Giffords Law Center Presents Anti-Gun Arguments That Contradict Not Only The Constitution, But Their Own Positions

Herschel Smith · 22 Apr 2020 · 6 Comments

In an Amicus Brief submitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Miller versus Becerra, the Giffords Law Center and associated attorneys make the following argument. Such combat-style features distinguish military rifles and their semi-automatic counterparts from standard sporting rifles, and are not “merely cosmetic”—they “serve specific, combat-functional ends.” H. Rep. No. 103-489, at 18. The Regulated Assault Rifles include features that…… [read more]

This Thing’s About To Have Me For Lunch

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Bear news from Colorado.

Chernosky realized that the bear was now between him and the cell phone in his room, so he couldn’t call for help. But he knew he had to try to coax the bear toward the door where it had walked in unannounced (yes, bears can actually open doors and cars).

Chernosky said he calmly talked to the bear, ushering it away from the stairs to where his kids were sleeping. According to the National Park Service (NPS), once a bear has noticed you, it’s important to talk to it so the bear can identify you as a human. Remember, humans are not their typical food choice. You should also make yourself look as large as possible, and back away sideways.

This method worked for Chernosky—initially. “The bear slowly backed away and opened the garage door. It went into the garage and the door shut behind it. I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that the problem was solved,” he says. After waiting a few minutes, Chernosky cautiously opened the door to the garage and hit the button to open the garage door so the bear could go outside.

“The garage door spooked it, and it ran back toward where I was standing. I ran down the hall and hid in the corner, and it came back inside,” he continues. “I couldn’t see it because it was so dark, so I came back to the hallway to look, and when I came around, I realized it was standing right in front of me. It was a total shock to the both of us.”

The 400-pound black bear instantly hit Chernosky in the head so hard that it spun him around in a full circle. “It felt like a brick smacking you in the side of the head and instantly tore the skin off my forehead, my right eye, and sliced my ear in half. I was bleeding immediately and crawled back behind the counter thinking, ‘This thing’s about to have me for lunch,'” he says.

I guess the thing I don’t get is this.  Why would you hear someone or something trashing your home, and go out to meet that someone or something without a gun?

Black Bear Attacks In Tennessee And Connecticut

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

Tennessee.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is investigating after a man was reportedly attacked by a bear on an island on South Holston Lake.

TWRA spokesperson Matthew Cameron told News Channel 11 on Tuesday that officers were investigating after a man reported being dragged from a hammock while camping on the island.

TWRA reports that victim Matt Marvin was camping at an “undeveloped campsite” across from the 421 Access Area.

Marvin was asleep in a hammock early Sunday morning when he woke up to a bear biting his foot.

Marvin told investigators he defended himself by shooting at the bear.

Later Sunday evening, TWRA says that Marvin reported the incident to Washington County, Virginia 911 and told TWRA about the encounter on Monday.

TWRA reports that Marvin gave them a photo of the injury, which showed “a small wound to the heel of his foot.”

A dead or injured bear was not found at the campsite, nor did investigators find any sign of one.

TWRA reports human food was left behind at the campsite, and a warning of bear activity has been left in the area.

Connecticut.

A man who was walking three dogs on a trail in Simsbury was attacked by a black bear Sunday morning.

The incident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. in the McLean Game Refuge off Firetown Road, police said.

Police said the attack happened about 20 minutes into the Eddy Loop Trail.

The man was walking three dogs on the trail when a bear came out and bit one of the dogs, according to Sergeant Brad Chase. The man tried to intervene and help the dog when he himself was bitten in the leg.

The man sought medical attention and is doing fine, police said.

The police department said they are working with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection who is handling the bear aspect of the incident.

One of the three, Lucy, a golden retriever who weighs about 50 pounds ran away when the incident happened. Simsbury police announced Monday morning that Lucy was found safe at the McClean Game Refuge.

At least the Tennessee camper had a pistol.  I don’t even think that’s allowed in Connecticut.  The first article recommends cooking far away from your camp site.  That’s hard in most instances, but it’s a good practice to elevate food in a tree, and camp with a dog, or multiple dogs.

Black bear mauls Alyeska pipeline contract worker out for a run near pump station

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

News from Alaska.

