Very sad: Griz kills guide near Yellowstone fishing the Madison

riderfisher

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Very sad indeed, and very unlucky. The bear must've surprised him from behind if he didn't even have a chance to get his spray out. Seems early for the grizz to be out up there?
 

MtFlyTyer74

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I live in NW Montana, and many of the streams I fish are pretty remote. Bear spray canister is always clipped to my vest...that's the first choice --
second choice is a .44 Remington Magnum in a chest holster -- and I am always mindful that I may not get a second choice.

Very unfortunate to come upon a bear attended kill. May he Rest in Peace, and may his family's God grant them comfort.
 

VaFisherman

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I have fished the Madison within a mile or so where this took place. I, like others here have said, carried bear spray and a .44mag. It appears from reports he had bear spray and the canister was found with the safety released but it is not know if he actually got the spray deployed.
 

Ard

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I have fished the Madison within a mile or so where this took place. I, like others here have said, carried bear spray and a .44mag. It appears from reports he had bear spray and the canister was found with the safety released but it is not know if he actually got the spray deployed.
Pretty simple for investigators, weigh the canister......

I do hope this doesn't turn into an us against the bears thread ;) I clearly remember fishing on the Madison River in 1981 with a friend who lived nearby. Where he took me we walked through an area where there were stakes in the ground with surveyors tape and Crime Do Not Enter yellow tape dangling from a couple stakes. As you may imagine I ask Tony what that was all about and he told me that 3 weeks prior they had the area closed to public use because they were investigating the scene of a fatality involving a grizzly bear.

That was 1981, the guy was killed in a tent. 40 years ago yes but we caught a ton of fish that day and came back alive. Here in Alaska I've been around plenty of them, not many pictures because it wasn't bear viewing trips. It was get the hell outta here trips. I carry spray, I've only had to use it once and there's a blog post here about that. Stuff happens and I could become stuff this season but I doubt it. I won't be buying and additional firepower here but have gotten good at recognizing when I'm in a bad spot.
 

Ard

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I should have added that when I did have to spray a bear it appeared to me that the beast was left at least partially blinded by the chemical and it changed its mind at the very moment the cloud engulfed him. Like a 44 magnum you have to be close when you deploy bear spray least it may not be effective. Winds or just distance can affect the amount of chemical agent delivered on target. It's been years but I'd guess that I was less than 20 feet from the bear when I let loose with the large economy size cannister. I doubt I would have been able to place an accurate shot with a pistol unless the range were closed to a similar distance. The spray was like a shotgun and covered what looked like an 8 to 10 foot radius as the cloud rolled forward and unto old Breezily bruin.

For those who haven't been on the forum as long as I then you may not get my first post. I've seen these topics go from, "wow that's a shame" to arguments over the second amendment, go figure?
 

zjory

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I should have added that when I did have to spray a bear it appeared to me that the beast was left at least partially blinded by the chemical and it changed its mind at the very moment the cloud engulfed him. Like a 44 magnum you have to be close when you deploy bear spray least it may not be effective. Winds or just distance can affect the amount of chemical agent delivered on target. It's been years but I'd guess that I was less than 20 feet from the bear when I let loose with the large economy size cannister. I doubt I would have been able to place an accurate shot with a pistol unless the range were closed to a similar distance. The spray was like a shotgun and covered what looked like an 8 to 10 foot radius as the cloud rolled forward and unto old Breezily bruin.

For those who haven't been on the forum as long as I then you may not get my first post. I've seen these topics go from, "wow that's a shame" to arguments over the second amendment, go figure?
IMO recognizing when you are headed towards a bad spot and not getting into it or quickly getting out of it is the only good defense. I bought a Ruger Alaskan several years ago as I started spending a lot more time solo hiking and fishing and getting further off the trailhead. What I realized after spending enough time in the wilderness and encountering enough wildlife is that being aware and not getting in the situation in the first place is what matters. If you’re in need of spray or a gun, you’re already in too far for it to matter 95% of the time. I still carry spray but no longer carry a firearm as I think if I ever got to that option it’s already too late, so no point lugging it around all day.
 

fatbillybob

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The deeper into the woods we go...none of my party smell good to bears. No perfume. No cologne. Not even flavored chapstick. All food is in plastic bags and all trash goes back in plastic and all that in another plastic bag. We pull gravel from the stream and wash our hands using the dirt like scouring powder. Fish are not touched and no net is used. Ketchum releases are awesome for no touch release.

