As others have said and I've said before when this topic comes up. I am not afraid of the bears and the cougars. Healthy respect yes, fear, no. I'm not going to go about molesting a bear or threatening cubs and I'm sure going to give it the right of way in any circumstance I may encounter one.
It's the 2 legged predators I'm worried about. Even then, avoid them, walk away, don't go being John Wayne and looking for a fight but if it comes down to him or me, I would like to have the means at my disposal to make it him.
Most of the firearms that are concealable are not sufficient to stop a bear in its tracks. Yes, the bear may die after a clip of .380 or 9mm is emptied into it, but not before it finished with you.
I carry a S&W J frame in .357 mag. Even that, with typical self defense hollow points, is not sufficient gun to stop a bear attack immediately. It's better than a rock or a stick and would be a last line of defense but that's about it.
I don't hunt bear but if I did and wanted to do it with a handgun, a concealed carry type firearm is not what I would use. At a minimum, I'd want a 44 single action with pretty hot loads or maybe a 357 with heavy solid bullets. Never really thought much about it since I've never hunted for bear. I'm thinking a 45-70, 444 Marlin, 338, 450 bushmaster, or the like would be more appropriate.
Anyway, I'm glad the law has changed. Because it was against the law, I never carried a firearm in the park. Now, I have that option should I choose to do so. I pray I will never be faced with a situation where I will need to use it.