A black bear mauled a contract worker for the trans-Alaska pipeline last week near a pump station in the area of Prospect Creek, officials said Tuesday.

The man the bear attacked Friday evening was seriously hurt but is expected to recover. The bear, which was later killed, appeared to be hungry but not emaciated, said Glenn Stout, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Michael Becwar, 53, of Wasilla notified security staff that he was going for a jog shortly after a 6 p.m. shift change, said Katie Pesznecker with Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. He headed down a road outside the station that connects to a small airstrip. Pesznecker said employees often exercise along the road.

When Becwar hadn’t returned from jogging 80 minutes later, security guards started looking for him.

They found Becwar along the road with serious injuries, Pesznecker said. The bear was no longer at the scene. Medics at the pump station treated Becwar immediately and performed what Pesznecker described as life-saving treatment so he could be flown to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, about 160 miles south.

Becwar was in the hospital over the weekend, Pesznecker said. She did not have an update on his condition Tuesday but said he is expected to recover.

Stout, with Fish and Game, said the attack was considered to be predatory because Becwar told officials he saw the bear from several hundred yards away during his jog, and he stopped to make noise and ensure the bear heard and saw him before continuing to exercise.

While he was returning from his jog, he encountered the bear again, Stout said. The bear, alone, wasn’t surprised by Becwar and was acting defensively, Stout said.

“It was very, very fast. He saw the bear and seconds later it attacked him,” Pesznecker said. “He didn’t really have time to think about it or react.”

Becwar did everything right during the encounter and the attack that followed, Stout said.

“He fought off the bear pretty hard, and that may have saved his life,” he said. “The bear had tried to drag him off the road and back into the woods, but he didn’t want that to happen — he wanted to stay on the road. He had a pocket knife that he took out to help fend off the bear, and at some point the bear seemed to end the attack.”

There was concern that the bear would go after other employees, so security guards returned to the scene of the mauling Saturday with advice from Fish and Game officials to shoot the bear if they saw it, Pesznecker said.

Security staff saw the bear and shot at it once. Pesznecker said it fell to the ground but quickly jumped back up and ran into the woods before they had time to fire another shot.

They returned Sunday to clean up the scene and look for the bear again, Pesznecker said. An employee flying above in helicopter saw the bear approaching security guards on the ground and notified them. Pesznecker said the bear was shot three times before it went down.

Well, I don’t think he did everything right.  I’d be carrying a large bore handgun.

I have written the AP reporter who authored this report and asked her what weapon was used and what caliber.

She wrote back immediately and stated that she didn’t know, but gave me the contact information of the plant.  I have contacted them with these same questions.

If I get a response I’ll let you know.  Both I and Dean Weingarten would be very interested in that information.

Jogger lives to tell the tale after rare run-in with predatory black bear in southeastern B.C.

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

News from Canada.

Francis Levasseur is happy to be alive and well after being chased and charged by a predacious black bear in the remote community of Hills, B.C., in the West Kootenay’s Slocan Valley.

He was out for a jog on a secluded trail during the Victoria Day long weekend, when he noticed the bear crossing the trail about 100 metres away. Levasseur stopped and, after waiting a while, noticed the bear didn’t seem to be bothered by his presence, so he continued on his way.

But then the bear started approaching him, Levasseur said.

“The bear came back on the trail and then he looked at me and started walking toward me,” Levasseur told CBC’s Bob Keating.

“I’ve had a lot of encounters with bears and I never had that kind of behaviour from a bear.”

Levasseur said at no point did he run toward or away from the bear because he didn’t want the animal to view him as prey, and added that he wasn’t carrying any food.

Levasseur started yelling, making loud noises and waving his hands in the air, even using a large stick, to try to look big.

Then, from 100 metres away, the bear charged at Levasseur.

“I thought well, I have to do something. I’m going to get killed,” he said.

He turned, saw a tree, and instinctively began to climb it.

The bear tried to climb another tree nearby, so Levasseur continued to scream and shook the tree in an attempt to scare it off. It seemed to work — the bear walked away. Fifteen minutes later, Levasseur figured it was safe to come down.

However, the bear came running back, chasing Levasseur up the tree about six metres from the ground.

The bear left and then came back every 10 minutes for two hours.

