In my area (KY) the only bears we see are black bears. They are not always very shy depending . Some are very used to heading into populated areas to look for food and when humans confront them they don't always want to leave. Maybe it's because I'm not really all that far from places like Gatlenburg Ten...I honestly don' have a definitive answer for that.
Anyway, these days it's not near as uncommon as it used to be to see a bear in the woods and it's a pretty even bet that the bear will not run away from you. The wild cats here are pretty small.
I carry a 1911 with me most days in the woods and feel just fine about it. I have not had to shoot a bear so I can't say what it might do. I've heard stories of peopel with 357's and 45's dropping a bear but I don't put a lot into most stories. I guess I"ll have to go looking for a bear to shoot to put this all to rest
I know we just have those little black bears but they are pretty damn big sized up to my gimpy self. I usually do have a 45 but a lot of that had to do with my 44 being a pretty long barreled outfit and drawing it is not going to be Marshal Dillon fast.
I think there's a reason that those in the northern most state have those short barreled 44's to help out with their big ass bears. But at least for the time beibng I will keep my puny 1911. It has done well against everything else but a bear. If I stop posting for a long time you might guess that I made a bad choice...heh