BYU’s Dr. Tom Smith studied 269 human/bear encounters in Alaska. These encounters include 357 bears (300 of which were brown bears) and 444 humans.
“The researchers found no statistical difference in the outcome (no injury, injury or fatality) when they compared those who used their gun in an aggressive encounter (229 instances) to those who had firearms but did not use them (40 instances).” – BYU.edu
For hundreds of years we’ve been told not to venture out into the wilderness without a gun to protect us from bears. Now, we are finding out that guns have zero impact on human/bear encounters.
“It really isn’t about the kind of gun you carry, it’s about how you carry yourself. We need to respect an animal that could potentially take our lives.” – Dr. Smith
Kind of a tough pill to swallow. This is a very small sample size and I’m still not going out there without a gun. Well, actually, I’ve never gone out there with a gun.
I have gone out with bear spray. This stuff really is supposed to work as a bear’s nose is reported to be about 10,000 times more powerful than our own. Imagine getting pepper sprayed with that sort of sensitivity. You’d notice it.
“In a 2008 study, Smith found that bear spray effectively halted aggressive bear encounters in 92 percent of the cases.” – BYU.edu
“If you act appropriately and you carry bear spray, you are much better off than just blundering into bear country with a large firearm.” – Dr. Smith
These findings are interesting coupled with the fact that in the USA you can now carry guns in National Parks. Yee-haw!
“This study provides statistical, quantitative support that following the conventional wisdom actually is the most effective way to be safe in bear country. Because once a bear charges, the odds of a successful outcome is seven times less likely, regardless of whether or not you have a firearm.” – C0-author Randy T. Larsen, professor of plant and wildlife science at BYU
You guys carry guns out there?
Ever had a bear encounter?
Ever had a bear encounter where you had/used a gun?
Would you go out into the Alaskan Bush without a gun?