Editor:

While it’s great that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department gives bear spray canisters to hunters, department officials need to do more. Recent statements by Game and Fish officials at best leave the public in the dark, or worse mislead people, about what’s the best way to prevent an attack by a grizzly bear. Studies have shown that bear spray is 92% effective in preventing attacks vs. 84% or less for firearms. Most hunters don’t have the wherewithal to stop a grizzly bear in its tracks with a firearm in the couple of seconds before the bear makes contact – many times they wound the bear which makes a bad situation much worse. Bear spray has been proven to prevent injury to people and bears in 98% of encounters over decades in Alaska. Now that Wyoming, Montana and Idaho have responsibility for grizzly bear management, they need to step up efforts to share this important information and to prevent conflicts and keep people and bears safe.

LESLIE PATTEN, Cody

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