on a guided hunt with zero experience using firearms???
I can totally understand a guide not trusting a client with a semi-auto pistol if the client had never used one. My own experience tops out with a SA revolver, but I could probably figure out a DA as long as I could reach the trigger.
I guess the moral of the story is that you choose your companions wisely before heading into a potentially life-threatening situation.
And with all due respect to the guys who’ve hunted Griz Country for decades and never had a problem with them.... there are a lot more of them (and lions) around than there used to be...
I now know who I'd hunt with......and who I would not hunt with.
Better to keep quiet and let people think you're an asshole than to babble on and prove them correct.
The only true facts are one guy, one elk. and 2 bears ended up dead. No matter what the hunter had done I'm sure the Bowsite is crawling with guys who coulda and woulda done it better. Maybe you keyboard commandos can get back to pissing and moaning about some tv hunters shot placement and let this one go. The man was a husband and father of 5 young kids for crying out loud- show some respect and a little class
And those aren't "the only facts." The fact of the matter is, the guy who survived gave an account himself of what happened and stated that he fled the scene with his guide still on his feet.
And there's nothing disrespectful or classless in pointing out how a man's life may have been saved. Nice try with the straw-man attack, but your logic falls flat.
Yes, a guy died and is considered a "hero" by a guy who was also there, got some scratches, and was home, safe & secure in Florida before his "hero's" body was even recovered (which happened very quickly BTW). If I am an "asshole" to say any friend that I hunt with can be assured that if a bear attacks us, either the bear, him or me (or all of the above) will be dead or the situation is safe again, before I leave, then so be it...
I probably fired more rounds of ammo over the past year than almost every bowsiter travelling and shooting 3 gun matches. I am very familiar and proficient with my competition guns. Yet under hi stress stages even the most seasoned competitors can fall apart under the pressure of a simple timer. Now toss a several hundred beast into the mix that is literally tearing your guide apart and im pretty sure just about everyone would've fumbled with a strange gun just a bit, even a gun as simple as a glock.
It's almost laughable reading some of you talking about you wouldve entered that fight barehanded and fought 2 bears to the death.
I have to go teach an awanas class, peace out sauerkraut
If you hire a professional to escort you somewhere... even a cruise ship captain... it’s up to him and the people he works for to hope for the best and plan for the worse.
There have been lots of facts tossed around here. Even more speculation. Let’s keep it simple.... the guy gad no gun, no spray... zero means of self defense. What do you think he should do? Throw rocks? That would be an extremely extreme version of poking a bees nest and standing there waiting to see what happens!
If you have ever taken part in first aid training or cpr classes what is the very first thing they tell you? Do NOT become the second victim.
You and I would have been way more prepared. And we probably have more balls. But I just don’t feel like he had much of a choice.
There you are with a trained professional... who wasn’t very prepared... couldn’t get to his gun and didn’t have time to deploy spray even though he wasn’t the first one attacked.... and now you, who have already been attacked, have a chance to not only save your own ass but also go call for real help. For all he knew the guidecwas going to be let go just like he was and both of them were going to need medical attention asap.
I’m pretty sure he never said something like “Screw that guide I’m outta here”.
Lighten up Francis!
And ANYONE who believes that subjecting grizzlies to hunting pressure sufficient enough to make them fear man wouldn't help prevent attacks like this then you know nothing about animals and their fear of men.
I'm not talking about a chance encounter where hunter and bear stumble into one another because the bear wasn't aware of the hunters presence by way of detecting him by one of its keen senses. I'm talking about incidents like my friend had while Caribou hunting on the Kenai Peninsula. He had just tracked and found the bull he had killed, walked away from his rifle he set down on his pack to get on top of a small rise to see if he could spot his brother who was also on a bull he just shot, when in his words got a premonition something was wrong he turned around and saw a grizzly fast approaching as it saw the bull but not him. My friend stood there unsure of what to do when the bear winded him, raised up on its hind legs, looked in his direction and swapped ends and took off like his azz was on fire. That bears reaction of flight at all possible speed was for one reason and one reason only his fear of the man he smelled was stronger than its desire to eat. And the only reason any animal fears man is because it knows we can kill it. I doubt animals like grizzlies, deer or elk are born with an instinctive fear of man it is learned from experience or taught to them by their mothers and others of their kind.
Once any animal learns to regard the sent of man with a threat to their continued existence they act very differently than when they did not. Do I actually need to remind anyone of how different elk or deer act on day 10 of first rifle season VS the day before opening day? Lastly, Are guides in grizzly country even allowed to carry a rifle while guiding clients regardless if they are guiding a bow or gun hunter? If they are not and HG's are their only option then they are at a huge disadvantage VS carrying a rifle.
And having been exposed to AK bears that are heavily hunted by the Native population and WY bears, there is no comparison. I've taken 4 or 5 trips into the AK bush around Kotzebue hunting ducks and caribou and every grizz I've come upon has torn off as fast as its legs will take it and can often times be glassed still running at full speed over a mile away.
I was duck hunting this past spring and glassed up a grizz and changed out my bird shot for slugs and went after him. This was a full-sized mature boar. He got sight of me at about 100 yards and you'd have thought he got branded on the ass. He charged the opposite way as me, tore a hole through the willows and kept going. I saw him on the mountain side over a mile away still running.
The difference is that bears are targets of opportunity up there and anyone who sees one, shoots it, boar or sow. The sows teach the cubs to run and that's that bear's culture. In WY, I've come across dozens of grizz at ranges of 100 to 500 yards and it's like they don't give a crap. They usually just glance at you and then go on doing whatever it was that they were doing. They're completely different behaviors. The University of Wyoming has even documented them following rifle hunters from trailheads during rifle season using GPS and chasing hunters off of elk after the shot goes off.
The season may not do much for a long time, maybe decades, but it's better than nothing. I believe for it to be truly effective though, they'd need to shoot more sows than they're willing to do now.
Heaven forbid but its actually possible that the guide got away from the scene and awaited rescue, only to have the sow and cub find him after they were done with the elk and leaving the scene who knows how long later. Its all speculation. All of it.
I totally agree! If I was the outfitter, I would’ve gone in with more guys carrying shotguns. If he done that he’d still be alive.
In my experience, these types are the biggest pussies. I had one faint just 2 months ago when I put a single stitch in his hand.
"...but I know that the basic instinct of survival will take over and there is nothing you can do in that situation but react in one way or another!"
That's 100% true: When the SHTF, some men act cowardly and some act like heroes.
