CODY, Wyo. — A group of conservation organizations is calling on wildlife officials in Wyoming and Idaho to require hunters to carry bear spray.
The Cody Enterprise reports the proposal comes after an uptick in encounters during the fall hunting season as grizzly bears are drawn to gut piles left by hunters.
Nicholas Arrivo, an attorney for the Humane Society of the United States, says "the evidence that bear spray works is overwhelming."
Meanwhile, attorney Andrea Santarsiere with the Center for Biological Diversity says "a mandate requiring hunters to carry bear spray would save the lives of people and bears."
The groups say hunters represent the leading human cause of grizzly bear mortality in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and most human injuries caused by grizzlies happen during encounters with hunters.
Wyoming and Idaho have 60 days to respond to the groups' petitions.