My EDC piece is a High Standard Crusader with a 31/2 inch barrel. While there is a slight drop in performance, compared to my full size 1911, it isn't enough to adversely effect terminal performance. I still get good penetration in ballistic gel at 7-10 yards and the hydrashocks still open up nicely.
As for carrying a defensive pistol in bear infested country, I would prefer something full size for the longer sight radius (if I see a bear charging me, I ain't waitin' 'til he's 10 yards or less away from me. I'm gonna start unloading as soon as I get a bead on him.) and I think I would be more comfortable with something along the lines of a 10mm or a .357 or even a .44 magnum, for extra penetration. (Actually, I would prefer a .308 or a 30-06, but it isn't always convenient to carry a rifle, even in bear country.)
A black bear may not be as bad as a grizzly, but he could still turn me into bear chow if given the chance. I don't intend to give him the chance.
Just my . Other opinions may vary.