And men/women of all walks of life act heroically all the time with zero training whatsoever. Modern combat training was developed starting in the Napoleanic period through to now and continues. Firing rates during WWI were around 15% and increased to less than 50% in WWII and upwards of 70% in Vietnam. Those that studied war developed current training models, not so that everyone could go from a coward to a killer, but so that more would go from coward to killer. The fact of the matter is that some are better prepared with zero training than some are with training, but that everyone is better prepared with training.
And comparing police/military work to defending your hunting partner is a bit of a stretch, a bit of a non sequitur. There are countless stories of people defending others against wild animals. There was a story when I was a kid in California of an elderly lady beating a mountain lion off her elderly husband with a stick and she saved him! Last I checked, there's no live-action mountain lion beating classes. There's simply regular people choosing to fight or flee.
Perhaps the guy did the right thing. There's no way of knowing. Still, he fled while the guy was alive and he subsequently died. No matter how you cut it, to me, that's a cowardly act.
Guide(unarmed) - chooses to intervene and distract an enraged grizzly off his client - that's called courageous.
Client (unarmed) - chooses to run instead of returning the favor - don't really care how you slice it, that's a cowardly act.
I could never forgive myself for leaving a man to be mauled to death by bears. I know, I've never been in that situation, but I've been in situations .... and I've risked my life for others and I've got to believe I'd have done that here as well.
Its a good question on the outfitter, I was thinking myself today that maybe mandatory 2 guides plus the hunter(s) are going to have to be the norm from now on in grizzly country ?
If you wouldn’t leave your loved one....... If you would risk your own life for a loved one...........
Why wouldn’t you do the same for someone else’s loved one ????
If there's a gun on the ground and you're not being attacked, you're as good as armed. All you have to do is pick the damn thing up.
A few things about this story bother me, and Idyll has already touched on a couple of them. Toddlers and dogs can and have made glocks go bang. There's not much to it.
The hunter boarded a plane and left before he knew the outcome. To me it looks like he isn't happy with how he reacted. I dont think he wanted to look Uptain in the eye if he had walked out of the woods. Also didn't want to look anybody else in the eye if he didnt.
I think the poor guy is going to have a burden to carry, and I'm praying for him too.
Why weren't both men in possession of guns while working on that elk? Or at least one of them holding the gun they had? Especially in that area after it had been left over night?
I can only guess that they both relaxed a bit after they found it untouched, and thought they were in the clear. Hell of a hard lesson.
Like I said before, tragic. Prayers for all.
I know - there are a lot fewer than you think.
It was stated the gun did not have a round in the chamber. A person's dog or kid or whoever could have used it to pound a nail and it would not have fired. Not every male knows about guns just as not every female knows how to cook and sew. While most of us come to bowhunting from a gun background an increasing number of mostly younger bowhunters don't. The bow is the first and only thing they pick up. If you've never held a semi-auto handgun, which is a great number of people, it would probably take a bit of time and some thought to finally figure it out. Saying "he should have known" is right up there with "he should have been armed" and does not reflect the reality of the moment, might as well ask why didn't he just punch the bear out like some other folks seem to think they can. Extra time and thought were non-existent. "pick up the gun" at that moment was the same as "pick up a rock".
He had just been mauled himself and thought "this was it, this is how I die" while the bear was on him. Then it let him go. Shaken and unarmed. You can either call your fuzzy buddy back out into the alley to wrestle around for another round and kick your weak soft defenseless human azz all over the forest , likely kill you this time.... or you can haul azz for help.
I don't know and just a guess, this was possibly his first time hunting the west. Locals take a great many things they grew up with and know for granted. They shouldn't. You can call him.... them actually.... unprepared. It doesn't change the reality of that moment even a little bit.
I couldn't answer this either...... but I'd bet money if you talked to survivors of a grizzly mauling, like this guy, and asked them what the he should have done under those circumstances..... my guess is they would say almost to a man, consider yourself fortunate, get out of there and go get some help. Not "GO BACK and fight it by hand to the death".
edit: Talking about this to a friend a bit ago and he mentioned he heard is was "just" a sow grizzly and "only" 200-250lbs! That just makes her mean and FAST. Those sows kick boars azz twice their size all the time for the cubs survival. They know how to go full psycho on things.
1st..prayers to ALL involved.
2nd.. It is hard to know EXACTLY how or what EXACTLY happened, unless you were there.
3rd... The only thing we can go by, is the story left by the guy that was being guided apparently from Florida.....And he ran.
One thing I do know that is FACT though is......Everybody is a tough guy until the going gets tough, everybody is a fighter and bad*** until they actually have to fight. Lots of people will tell ya "I got your back".....when you don't actually need them, but ya end up standing alone when you really do.
I won't pass judgement on anyone else, but I darn sure know what I'd do. Everybody gets scared....But it's what you do when you are, that defines the difference between coward and brave.......just saying.
but fact remains...Everyone has to live with the choices you make, Only He and He alone will have to replay this over and over in his mind.
History accounts of many Men who in the face of grave danger, stood their ground and fought in order to try and save another person, even if it meant their own death....I wouldn't judge this man....rather each of us judge yourself. What kind of man am I?
he was dead if he decided to get into hand to hand combat. he would have the respect of many above had he died trying, but I am sure he could care less about that compared to going home to his family.
it is not like he saw the bear coming and said "I'm out of here text me if you make it and let me know how this turned out. I think i'll catch an early flight back to florida. also, if you make it please don't forget to bring out the rack."
I think he did the best he could given the facts in the moment and I would have said the same thing if he died and the same thing if he saved them both. no reason to believe otherwise given the fact none of us were there to know.
1. Everyone should be carrying a weapon they know how to use and can readily access while hunting in grizzly country.
2. If he didn’t know how to shoot that gun...... He had no business hunting in Wyoming.
No one seems to want to honestly answer my question.......... Would you do the exact same thing if you were leaving behind your loved one ?????? If you answer that you would not leave them,,,,,, Then why would you leave someone else’s loved one ??
If that’s the way you think why not cast judgement on the deceased guide? I mean after all I can think of several things he might have done to influence the outcome. For starters how about giving your young bow hunting flatlander a quick tutorial on how to use your handgun.... as you chamber a round for him! That scenario is like the cruise ship having the life jackets locked up in a vault and forgetting to tell the passengers the combination. It just so happens that this passenger was able to swim to shore and the first mate couldn’t get to the pfd in time.
Again though.... the captain of that ship was the outfitter who in my mind sent his soldier to the front line unprepared.
The word that comes to my mind is complacency. Walking up to and quartering a dead elk in grizzly country after it’s been sitting there all night without having both people.... or 3-4 people locked and loaded is pretty damn foolish. Is that the hunter’s fault too!
True courage is never loud or talkative about it.
A bunch of talk is usually hiding a bunch of insecurities.
