Skip to main content

Grizzly Bear with Cubs Mauls/Kills Yellowstone Hiker

Grizzly Bear with Cubs Mauls/Kills Yellowstone Hiker

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK -- A 57-year-old hiker was killed Wednesday morning in Yellowstone National Park when he and his wife encountered a sow grizzly bear with cubs.

Torrence, California native Brian Matayoshi and his wife Marylin were hiking along the Wapiti Lake Trail, which is a 32-mile round trip hike that starts at the Upper Falls trail head just south of Canyon Village and spans east to Wapiti Lake.

According to NBCMontana.com, the couple were a mile and half away from the trailhead, hiking west towards their vehicle mid-morning when they arrived at an open meadow after traveling through a forested area. Matayoshi spotted the bear and her cubs 100 yards away and immediately started to back track away from the bear. When the couple turned around to look, they saw the horrifying site of the sow running down the trail after them.

The couple immediately started running, but the bear caught Brian, savaging the hiker with multiple bite and claw wounds. The bear then turned her attention to Marylin who was now laying down near her fallen husband. The bear chomped down on her day pack, lifting her up, before slamming her back to the ground. As Marylin lay still, the grizzly sow eventually left, leaving Marylin frantically calling 911 and screaming out to other hikers.


When park rangers arrived, Brian Matayoshi was pronounced dead at the scene.


"It is extremely unfortunate that this couple's trip into the Yellowstone backcountry has ended in tragedy," said Dan Wenk, Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. "Our heart goes out to the family and friends of the victim as they work to cope with their loss."



RELATED BLOG CONTENT: Ignorance & Death - Grizzly Attack



This is the first bear fatality in Yellowstone since 1986 and the National Park Service has gone out of its way to make sure backcountry hikers are well prepared for traveling in bear country. The Backcountry Trip Planner -- available to all visitors to Yellowstone -- includes multiple pages on how to stay "bear safe" while hiking.

According to the literature, if hikers encounter bears in the backcountry, there are several things you can do to hopefully come out unscathed.

  • Stay calm
  • Do not run or make sudden movements
  • Back away slowly
  • Talk quietly to the bear, do not shout
  • Do not drop your pack
  • Avoid looking directly at the bear

In bear country, hikers are encouraged to carry bear pepper spray, as it has been shown to be an effective deterrent. Another back-up option is a lightweight large-caliber handgun like a Smith & Wesson 460ES. The Matayoshi's were carrying neither.

Only bears that have shown to be problems in the past through tagging/releasing efforts are destroyed as a result of attacks on humans. This bear has never shown prior aggression and it's believed the sow was acting purely in a defensive manner towards her cubs when the Matayoshi's encountered her.

All hiking trails in the area have been closed and will remain so for several days.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Moon Phase Rut Tips

Moon Phase Rut Tips

John Dudley, technical writer and host of Nock On TV discusses why it's imporant to follow moon phases for the rut.

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Former Delta Force Operator Kyle Lamb hikes the rugged desert mountains of northern Sonora in pursuit of the diminutive Coues species of whitetail.

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Kevin Steele and Jason Morton are above the Arctic Circle pursuing grizzly bears in Alaska and put a stalk on what they believe is a good one.

Sighting In the CZ .557 Carbine

Sighting In the CZ .557 Carbine

Kevin Steele sights in his CZ .557 carbine rifle that he plans to use on a Colorado elk hunt.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Is lever action dead? Not by a long shot.The Return of Lever Action Rifles Guns

The Return of Lever Action Rifles

Craig Boddington - May 26, 2020

Is lever action dead? Not by a long shot.

We're deciphering new deer data for rut success.Daylight Deer Movement During the Rut Whitetail

Daylight Deer Movement During the Rut

Jeff Johnston

We're deciphering new deer data for rut success.

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you.Do Coyotes Really Affect the Whitetail Herd? Conservation

Do Coyotes Really Affect the Whitetail Herd?

Jeff Johnston

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you.

The new Moultrie X-6000 series cellular trail camera and the Moultrie Mobile app are redefining remote and low-impact scouting. Here's why and how one or a network of them can help you.Is a Cellular Trail Camera Right for You? Accessories

Is a Cellular Trail Camera Right for You?

Josh Honeycutt - September 15, 2020

The new Moultrie X-6000 series cellular trail camera and the Moultrie Mobile app are...

See More Trending Articles

More News

2018's number-­one watched new cable series is back for Season 2. Second Season of 'Yellowstone' with Cole Hauser News

Second Season of 'Yellowstone' with Cole Hauser

Mike Schoby - June 19, 2019

2018's number-­one watched new cable series is back for Season 2.

We give hunters an edge on hunting public land close to home.Public Land Hunter Magazine Now on Sale

Public Land Hunter Magazine Now on Sale

Game & Fish Staff - July 21, 2020

We give hunters an edge on hunting public land close to home.

Social media: Where hunters must #keepITPublic and Stay #sickforit — or else.The Impact of Social Media on Hunting News

The Impact of Social Media on Hunting

Andrew McKean

Social media: Where hunters must #keepITPublic and Stay #sickforit — or else.

Hunters should't let the pandemic scare them away from license draws.Will COVID-19 Pandemic Kill Hunting Tag Applications? News

Will COVID-19 Pandemic Kill Hunting Tag Applications?

Joe Arterburn - March 27, 2020

Hunters should't let the pandemic scare them away from license draws.

See More News

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now