For you guys who carry (I always fly into wilderness so no firearms) what are the rules? You can open carry or carry concealed (out of convenience) because you are in the woods? The national parks are no firearms right or is it no firearms in buildings in national park?

True story. Once we were getting license checked in YNP. I could see Ranger carried 9mm. I asked him gee 9mm seems light if you have to shoot a bear. He quickly said the 9 is for people! The bear spray is for bears. He said it was extremely hard to hit a moving bear and even harder to strike one in a meaningful spot. His go to is bear spray unless for some reason Rangers need to hunt an animal down then it's a rifle.
 

Chris_in_Louisiana

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Tragic. I carried spray at times while conducting research in parts of Alaska during college, but also carried a 12-guage with five shells: a "Flashbang" style round, a rubber slug, and three actual slugs. Never had to use either in the few summers I spent up there, but, per my boss, no one on the team had ever gone past the rubber slug in 10+ years of field work. Have to admit, I still wasn't all that comfortable knowing I had to get off three shots before finally firing something with real stopping power.
 

okaloosa

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I should have added that when I did have to spray a bear it appeared to me that the beast was left at least partially blinded by the chemical and it changed its mind at the very moment the cloud engulfed him. Like a 44 magnum you have to be close when you deploy bear spray least it may not be effective. Winds or just distance can affect the amount of chemical agent delivered on target. It's been years but I'd guess that I was less than 20 feet from the bear when I let loose with the large economy size cannister. I doubt I would have been able to place an accurate shot with a pistol unless the range were closed to a similar distance. The spray was like a shotgun and covered what looked like an 8 to 10 foot radius as the cloud rolled forward and unto old Breezily bruin.

For those who haven't been on the forum as long as I then you may not get my first post. I've seen these topics go from, "wow that's a shame" to arguments over the second amendment, go figure?
I posted this news and titled it "very sad" because the man killed was a Yellowstone guide who I would presume was well acquainted with all the necessary precautions to protect himself. We all want to get away from the crowds and to more pristine spots but the fact remains in many of those areas we are not the top of the food chain. I have a habit of walking in solo to my favorite spots in the dark predawn with a headlamp and wondering "what the hell am I doing" when I know there are mountain lions and black bears around. But when that sun starts to rise and there is no one else in sight it all seems a reasonable risk especially compared to so many other acceptable sports such as mountain climbing or even just riding a motorcycle. I will say this though: I never carry a gun with me when I go fishing in Colorado. But I always brought my gun when I went night fishing for Tarpon in Miami and had to park my car in dimly lit boat ramp lots. I will take my chances with bears over people any day!.
 
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Swfl gladesman

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The deeper into the woods we go...none of my party smell good to bears. No perfume. No cologne. Not even flavored chapstick. All food is in plastic bags and all trash goes back in plastic and all that in another plastic bag. We pull gravel from the stream and wash our hands using the dirt like scouring powder. Fish are not touched and no net is used. Ketchum releases are awesome for no touch release.

For you guys who carry (I always fly into wilderness so no firearms) what are the rules? You can open carry or carry concealed (out of convenience) because you are in the woods? The national parks are no firearms right or is it no firearms in buildings in national park?

True story. Once we were getting license checked in YNP. I could see Ranger carried 9mm. I asked him gee 9mm seems light if you have to shoot a bear. He quickly said the 9 is for people! The bear spray is for bears. He said it was extremely hard to hit a moving bear and even harder to strike one in a meaningful spot. His go to is bear spray unless for some reason Rangers need to hunt an animal down then it's a rifle.
Very sad news praying for his family. Does anyone carry a 357 instead of a 44 magnum curious as I want to come out west fishing next year obviousness I would have to drive that maybe the one issue in bringing it. I carry my pistol in the Everglades so I would think Yellowstone would be fine as well not sure about inside buildings thoughnas I don't go in the buildings.
 

mtboiler

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Seems early for the grizz to be out up there?
They all don't hibernate straight through the winter as much as people think in NW Montana. I see tracks almost year round. Granted, not as many but they come out from time to time and you have to be aware. In NW Montana, if you are entering a remote area, you carry bear spray year round. The snow at the lower levels up here is almost gone too as well, which means momma is out with the cubs already. Have already seen smaller prints on the side of the rivers.
 

heero

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Sad news. Sometimes even with all precautions things can go awry.

