On Wednesday, July 6, 2011, a California couple discovered Yellowstone country isn't all spectacular scenery and ice cream stops. It's big, wild country and a surprise meeting with a sow grizzly guarding cubs resulted in the death of the husband. (Read more below video)
Although bear attacks are rare, it's still a possibility, especially in a bear-rich environment that boasts a minimum of 600 grizzlies with some estimates ranging to 1,000.
This brings up an important point: self defense. Regardless if you're in the wilderness, traveling or at home, you should be prepared for self defense. Experts say there is a 1 in 3 million chance of a similar attack, but isn't that enough to be prepared?
Yellowstone authorities report the couple was not carrying bear spray. Although they backed away, they had a much higher probability of deterring the sow with a blast of spray when it charged.
Recent concealed carry legislation around the country is also helping you and I in self defense, whether in a wilderness or urban setting. Wisconsin recently signed a law for concealed carry with licensing, and my home state of Wyoming passed a law allowing anyone to carry without a license if you meet established requirements. Currently there are 49 states that allow the legal right for concealed carry, with only Illinois holding out.
The tragedy in Yellowstone may have been prevented with a bit of forethought regarding self defense. Think about it ... and don't become a headline.