And just because you are booking a guided hunt in grizzly country....... that is no reason not to be able to operate the gun you have. What if your guide has a heart attack and dies in the mountains ??? I say your a dumb ass if you go on a guided hunt in grizzly country and you don’t know how to operate the semi automatic pistol you are carrying on your hunt.
One of them is gone.
Let’s let the dead rest and the living carry with them whatever burdens they have. I’m sure the opinions of Monday-morning quarterbacks are way down on that list.
I pray for all affected by this terrible tragedy.
One can learn without judging/denigrating those involved.
However they would know how to after being properly instructed which would be in the guides best interest. Not everyone owns their own handgun to bring either.
Airlines supply emergency equipment and their standard operating procedure is to instruct their customers how to use them whether they know how or not.
In this case I wouldn’t say the guide or outfitter should provide a means of defense but they should send more than one guide who will be bent over an elk carcass, and his greenhorn hunter.
I cannot imagine the guide didn't have a round chambered
That there speaks volumes of the kind of person chubon is.
Lots of guys sitting on their couch after the big game telling their buddies how they would have coached or played that game for the win. But they weren't playing or coaching, so it really doesn't matter and there is no do-over.
I probably see more bears, including grizzlies, in a season then most Bowsiter's will see in there lifetime. Heck, I've probably killed more bears than most Bowsiter's will see in their lifetime. I've blood trailed blacks and grizzlies in thick stuff. More than once I've whacked B bears with 2X4's in my yard. I've been charged by bears, some, very close. I've killed a few in close encounters.
The point is, I'm not afraid of bears and a few times I've been reminded that familiarity can cause complacency. That's a bad thing, whether it's in bear country or the big city. That may have been the situation with the guide.
The last sheep hunt I was on, we had seen a mature boar grizzly several times in our area. One night we came over the last ridge to see that grizzly digging marmots about three hundred yards from our tent, as it was getting dark. Two bows and two cans of bear spray. We're not allowed to carry handguns and long guns are a heavy nuisance that often get left behind anyway. We went to camp, and I slept fine. We had stashed a cape and meat in the snow half a mile away.
In this situation, I'm pretty sure I would have stayed at the scene and done what I could. But on the other hand, if I was in Florida, playing in the ocean and somebody yelled "shark has me!!!", I'd be dog paddling like only a terrified person can, straight for shore. Anyone other than a family member or very close friend, is on their own.
I won't publicly defend or condemn the hunter. Though I have an opinion, there's nothing to be gained by sharing it.
And it is also quite obvious that a number of people have to go back and read the most recent and official releases from the WGF. And some should reread it slowly, several times.
And Idyll is one hundred percent correct on how grizzlies learn fear and how they lose it. I've seen this very transformation over forty years of hunting in northern BC.
Great posts. This should be a lesson to all that when we go into the backcountry with someone our livelihoods are dependent on each other. We should have a plan, and understand our expectation and responsibility for each scenario we can think of. I have read the account and listened to the hunters interview. I might react differently or I might not. I hope I never have to find out. My mind tells me I must have my buddies back but I’m presently not staring down a grizzly. I’m going to Colorado in a few weeks and this thread will be foremost in my mind.
Again, there was a pistol on the ground within whatever yardage you can throw a Glock, and he was not being attacked... This, according to his own story.
"God bless the internet for endless entertainment on night shift and guys who say they would've fought a charging sow grizzly that is mauling everything in sight...how many of you have ever even had a face to face angry bear encounter?"
I've had many different occasions close to grizzly bears and been charged once, although by a small black bear. Still, as small as he was, he probably could have killed me and definitely could have injured me enough to end my hunt. I stayed calm, did not panic, did not shit myself, and defended myself.
The fact is, some guys are scared shitless of bears and some are not. Some of us hunt grizz country solo because we're not afraid of bears. Some can't imagine doing that and don't. I've even spoken with many local tough-guy cowboys in Wyoming that wont go near Grizz country.
Since we're being called out... For those of you calling us out for saying this is a cowardly act, how many of you have hunted solo in grizz country? Or even unguided in grizz country with a friend? Over the past 13 months, I've hunted solo over 30 days on Kodiak, the Brook's Range, and the North West Arctic. Perhaps you just can't understand our mindset because you can't comprehend the situation yourself and you're not prepared for it.
One thing I've learned in my short 40 years on this planet as a man successful in life, is that people who can't do the same things as others, typically cannot comprehend how someone is capable of something they are not, which is why Chuck Adams was accused of cheating so much because people couldn't wrap their head around the idea that he's such a successful bowhunter.
Just because you'd do the same thing as Wrongway Reigal McPistolchucker or cant fathom anyone else not doing the same, doesn't mean that's how we'd react.
I would have been there at first light with search and rescue willing to show them last place I saw the man who saved my life and help look for him. NOT ON A PLANE FLYING HOME!!!!!!!
It’s already snowed up there; winter is approaching. Those bears will aggressively defend any food source, and, of course their cubs.
It was the guide’s responsibility to come up with a plan that could handle a worst case scenario. He should have had more people, that were prepared to defend against a bear attack. At the very least, he should have had the one gun he had out & ready! Not in a f’ing pack!
For all you guys hammering the client, give me a break! He was a bow hunter tourist, who hired a local, “professional”, guide. The client was from Florida, and shouldn’t be expected to know safe practices in that situation. In my opinion the guide was complacent, almost got his client killed, and lost his life in the process.
While there is certainly some truth to that, I believe in personal responsibility. You have to know going into to Grizz country that you're going into Grizz country, guide or not. We cannot, as a society, absolve ourselves of all responsibility and throw it on the backs of those from whom we purchase services, which is the way this country has gone over the past 30 years, and it's saddening.
What if his guide had had a heart attack and dropped dead? When you head into the wilderness, you have to at least be somewhat prepared for what you're getting yourself into. Especially in Grizzly country.
And again, it's so little about that and so much more about leaving the scene with your partner on his feet and then getting on a plane before he's found. All the details and the speculation and the what-ifs and the woulda-shoulda-coulda, all boil down to the fact that he ran from the scene with a man on his feet and that man later died.
Sorry, I just expect more from my hunting partners and they can expect more from me, no matter how you want to spin it and question the probables and improbables or use sarcasm to straw-man us with some sort of faux bravado for our opinions.
Our Floridian in question had his wits about him enough to find the horses, ride up to the top of the ridge, and make a phone call. And then guide that horse away from danger. (And then fly home!) He knew exactly what he was doing. A lot of it may be a blur now, but he clearly had his wits about him at the time sufficiently to give a fairly detailed account of the event, listing his throwing of the gun and seeing the guide on his feet battling the sow when he left the scene.
The only thing akbow's story proves, is that akbow handled a similar situation like a boss.
