Adventure

Guns Ineffective in Bear Attacks

Injury rate same for armed, unarmed victims

In a study published on Monday, biologists from Brigham Young University found that firearms are not an effective means of preventing injury or death during a bear attack. Dr. Tom Smith led a team that analyzed 269 incidents in Alaska involving conflicts between humans and bears. The researches found no statistical difference in the rate of injury or death between those who used a firearm during a charge and those who were unarmed. Dr. Smith concluded that prevention is the best way to avoid deadly encounters with bears. “We’re seeing more and more people in bear country with guns,” Smith said. “Yet guns, for most people, are not their best option. You don’t even need a gun if you behave appropriately.” In a 2008 study of 176 bear encounters when the human carried bear spray, there were no deaths and only three injuries.

Read more at the Salt Lake Tribune

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
More Adventure