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Old 02-14-2014, 05:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ruffian View Post
To set the stage. We are planning on Yellowstone in June. We have two dogs that like to walk at night. Hubby does not like to walk at night. Obviously that leaves DW out in the dark in "Bear Country" walking dogs.

Ok. I care about DW's well being. I have been called "Scrooge" several different ways but still want to do what's best.

This month is our 47th Anniversary and DW's birthday. I bought her a can of bear deterrent Pepper spray. I thought it was a thoughtful gift. She didn't agree for some reason.

I pointed out to her that because it was a gift for two special days, I bought the expensive can that sprays out to 34 Ft. Also comes with a holster.

She is still unappreciative. I wonder if anyone else agrees with DW.

So you're sending DW out with 2 dogs at night in Yellowstone because "hubby doesn't LIKE to walk at night"??? After 47 years, and definitely "what's best" , maybe a great gift would be real big matching flashlights so you can take one dog and she can take the other. I'm sure she would be appreciative of you sharing the dog duties with her.

PS - hopefully you were 35 feet away when she opened the bear spray you bought her!!!

Tom and Katharine
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:05 AM   #16
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Its better to have and not need, rather than need and ! But it would also be affective for other critters also....

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Old 02-14-2014, 06:12 AM   #17
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I carry bear spray and a .40 loaded with alternating rounds of hardball and hollow point (if it's a big animal the hollow point will only make them mad, but the hardball might break a bone). My cabin is 15 miles from the Canadian boarder and we have bears, wolf packs and the occasional moose.

A female jogger was attacked by a wolf pack a couple of years ago and also the neighbors corralled horses have been targets too.

I have yet to use my insurance, but that is what it is there for.....
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:48 AM   #18
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We visited Yellowstone last summer…what a wonderful place. Had our labs with us, and never walked them at night. We had many good walks during the day, but once twilight came, they were in with a quick potty trip before bed close to the rig with a big flashlight in hand. We stayed at Fishing Bridge CG on Yellowstone property. When you get there and get a sense of what goes on in the area, you may change your mind about nighttime walking with or without the dogs. It is an area full of wildlife. Have a great trip, I want to go again!
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:25 AM   #19
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Yes, we carry bear spray. After a scary situation on the Blue Ridge Parkway last summer, we both carry pepper gel. It discharges up to 30'. Just make sure you're not shooting it into the wind! Also, most canisters have enough capacity that you can practice a time or two. Our PD taught us to draw a line from ear to ear across the face.

All that being said, avoidance or flight are better options. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:58 AM   #20
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While there my be a case for carrying bear spray, I am not a fan of it. I and the DW does carry pistols, but pistols are not for everyone. We practice a lot and feel comfortable with them. What might be a better choice for some people would be a short barrel, pump shot gun loaded with 000 buckshot and slugs. While I suggest a short barrel, I do not suggest one that had the pistol grip instead of a full stock. We also have lever action rifle, short model, in a caliber large enough to handle most any bear.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:21 AM   #21
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I've had a few close encounters with bears and wasn't carrying bear spray - they typically run away so fast, I can't even get a photo.

I did a trip up the Alaska highway and read that on certain hiking trails (in Canada) it was mandatory to be carrying bear spray so I purchased it for that purpose. Since I have it, I carry it now but once it expires, it's unlikely I will purchase another canister.

As others have mentioned, be aware of your surroundings, whether you would be up wind or down wind on sections of trails, whether you are in dense woods with blind spots around corners in the trail, etc.

Bear bells are pretty useless - there are some updated research videos posted on YouTube that highlight how ineffective they really are. I'll post some links once I find them again.

The way I see it, bear spray is a nice to have but not required, and no need for bear bells.

Most of my encounters with bears have been with me seeing them running away ... and who knows how many ran away before I even had a chance to see them. As for the 3 up close and personal encounters, one was about 30 feet away, out in the open and as soon as we saw each other, it ran away. The other was out in the open, 8 feet apart, eyeing my dinner and I clapped my hands and it turned and ran. The last was only 2 feet away, but I was in a tent, and I could hear it was only looking for a quick and easy meal in my campground and moved on. Now, with all of this being stated, there was one bear I saw crossing a highway and I sure was glad to be in my vehicle at the time!!
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:20 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by PushedAround View Post
This should help:
Saw that before. Love it. Just surprised you got it by the moderator.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:38 PM   #23
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This UDAP #15 CP Magnum Bear Spray with Chest Holster : Cabela's is the stuff we carried in Canada and Alaska, also in National Parks out West. As long as there's a bear on it, you can carry it legally most places. Goes though customs...no problems.

Also, in many National Parks where predatory animals exits, do not allow pets on most hiking trails. A check with the park's 'trail rules', might avoid some disappointment.

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Old 02-14-2014, 08:03 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ruffian View Post
We have two dogs that like to walk at night. Hubby does not like to walk at night.
I'd either re-train the dogs or re-train the Hubby.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:02 PM   #25
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I'm sorry, I was very confused reading this. Some how I thought it said "BEER spray". Its hard getting good help!
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:52 PM   #26
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Well both the wife and I have our own canister of counter assault grizzley tough pepper spray, sold at REI, shoots 30 feet. Guy there said to spray a line across between the bear and yourself toward the ground like 10 feet in front of you. Avoid spraying into the wind, shoot directly at the bear as a last resort.
Only started carrying it after seeing a black bear when hiking in north jersey. He was on the other side of a cow pasture, he took off running down the edge of the woods about 50 yards turned into the woods aand disappeared, never knew how fast they were. Had he come after us we had nothing, no defense at all. Did not like that feeling of defenseless ness , maybe spray is false security but it's better than nothing! And like previously stated it works on all kind of "critters" so not a bad thing to have handy here in Jersey where you can't carry a side arm!
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:35 AM   #27
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I worked many years in the forests in BC and have seen hundreds of bears. Most times black bears will avoid humans and will not be aggressive unless provoked. If it is a sow with cubs she will do her best to remove her cubs from harms way. If you get to close to them when they are feeding like in berry bushes and such they will defend their space.
Grizzly bears are a different sort and are more unpredictable. They will usually avoid humans but if you get too close they will defend themselves. A small cal. handgun will not stop a bear. The noise may scare them but if shot with one you will probably have a worse problem. The same applies with a shot gun. I have seen a black bear shot with a shot gun and never want to see that again! It was a good thing for that guy that I had a rifle. Bear spray may help but knowledge and avoidance of bears is the best weapon.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:09 PM   #28
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here's the link to bear safety:

Safety in Bear Country - Dr. Tom Smith - 2012 NOLS Faculty Summit - YouTube

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