Brown Bear and Cubs iStock-Milan Krasula 1210806488.jpg
Brown Bear and Cubs iStock-Milan Krasula 1210806488.jpg

U.S.A.-( Todd Orr was mauled by the same grizzly bear, twice, in October of 2016.

Todd chose bear spray instead of a pistol. In a discussion on, later that month, this correspondent replied to a comment about the efficacy of pistols used to defend against bears:

“Actually, there are legions of people who have been badly mauled after using a handgun on a bear. Even some of the vaunted magnums.”

OK, give us a few examples. As you claim “legions”, it should not be too hard.

The claim was made in good faith. There was no response. I and colleagues started searching for cases where the use of pistols, as a defense against bears, was not successful. They were very difficult to find. There was a large amount of fantasy, myth, and conjecture, but little-documented fact.

Sixteen months later, in 2018, I published the first of this series. We found one failure out of 37 documented cases. That translated to a 97% success rate. Three years later, we have found two more failures, out of 104 documented cases. The success rate remains at 97%.

Problems of access to defensive tools against bears are similar to pistols or handguns, long guns, edged weapons, bear spray, or air horns.

Only cases where the pistol was actually fired are included. If the study were about bear spray, only cases where bear spray was actually sprayed would be included.

We include every case where a pistol was fired in a defensive action against a bear, which we can document. We look for names, dates, and locations. The provenance of the information is included in each case. Most cases have

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