“It was really, really awful,” Levasseur said. “I thought I would die from the worst kind of death you can possibly have — being ripped apart by a bear. Not fun.”

[ … ]

According to the Valhalla Wilderness Society, predatory black bear attacks on humans are extremely rare.

“Extremely rare.”  Remember that.

So this guy would have had time to grab a weapon.  Can I say it, dear reader?

If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to carry a large bore handgun while in the bush.

Hiker survives grizzly bear attack in eastern Idaho

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

News from the Northern Redoubt.

A hiker in eastern Idaho has survived injuries he sustained in a grizzly bear attack.

Idaho Fish and Game says the man and his wife were hiking along the Outlet Overlook Trail at Henrys Lake State Park when the attack occurred. He was able to walk out on his own and was treated and released at a local hospital.

The hiker, identified as 73-year-old Gregory Godar of West Yellowstone, told Fish and Game that he had bear spray with him but it was strapped to his chest.

“If I had one word of advice, it would be to carry your bear spray in your hand and not strapped to your chest,” Godar said.

By the time Godar’s wife deployed her own can of bear spray, the mamma grizzly and her two cubs had left the area.

So if I could give “one word of advice,” it would be to carry a large bore handgun in the bush.

This man is very fortunate he wasn’t killed.  It might be that if he had no time to get to spray, he wouldn’t have had time to get to a handgun.

But I know when I was in the bush in Colorado I had my head on a swivel.

Handgun Or Pistol Against Bear Attack: 93 Cases, 97% Effective

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

We discussed how Dean Weingarten had been tracking bear attacks with associated data on the effectiveness of handguns to stop them.  He previously had cataloged 63 cases.  Now, Dean updates his data to include up to a total of 93 cases, concluding that a handgun was effective 97% of the time.

As of March 2020, we have found 20 more handgun cases, for a total of 93 cases, with three failures, for a success rate of 97%.

In addition to the handgun defenses, there are four more instances where handguns were used in combination with long guns, bringing the total to eight; one where a pistol was used on an aggressive bear hit by a vehicle, two examples where pistols were present but not used, one indeterminate case, and two examples of unconfirmed incidents.  All of these additional incidents are referenced but are not included in the 93 cases or the 97% success rate.

[ … ]

The handgun calibers, when known, range from .22 rimfire to .460 Smith & Wesson Magnum. The most common are .44 magnums with 28 cases, all successful.  There were 2 combinations of .44 magnum and .357 magnum cases. Six of the combination handgun and long gun cases involved .44 magnum revolvers.

For this update, we found another .22 rimfire case, two additional 9mm cases, another .38 special case, three additional .357 magnum cases, another 10mm case, five additional .44 magnum cases (included in the 28 total .44 magnum number), another .45 ACP case, another .454 Casull case, four more cases where the caliber was unknown, and one more case where both .357 and .44 magnum revolvers were used. All 93 cases are referenced below, as well as the combination cases and examples of incidents that were not included, in the interest of transparency and completeness.

And he lists the cases for any detractors, stating that they can be independently verified.

Once again, congratulations to Dean on outstanding research.  Lesson: In the bush, carry means of self defense.  I prefer a larger bore bullet, specifically, 45 SMC.

What would TheAlaskan think about carrying a .22LR for self defense in the Alaskan bush?  I think I’ll take a pass on that.

Bear Attack Stopped With .45 ACP On Second Floor Of Motel

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 1 week ago

Dean Weingarten writing at Ammoland.

He turned around, and looked. There, no more than 20 feet away, its feet on a tipped over trash can, was a huge black bear. The bear did not notice him immediately.

But Greg’s dog had come out, and peaked around the corner. It growled and emitted a bark, Grrrr..ru..ruff! The bear jumped over the downed trash can, landed with a Woof!, and charged directly at Greg.

Everything happened extremely fast, but Greg had moved into the psychological state of tachypsychia, where everything seems to slow down. This is a common effect when a human perceives a deadly threat. The effect also distorts distance, and can cause tunnel vision, focused on the threat.

Greg said: Oh f*ck! The .45 Kimber appeared in his hand and he was firing, with the bear taking up his whole field of vision. Greg told me:

“Everything went into like, time lapse.” “It seemed like it took forever!”