Yes there was a gun laying on the ground and maybe he could've gotten to it. maybe not. But he already tried to use it and couldn't get it going.
Glocks are simple to operate if you are familiar with handguns. Maybe not so simple if you are not a gun guy.
He already tried to use it and it failed. Was it as simple as there was not a round in the chamber or was it a broken firing pin?
Why would he make a move gir a gun that already failed him and he abandoned? Should he have used it as a club?
This whole point is irrelevant though. The guy had his wits about him enough to know that he needed to get the gun to the guy who could use it and that's why he threw it in the first place. Arguing the woulda-shoulda-coulda is silly as so many have pointed out. The point is that he left. He made the decision to leave 3 times. When he ran, after the dust had settled some on the ridge after he'd made the phone call and was on the horse, and when he decided to fly home before the man was found.
I agree with you that saying in hindsight what could have been done is silly. My point is not what he could have done, but what he did do, and that was flee X 3.
When else is it ok to leave a man to die? Are there other instances where you're the only one that can help and yet you choose to save your own skin? Is there some unwritten law with outfitted hunts whereas the guide is expected to take one for the team and you're free to save your skin?
My answers to those questions are never, no, and no, respectively.
Leaving for moose hunting north of Yellowstone tommorow will have a 9oz. Canister of bear spray strapped to my chest hope the bear appreciates the seasoning.
I do think the guide was complacent and it cost him his life. Why do you have a pistol with no round racked? Also....if you are coming back the next day to recover a wounded elk, why not bring a 12ga with a whole mag full of slugs or some huge bored rifle? Or two of any combination? I'd still have my sidearm too. This country in WY is no joke and infested with bears that have no fear of the only predator that possibly has a chance at killing them.
Stay safe Hunt.
That obviously wasn't the case. Does not make the person a coward. Helplessness is not cowardice. Another possibility with no round chambered and a reported hand injury..... it takes two hands to rack my glock, I don't think I can do it one handed. Point is we don't know. And learning the operation of a handgun while on the wrong end of a bear is also a bit much to ask I would think.
If asking a bunch of "whys"...... why didn't the guide, who had bear spray on him, use it on the bear while it was on his hunter? He used it later. Injuries? Shock? Paralyzed by fear like some claim the hunter was? Who knows? I certainly don't. And it would be stupid and foolish to say I did know what went on.... stating as fact even as to what men were thinking..... good grief.....
IMO you can call them unprepared, (both actually in hindsight, hindsight is a wonderful thing) but I don't think you could use "coward". You don't know those men. And don't really know how it went down. At that point in time given the actual realities and not what we think "should" have been the reality...... it was a no win situation.
If helpless in a situation, IMO you go get help. Yet another if....maybe if help came a bit sooner maybe this turns out differently. But it didn't, real help wouldn't be there till the next morning. Who ya gonna blame that one on? If the hunter had been killed and the guide survived there would be those here ragging on the guide because he survived.... he should have done..... more....
WRT the trip home..... nobody here knows jack about that either. One of the articles I read said he and his father were hounded by media the entire time for "his story". He gave his report to WFG and authorities. But it was a full blown circus after that. You might think that's just a lot of fun being in the spotlight and all, but I wouldn't care for it. Especially after an ordeal like that. Maybe his wife and family were having a meltdown at home..... maybe the trauma of the attack had him or the father freaked out, who knows. But it's completely ridiculous for people to speculate as to why, especially when all it seems to serve as is some odd piling on of hate for bowhunter that was mauled by a grizzly. This guy did not kill the guide. None of this can be laid at his feet. It was a bear attack, two bears actually. The bears killed him.
Good anology WRT the shark Ambush. Spot on.
WRT dying for a loved one..... that's ridiculous. The guide may or may not have even been a friend, but irrelevant. I'd give a kidney to a loved one to save their lives. But I'm not going to give it to somebody I just happen to have met on the street. Or any of you for that matter, while I'm alive anyway. You can do what you want with yours...... but I guess I'm just a wuss and a coward when it comes to my kidneys..... body parts in general.....
Why is that a ridiculous question Tom ??? We’re not talking about donating a kidney here..... We’re talking about putting your life in immediate imminent danger..... life threatening......... Would you do it for your family ?? Would you run into a burning building if it was possible...... to save a family member ??? And would you do the exact same thing for a stranger ????
Hounded by a full blown circus of media ?????? They didn’t even find his elk until early afternoon on Friday....... By the time the attack occurred and he returned it was too late for authorities to go in and look for the guide......... So you’re telling me that a full blown hounding media circus occurred in Wyoming on Friday evening ????? How would the media even know where to find him Friday evening ???
That is not to say I would or wouldn’t do all within reason to help a stranger but to say I would do the same thing For a person I met three days ago in Basecamp that I would do for my wife son or daughter would be a lie on my part. I would not Take the same risks with my life to save a stranger that I would play save a family member yes the rest in question had a high likelihood of me leaving my loved ones widowed or fatherless
Chris I believe you actually may and you probably do each and every day as a police officer willingly risk your life for absolute strangers. some of whom neither deserve it nor appreciate it. Howver to think the average human being would not differentiate between taking a risk with their own life for a family member or a new acquaintance is a lot to expect
I’m actually not sure for those who claim they would not differentiate whether that is more of an indictment on their Commitment to their own family then it is A badge of honor regarding their commitment to the stranger
Thank you for your honesty..... Most here won’t answer the question because they don’t like the answer they will give.
And you’re right...... If I wanted to play it safe in life for my family’s sake,, I never would have survived 25 years (and counting) as a Police Officer....
No way I leave him to die alone.
If I met up with other guys on this thread and thought enough to hunt with them, I'd die with them too.
I don't think that was his point, at least, that's not how I took it, but I think most fathers would go above and beyond the call of duty, in fact, putting their lives in great risk - even certain death - for their children.
Still, this wasn't a complete stranger. This was a guy he went into the wilderness with. IMO, you have more responsibility towards someone you're partnered up with for a dangerous situation. Don't forget, while safety/security was certainly more the guide's responsibility than the client's (since he's the 'guide'), the client did hire the guide to take him (the client) into a dangerous situation.
If your truck broke down on the side of the highway and someone stopped and helped you get it running again and in the process, got stuck in the mud in the ditch, if you're a good person, you'd recognize that you have more responsibility to help out the person that just helped you out and wouldn't just drive off saying "thanks, see ya," when you wouldn't necessarily and automatically stop to help every car on the side of the highway full of "perfect strangers" that you passed by otherwise.
And again, he was the only one that could have made a difference. The attacking was happening. He died, apparently, shortly thereafter from a bite to the head. The guide had probably minutes, maybe hours, but probably minutes for someone to intervene and the only one that could have done it was the client.
