By Angus M. Thuermer Jr.,WyoFile.com JACKSON HOLE, WYO \u2013 The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recommended that a big game outfitting company \u201cevaluate its training policy on bear spray use\u201d after a grizzly bear killed one of its hunting guides. OSHA also said in a \u201cfatal alert\u201d following the death of Martin Outfitters\u2019 guide Mark Uptain, that the company should \u201cevaluate its operating procedures for bear country.\u201d OSHA is investigating Uptain\u2019s death following an attack by a grizzly and her cub that also injured bow-hunting client Corey Chubon. During\u00a0a brief but deadly melee on the slopes of Terrace Mountain,\u00a0six air miles from the trailhead\u00a0in the Teton Wilderness\u00a0of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, a mother grizzly charged the pair as they field dressed a bull elk, according to information from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and OSHA. Uptain\u2019s 10mm Glock semi-automatic pistol was with a pack and shirt a short distance away, and Chubon\u2019s bear spray was in a pack, the state agencies said. The guide was carrying his bear spray and used it before he died \u2014 but not, investigators believe, before sustaining mortal injuries \u2014 \u00a0Game and Fish Regional Wildlife Supervisor Brad Hovinga said in an interview with WyoFile. Chubon, whom the bear also mauled, grabbed Uptain\u2019s Glock but couldn\u2019t get it to fire, Hovinga said. A related investigation by the Teton County Sheriff\u2019s office resolved a key question; whether Uptain\u2019s Glock was in good working order. Game and Fish turned the weapon over to the department, which gave it to its firearms expert, Lieutenant Matt Carr told WyoFile. \u201cIt was a fully functional Glock,\u201d said Carr, the sheriff-elect of Teton County. Neither Game and Fish nor OSHA have completed or released their investigations. While investigators begin to resolve some outstanding questions in the case and issue recommendations, other aspects remain unclear. Two timelines \u2014 one developed by Game and Fish, the other by Teton County Coroner Brent Blue \u2014 differ. The probes so far leave a foggy understanding of the sequence of events including the infliction of injuries to Uptain, his use of the bear spray, and when he died. A fast, brief and deadly attack Game and Fish and OSHA gave the following account of the incident. Chubon arrowed the elk in the evening of Sept. 13, Hovinga said. But the two couldn\u2019t immediately find the mortally wounded animal. The next day, they discovered the elk carcass at the end of what Hovinga said was \u201ca pretty good blood trail.\u201d There was no evidence, he said, that a bear had yet been to the elk carcass. Nevertheless, \u201cI\u2019m certain it was coming to the scent,\u201d at the time of the attack, Hovinga said. Before the two began field dressing the elk, \u201cthe guide removed an automatic pistol that he carried in a chest holster as well as his shirt and left them with the two men\u2019s packs a short distance up the hill from the carcass\u2026\u201d OSHA wrote in its fatal alert. \u201cThey had removed the intestines and all the guts and were quartering it up,\u201d Hovinga said, Uptain was sawing off the elk\u2019s antlers when the two heard rocks rolling \u201cand turned and discovered the bear coming,\u201d Hovinga said. \u201cIt just came to them immediately \u2026 at full speed,\u201d over rolling terrain across which there was only a broken line of sight. Terrace Mountain deep in the Teton Wilderness rises to 10,258 feet in the heart of grizzly country. (Google Earth) The bear hit Uptain as Chubon went for the pistol. \u201cHe said he had ,\u201d Hovinga told WyoFile. \u201cHe had a hard time trying to find a clear shot.\u201d Chubon tried to shoot the bear, Hovinga said. \u201cHe grabbed , was unable to make it fire,\u201d Hovinga said. \u201cThere was not a round in the chamber, so the gun was empty. He couldn\u2019t make the gun work.\u201d After hitting Uptain, the grizzly quickly turned and bit Chubon in the ankle. \u201cHe swung me around in the air,\u201d Chubon told\u00a0WKMG Television\u00a0in Orlando, Florida, near where he lives. That\u2019s when Chubon threw the pistol toward Uptain. It was \u201ca matter of seconds\u201d during which the bear attacked Uptain, turned on Chubon and then returned to further maul Uptain, Hovinga said. But the Glock, \u201cit didn\u2019t make it to Mark ,\u201d Hovinga said. \u201cThe hunter fled.\u201d Chubon mounted a horse and rode to where he had cell service and called for help. Operating the 10mm Glock Searchers and Game and Fish personnel flew into the Teton Wilderness, found the site, discovered Uptain dead and ultimately killed both bears in a sequence of events documented by the\u00a0Jackson Hole News&Guide. Investigators found the Glock and its magazine in different locations, Hovinga told WyoFile. The evidence raised speculation that Chubon might have pushed the magazine release button below the trigger guard thinking it was a safety switch. \u201cIn the process of trying to manipulate , we think he dropped the magazine, or it wasn\u2019t engaged and it fell out when he picked up,\u201d Hovinga said. The Glock 10mm semi-automatic pistol has three safety features designed to prevent accidental discharge, according to web descriptions of the weapon, but none is an external \u201con-off