Protect Yourself from Bear Attacks with Bear Spray

By: Ken Potter

So you may think that only a gun can really protect you in the event of an angry Grizzly coming toward you, well it may be time for you to reconsider that opinion.

Nearly one half of people that try to defend themselves with a firearm against a bear attack end up getting injured. Compare that to the under ten percent who sustain injury while defending themselves with bear spray.

So, why is bear spray so effective in protecting humans from bear attacks? The answer is pretty simple, unlike the less effective methods of protecting yourself in the event of an attack; you don't have to be particularly close or particularly accurate for it to be effective. With a firearm you need pinpoint precision to takedown a bear, and considering the stress of the situation it's unlikely that even a seasoned hunter will be as accurate as needed.

Bear spray is the best way to protect yourself during an impending attack, because you can use it from a longer range. The spray will travel a minimum of twenty-five feet, creating a fog between you and the bear, that when entered will irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs of the bear, stopping it in it's tracks before it even gets close enough to do any damage.

Bear spray will also reduce fatalities to bears, which probably wouldn't be your utmost concern when attempting to protect yourself in the event of an attack, but

Grizzly Bears are protected as a threatened species. If you shoot a Grizzly and it's found that you or someone else wasn't in imminent danger at the time of the shooting you could be subject to some rather severe penalties under the law, including a six month stint in prison or a fine of up to $100,000.

Keep in mind that bears are very rarely out hunting for humans. Most bear attacks can be avoided by educating yourself and by following all the proper precautions; bears should never be approached or taunted, food should never be left out at a campsite, bears should never be fed and garbage should be disposed of in a proper and timely manner.

Bears should always be respected and treated with caution, but when left alone will usually leave humans alone.

No method of defense will ever be one hundred percent effective, but studies show and experts agree that the absolute best way to protect yourself in the event of a bear attack is by using a bear spray repellent.

When camping, it's never a bad idea to bring along a few cans of bear spray, especially if there are multiple campers. Always keep a can and a flashlight within your reach in your tent in the event of a nighttime attack. You can purchase a holster with your bear spray for a few extra dollars that can be strapped to your belt or fastened to the shoulder strap of your pack, this is extremely important. If an attack occurs it will most likely happen very fast, your bear spray needs to be within your reach for the best chance of halting the attack. If a situation were to occur, and you had to waste time removing your pack to hunt for the bear spray, you and your fellow campers would run the risk of being seriously injured before you could come to the rescue.

It's particularly advisable to carry bear spray in any situation where an encounter may occur, but in the not too distant future visitors of all national forests in grizzly bear country may be required to carry bear spray due to that fact that it's the most effective method of protection in reducing or eliminating injuries to humans and bears alike.

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