If you aren't hunting, then Anderson strongly advises against carrying a firearm as a self-defense tool against predators. "Statistically, it's horrible," he says. "Like 50 percent of people who use a firearm against an attacking grizzly end up being mauled severely." The fact is that predators are far quicker than humans, and you just aren't Jesse James, friend. So while you might be fast enough to pop off a shot, unless you instantly kill whatever is attacking, you're only going to put the animal in enraged fight mode. Anderson instead suggests always carrying bear pepper spray, which will dissuade any animal from getting anywhere near you. "When you spray bears, suddenly they can't breathe and their eyes burn and their whole world is taken away," he says. "Bears aren't in a fight anymore – they just want to get away from this miserable moment." An added benefit is that the animal will consequently avoid other humans from then on.
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