Study: Bear spray tops guns in stopping grizzlies

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MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- A bear expert says a study has found that people using bear spray during grizzly bear encounters are injured far less often than people using firearms.

University of Calgary's Steve Herrero tells the Missoulian (http://bit.ly/H6HJYj) that 98 percent of those who used bear spray walked away unharmed, and no people or bears died.

He says 56 percent of those who used firearms were injured, and 61 percent of the bears died.

The firearms study involved 269 incidents with 444 hunters. The bear spray study had 72 incidents with 175 people, though some of those might have been less dangerous encounters.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear manager Mike Madel says the results are pretty persuasive.

The information was presented last week at the Fourth International Human-Bear Conflict Workshop in Missoula.