In situations where you're the only one that can help and that help has to come right now, you have heroes and you have cowards. Heroes go towards danger and cowards go away from it.
I'm sorry, but in my book, it's never ok to leave your hunting partner to die.
I would rather die trying to be like Sean English than to live like the coward in the Parkland School shooting Scot Peterson......
Now I know this guy had no legal requirement to act...... like Peterson did.........
But I choose to live my life trying to be like Sean English.....
And he didn’t mean saddle up and run........
"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.” They didn't risk their lives to go in and save the man? Who at that time may or may not have been alive? Likely a smart call..... but.....crickets.....
They went back out saturday first light, knowing the exact location of the elk carcass. Being only 50 yards from the elk..... a 20 man search team..... don't know or I have read nothing as to the exact time that the body was found. It didn't take long I would think. But again..... I. Don't. Know.
Hunter flew home saturday afternoon. That he left with out knowing the fate.... as with EVERYTHING everyone "knows" so far..... don't really know. WAG..... I'd say he knew, he was told quite some time before he left. But one person, who doesn't know it as fact but states it as so, says "he flew home before they even found his guide!" and wow.... it's taken as gospel truth..... blood in the water....
That's the problem. Conclusions as to events and even state of mind and character...... not just jumped to..... sky diving to...... and piled on.
I don't know. And I haven't seen anyone here yet who actually does.
Would we have liked to see a hero feel good story involving the hunter running up, pistol in hand and saving the guide? Hell yes! There are too many questions we can’t answer to know if that was feasible or if any action other than retreating would have led to 2 dead people.
What’s left? Lessons...
For you guys that hunt grizzly bear country...learn from this.
Be vigilant around a kill...have a lookout! Bring backup...guns and people! Know your equipment and make sure everyone in your hunting party knows your equipment (guns). Always keep a gun in a quality holster and keep it loaded for the love of God!!!
That said I'm not sure whether I'd rather be a dead hero or a living coward but.... I don't want to die because I was a fool! That guide did nothing in advance to save his own life. It would be nice to be able to depend on others for the things you need in life. But your success, or survival, is ultimately your own responsibility. Sometimes that means enabling others to help you with that if it appears it may be necessary. Without a doubt going to recover an elk killed the day before in grizzlie country falls into that category.
What professional guide wouldn't somehow prepare a greenhorn coward from Florida to cover his @$$ while he was cutting apart bear food? Seriously. Regardless of what actions that hunter did or didn't take under the circumstances the guide... and outfitter are responsible for the situation becoming what it was. Period.
I can honestly say that I have the ability to remain calm as well as any man here. But who here can say that there NEVER comes a time where it's time to admit defeat instead of deciding that suicide is honorable enough to leave your loved ones behind?
To suggest that a man who has already tried to use a handgun and failed and is shaking like an aspen leaf in the wind should proceed toward a bear, a sow with a cub, that just attacked him and give it another try is well.... pretty impressive. Those guys can feel free to PM me so we can plan our 2019 unarmed cape buffalo hunt.
One more thing.... I've hunted solo in Alaska with bear spray in a holster on the shoulder strap of my pack where it was easily accessible because I thought I might need it.. That's a special feeling. But in no way does it compare to walking up on a day old kill in an area where the bears aren't hunted and then quartering it out. Regardless of the size of your balls if you do that you're a fool. To have an unarmed flatlander standing there watching you isn't a whole lot different either.
I think anyone knows how to pull trigger - which is literally all you have to do with a Glock.
I cannot imagine it wasn't loaded.
The only plausible reason for someone to throw away their only means of defence is because they couldn’t use that means. The man simply could not make the gun go bang. The guide very likely yelled at him to throw it so he could use it.
Think about it. If you are in a situation where a gun may save your life and it’s only your own life you’re concerned about, why would you throw that gun away?!?
The gun was found unfired with an empty chamber.
Apparently, the guide was last seen on his feet.
Pretty sure I read that the sow had enough pepper spray on her head/face that it could be seen and felt on her fur. And I believe the spray can was found empty. Uptain was found a little ways away from the kill, apparently having gotten there under his own power.
I think the guide had the spray on him, as he should have.
I also think he made a fatal error in believing that one good dose of the spray would result in that bear being gone for good. I don’t recall ever reading about a bear that came back until this one, though there is a documented lion incident from CA where an aggressive Tom shook off several doses of human-strength spray and continued to press the attack.
Anyway, in this case, the non-lethal deterrent proved deadly for the guide when the bear came at him again and his canister was empty.
One other thing... A lot of people seem to be assuming that the initial attack was defensive, but I don’t think so. The bull had been gutted and quartered and the guide was taking the head when the sow charged. Those guys didn’t wander into her space; they’d been on the scene for probably a couple hours when she blew in outta nowhere. So I don’t think she was protecting the cub.
More likely she saw movement where her nose said the kill was, and she charged in to chase off whatever had killed it. Might explain why she left off of the client when he ran, and if the guide was countering from behind, he would've gotten her full attention.
Sure it would be helpful to know why the gun didn't function. However, I'm sure that at this time nobody involved feels it is their priority to inform a bunch of pre-judgemental internet folk in on every last inquiry they have. Rather, given the situation, I think they have more important concerns right now than to give a hoot about what some uninvolved people's somewhat uninformed opinions are.
God help those involved and there families. A constructive critique of the situation to learn from the experience is one thing, but going out of your way to call someone a coward will help no one- regardless of whether or not you are correct.
I also have a lot of faith in bear spray, but my opinion is that I think it works at the range it's supposed to work at, which is 10 yards. If you're getting munched on and you spray a bear, I think at that point it's too late. Your only hope at that point is to spray and get away or otherwise, it's a gun.
This is why I generally carry both.
So I keep seeing the question, "would you flee if it was your child?" I'll bite... If it was my child, there is absolutely no way I'd have them in that situation. Further, the question implies one would have time to make a logical decision. If I was in the hunter's situation and did theoretically have time to contemplate a decision, as I have now, I'm still not sure of what I would do. Sure it's macho to be the hero, or die trying; but if true thought is put into the decision, I'm not sure my young kids and wife would appreciate my suicidal act just to be macho. Is it more heroic to risk your life against the odds, or suck up your pride, and know your first and foremost responsibilities are to raise the children you brought into the world?
As far as the adults, if you're a man and you're in a school and there's a shooting, if you're faced with a situation where you could potentially subdue the shooter, then yes, you should die trying. You should be the hero and not a coward and die trying. Otherwise, you should do your best to scuttle the children to safety. And their safety, not your own, should be your primary concern.
That's what men do. We save women and children first, and then we worry about our own lives. Otherwise, we're cowards.