In Greg’s heightened state of awareness, he could hear the first three bullets hit.

Thunk, thunk, thunk.

Then his ears were ringing. The bear dropped its head down as he fired the last three shots at extremely close range, Greg said it was three feet or less.

The bear hit the railing of the walkway two feet from him, turned left, and went down the walkway away from Greg, who had the empty Kimber in his hand.

[ … ]

Greg had loaded the magazine with five rounds, with a round in the chamber. He had found, through experience, a fully loaded magazine to be less reliable in his little Kimber.

The cartridges were Federal HST rounds, an aggressive hollow-point design made for defense against humans. The Kimber Ultra Carry II has a three inch barrel, which likely reduces the velocity by 10-15% compared to a standard five inch barrel.

One neighbor said they had seen the bear previously, and believed it to be 500 lbs. Greg initially thought it was 350-400 lbs. Everyone agrees it was a big black bear.

In early November, with plentiful food, it would have had four inches of fat on, under the skin.

[ … ]

A retired officer commented about the bullet’s performance. He said years ago, he had seen a big black bear which had been hit by a car, in the late fall. An officer had shot it with a .40 caliber, in the neck, to put it out of its misery. The .40 caliber hollow point was not sufficient, and a 12 gauge slug was used to finish the job. When the taxidermist skinned out the bear, they found the expanded .40 caliber lodged in the bears neck. It had not penetrated to the spinal column or entered the chest cavity. In a test by luckygunner.com, the HST .45 cartridge had one of the most aggressive expansion and the lowest velocities, of self defense .45 rounds.

Greg says he had considered bringing his Glock 29 10 mm instead of the Kimber .45, but he was not expecting to have to shoot a bear. He had left the Glock and took the Kimber. He thinks .45 full metal jacketed ball ammunition would likely have been sufficient to take down the bear.

First of all, congratulations to Dean for more great reporting on bear attacks.  Second, take FMJ ammunition if you expect to come into contact with a large predator.  Penetration is the key.  Hollow point ammunition is your enemy in this encounter.  When I expect to be in this position, I carry 450 SMC 230 gr. to push 1120 FPS, always FMJ ammunition for large predators.  Always.

But stay tuned, the best (or worst) part of this report comes up.

Greg was not cited for shooting the bear. He was cited for reckless endangerment and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

The cops would rather he have perished being eaten to death by a 400 pound predator than actually discharged a firearm in self defense.

God help us.  It’s come to this.  The cops actually filed charges against him.

Randall Brackins is the chief of police in Gatlinburg.  Like all good cowards, he has no email.  Take note.  This is not the first (or tenth) time I’ve said this.  If you are on the public dollar and have no contact email, you are a coward.

Hey Randall, I have an email address.  You can contact me at any time.  You, sir, are a coward for not supplying the same thing.

Recent Brown And Black Bear Attacks

BY Herschel Smith
11 months ago

News from Alaska.

Alaska Wildlife Troopers responded to a bear attack Friday evening in the Eureka and Gunsight Mountain area, Alaska State Troopers say.

Troopers received a report at about 7 p.m. that a moose hunter, who was with another hunter, was attacked by a bear.

“Reportedly the two hunters surprised a sow brown bear with two cubs,” troopers wrote. “The sow attacked one of the hunters causing serious injuries.”

According to AST, the second hunter shot the adult female bear and ended the attack. The hunters then evacuated to a cabin and the injured hunter was flown by helicopter to an Anchorage hospital for treatment.

Samantha Larsen Marlin, whose cabin the hunters initially went to after the attack, says a nurse and first responder administered first aid before the injured hunter was taken out of the area.

The report doesn’t say with what gun or caliber the bear was shot.  Next up, news from Canada.

A black bear killed a Minnesota woman on a secluded island in Canadian waters in an attack that experts call extremely rare.

Catherine Sweatt-Mueller, 62, of Maple Plain, was staying with her parents in a remote cabin on Red Pine Island in Rainy Lake when she was killed, Ontario Provincial Police said.

Police Constable Jim Davis said Sweatt-Mueller went outside Sunday evening when she heard her two dogs barking, but that she never returned, the Star Tribune reported.

The dogs, one of them injured, returned to the cabin. Her parents, who are in their 80s, also were on the island and her mother called police, Davis said. Officers found a bear standing over Sweatt-Mueller’s body and shot the animal.

