Man Brutally Slain By Bear Because He Lacked a Round in the Chamber

TETON COUNTY, WY — A man was tragically killed in a bear attack while hunting elk earlier this year, Guns.com reports.

While fatal bear attacks are extremely uncommon, but not unheard of, the worst part of this killing is that the loss of life seems to have been entirely preventable.

The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in conjunction with state conservation officials and the Teton County Sheriff’s office, has been examining the case of the bear attack on bowhunter Corey Chubon and hunting guide Mark Uptain, 37, that left the latter dead in September.

Although both had bear spray and Uptain had a 10mm Glock in a shoulder holster, WyoFile reported that the gun, determined by investigators to be in working condition, did not have a round in the chamber and the guide had taken the pistol off while he helped Chubon dress an elk the sportsman had harvested.

The bear, who conservation officers believe was attracted to the scent of the felled elk, attacked Uptain first and Chubon, who went for the handgun, could not get a shot off.


And the reason why he couldn’t get a shot off is a huge point in favor of all of those who advocate carrying with a round in the chamber (including myself).

The guy wasn’t actually ready to fire his defensive tool, and because of that his firearm wasn’t much more helpful than any other bludgeoning tool of its size.

“There was not a round in the chamber, so the gun was empty. He couldn’t make the gun work,” said Wyoming Game and Fish Regional Wildlife Supervisor Brad Hovinga, who went on to explain that the magazine was dropped from the gun at some point it was found in a different location from the Glock.

A spent bear spray canister was found five feet from Uptain’s remains by investigators with Hovinga saying they “believe the fatal injuries occurred prior to him deploying” the spray.

The OSHA alert on Uptain’s death urges Martin Outfitters, the company he worked for, to “evaluate its operating procedures for bear country.”

“Carry a defense readily accessible,” said a warning from the agency on hunting in areas where bears may be present. “The knowledge of how to use your defense should be automatic.”


Now, a lot of people think the wisest course of action in terms of deterring bear attacks is to carry bear spray — I’ve read a lot of accounts with mixed, though frequently positive, results.

Regardless, you’ll do right to carry a firearm for countering threats of this nature — just in case.

What’s more, this scenario also makes a fantastic point for those involved in much more mankind-generated scenarios, as well. While the nature of the attack may be different, the urgency of the intended victim sure isn’t.

The results are the same, too.

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