Bear spray is being overlooked by the majority of Yellowstone National Park visitors as they ignore bear safety precautions, as reported by Yellowstone researchers. In fact, just 13% of dayhikers carried bear spray in the backcountry, and less than 1% bring bear spray to Yellowstone's frontcountry boardwalks.
In contrast to dayhikers, Yellowstone's overnight visitors carried bear spray 37% of the time.
So, why this discrepancy in bear safety precautions? "We believe the level of compliance by this type of recreationalist is due to the methods used to convey bear safety information to overnight backpackers," said Yellowstone bear biologist Kerry Gunther. "In Yellowstone National Park, permits are required for camping in the backcountry. During the permit process, backpackers are given face-to-face verbal information about bears and bear spray from the ranger issuing the permit."