Let me just say, for the record, that despite my many years in bear country and my many encounters only 1 of them ever involved a charge and I emptied a can of Bear Spray in that grizzly's face and it stopped. Granted, it stopped about 1 foot in front of me and my quivering fieldworker who I was holding down with my other hand (he thought he should run! Never, ever run from a bear!), but he stopped. For the most part I won't be taking a shotgun with me but relying on good old pepper spray (I have an old post on it here, if you want more details). There are two occasions I prefer to have a gun though: 1)when I'm working on a salmon stream - let's face it, this is pretty much a grizzly bear buffet and they may think that this little naked (relative to a bear) bear needs a lesson in who gets the best fishing holes and 2) when I'm working in an area where I know the bears are not only well adapted to humans but to their food (this is a particular problem in bear-baiting areas - don't get me started).
Here's some fun bear-human facts to entertain you:
-more people get killed by pet dogs then bears
-in Alaska, more people get killed by moose then bears
-bears have never attacked a group of 4 or more if those people stand as a group (cowering behind your partner doesn't count - you've got to stand shoulder to shoulder)
-bears are a lot like dogs in their body language
-bear bells mean absolutely nothing to bears since they never evolved with a sound similar. However, pick up a stick & snap it up in little pieces and they will hear it and take good heed.
-I'm way more scared of humans then bears (but this fact may be more about me then bears)
This picture is not mine - I don't know who to credit. I've been told it's of a local bear but there are a few tree species in the photo that make me suspicious of that. As you can tell though, bears will go to great length for food!Do me a favor, if you live in bear country, take down your bird seed already! And don't put it up again until it looks like winter!