The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is partnering with the National Elk Refuge and several other outdoor and hunting organizations to distribute 100 cans of bear spray to hunters and anglers in Jackson.
Dusty Lasseter, the Bear Wise Wyoming Coordinator for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said, as bears prepare for winter, human-bear conflicts become more likely.
“Because [the bears] are really bold and they’re trying to do whatever they can to get on some needed calories before they go into hibernation,” said Lasseter.
And, he said, hunters in particular are prone to human bear conflicts.
“We’re out at dusk and dawn. We’re sneaking around the woods. We’re not necessarily on main trails. We’re trying to be quiet. We use things to mask our scent, and we use game calls and also handle carcasses,” said Lasseter.
Lasseter said bear spray is more effective than firearms because you can access the spray quickly and you don’t have to be accurate. Plus, using spray reduces human-caused bear mortality.
The event will take place at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center off highway 191. In order to get the bear spray, you must present a valid Wyoming hunting or fishing license and answer a short survey.