Guide Fatally Mauled by Bear

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The body of Mark Uptain, a 37-year-old guide for Martin Outfitters, was discovered around 1:15 p.m. Saturday about a quarter-mile to the northwest of where he and client Corey Chubon were processing an elk that was struck by an arrow Thursday.

The elk was located and attack occurred the next day. Pending an investigation, it’s unclear if Uptain had been fed upon, but Teton County Search and Rescue Coordinator and incident commander Jessica King said that his body was intact.

Wildlife managers, meanwhile, are setting out to catch the bear that took Uptain’s life Jackson Hole News reported. 

“The guys on the ground did request supplies to catch bears,” said Brad Hovinga, regional wildlife supervisor for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 

Hovinga said that “all indications” are that the animal was a grizzly bear. The agency’s plan is to deploy foothold snares that will subdue animals caught alive, and to leave the devices in the field overnight.

Game and Fish staffers Brian Debolt, Brian Baker, Kyle Lash and Jon Stephens remained staked out in the field Saturday afternoon.

The hunter-bear clash turned tragedy occurred in the Terrace Mountain area of the Teton Wilderness, about 6 straight-line miles from the Turpin Meadows trailhead.

“That country is so full of bears,” Hovinga said.

Chubon, a Florida resident, was injured and flown to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson on Friday, but was in good enough condition to have caught a flight out of the valley Saturday afternoon.

Chubon told investigators that he threw a pistol to Uptain before successfully fleeing and phoning authorities. Initial reports indicate that the second bear was present at the time of the attack, but did not engage either Chubon or Uptain.

The elk carcass was “undisturbed” when it was located by Uptain and Chubon, which suggests that the bear was not necessarily food guarding.

This aggressive behavior will be taken into account when making decisions about what to do if a bear is caught in the foot snares, and determined to be Uptain’s killer.

“That will certainly be considered in the course of action,” Hovinga said.

Hovinga was unsure if the implicated bear would be killed. 

“Based on what we know at this point, we’re going to make an attempt to catch bears,” he said.

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