[ … ]

Minnesota wildlife biologist Andy Tri says a predatory attack by a black bear is “beyond extremely rare.”

Remember that.  “Beyond extremely rare.”  Beyond, mind you.  Whatever that means.

Perhaps it’s so beyond extremely rare we could persuade Canadian law enforcement to turn in their weapons.  Or perhaps she should have had means of self defense, and state law be damned.

By way of update, recall that I linked Dean Weingarten’s research work Pistols Or Handguns 95% Effective When Used To Defend Against Bear Attacks, 63 Cases.

Dean has expanded and updated his work and it now includes 73 cases.  He can now add the case from Alaska, which will make it 74.  It would be good to know the weapon and caliber used.

Grok the right lesson here.  It isn’t that bear attacks, whether brown or black, are that rare.  It’s that people who successfully live through such attacks carry means of self defense.

A Bit Of Sanity For Hunters In Idaho Concerning Defense Against Bears

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

News from Idaho:

When various far-left ecology and animal rights groups such as the Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States, the Center for Biological Diversity, submitted a petition, calling for the manditory carry of bear spray by hunters, it made national news. The petition was submitted to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and others. The petition claimed that “Studies show that bear spray is far more effective than firearms.”

That claim is not correct.

The petition was written about in several Idaho outlets, and nationally.

The Commission turned down the request that the carry of bear spray by hunters be mandatory.  From lmtribune.com:

The commission turned down a request from environmental groups that it create a rule that would require hunters in grizzly bear habitat near Yellowstone National Park to carry bear spray. Commissioners said the rule would be overbearing and difficult to enforce, and agreed with agency officials who said education about recreating in grizzly bear country would be more effective.[ … ]

Bear Spray Hoax: IFGD Betrays Hunters

I’m pleased the Commission recommends denying a petition that would require hunters in grizzly country to carry bear spray. But the petition is not being denied for the right reason: When a grizzly charges a hunter with a rifle after a classic surprise encounter at close range, bear spray will not keep a hunter safe. IDFG must prepare hunters to use an adequate rifle quickly and effectively.

In 1991, a Hunter/Grizzly Bear Interactions Task Team (that included U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service grizzly bear recovery coordinator Chris Servheen) told the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee that bear spray has “minimal usefulness in trail encounters with bears at close range due to the difficulty of effective use.”

Bob Wharff, executive director of Wyoming Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, told the Jackson Hole News & Guide that bear “spray isn’t the answer for every encounter, especially when it requires hunters to drop their guns when there’s little time to react. You’re talking milliseconds. It’s illogical that you’re going to set your gun down and get your pepper spray.”

Trina Jo Bradley, vice-president of the Marias River Livestock Association, said “Let’s just think about how we carry ourselves when we’re hunting. I carry a large caliber rifle in my hands, usually with a bullet in the chamber and the safety on. I can easily raise my rifle and fire if I see the game I am hunting, or if a bear attacks. Why in the world would I put down the firearm that I’ve used over and over to grab a can of bear spray?

It’s clear a hunter carrying a rifle cannot use bear spray in a safe or timely manner during a surprise encounter with a grizzly. IDFG and other agencies acknowledged this in 1991. But on September 1, 1999, these agencies did an about face on bear spray when U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service news release announced: “Outfitters And Guides Develop Safety Class To Prevent Bear Attacks.”

The news release said, “During the past year, over 200 outfitters and guides in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado have been trained to safely share the backcountry with bears.”

Were the outfitters and guides taught to use an adequate firearm effectively? No. “Course presenters discourage the use of firearms to mitigate bear attacks, because the practice has resulted in much greater frequency and severity of injuries to people involved [than bear spray]. The reliability and safety of pepper spray over other methods of deterrence has also been promoted by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.”

No data or references were provided to substantiate this claim. Nevertheless, these agencies adopted a de facto policy of discouraging firearm use, and promoting bear spray. The results have been disastrous. As the environmentalists’ bear spray petition notes, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team found that “54% of all injuries inflicted on humans by grizzly bears [in the Yellowstone region] involved hunters.”