switch\u201d typical of many firearms. For safety reasons, many semi-automatic pistols are carried without a round in the chamber \u2014 essentially un-cocked. To arm a semi-automatic pistol like the Glock, one must rack, or pull back, the slide, which is the top plate of the weapon. This moves a bullet from the magazine into the firing chamber and arms the firing pin. The operation is the equivalent of cocking a revolver, but less intuitive than the six-shooter action one typically sees in Hollywood Westerns. Once so armed, the Glock is ready to fire by only pulling the trigger. (Glock lists the firearm as a \u201c10mm auto\u201d, however fully automatic varieties \u2014 continuous fire with the trigger depressed \u2014 are available only to privileged parties such as law enforcement. Civilian firearms are semi-automatic firing only one round per trigger pull) WyoFile was unable to contact Chubon. An uncertain chain of events When the bear returned to attack Uptain the second time, Chubon retreated. The News&Guidefirst reported and Hovinga confirmed that Chubon told investigators his last view of Uptain was of the guide on his feet attempting to fend off the attack. Investigators found Uptain\u2019s body 50 yards uphill from the attack site. They found a canister of bear spray about five feet from his body, a canister that had been discharged and emptied. \u201cWe believe the fatal injuries occurred prior to him deploying bear spray,\u201d Hovinga said. \u201cWe feel like he got to the location where he died on his own. All evidence he made it there under his own power. Corey Chubon told his story to WKMG television in Orlando, Florida. (WKMG Click Orlando) \u201cThere was no evidence the bear had been to where the victim died,\u201d Hovinga said. \u201cWe don\u2019t know where the bear spray was sprayed, deployed. hadn\u2019t deployed it before the hunter fled.\u201d Coroner Blue outlined the nature of the fatal injury. (CAUTION: \u00a0Graphic content follows.) \u201cHe had an incisor piercing his brain that we feel is the fatal injury,\u201d Blue told WyoFile. \u201cWe\u2019re fairly confident the injury to his brain was the terminal event. \u201cCould he have staggered after that?\u201d Blue asked. \u201cI really don\u2019t think so. I just don\u2019t see him as having any ability to move after that. I can\u2019t comment beyond that.\u201d The coroner said he also could not comment about how and when bear spray was deployed because neither he nor deputy coroner Dave Hodges, a sheriff\u2019s office detective, was able to visit the site. \u201cWe never got a chance to investigate the scene,\u201d Blue said. Deputy coroner Hodges was at the helicopter base but \u201che did not go to the site when they were searching. When somebody dies, we\u2019re supposed to own the scene,\u201d he said, and nothing should be moved or changed before his office says so. In a county with vast tracts of remote country and body recoveries sometimes occurring in mountainous terrain, however, that doesn\u2019t always happen. \u201cMany times we don\u2019t get to the site,\u201d Blue said. He said he expects to meet with all county law enforcement to review protocol that gives the corner authority at death sites. Despite seeming inconsistencies between Game and Fish and coroner\u2019s outline of the events, Hovinga said he does not dispute any element of the coroner\u2019s findings. \u201cWe support the coroner\u2019s report,\u201d he said. OSHA weighs in Hovinga said the encounter was unusual and \u201ca really unique action\u201d for several reasons. \u201cWhat we typically see from grizzly bears is if they come in to somebody they typically try to posture and scare people away,\u201d he said. That apparently didn\u2019t happen in this instance. \u201cWhen people typically get hurt, it\u2019s an aggressive defense behavior \u2014 food guarding, defense of young,\u201d he said. \u201cThis showed no defense of young,\u201d and there\u2019s no sign the bears had discovered the elk carcass before the hunters and were trying to guard it. Conflicts between bears and humans also occur during a surprise encounter when a hunter or hiker stumbles upon a bear. \u201cThere was no evidence this was a surprise,\u201d Hovinga said. \u201cIt really doesn\u2019t fit,\u201d the pattern of most grizzly encounters, he said. \u201cIt was purely aggressive behavior. It was toward these people for the elk. That\u2019s not typically what we see from a family group of grizzly bears.\u201d Grizzly bears enter a state of hyperphagia in the fall, a condition that provokes gluttony in preparation for winter hibernation. They routinely feed on the gut piles of hunter-killed elk and, along with their cousins Alaska brown bears, are known to try\u00a0to claim carcasses\u00a0from hunters. When OSHA investigates a workplace fatality, a category that includes Uptain\u2019s death, it sometimes issues a fatal alert before concluding its investigation. \u201cFatal alerts are one of the methods we use to make employers and employees throughout the State aware that a fatal incident has occurred and the circumstances surrounding the incident,\u201d the agency\u2019s\u00a0website\u00a0reads. \u201cThey are a brief summary of the information gathered by our office and contain a summary of the incident, causes, contributing factors, and recommendations to prevent recurrence from our point of view.