How An Experienced Yellowstone Guide Got Killed By A Grizzly Bear
Charles 'Carl' Mock was an experienced Yellowstone backcountry snowmobile guide that was killed in 2021, by a 20 year old grizzly. Just recently the story of Mock's death resurfaced and is a reminder that even the most skilled person in the backcountry isn't 100% safe.
Mock had been a guide in the park for 5 years and loved the outdoors. Hiking, fishing, photography and other backcountry activities. His story is truly one of doing what he loved killed him.
In April of 2021 he was headed out to take photos and enjoy what nature had to offer on that spring day. He headed to Bakers Hole Campground and set out on what ended up being his final hike and nature photo session. Being and experienced guide and outdoorsman, he knew what he needed to carry with him when he was in bear country. He had his bear spray and normally a pistol, but on this particular day he decided to leave his firearm at home.
30 minutes into his journey he stopped to take some photos, when he encountered a grizzly eating on a moose carcass. The bear charged Mock immediately and he deployed his bear spray, unfortunately the spray missed the target because of the wind.
Mock was attacked and there wasn't much he could do but try to fight off the bear. After the attack he was able to call 9-1-1, but it took rescuers under an hour to find him. When the did, he was propped against a tree with wounds to his head and face, plus missing one of his hands. He sacrificed his hand to protect his neck from the grizzly.
Mock was rushed to the hospital where he eventually passed away.
Not long after the attack, a group of bear specialists, game wardens and dogs headed in to investigate the attack when the same bear charged them and had to be killed.
It was later was discovered by investigators that the grizzly was a well known 20 year old bear, but didn't have a history of human interaction or being a problem bear.
Investigators determined the bear had been in a fight with another bear while protecting the moose carcass prior to Mock arriving in the area, which they feel had to do with the aggressiveness toward Mock and eventually the group of investigators.
This particular story didn't have a happy ending, but something to keep in mind is, no matter how skilled and prepared you think you are in bear country...bears are dangerous. Being prepared can surely raise your chances of surviving in the event of a bear encounter.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department encourages you to visit the Bear Wise Wyoming site, to prepare yourself before entering bear country.