In response to the environmentalists’ petition, Toby Broudreau said, “the Department already has a Bear Education Program within grizzly range in Idaho. That program helps inform hunters on bear spray use and benefits.”

That program does not teach hunters how to use bear spray with each of the six field carries for long guns. That program does not provide hunters with accurate, meaningful information about bear spray and firearms research. If you keep hyping bear spray—and use that as an excuse for not teaching hunters how to use an adequate rifle quickly for self-defense—you guarantee the carnage inflicted on hunters since 1999 will continue.

A 2008 study on the Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska said, “In 96% (69 of 72) of bear spray incidents, the person’s activity at the time of was use reported. The largest category involved hikers (35%), followed by persons engaged in bear management activities (30%), people at their home or cabin (15%), campers in their tents (9%), people working on various jobs outdoors (4%), sport fishers (4%), a hunter stalking a wounded bear (1%), and a photographer (1%).”

Given that the purpose of stalking a wounded bear is to kill it, non-lethal bear spray was the wrong tool for the job. The study did not provide additional information about this mysterious incident. A 1998 bear spray study did not provide any information about the activity of people who used bear spray. So research tells us hunters carrying a rifle don’t use bear spray, and common sense tells us why: Hunters can’t use bear spray because they’re already carrying a rifle.

Bear spray advocates focus on the overall success rate from Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska: 3 people were injured during 75 incidents. Of 175 people present during 72 incidents, just 3 were injured. Bear spray advocates never inform hunters that 3 of 9 people who sprayed charging grizzly bears were injured.

Bear spray advocates have repeatedly made the indefensible claim that research proves bear spray is more effective than a firearm. One, they’re claiming that research on bear spray use by non-hunters (who are not carrying a firearm) proves hunters (who are carrying a firearm) should use bear spray. That does not make sense.

Two, there have been two interrelated studies on bear spray, and two studies on guns vs. bears. Bear spray advocates are really saying, if you compare the results of one bear spray study to the results of one dissimilar study on guns, bear spray wins. But Field Use of Capsicum Spray As a Bear Deterrent/Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska used different methodologies than Efficacy of Firearms For Bear Deterrence in Alaska. It is unethical to compare the two studies, because of the different dynamics involved.

In addition, you’ve got to be totally unprincipled to pretend a 1999 study on the Characteristics of Nonsport Mortalities to Brown and Black Bears and Human Injuries from Bears in Alaska does not exist. After reviewing 1,036 incidents from 1986 to 1996 when people killed bears in defense of life or property (DLP), the authors of the 1999 study wrote, “Most of the persons shooting brown bears or black bears in DLP circumstances indicated that no human injury occurred (98.5% for brown bears and 99.2% for black bears).”

Bear spray advocates deny the existence of the 1999 study because it does not advance their cause. “Research proves bear spray is more effective than a firearm” is not a factual statement based on research; it’s a baseless propaganda slogan. To provide for the safety of big-game hunters in grizzly country, IDFG must teach hunters how to use an adequate firearm quickly and effectively.

This report dovetails nicely with the analysis conducted by Dean Weingarten.  It’s nice to see some sanity from Idaho.  It’s also nice to see the human-hating, creation-worshipping environmentalists put in their place.

Nine Cases Where Both Bear Spray And Firearms Stopped Bear Attacks

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Dean Weingarten:

These are all the cases I and associates have found where both bear spray and firearms were used. Tom Sommers is the only case where the firearms were of uncertain efficacy. The bear was moving away when the single shot was fired; Sommers was blinded by bear spray and blood. There are cases where only bear spray was used when firearms were present. There are cases where only firearms were used when bear spray was present.  Those cases are not included in this article.

This is a good followup to his piece on Pistols or Handguns 95% Effective When Used to Defend Against Bear Attacks, 63 Cases.

I would never say not to carry bear spray.  I just wouldn’t use it myself.  And I would never be caught in the bush without a gun.

Somewhat amusingly (and I missed this when it came out), Wes Siler, who was once of the school of thought that bear spray is most effective against bears, now carries guns in the bush when he might be around a bear.  The dispositive and determinative element?  Funny you should ask.  ” … the salubrious effect of moving into grizzly bear territory in Bozeman, Montana.”

Just yesterday, this instance of a bear attack thwarted by bear spray occurred in Montana.


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