New Smyrna Beach man survives Wyoming bear attack that killed guide

By Anna Johnson - Digital Journalist, Jerry Askin - Reporter

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - Corey Chubon is resting at home in new Smyrna Beach after a bear attack that left him injured and took the life of his guide. Chubon encountered two bears Friday while on a hunting trip in Wyoming.

"I'm just blessed and extremely grateful to have made it out of this situation alive," Chubon said.

Chubon and the guide, who the Associated Press reports was 37-year-old Mark Uptain, went to the woods in Jackson, Wyoming, to retrieve an elk that they had killed the day before. Chubon's father, who was on the trip but did not go with the two to get the animal, said he was told the two men were pulling the elk's carcass out of the woods on horseback when two bears attacked.

Chubon was able to point a pistol at the bear, but the animal knocked it out of his hands. Uptain was grabbed by the same bear and dragged into the woods; The AP reports that his body was found Saturday.

"We heard rocks stumble and out of nowhere two grizzly bears just started charging at us," Chubon said.

Chubon said he threw his pistol to Uptain. The Associated Press reports that officials have not been able to find the gun.

"He swung me around in the air and at that point in time I tried to throw the gun to Mark and the gun didn't make it there," Chubon said.

Once Chubon was able to escape the bear, he climbed back onto his horse and rode to the top of a nearby mountain in order to get cell service.

Chubon said he and his guide were hunting elk in the wilderness in an area where there really isn't a trail.

"They thought there was some type of competition for their food and they were coming to claim their food," Chubon said.
 
Officials with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said they trapped and killed a grizzly sow and a yearling cub they believe were the same from the attack. The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports that officials say the bears were likely a mother and grown cub and that the behavior was unusual for a bear family group.
 

After sustaining injuries to his arms, chest and ankles, Chubon was able to fly back to New Smyrna Beach on Saturday night to be with his family.

Corey Chubon and his father.

Both Chubon and his father said they remember Uptain as one of the nicest people they had ever met.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports that he was a small business owner with five children.
Chubon said he plans to continue hiking. He also told News 6 he’s relying on prayer and eventually some counseling to try and bounce back.

Click here if you would like to donate to a GoFundMe account set up for Uptain’s family.

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