Wyoming Elk Guide

A Wyoming Elk Guide Once Fought Off a Grizzly with Knife to Save Female Client

This Wyoming elk guide is all that is man.

There are many things in life I hope to never experience. For example, I don't want to get eaten by shark, hit by lightning or bitten by a cobra. I go to fairly great lengths to ensure stuff like that doesn't happen. However, getting mauled by a grizzly bear while trying to fight it off with a knife ranks pretty high up there, too.

Wyoming elk guide Jon Sheets encountered that worst-case scenario back in 2017 in one of the more brutal and fortunate bear attacks we have heard about. Sheets did have a .44 Magnum pistol and bear spray on him when the attack occurred, but there was simply no time to utilize either of them because the attack came fast and without warning.

"There was no time to do anything, except use what I had in my hand," Sheets told reporters.

What he had in his hand was a seven-inch knife he was using to field dress the elk his client had shot. The incident was unfortunate because the group was doing everything right to avoid an attack. The client talked loudly as Sheets field dressed the animal. Luckily, the client saw it at the last moment and screamed out. It was at that moment Sheets lunged forward and stabbed the grizzly in the side diverting the attack from his female client onto himself. 

"It felt like an hour," Sheets claimed in an interview. "I could feel him on the back of my head."

During the fray, the bruin caused severe injuries to Sheets' back, elbow, ear and head. The bear even managed to break a tooth off in the man's skull. Afterward, both Sheets and his client, one of several women invited to a cow-only elk hunt, climbed back on their horses, radioed for help and headed out. He had to spend hours in surgery at a clinic in Billings, Montana to repair all the wounds. He then had to miss an additional two months of work for recovery.

The bear eventually fled the scene, stealing away some elk meat as it went. Sheets later said he was simply thankful he was able to see his wife and one-year-old child again.