I am in the backcountry quite frequently and most often by myself. When I am alone or with dogs, I have both a sidearm and bear spray. If I am with another, it is bear spray only. I have only had to discharge my firearm twice, both times to deter charging or overly-curious moose and neither time into the moose, rather into the dirt as warning which was enough. One was certainly a cow with calf charging to run off my dogs - both well under control and directed the opposite way down the trail as soon as the moose was spotted which apparently did not matter to her - and the other was maybe just curious but possible aggressive, either way unafraid of me. Bears are always going to opposite direction when I see them as theyve spotted or heard me first.

Very sad news praying for his family. Does anyone carry a 357 instead of a 44 magnum curious as I want to come out west fishing next year obviousness I would have to drive that maybe the one issue in bringing it. I carry my pistol in the Everglades so I would think Yellowstone would be fine as well not sure about inside buildings thoughnas I don't go in the buildings.
.357 is fine for our smaller inland grizzlies. However, while carrying a firearm is legal in YNP, it is ILLEGAL to discharge said firearm for ANY reason. You will face some serious charges for doing so and those charges will be even more severe if you put a round into one of the Park's prize bears even in self defense - I realize you may feel it comes down to you or a bear, but take into consideration you may be a felon, no longer able to carry or own a firearm ever again. Carry bear spray, know how to use it, and be alert.
 

Swfl gladesman

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Sad news. Sometimes even with all precautions things can go awry.

I am in the backcountry quite frequently and most often by myself. When I am alone or with dogs, I have both a sidearm and bear spray. If I am with another, it is bear spray only. I have only had to discharge my firearm twice, both times to deter charging or overly-curious moose and neither time into the moose, rather into the dirt as warning which was enough. One was certainly a cow with calf charging to run off my dogs - both well under control and directed the opposite way down the trail as soon as the moose was spotted which apparently did not matter to her - and the other was maybe just curious but possible aggressive, either way unafraid of me. Bears are always going to opposite direction when I see them as theyve spotted or heard me first.



.357 is fine for our smaller inland grizzlies. However, while carrying a firearm is legal in YNP, it is ILLEGAL to discharge said firearm for ANY reason. You will face some serious charges for doing so and those charges will be even more severe if you put a round into one of the Park's prize bears even in self defense - I realize you may feel it comes down to you or a bear, but take into consideration you may be a felon, no longer able to carry or own a firearm ever again. Carry bear spray, know how to use it, and be alert.
10 4 thanks for the information.
 

ddb

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heero,

Not doubting what you said is accurate, but why in the hell would anyone carry a gun legally if firing it for any reason was a felony!

Only the feds would come up with that fix.

Has anyone actually been charged with such use in a life or death situation? With what outcome?
 

100954

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Seems early for the grizz to be out up there?
A few years ago a kid was collecting/hunting antler sheds this time of the year & was attacked by a grizzly in the Madison Valley west of this area. He was able to spray the bear and survived. I’ve stay at this campground a couple times. It’s just off the highway, between it (highway) and the Madison River just before it enters the park. I wonder if the moose was hit by a car/truck & wondered in there & died. Just speculation. The campground is closed this time of year but fisherman park at the gate and hike to the river. I thought it was unusual that the bear would charge a group of 7 wardens/rangers. Just shows I guess the extent they’ll go this time of the year to protect their cache.
 

heero

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heero,

Not doubting what you said is accurate, but why in the hell would anyone carry a gun legally if firing it for any reason was a felony!

Only the feds would come up with that fix.

Has anyone actually been charged with such use in a life or death situation? With what outcome?
Carrying or possessing at all used to be illegal (10 or so years ago? - been a while), but I guess that was an infringement on the 2nd.

People worry, I suppose. Once camping at Pebble, I saw a man with family from somewhere in the South - Mississippi if I remember - with the largest revolver imaginable strapped to his waist the entire time in camp - ridiculously large - yet not a can a bear spray on the lot of them. Worriers. I never carry a firearm in Jellystone simply because of the rules.

There have been a couple instances where park goers have discharged a firearm as a deterrent in recent years, both involving wolves. In neither case were shots fired into an animal. Charges were light in both cases, ending in a warning (maybe small fine), but the potential is there for not-so-light charges depending upon the situation. I would not want to test it with a round into an animal, tho - the outcry would be immense and the chance of an example being made high.
 

Swfl gladesman

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heero,

Not doubting what you said is accurate, but why in the hell would anyone carry a gun legally if firing it for any reason was a felony!

Only the feds would come up with that fix.

Has anyone actually been charged with such use in a life or death situation? With what outcome?
I don't see how they say a bears life is more important than a humans. Definitely a rule our government would make up.
 
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