No one can blame a man for panicking and saving his own skin; that's in some men's natures. But then others cannot fault men for labeling that man a coward.
As others have alluded to, whatever doubts I may have had regarding his behavior are quickly put to rest in his behavior in the aftermath. I can't imagine being Uptain, fighting a griz for my life, and the only other human being on the planet that could help, leaves. I can't imagine what must have been going through Uptain's mind when the last sight he had of Chuban was him leaving......
Ike you're spot on with your comment: "No one can blame a man for panicking and saving his own skin; that's in some men's natures. But then others cannot fault men for labeling that man a coward. "
On the reverse Uptain was an incredible man for his heroism. From what I've read about his life I'm sure he must have read "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends"
That's how I've always imagined it playing out. I'd prefer to use the spray. Most charges are bluff charges. I don't want to lose 1-2 days of a hunting trip due to the rigors of explaining a depredation kill and processing the animal. Plus, I'm pretty damn accurate with bear spray at 10 yards. I think that when you're on your back, your only hope is a gun.
In 2016, there were over 20 depredation bear kills on Kodiak Island due to an absent salmon run and bears looking for other food sources. Most Kodiak hunters are rifle hunters. Most of those bears didn't have to die. Still, I fault not one single shooter for skipping the spray and making sure.
There likely would have been 2 humans dead. But had the hunter been killed trying to save the guide at least the Bowsite peanut gallery would have been satisfied. Stupid.
You aren't "hunting partners" like good friends going on a hunt..... He hired a guide and likely had just met the guide for the first time a short time before. Honestly, as the guide, I would have done all I could to make sure the client made it to safety, not further endanger himself trying to save my azz. The only worse outcome IMO (besides they both die) was for the guide to survive and the client die. That would have been total failure. In some ways, saving the client salvages some things that went horribly wrong. He was the guides responsibility, it comes with the job.
I would have been yelling for him to get out of there ASAP. (we don't know, he very well might have) If he had reentered the fight (defenseless) I'd be screaming WTF are you doing! The safety of the client was one of the main missions of the guide. Professionals take that very seriously. His family should be proud he did what he did. RIP.
Was there anything else he could do? none of us really know. If however the guy actually did board a plane and head home before he knew the outcome? If that is REALLY true....it speaks volumes. prayers to all involved.
While we probably differ on reasons we see as such, I can agree with you that this thread is embarrassing.
I’m surprised the bear came back after being sprayed! You didn’t read squat. The speay was realeased at point blank range most likely at the very end of the encounter.
Watching a man going hand to hand to save your life? Um.... he was saving his own @$$.
Ike you seem to have a death wish. I understand your save the women and children mentality but there’s a line somewhere between that way of thinking an plain suicide.
You yoyos who say... but there was a gun right there! Stfu.... it might as well have been a bb gun. Not loaded and already failed.... or didn’t go off because the guide failed to put a round in the chamber.
That hunter might have made some hasty decisions. But for God’s sake everything is hasty during a bear attack. The guide made stupid decisions... or none, under calm conditions prior to the whole ordeal. Therefore he is at fault that the attack was elevated to the level it was in the first place.
“I don’t know how far in they were so those saying they should have sent more guides blah blah blah” They came from camp. Yeah you’ve read enough to comment.
Dirk Diggler's Link
But I was a Montana outfitter for enough years to sympathize with the honest hard working ones and despise the crappy ones. If I was the outfitter sho employed that guide I would feel worse than anyone involved.
While I can’t imagine the guilt I would feel for leaving a man to fend for himself against a Griz, I also cannot imagine the guilt of sending that guide and client into that situation. Hopefully some good comes of this whole tragedy.
I know when I killed my bull in the Scapegoat Wilderness, the guide gave my dad strict orders to watch for grizzlies while the guide and I quartered my bull. He also told my dad “watch the horses as they will tell you a bear is coming before you ever see or hear it”
He was a good outfitter and gave us good bear advice - we had that talk before we left the trailhead. “If we encounter a grizzly, get your horse turned around so it can’t see the bear and get out of there. Your horse will kill you before the bear will.”
I didn’t care for the rides back to camp in the dark. Eerie feeling being in Griz country on a horse packing out a mulie in the dark.
What would have happened if the hunter had of got on the horse, grabbed the other horses and rode right into the bear screaming like a wild man. Seems a 250 lb bear would have took off when she saw a couple thousand lbs of horses coming at her. Be kinda like seeing Brock Lesner coming at you full bore x2. Anyway, bad deal all around for all involved. Be safe.
I would bet that everyone who has posted here can work the slide on a Glock. If you can’t.... and that is the only gun in your pack..... Don’t go hunting where there are grizzlys. Was that his guides fault for making sure he knew how to operate that gun. Yes. Was it the guides fault the gun was in the pack and not readily available while they were cutting up the elk. Yes.
If it turns out that I am wrong I will apologize.... Is it possible he had a malfunction with the pistol that he did not know how to clear ?? It doesn’t appear so,, since it was reported that the pistol was located.... with no malfunction noted.........
It was reported that the guides body was found at about 1:15 PM. Updated reports announcing that posted here are from 3 and 4 PM. If Chubon flew out in the afternoon..... I suppose it is possible that he knew the body was found before he got on his plane..... but not long before that.....
When you know you’re going to die instinct takes over, not rational thought. It’s just 10,000yrs of human nature, nothing more nothing less.
To a guy who... as amazing as it is to you.... doesn’t know how to operate a hangun other than pull the trigger a gun without a round in the pipe is unloaded. Do you think it’s safe to say he pointed the gun and tried before tossing it? That or he followed his guide’s instructions.
For all we know the guide told him to run. For all we know... which certainly isn’t a lot of important facts.
Especially by a bunch of strangers who he does not even know exist or could care less about.
This has thread started as a tribute by hunters to a fellow outdoorsman and has devolved into nothing other than chatroom entertainment. We could just as easily be debating mechanicals vs fixed at this point
I hope we all can agree we are glad WF&G found and killed the perps and that a science-based grizzly hunt is overdue.
Erin Bolster, a wrangler for Swan Mountain Outfitters near Glacier Park, poses with her horse, Tonk. By Rich Landers email@example.com (509) 459-5508 Grizzlies are high profile this year.
A lingering winter and late berry crop kept bears in proximity to humans longer than normal, perhaps contributing to a stream of headlines about grizzlies killing people and people killing grizzlies.
Meanwhile, a young lady on a big horse charged out of the pack of grizzly stories near Glacier National Park. In a cloud of dust, the 25-year-old wrangler likely saved a boy’s life while demonstrating that skill, quick-thinking and guts sometimes are the best weapons against a head-on charging grizzly.
