And so it begins, Charles “Carl” Mock is officially 2021’s first negative encounter with a grizzly bear in Yellowstone country. If it feels a little early for conflict with the grizzled bruins, well historically it is, as most negative encounters take place in late summer and into the fall when bears are looking to put on the fat for their long winter slumber. Elk gut piles are an easy way for them to do that and Yellowstone country produces elk(albeit in lower numbers in recent years.)
Mock died as a result of the injuries he sustained to his head during the attack. He was fishing and as an experienced guide he had his bearspray with him. According to the USA Today article referenced in the links above it isn’t clear if he was able to deploy it.
This is an unfortunate and unfriendly reminder to always be prepared for the worst in grizzly bear country. Here are a few things to make sure you always do to stay on top of your situation in bear country.
- Always be prepared with your bear spray, it can and does save lives. Under most circumstances it is the easiest thing to deploy under duress.
- Make noise if it is a summer outing. I get the quiet concept when hunting, but be careful this summer in grizzly country.
- Keep food hung 15 feet above the ground, downwind of your camp. Self explanatory, but if your camp is downwind of the food the bear finds you first.
Unfortunately with the outdoors being the most popular place of activity during the covid era, conflicts are likely to be on the rise. For more on the grizzly’s endangered status, check out my article last week covering that subject. Stay safe and be bear aware this summer!