Post by grrraaahhh on Mar 21, 2012 16:49:30 GMT -9
“The bottom line of his research is correct — guns are not a crutch, but we do have a problem with his limited data,” said Larry Van Daele, an Alaska state biologist on Kodiak Island.
“It’s more about how you carry yourself than whether you carry a gun,” said wildlife biologist Tom S. Smith, the study’s lead author.
The report analyzed 269 armed human-bear encounters in Alaska between 1883 and 2009, and found that the use of guns made no statistical difference in the outcomes, and many people were mauled or killed anyway — 151 human injuries and 172 bear fatalities.
Other experts, however, question the findings, citing limited data given the thousands of human-bear encounters and noting that guns can be just as effective as pepper spray, and that each incident presents a different scenario.
Smith’s report, published online in the Journal of Wildlife Management and set to appear in print in July, found that when guns were fired, they were effective at dissuading or killing a bear about 80 percent of the time in the cases studied, but at a cost. In nearly half those encounters, the people using guns or their companions were injured or attacked anyway, with 12 percent left fatally mauled.