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Old 05-09-2014, 05:26 AM   #1
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Camping with wild animals

I saw on tv where a man was hiking in Alaska and was attacked by a momma bear. I often wondered how a person could use to defend themselves from wild animals. He used a "BEAR PEPPER SPRAY" and the bear ran away. I never heard of that in my past 61 years. Got to find where to buy that.
Do you have any ideas on wild animal defense other than not hiking or shooting them?
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:36 AM   #2
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I've never used the stuff, but you can get it. Amazon.com: bear pepper spray: Sports & Outdoors. It is extra strength and shoots out 35 feet or so. If a bear charges, you spray it in the path of the charge.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:39 AM   #3
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The best defense is to avoid attracting them, so be careful with the meats and food in general. Keep a clean campsite. Make some noise as you hike, it doesn't take much. And be observant. Most of them don't want to bother you any more than you want to come in contact with them.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:45 AM   #4
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As a side note, it is interesting that you can't bring pepper spray (the human type) into Canada, but bear spray, which is pepper spray on steroids, is ok.

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Old 05-09-2014, 07:09 AM   #5
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We bought bear spray at either Bass Pro or Cabela's last year before our trip to Glacier & Yellowstone. I also had bear bells for the pups. We kept our campsite clean with no food, stoves, coolers or trash left out. We weren't able to hike nearly as much as I would have liked to because of the dogs but in those places where we could hike, we carried the bear spray, the dogs had the bells clanking and we made quite a bit of noise. I would hate to know that I caused the death of a bear because I was negligent. I hate to be on the attacked end of a scuffle too!

I think it would work on two legged varmits if the need arose so we keep both canisters in the bus no matter where we are and hope we don't have to use them for bears or anything else.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:12 AM   #6
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I watched a TV special on Alaska's bears awhile back. A young man wanted to photograph the bears at a local dumpsite. So he walks from town to the dumpsite with two things.... his camera, and a pork chop in his pocket. His idea was apparently to toss the meat to the Brown Bear and photograph it eating. Fortunately for him, a local taxi driver stopped him and explained the error in his thinking, and got him back to town before he met Yogi......

An old joke down here is:
How to tell the type of bear from it's scat......
Black Bear scat contains remains of berries and small animal bones and fur.
Grizzly Bear scat contains small bells and smells of pepper......
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:21 AM   #7
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When we were in Yellowstone we carried the bear spray. But we were advised that the bear bells sometimes attract bears. The sound makes them curious. We saw 2 in Yellowstone. Both had absolutely no fear of people and walked right up to where people were viewing from. (Everyone cleared out before the bear got to close) on a side note it is amazing how fast they can run.


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Old 05-09-2014, 08:34 AM   #8
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You can get bear spray at Cabela's. They even have a holster for it so you can carry it on your belt.
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:30 AM   #9
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Some people should not be out on their own around wild animals. Years ago when there were dumps around northern Mn some "brainiac" tourists would go to the dump to watch bears. A few would try to put their kids on the bears to get cute pictures!! Another thing they have done is try to feed them marshmallows by hand....... They thought the bears were tame for their pleasure!
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:28 PM   #10
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Big thing to remember is NEVER EVER get between mama and her cubs. She will run you over and drink your pepper spray before you realize she is coming your way. Your best is to stay VERY ALLERT and just watch what is going on around you. Just like we always said about horses, once you think you have them mastered, they will sure as heck show you just who the master is........Just this old mans dime's worth.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:08 PM   #11
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Another critical thing to remember, is that bears need their personal space. Don't invade it.

A few years ago, someone was killed by a grizzly in Yellowstone. Along with his remains (partially eaten) was his camera. It contained a whole series of shots of the bear. The first shot was from quite a distance. Each subsequent **** was a little closer than the last. In most of the shots, the bear was calmly foraging. In each shot, the bear seemed to be completely ignoring the man. Eventually, he must have crossed the bear's boundary.

Three years ago, DW and I were walking down a trail in Sequoia National Park, when we saw a black bear walking toward us. We both froze and I unholstered the bear spray. When he got to be about 20' away, he stepped off the trail, took a short detour around us, came back to the trail, and continued on his way.

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Old 05-09-2014, 05:32 PM   #12
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Most hunting supply stores in the West carry, or can get Bear Spray. As mentioned above it's like pepper spray on steroids. Two cautions, DO NOT leave it on your dash, or anywhere that it can over heat. It will explode the can, and you will not be able to use the car/vehicle until thoroughly cleaned. Second, do not even think about threatening anyone with the spray, unless you are truly threatened and in fear of your life. It is viewed by many law enforcement agencies as a deadly weapon, and will get you arrested.

Your best defense is to not interfere with the natural actions of a bear, and get completely and safely away.

As a youth we backpacked in the Wind Rivers for years and only carried a very loud whistle. Wild bears are not interested in you, partially domesticated bears, those that hang out at the dump, have no natural fear of humans left. There is where you are really in need of conscious efforts to protect yourself.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:01 PM   #13
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There is one aspect about bear spray most people don't know. Do not EVER spray your tent, backpack or any other objects with bear spray. It acts as an ATTRACTANT ! You can look this up but in advance bears will eat the dirt if you spray it with bear spray. Early on guides used to spray tents and other equipment thinking this to be a deterrent. They found out otherwise the hard way. It only works in their face during their attack. Make sure to buy a holster for the can where you can grab it instantly. You won't have much time and keeping in stashed in your backpack won't do you any good. Buy more than one. You'll probably empty your first canister in panic mode with nothing to use during your retreat. I use Guard Alaska.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:18 PM   #14
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If you want to protect your tent or equipment, even a motorhome, use an electric fence. They even have models you can backpack battery powered. It's been tested with baited bears and it works. Allows you to sleep soundly at night if you're the nervous type.

Tasers also work on moose and bears. Knocks them down. Alaska Fish and Game knows about this.

bear fence video:
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