A bear expert at the University of Calgary says a hunter who shot a grizzly near Fernie, B.C., should have used bear spray.

Wilf Lloyd, 56, was hunting with his son-in-law on Sunday in a heavily wooded area when the bear attacked him.

His companion fired at the bear but missed, hitting Lloyd. He then fired another shot that killed the bear.

Wilf Lloyd hunter attacked by grizzly bear

Wilf Lloyd is an avid hunter and runs Alpine Wildlife Designs, a taxidermy studio in Cranbrook, B.C. (Facebook)

U of C bear behaviour expert Stephen Herrero says using a firearm in such situations isn't the best choice.

“If they'd used bear spray it might have come out happier,” he said.

“Our research has shown that bear spray is 80 to 90 per cent effective, whereas firearms are significantly less effective in providing safety for the person.”

Three people have been killed by grizzlies this year in North America — two of them hunters, said Herrero.

At this time of year bears are focused on food as they try to fatten up for the winter.

Lloyd was rushed to Calgary's Foothills Hospital by air ambulance, where he remains.