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"Bear experts say bear spray, rather than firearms, is the best method of personal defense in the wild," KXLH reported this May.
The KXLH story outlines striking statistics about success rates with both self-defense methods. While humans were injured in 50% of bear encounters where the human used a firearm, bear spray is effective "about 90% of the time."
Bear Spray Offers Instant Access
Bear safety experts cite easy access as one of the key reasons they rank bear spray above firearms (which is unsurprising, seeing as a charging bear can move at a rate of 50 feet per second).
Bear Spray Covers More Ground
Since bears can move so quickly, incapacitating one with a firearm is incredibly difficult. Bear spray creates a cloud, so the same degree of precision is not required. Frontiersman's heavy fog delivery maximizes your chance of stopping the bear in its tracks.
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See also: Bear Safety for Spring