On July 30, Erin Bolster of Swan Mountain Outfitters was guiding eight clients on a horse ride on the Flathead National Forest between West Glacier and Hungry Horse, Mont.
“It’s the shortest ride we offer,” she said Wednesday, recalling the incident. “We’d already led two trips that morning. It’s always been a very routine hour-long loop, until that day.”
The group included a family of six plus a vacationing northern California man, who’d booked the trip for his 8-year-old son’s first horse-riding experience.
The young boy was riding Scout, a steady obedient mount, following directly behind Bolster, who was leading the group on Tonk, a burly 10-year-old white horse of questionable lineage.
Tonk isn’t the typical trail mount. Best anyone knows, he’s the result of cross-breeding a quarter horse with a Percheron – a draft horse. Bolster is 5-foot-10, yet she relies on her athleticism to climb into the saddle aboard Tonk.
“He was one of the horses we lease from Wyoming and bring in every year,” Bolster said, noting that she’d picked him from the stable in May to be hers for the season.
“He’s a very large horse – 18 hands high. That intimidates a lot of riders. But I’ve always loved big horses. He’s kind of high-strung and spooky, the largest of our wrangling horses. I like a horse with a lot of spirit, and I was really glad to be on him that day.”
Bolster has accumulated a wealth of experience on and around horses of national and even world class. She started riding at 4 years old, became a pro trainer at 15, graduated from high school at 16 in Roanoke, Va., and ran a riding academy for several years.
Seeking a more laid-back lifestyle, she wrangled in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic before moving to Whitefish three years ago to guide tourists during the summer around Glacier National Park and ski through winter.
“It’s the country, the mountains and the idea of seeing lot of wildlife that appealed to me, ironically enough,” she said.
Bolster quickly racked bear experience, too, although until July 30, it was always at a distance.
“At the peak of the season, we were seeing bears daily,” she said. “The wranglers name them so we can let each other know where they are. Usually the bears just keep feeding in the distance or they run away when we come. Just seeing them is a treat for us and our guests.”
Because they guide around Glacier Park, bear awareness is part of the preparation wranglers get when hired by Swan Mountain Outfitters.
“We go over a lot of wildlife scenarios in our training,” Bolster said. “We learn to watch our horses for signals of possible trouble so we can steer clear.”
That’s the key, she said: Avoid trouble with a moose or a bear.
“We can’t use pepper spray when we’re riding because that could blind the horse,” she said. “And using a gun would spook the horses and probably produce more danger than safety.”
That’s how she went to work that day: a young but seasoned pro rider on a new, huge and spirited horse, unarmed in the wilderness with eight dudes.
“It was a pleasant ride until we came around a corner on the trail and my horse stopped firm and wouldn’t move,” Bolster said. “He never refuses to go, so that caught my attention quick.”
But not fast enough to avoid the spike white-tailed deer that burst out of the brush and glanced off Tonk’s left front shoulder.
As Tonk spun from the impact, Bolster saw a huge grizzly bear crashing through the forest right at the group in pursuit of the deer. Horses panicked and guests grabbed saddle horns for the ride of their lives.
“No amount of training could keep a horse from running from a 700-pound charging bear,” she said.
Seven of the horses sensed the danger, scrambled around and galloped back on the trail toward the barn.
But Scout bolted perpendicular to the trail into the timber packing the 8-year-old boy.
“The deer peeled off and joined the horses sprinting down the trail,” Bolster said. “So the bear just continued running right past me. I’m not sure the bear even knew the roles had changed, but now it was chasing a horse instead of a deer.”
The grizzly was zeroed in on Scout and the boy – the isolated prey in the woods.
Adding to the drama, the boy’s father, an experienced rider, could not convince his horse that it was a good plan to ride to his son’s rescue.
“The last thing he saw over his shoulder as his horse ran away was the grizzly chasing his boy,” Bolster said.
With the bear on Scout’s heels, Tonk’s instinct was to flee with the group of horses. But Tonk responded to Bolster’s heels in his ribs as she spun the big fella around. They wheeled out of a 360 and bolted into the trees to wedge between the predator and the prey.
“The boy was bent over, feet out of the stirrups, clutching the saddle horn and the horse’s neck,” she said. “That kept him from hitting a tree limb.
“But all I could think about was the boy falling off in the path of that grizzly.
“I bent down, screamed and yelled, but the bear was growling and snarling and staying very focused on Scout.
“As it tried to circle back toward Scout, I realized I had to get Tonk to square off and face the bear. We had to get the bear to acknowledge us.
“We did. We got its attention – and the bear charged.
“So I charged at the bear.”
Did she think twice about that?
“I had no hesitation, honestly,” Bolster said. “Nothing in my body was going to let that little boy get hurt by that bear. That wasn’t an option.”
Tonk was on the same page.
With a ton of horse, boulder-size hooves and a fire-breathing blonde thundering at it, the bear came within about 10 feet before skittering off to the side.
But it quickly angled to make yet another stab at getting to Scout and the boy – who had just fallen to the ground.
“Tonk and I had to go at the bear a third time before we finally hazed him away,” she said.
“The boy had landed in some beargrass and was OK. Scout was standing nearby.”
Bolster gathered the boy up with her on Tonk, grabbed Scout’s lead and trotted down the trail.
“The boy was in shock,” she said. “I looked back and could see the bear had continued to go away through he woods, but I had another five or 10 minutes of riding before I got back with the group.”
Not until she reunited with her riders – all OK and standing in various stages of confusion with their horses – did she start to shake.
“I looked at Tonk, and he was wet with sweat and shaking, too,” she said.
She was especially concerned for the boy’s father, who probably suffered the most terror in the ordeal.
“He was fine, and I got my biggest tip of the season,” Bolster said. “My biggest hope is that the boy isn’t discouraged from riding. This was a one-in-a-million event.”
For the next few days, the outfitter shut down the trail rides and Bolster joined other wranglers and a federal grizzly bear expert to ride horses through the area looking for the bear.
“They tracked it for a long way and concluded that it kept going out of the area,” she said. “Judging from the tracks and my description of how high the bear came up on Tonk, the grizzly expert estimated it weighed 700-750 pounds.
“This was a case of us being in the wrong place as a bear was already in the act of chasing its natural prey. He was probably more persistent because he was really hungry.”
Bolster and the other wranglers vowed to have bear spray on their belts to make sure they can defend their guests during breaks on the ground.
“But when you’re riding, the horse is your best protection, if you can stay on,” she said.
“Some of the horses I’ve ridden would have absolutely refused to do what Tonk did; others would have thrown me off in the process. Some horses can never overcome their flight-animal instinct to run away.”
In those minutes of crisis, the big lug of mongrel mount proved his mettle in a test few trail horses will face in their careers.
