Originally Posted By: hikermor
I think it is a matter of tending to what is likely to kill or injure you rather than what makes the headlines. That doesn't mean you should be oblivious to the possibility of bear attacks and if you are in bear country, you should be mindful and take measure with which you are comfortable. Mostly this boils down to either bear spray or a firearm. People make their choice, and that's fine. This is a free country.

I can't find my copy of Herrero's book - "Bear Attacks and How to Avoid Them" (or something close to that). I believe he was favorably disposed to spray, although clearly spray is not perfect. What he really stressed was keeping a clean camp and making your presence known when around bears. I don't recall a percentage figure.

Lots of critters kill more people than bears - like honey bees (something like fifty or so a year). This isn't trivial. A good friend of mine, a strong hiker ,climber, and marathon runner, as well as a stalwart SAR member, was violently allergic to bees. he always kept an epipen handy, and he made sure that his companions knew about his condition and measures to take.

BTW, I was reading a summary of fatal bear attacks and there was one account of a lady evidently killed by a bear, although the summary stated that death may have been due to a round fired by her companion in an attempt to drive away the bear. Nothing is perfect....

Herrero was a co author with Smith. Their work is one mentioned in the article as being misrepresented.

"Comparing picking up apples to picking up hand grenades"

Having had bears threaten me and family both as a little kid and as an adult, having witnessed an attack (in Tualumne Meadows of all places) and having had to deal with nuisance bears, having had an elderly friend chased out of her house by one, bears have been a greater threat than bees.