\u201d OSHA listed several significant factors in the incident including the location of the Glock, the location of the two bear spray canisters over the course of the incident, and the fact a bear had not claimed the carcass before Uptain and Chubon discovered it. In addition, \u201cThe Outfitter was following the required ratio of one guide to two hunters per the rules set forth by the Wyoming Outfitters and uides board.\u201d It then recommended \u201cThe employer should evaluate its operating procedures for bear country,\u201d and that \u201che employer should evaluate its training policy on bear spray use.\u201d WyoFile did not receive a response from Martin Outfitters to two requests for comment on Monday. This is at least the second time the Wyoming agency has investigated a worker killed by a bear. In 2014 investigators determined that a bear or bears\u00a0killed field worker Adam Stewart\u00a0in the Teton Wilderness, and\u00a0fined his employer\u00a0Nature\u2019s Capital $13,120 for infractions of\u00a0workplace safety requirements. Yellowstone National Park says \u201cgroup size should be 3 or more,\u201d for\u00a0safe travel in grizzly country. Much has been published on precautions to take in bear country and the efficacy of bear spray and firearms in bear encounters. In a 2003\u00a0bulletin\u00a0titled \u201cTips for Elk Hunters in Grizzly Country,\u201d the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommends carrying pepper spray and knowing how to use it. It recommends removing the carcass from the area \u201cas soon as possible\u201d and to \u201cimmediately field dress the animal and move the gut pile at least 100 yards from the carcass.\u201d \u201cCarry a defense readily accessible,\u201d Wyoming Game and Fish Department\u00a0advises. \u201cThe knowledge of how to use your defense should be automatic.\u201d \u201cIt is critical to remain vigilant,\u201d when field dressing a game animal, the agency says in a video. \u201cBoth you and your partner should have a defense ready\u201d Other\u00a0advice, including from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, says that once attacked, victims should lie face down with hands interlaced behind the neck and not move until a bear is satisfied it has neutralized the threat and leaves. The exception would be in the case of a predacious attack, such as when a bear stalks a sleeping person while looking for a meal. Bear spray has been effective, according to\u00a0a study\u00a0of 83 encounters from 1985 and 2006 that was published in the Journal of Wildlife Management. \u201cOf all persons carrying sprays, 98% were uninjured by bears in close-range encounters,\u201d the review states. A study of 269 incidents involving firearms and bears in Alaska between 1883 and 2009 showed that bears were killed in\u00a061 percent of the incidents. \u201cAlthough firearms have failed to protect some users, they are the only deterrent that can lethally stop an aggressive bear, reads the article \u201cEfficacy of Firearms for Bear Deterrence in Alaska\u201d that the Journal of Wildlife Management also published. \u201cOur findings suggest that only those proficient in firearms use should rely on them for protection in bear country,\u201d the authors wrote. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service compared the two methods of defense in\u00a0a paper\u00a0\u201cBear Spray vs. Bullets. Which offers better protection?\u201d that is undated. \u201cBased on investigations of human-bear encounters since 1992, persons encountering grizzlies and defending themselves with firearms suffer injury about 50 of the time,\u201d the report reads. \u201cDuring the same period, persons defending themselves with pepper spray escaped injury most of the time, and those that were injured experienced shorter duration attacks and less severe injuries.\u201d The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says carrying a sidearm is \u201canother option that can be effective, but only if the bearer is highly proficient with the weapon.\u201d It also\u00a0recommends\u00a0trying to reduce exposure to predators while field dressing a game animal, writing \u201cif possible, avoid opening the gut cavity until after you have salvaged all other edible meat.\u201d Mark Uptain is shown in this GoFundMe photo for a campaign that has raised more than $200,000 for his widow and five children. (GoFundMe) The \u201cgutless method,\u201d of field dressing may be one way to minimize scent during the quartering of a game animal. Many tutorial videos on gutless field dressing can be found online. In Uptain\u2019s death, the role bear spray played remains uncertain. \u201cWe know the bear was sprayed,\u201d Hovinga said, because investigators detected spray on the mother after they killed it. \u201cThe can was empty,\u201d Hovinga said. \u201cThe injuries likely occurred before he was able to deploy bear spray. It could have worked perfectly.\u201d \u201c maneuvers yelling at the bears, trying to get them away from us \u2026 \u2026 I probably wouldn\u2019t have had the opportunity to escape,\u201d Chubon told the television station. He offered advice. \u201cMake sure you have the right ammunition, the right firearm, make sure you have bear spray.\u201d A GoFundMe\u00a0campaign\u00a0to aid Uptain\u2019s widow Sarah and their five children has raised $207,526 in the two months since his death. WyoFile is an independent nonprofit news organization focused on Wyoming people, places and policy.