Backcountry guide killed in grizzly attack outside West Yellowstone

Grizzly Attack Victim
Authorities say backcountry guide Charles W. Mock IV, 40, was fatally injured in a grizzly bear attack outside Yellowstone National Park, April 15, 2021. Photo: Gofundme

WEST YELLOWSTONE, Montana, April 19, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A backcountry guide was killed in a grizzly bear attack outside Yellowstone National Park last week.

According to a statement by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Charles W. Mock IV, 40, died at East Idaho Regional Medical Center Saturday, two days after being attacked by a bear near Baker’s Hole Campground, three miles north of West Yellowstone.

The sheriff’s office said the attack took place Thursday afternoon while “while the decedent was fishing near an unknown food source for the bear.”

Mock’s employer, outdoor guide company, Backcountry Adventures, confirmed the Thursday attack, but were optimistic the “hard-working guy with an infectious smile” would survive. Saturday, they were shocked to learn that Mock had died after surgery.

“We would like to let you know that early this morning Carl suffered a massive stroke and sadly, he didn’t make it through,’ the post said. “This comes as a terrible shock and is heartbreaking to all us, since both the surgeries went so well.”

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department released a statement saying the grizzly believed responsible for the attack was shot and killed Friday.

“A group of seven investigators, including FWP game wardens and bear specialists, as well as Forest Service personnel, revisited the site Friday to assess ongoing public safety risks and continue the investigation,” the statement said.

“They yelled and made continuous noise as they walked toward the site to haze away any bears in the area. Before they reached the site a bear began charging the group,” the statement said. “Despite multiple attempts by all seven people to haze away the bear, it continued its charge.

“Due to this immediate risk safety risk, the bear was shot and died about 20 yards away from the group,” the FWP said.

The bear was revealed to be an “older-age male grizzly” which was “defending a food source during the attack.” Investigators confirmed a moose carcass was found within 50 yards of where Mock was mauled Thursday.

The FWP said Mock was alone at the time of the attack and carrying bear spray, but they unable to determine if he was able to use it.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning, reminding hikers and campers bear encounters are more likely in the spring. “Now is the time to remember to be conscientious in the backcountry as the bears are coming out of hibernation to and looking for food sources.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Mock’s family with medical and funeral expenses.


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