GRIZZLY BEAR ATTACKS AND KILLS BACKCOUNTRY GUIDE IN YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
So when I was younger, I wanted to be a park ranger for oh, quite a while actually. The idea was, and is, still kind of perfect. Except for paying the bills, of course. But spending your time in the most beautiful places in nature? That still sounds grand. But I never thought of being a professional backcountry guide. Mostly because I don’t know any backcountry, anywhere. But there are people who actually make a living doing this. And it’s sad news to hear that one of them has died. A grizzly bear killed the 40-year-old Charles Mock this past weekend in Yellowstone National Park. He went fishing at the wrong place, at the wrong time.
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Mock was fishing by himself, which makes sense to me if he knew the country. A grizzly bear attacked and killed him. Over 34 years, grizzly bears injured 37 people in Yellowstone. While that’s only a little over one person a year, it still sounds scary to me. But to keep the numbers in perspective, that time period saw more than 100 million visitors to Yellowstone. That means that the statistics say that one out of 2.7 million visitors has a chance of a grizzly attack. But I don’t know how many of these people survived the attacks. I mean, one hit from a grizzly and you are pretty much done.
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BACKCOUNTRY GUIDE PICKED A YELLOWSTONE FISHING SPOT NEAR THE BEAR’S DINNER
So how did Mock get so unlucky? Well, he was fishing within 40 yards of a Moose carcass and didn’t know it. And yes, that was the grizzly’s food. It looks like the grizzly was protecting his dinner from a human who had no idea it was there. When investigators went to the Yellowstone site, the older male grizzly charged the group and wouldn’t stop. So they had to open fire, killing the bear only 50 yards away. But if you think 50 yards is a long way away, you are totally dead wrong. I’ve seen a grizzly in person, in the wild. They are waaaay over us in the food chain. That’s one. And two? Grizzly bears can sprint up to 50 miles an hour over short distances. Just chew on that for a while.
So if you were thinking about going for a jog alone in Yellowstone, maybe invest in a treadmill instead.