I always thought the bear spray push was interesting. It was blatantly obvious that the statistics used to discredit the effectiveness of firearms were always skewed by those who value the lives of bears over the lives of humans. That's not to say that many responsible hunters and outdoorsman don't utilize spray as a means of deterrent. That is a choice that should fall on the individual. To say that spray is adequate protection is wishful thinking at best. Does it work sometimes...sure...BUT we all know what we'd rather have given the choice.Absolutely false.
The bear spray narrative is false dogma that was pushed by the environmentalists. They support the idea of spray because it does not injure the bears, unfortunately spray only works fairly reliably on curious bears, not bears that are actually attacking.
Sidearms are far more effective than bear spray (more than twice as effective), it's usually the shooter that isn't effective. Most people don't practice or rehearse how they will try to respond so when they are attacked they have no idea how to react. They have no plan and they simply panic.
Bear populations should absolutely be controlled and managed and if they're not you're going to have problems...No amount of bear spray is going to change that. Spray is a tool and so is a firearm. I know which one I'll depend on.