Carl Mock: A Tribute to the West Yellowstone Wilderness Guide

carl mock

GoFundMe Carl Mock

Carl Mock was a wilderness guide who lived in West Yellowstone, Montana and died from injuries suffered when he was mauled by a grizzly bear, according to a GoFundMe page.

Charles Mock, 40, was fishing alone near the Baker’s Hole campground about three miles from West Yellowstone when he was attacked Thursday. He was able to call 911 and rushed to an Idaho Falls hospital, according to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Department. Mock died in the hospital Saturday, the fundraising page said.

Mock was a guide for Backcountry Adventures, who described him as a “dear friend” in Facebook posts.

Here’s what you need to know:

Mock Suffered a Massive Stroke & Died Days After the Attack, Which Friends Called ‘A Terrible Shock’

A GoFundMe page organized by Keith Johnson announced Saturday, April 17 that Mock suffered a massive stroke and died in the hospital, two days after he was attacked by the bear. The death was shocking, he wrote, because surgeries had gone well. The page was started to raise funds for medical bills, but would also be used to cover funeral costs, he wrote.

The update said:

*Update 4/17/21, 10:45am*- We would like to let you know that early this morning Carl suffered a massive stroke and sadly, he didn’t make it through. This comes as a terrible shock and is heartbreaking to everyone, since both the surgeries went so well. We will keep you updated with the service information as the plans are made. All of the money that is being donated on this page and in the cans throughout town will be given to the family to help cover the medical bills and funeral costs. We appreciate the continued support from this community to help ease these financial burdens for Carl’s family.

A Celebration of Life was planned for Mock for Saturday, April 24.

Friends Said Mock Had a Passion for the Outdoors & an ‘Infectious Smile’

Mock was remembered as a person with a zest for life who loved the outdoors, which he made his life’s work, Johnson wrote on his fundraiser page.

“Carl has such passion for outdoors, hiking, fishing, photography, and is a beloved guide to countless visitors in Yellowstone. He is a hard-working guy with an infectious smile. He is a loyal friend that would help any of us however he could. We have created this fundraiser to help our friend in a time of need,” the page said.

He was also remembered by those he served as a guide. Marshall Mahler wrote that Mock had extensive knowledge and a great personality, describing him as a friend.

“I had the privilege to have Carl as a snowcoach guide on two separate chartered photography trips. His backcountry knowledge and great personality combined with his work ethic made him a great wildlife photography guide,” Mahler wrote. “To his friends and family my condolences and prayers. Rest In Peace my friend.”

His Facebook page was filled with photos of wildlife, hiking and dirt biking.

“That’s in the past, here comes the sun,” he wrote on his profile. “Exercise your freedoms daily !!!”

The Bear Was Shot By Park Officials, Who Said They Believe It Was Guarding Food

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials closed the area where Mock was attacked and sent staff to investigate, where they ultimately shot and killed the bear, a statement said. The bear was described as an older, male grizzly who charged at seven investigators when they entered the area. The group included game wardens and bear specialists.

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. Despite multiple attempts by all seven people to haze away the bear, it continued its charge. Due to this immediate safety risk, the bear was shot and died about 20 yards from the group. The bear was an older-age male grizzly.

Investigators later found a moose carcass cached within 50 yards of Thursday’s attack. This indicates the bear was defending a food source during the attack.

They said Mock had bear spray with him, but it was unclear whether he was able to use it.

The statement also included bear safety tips. It said:

Recreationists, residents and people who work outdoors can be prepared for a surprise bear encounter. Activities that are deliberately quiet or fast moving, such as hunting, mountain biking or trail running, put people at greater risk for surprising a bear. When you’re outside, keep these precautions in mind:

Be aware of your surroundings and look for bear sign.
Read signs at trailheads and stay on trails. Be especially careful around creeks and in areas with dense brush.
Carry bear spray. Know how to use it and be prepared to deploy it immediately.
Travel in groups whenever possible and make casual noise, which can help alert bears to your presence.
Stay away from animal carcasses, which often attract bears.
Follow food storage orders from the applicable land management agency.
If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.

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