Tonk’s grit moved Bolster. She wasn’t about to send him back to Wyoming with the other leased horses.
“Two weeks ago, I closed the deal and bought him,” Bolster said as she was wrapping up her 2011 wrangling season.
“After what he did that day, he had to be mine.”
Fund for Tonk
In response to readers who consider Tonk a hero horse that ought to be well cared for during winter in his new Montana home, some readers have offered donations to the cause. An account has been set up through Swan Mountain Outfitters:
c/o Swan Mountain Outfitters
P.O. Box 130278
Coram, MT 59913
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No surprise there.....
"That’s how she went to work that day: a young but seasoned pro rider on a new, huge and spirited horse,"
“Some of the horses I’ve ridden would have absolutely refused to do what Tonk did; others would have thrown me off in the process. Some horses can never overcome their flight-animal instinct to run away.”
So you're asking why a client from Florida didn't grab onto a plug trailhorse and make like an Amazon sitting astride a War-horse...
Frankly, I'm amazed that he was able to get to and up onto the horse in the first place; and then how did he stick with him at a dead gallop?
Yeah..... charge the bears with the horses...... pretty much the way this thread has gone for sure.....
If anyone has a better idea or ideas I'm sure those most affected by this would love to hear them.
Scar Finga's Link
Some of you have embarrassed yourselves and are too blind to see it
First off, I could claim the exact same thing about you.
Secondly, if you think your attempts and public shaming mean more than zip, zilch, or nada to me and probably anyone else they're aimed at, it's pretty laughable and you need to take a good hard look at what you think your opinion on a message board is worth.
Discuss the facts and your opinion thereof. Making claims about the posters with whom you disagree is ridiculous.
I could just as easily call you a candy-assed flatlander. Your attempt at shaming along with the sarcasm squad's, is childish. And the funny thing is, you meet these folks face to face, and they're anything but trash-talkers and sarcastic. And thus, is the hypocrisy of those who accuse others of being keyboard commandos - a hypocritical claim to begin with.
Sorry for the way this went sideways brother! Prayers and peace for all involved, very tragic! God Bless!
Hard heads and swollen necks. The rut is on, I guess.
God Bless the young family this man leaves behind
And if THAT doesn’t make you want to be fully prepared for a Bear Encounter of the Grizzly Kind, well...
You can’t argue with willful ignorance.
That's a funny comment considering the nature of this thread.
I don't expect you to understand.
Anything more can be discussed in PMs if anyone wants to. At this point, it's just getting nasty, so there's no point in public mud slinging.
It's been pointed out that stand and fight crowd assume's to much. Not true based on the words of the survivor. Instead, it appears to me like the run away crowd is assuming far more then the crowd that says they'd stood with their partner. Based purely on what the hunter said he saw and, did in reaction to it.
Once again, I'm not trashing him. I feel remorse for him. The only assumption I will make is the other mans family gets to mourn the loss of a son, husband, and father because he was left alone to die in his place. Because, If we truly listen to what the victim says and take it for what it is, in pure terms, he traded the life of his partner for the safety of his own. He's the only one that knows this for sure. And, as of now, his recount doesn't support any other option when calling it what it is. We can assume all sorts of things. Or, we can listen to what he is saying and take it for the truth.
It would have been hand to hand combat with an enraged bear or two. Much greater chance two families are mourning than one. It would have been a futile gesture at best. Would have made for good drama but futile in high probability.
At times smart people know discretion is the better part of valor.
Even people who are trained and paid to save lives don’t blindly run into every burning building just so they can say they at least I tried.
He didn’t bring an experienced buddy to stand guard, apparently didn’t train his client to use the gun, even allowing it to be in a pack, unloaded. Familiarity breeds complacency. He had the responsibility to direct preparedness for defense against a grizzly Attack, and failed. Sad, but true.
In this case, I will give the benefit of the doubt to the grieving family as it will be the only comfort they may have in his death.
There will be a thorough forensic investigation where the facts, as best we'll ever know them, will be revealed. Until then, we can only be respectful of the situation and hopefully learn from it too.
And I wouldn't put too much stock into what the hunter has to say for now. His story will likely change from initial moments of telling into his "hindsight" version. Not saying he will lie, but he will want to temper people's opinion of his actions. Just more human nature. But authorities have methods of ferreting out the truth.
Most tragedies start out as routine days. Enjoy and be thankful for every "ordinary" day you that have.
Grant, rationalizing anyone's action in this type situation with "Smarts" is the biggest assumption you've made at this point. It has no bearings on the way one would react. The man did have a weapon too. He just broke an elk down, he had to have a knife. Surely he could have made that work.
I'll say it for the third time. The survivors words are clear in what he has said. They tell everyone what happened. He run to save himself while knowing he left the guide to defend them both. Yes, he tried to throw the guide the weapon so he could use it. When that failed, he decided to leave. He hasn't said if the guide told him to run. But, I'm pretty sure he'd clarified that if it were the case. My second assumption.
As far as the results, you might be exactly right in your assumptions of the outcome. But, you are only assuming that. But, the second bear hadn't attacked at that point. And, had the hunter stayed and fought, just maybe the guy who could use it might have got a hold of it and, turned the tables in favor of the two humans and their families. My third assumption. We will never know. And, like I said three times now I'm not judging the hunter. Only repeating his words, and matching every assumption you've made.
However, I don’t know how any man in good conscience could leave anyone in that situation alone to fend for themselves instead of offering any help? Our fine fighting men and women of our armed services come to mind, they don’t turn and run. They stand and fight. They’re not chicken$hit$.
The hunter lookout wasn't constantly scanning....giving the guide a couple seconds to react. More careful instruction by the guide could have made a difference.
The guide should have given better instruction to the hunter.....including how to operate the Glock. Heck they went back to camp......hand the Nimrod a shotgun with 00 buck, a lever action rifle.....or have one of those things Ike was talking up last year. I know I can't do my job without the proper tools.
No round in the chamber......the guides counting on being able to rack the slide cost him his life. I can see loading a revolver on a empty cylinder....Glocks need cartridges to operate.
The hunter should have taken more personal responsibility when hinting Grizz country. You CAN be successful if you train with your chosen weapons to deploy them quickly and accurately.
My bet; only 10% of Bowsiters actually train with their chosen backup [I hope I'm wrong] You carry it on your belt but have you ever deployed a can of bear spray?
.....or practice quick draw a shoot with your pistol running a few boxes of ammo through it?
Wow! All I can say. Thanks for the link CPA.
.................in the guide lottery of clients........this poor guide got a loser.
As fast as Chubon was I bet he could have retrieved his bow by the time Uptain made it 50 yards after fighting off the bear once...