Bear kills experienced elk guide in Jackson; hunter runs

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

  1. EC

    EC 12 pointer

    Jul 13, 2003
    Louisville, KY.
    Update: Fatal Grizzly Bear Attack on Mark Uptain, Bear Spray Failure, Throwing Glock
    Ammoland Inc. Posted on September 20, 2018 by Dean Weingarten
    Grizzly Bear
    Arizona -( Some of the confusion and fog surrounding the fatal bear attack and failure of bear spray in Wyoming has cleared. The investigators have done their job, and much was learned from the evidence on the ground. The attack occurred on Friday afternoon, the 14th of September, in the Teton Wilderness in Wyoming, near Terrace Mountain.

    The hunter, Corey Chubon, and Mark Uptain, the guide, had almost finished processing the 4×4 elk. Mark Uptain, the guide, was attacked first, as he was cutting off the elk's head. The 250-pound sow grizzly gave no warning. She was first seen in an all-out charge downhill. As the bear mauled Uptain, Corey Chubon, the client, accessed a pistol at their packs, a few yards uphill from the elk.

    The pistol involved did not belong to Chubon, the bowhunter who had shot the 4×4 elk. It belonged to Mark Uptain. Corey accessed the pistol, but could not get it to fire. As he was attacked, he tried to throw the pistol to Mark Uptain.

    The pistol never reached Mark. The pistol was a Glock, most likely a Glock 10mm, which is becoming a popular choice for bear protection. From

    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.

    Was a round chambered in the Glock? Many guides insist on carrying pistols, or firearms generally, without a round in the chamber. This can work if you diligently practice chambering a round when you draw the pistol.

    If you are unfamiliar with semi-automatic pistols, you may not know how to chamber a cartridge, especially while being mauled by a grizzly.

    In 45 years experience of pistol instruction, I have found it common for inexperienced people to lack basic knowledge about how to load pistols.

    Throwing a pistol you are unfamiliar with, to the owner who knows how to use it, is reasonable if you cannot make the pistol fire.

    In a similar situation 12 years ago, use of a pistol to defend against a grizzly was almost thwarted because the client could not figure out how to extract the pistol from the guide's holster. Once he extracted it, he killed the charging grizzly at a distance of 10 feet. The bear fell three feet from him.

    In the attack in Wyoming, Corey Chubon escaped the attacking grizzly and ran to the horses, which were tied uphill. He mounted a horse and rode to the top of the nearest ridge, where he was able to make a cell phone connection and direct rescuers to the scene. They arrived that afternoon in a helicopter. Corey's father said it took two hours.

    At some point, Mark Uptain emptied the bear spray he had in a holster on his thigh at the attacking grizzly. The investigators could smell the bear spray on the attacking grizzly's head a day later when she had charged them and they had killed her.

    Mark's body was found about 50 yards uphill from the remains of the elk carcass. It appears he had walked the 50 yards. The bears had attacked him again in that location and had killed him with bites to the head.

    The rescuers had found the elk carcass following directions from Corey Chubon, by 7 pm on Friday evening. We may never know if Mark Uptain was still alive at that point. He was probably in the timber, 50 yards away uphill. The Glock was later found a few yards uphill from the elk. The rescuers made the decision to return to base in the helicopter, without a team searching the site of the elk carcass.

    There was less than an hour of daylight left. It has not been reported if any of the rescue team in the helicopter at 7 pm were armed.
  2. Bee

    Bee 8 pointer

    Mar 14, 2005
  3. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    on my Montana elk/mule deer hunt. our outfitter said if anyone shoots a grizzly, you better have scratch marks and bite marks or it'll cost u $10,000. the courts need hard evidence it was self defense.
  4. carnivore

    carnivore 12 pointer

    Nov 17, 2007
    Im tight with money but id gladly pay 10k to not get eaten alive by a bear. Id consider it a sound investment.
  5. DaveInJax

    DaveInJax Spike

    Aug 18, 2018
    Northeast Florida
    Yeah Ill happily depart with 10k if I have one charging full out inside 25yds or so. It really sucks the poor guy couldnt get the gun to fire. Living with that forever will most likely haunt him. I know If that were me It would. My condolences to the guides family as that would be a hard pill to swallow.
  6. I have been in this same area near Jackson a few times as well as in Montana. I kept a H&K 45 loaded with 13rds in a holster anytime I was fishing in bear country. It is not a guarantee that it would stop a mad Griz and they are best to be avoided. But in my opinion it is better defense than that seasoning spray that they like to call bear spray. They just lick that off their eyebrows and continue. Cutting up a fresh elk kill would be a high risk activity, especially after having it lay out overnight in bear country. I am surprised that the guide did not give the client the loaded Glock and make certain he knew how to use it before carving up the Elk, but that is 20:20 hindsight. It is likely that it was in the pack with an empty chamber. Glock has no safety and is not that safe to carry outside of the holster when a round is chambered (my opinion). I have seen too many reports of them snagging the trigger on something and then you have an AD. A better choice of firearm or better training would have helped loads. Tap/rack/bang drills are lifesavers. Sad event.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
    cedar ridge and Dark Cloud like this.
  7. Wampuscat

    Wampuscat 10 pointer

    Apr 10, 2009
    Being scared of cats and black bears is dumb.
  8. kraynky

    kraynky Fawn

    Dec 28, 2014
    Elizabethtown, KY
    Post #21 said what I was thinking. And it's the reason I don't own a Glock. They don't have a safety. Too unsafe to carry in a pack with a chambered round, and in the panic, (or possibly no experience) the poor hunter couldn't figure out how to chamber & fire the handgun. The guide, in hindsight, should have had the thing on his hip, or even better, a 444 Marlin lever gun nearby.

    Prayers for the survivor and the guides family and friends. May they find some comfort in knowing the guide was doing what he loved doing, and it was just "his time". As another has said, I don't want a statewide bear population here in Kentucky. No mountain lions or hogs either, as hunting has enough dangers as it is now.
  9. 1FowlHNTR

    1FowlHNTR Fawn

    Jul 29, 2017
    Rowan County
    I've hunted bear in Idaho for the previous 3 years. I can say WITHOUT HESITATION that unless a Black Bear sow is protecting Cubs 9 of 10 times, you'll never see them in a standoff. I've met them on a trail and looked down to grab my pistol, only to look back up and not even a moving branch of where it was! For as big as they are, they're probably the most quiet animals on 4 feet!

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