Most hunters and hikers will always choose the firearm over bear spray. But is that a good choice? Or, is it better to have both? Not one or the other.
One thing about bears out in the woods they can be quite stealthy, not your typical Yogi bear hanging out at the dumpster.
If you’re in their neck of the hood (bear country) while on a hunt, hike or fishing they see you. You may never even see them. Bears may follow at a distance or run from you. Then there are the bears that size you up for their next meal.
So yes, arming yourself with shotguns and large caliber rifles would be wise. Many people still complain of lugging the heavy rifle around the woods. Some even complain about bear spray.
Youtuber American Backpacker has the solutions and it involves both firearms and bear spray. They also stated that using a bear spray is more effective than firearms, based on research done by Fish and Game Department. Bear spray are effective because the spray affects their senses:
Photo by MountainJournal.org
Bear spray is easier to deploy than a firearm, point and spray. Firearms needs to have good shot placement. Shot placement will likely falter while a bear is coming at them. Whereas a bear spray you don’t have to be accurate, just spray the area.
Scenario for Firearm Usage
If a bear is attacking you while you’re in a tent using a firearm is a better option to go with. At this close range using that bear spray is going to affect yourself as well.
The studies that were conducted by Fish and Game Department. Do you ever wonder how they gather the information in order to advise hunters and hikers on the use of bear spray. There are hunting folks that will tell you if they already have their gun in hand, why would they drop it just to pull out their bear spray on a charging bear.
Brigham University professor Tom Smith stated, “The impracticality of hunters using bear spray explains why bear-spray research only provides data on spray use by non-hunters.” Take the studies with a grain of salt.
Whether you go with this or not is entirely on you. Do the research and consult with a local guide bear expert. Arm yourself with knowledge and firearms. Stay Safe!