U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Most conflicts between bears and humans are not reported to the authorities. Of those which are reported, only a small number are reported in the local or national media. Of those reported in the media, many do not include information about the firearms used.
A few months ago, Editor-in-Chief Fredy Rehl of AmmoLand News and I were discussing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests which might result in information of interest to AmmoLand News readers. I suggested FOIA requests be submitted to agencies dealing with bear attacks.
Fredy's persistence and hard work have borne fruit. An FOIA request to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has resulted in a pdf file of over 1500 pages of forms and pictures. It represents a fraction of human and bear conflicts which have been reported to the authorities.
A brief study of the 1500+ pages shows they represent 59 cases where humans were involved in acts of defense of self and others against grizzly bears. The vast majority of the cases were not found in searches of local and national media.
The cases range from 2005 to 2016, all involve grizzly bears, and except for one case, barely across the border in Idaho, all were in Montana and Wyoming.
While this is only a fraction of all cases, it is a significant sample of self-defense cases. All of the cases involved firearms. A few involved firearms and bear spray, a couple involved pistols and bows. Of the firearm cases,