Wyoming legislation might require GYE backcountry users to have bear spray

Spike in unhappy grizzly encounters in Greater Yellowstone could result in bill-

While pepper spray isn’t always the answer in an encounter with a grizzly, most often it is with lots of benefits to humans and bears.

Bear spray bill on the way. Proposal would require permitted backcountry users in griz country to carry pepper spray. By Cory Hatch.  Jackson Hole News and Guide.

2009 Bear Spray Campaign Endangers Hunters, Grizzlies

David Smith urges IGBC to change its bear spray campaign slogan to “Carry bear spray and know when to use it.”

Smith urges what might seem to be subtle but very important change in the way the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee educates hunters about bear spray.  However, for 2009 the IGBC is using the same arguments as it has for years.

2009 Bear Spray Campaign Endangers Hunters, Grizzlies. Unfiltered By David Smith in New West.

Greater Yellowstone grizzly deaths pass lethal limit under delisting

Hunter shoots a Montana grizzly sow, charging to protect cub. Her death one too many for the year-

The other day I predicted that the mortality limit for the year would be passed. It was unfortunately an easy prediction. About 10% of the grizzly population has died or been killed this year. If this happens next year, a petition to relist the Yellowstone grizzly will be in order.

Grizzly deaths reach legal ‘trigger point’. By Brett French. The Billings Gazette Staff

Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee to look at claim it unintentially endorses CounterAssault

CounterAssault is probably the number one grizzly bear pepper spray, but UDAP spray is very good too (some say better). Mark Matheny, who invented the large “bear size” pepper spray after being mauled and saved by a small can of spray, is claiming the IGBC is promoting CounterAssault in its education materials.

Story: Grizzly bear committee to examine spray claim. By John Cramer. Missoulian.

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Spray vs. gun bear deterrent debate rages in Montana

Spray vs. gun bear deterrent debate rages in Montana. By John Cramer, Missoulian.

The other day one of the Montana FWP commissioners was out bird elk hunting, got charged by a grizzly. He had no pepper spray and might have killed the grizzly with his rifle. Since then (and it looks like before too) he has been saying guns are best and that hunting of grizzlies needs to resume so they will learn to fear humans, although the dead bear so far hasn’t interacted with any of its fellow bears telling how dangerous people really can be.

In truth, the facts are almost entirely against this guy. It is also true that in the face of a charging grizzly you are not safe whatever you are carrying. Common sense tells you that a sprayed bear that lives has learned a lot more about people than a dead bear.

Note that this is another one of those stories that tries to establish a person’s credibility by how many bones of his ancestors are in the local cemetery.

I’ve got lots of bones there too, and a lot of experience — two backpacking guides to thick grizzly country. I was so grateful when I could stop carrying my .41 magnum revolver and carry spray. After walking a thousand miles that gun gets heavy.

Note that I think it is highly likely that the grizzly is dead because the bear was shot in the chest from a close range and then apparently shot at least one more time. This is based on the news account.