Martin Kidston of the Billings Gazette reports that carrying a gun in bear county doesn’t protect hikers any more than not using a firearm, a study released last week by Brigham Young University found. Conducted by biologist and bear expert Tom Smith, the study found that firing a gun was no more effective in keeping people from injury or death during a bear encounter than not using a firearm. “It really isn’t about the kind of gun you carry, it’s about how you carry yourself,” Smith said. “We need to respect an animal that could potentially take our lives.” Smith’s work emphasizes a theme that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and conservation groups in the Greater Yellowstone Area have been emphasizing for years: carry pepper spray when in grizzly bear country and know how to use it. Read the full story here.