37-year-old Wyoming hunting guide Mark Uptain was found dead after he and a client were attacked by a grizzly bear on Friday, Sept. 14 while field-dressing an elk in the Teton Wilderness near Terrace Mountain.
Florida resident Corey Chubon shot the elk while bowhunting late Thursday afternoon, but the pair were unable to locate the animal. They returned Friday morning to locate and process the elk when they were charged by two grizzly bears.
According to Buckrail.com, Chubon was able to retrieve a pistol from his pack just a few yards away, but was unable to safely fire a shot at the bear that was attacking Uptain. The grizzly then charged and drug Chubon to the ground, leaving him with injuries to his leg, chest and arm. Chubon told authorities he was able to throw his gun to Uptain before fleeing the scene to call for help.
A helicopter was dispatched to the scene to assist with the transport of the injured hunters, and Chubon was taken to St. John’s Medical Center for treatment. The body of Uptain was discovered at approximately 1:15 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 15, about a quarter-mile northwest of where he and Chubon were attacked.
Wyoming wildlife managers have since euthanized the two grizzlies, a mother and her cub, they believe were responsible for the attack. “All available evidence indicates that these two bears were the bears involved in the Terrace Mountain attack,” said Rebekah Fitzgerald, a spokeswoman for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in a statement on Sept. 16.
The incident comes just weeks after a federal judge halted grizzly hunts scheduled to begin on Sept. 1 in both Wyoming and Idaho, despite increasing reports of the need to control the growing population due to a rise in the number human-bear conflicts.
“I can only imagine how horrific this was,” said Sy Gillian, a hunting guide and spokesman for the grizzly hunting community. “You’ve got a bear population that’s basically un-hunted, is an apex predator and has no fear of humans.”