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 > Bear Spray

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D.E.Bishop

Eagle Rock, CA

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Posted: 03/30/12 09:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mike-uswest wrote:

Tom/Barb wrote:

I got a $20 that says you'll never see a bear in a camp area in Yellowstone.


I second that. We went on our honeymoon in 1964, and there were bear everywhere. Have been back 5 times since, and did finally see a bear at 300 yards last year, but that is it. They keep them away from the two legged critters. If you hike in the woods a lot, that might be a different story.

Mike


I am of the same opinion, however, I also am married and I agree with the, "If the DW is happy/secure, ain't nobody happy" crowd. I don't carry a gun anymore and I don't carry bear spray, so I can't make a recommendation on what spray to buy. I saw rangers carrying spray last fall, it was the first time I had seen that, the location was the trail head to the lookout tower in the Great Smokey Mountains NP. We have been to AK more than once, same with Yosemite and Yellowstone NPs and haven't seen people carrying bear spray. None of the rangers at Brooks Falls carried spray. Common sense is the best protection and seems to have worked for us since 1967. Buy a can and carry it with you but don't expect to use it. I would suggest taking your bride with you and having her instructed in using the spray. Explain that you plan on carrying it but she should know what actions you will need to take and in an emergency what steps she would need to take. Shows your respect for her concerns and safety.

As far as keeping the DW happy, that has worked for 49 years, 11 months and 3 weeks.


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Opie431

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Posted: 03/30/12 10:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fall of 2010 while we were camping in Yellowstone a bear came into the campground. The ranger told it to leave and it did. I would not count on thinking it had to do what I said. We have the spary.
Ranger was about five foot tall but the bear knew she meant it.

wcbass

Our Summer Home: Yellowstone Natl Park

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Posted: 03/30/12 11:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is our 7th summer working in Yellowstone. We hike a lot and both of us always carry bear spray. Have we had to use it?? No, thank goodness. But I think it is foolish to hike without it. Two folks were killed by grizzlies last summer...neither person was carrying bear spray. Would having bear spray made a difference? We will never know.

If you decide to carry bear spray, make sure it is easily accessible...don't have it in your back pack. Clip it to your belt so it is within reach. Also, use common sense...don't hike alone and always make noise so you don't surprise a bear. Chances are you will never use your bear spray.


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CloudDriver

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Posted: 03/30/12 11:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When leaving Yellowstone back in 2005 we ran into a "Bear Jam". A bunch of people were standing on the road shoulder watching a Grizzly about 100 yards away in a grassy meadow. The bear was digging roots and generally doing his thing. He (or she) paid no attention at all to the people and no one was stupid enough to go closer. After about 1/2 hour the bear started to come toward the road and everyone headed for their cars. The bear came up the slope to the road right next to our RV and DW got the picture below out the cab side window. The bear was probably about 10 feet away at the time. The bear walked behind our RV, crossed the road, went up the slope on the other side and started digging roots again.

This bear at least didn't associate people and cars with food, an indication that the NPS food storage rules are working to protect both bears and people.




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weathershak

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Posted: 03/30/12 12:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I DID encounter a bear 2 years ago. I did not have any bear spray. Luckily the hands free method worked for me. I opened the door to the TT and a good size 300+ lb black bear was maybe 20' away. I froze, flashlight in one hand and camera in the other. The bear just looked at me, sniffed and ran away. Later, after I calmed down, I realized why he ran away......when I changed my shorts.


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coolmom42

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Posted: 03/30/12 11:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wcbass wrote:

This is our 7th summer working in Yellowstone. We hike a lot and both of us always carry bear spray. Have we had to use it?? No, thank goodness. But I think it is foolish to hike without it. Two folks were killed by grizzlies last summer...neither person was carrying bear spray. Would having bear spray made a difference? We will never know.

If you decide to carry bear spray, make sure it is easily accessible...don't have it in your back pack. Clip it to your belt so it is within reach. Also, use common sense...don't hike alone and always make noise so you don't surprise a bear. Chances are you will never use your bear spray.


Best advice yet. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.


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fredbon

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Posted: 03/30/12 05:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ever thought of using Wasp/Hornet spray? You can shoot from 30 feet away. Bear spray can't match that range.

fred


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rfryer

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Posted: 03/30/12 04:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’d probably get it locally with the thought the locals know what works and I’d only be buying one. I’d carry it, but if my life were on the line I’d also have something a good deal more potent. The last trip to the Tetons I talked to a ranger at some length about hiking. He carried the spray, too, but his serious backup was a .44 Magnum that he also carried. A few years ago I started down a trail from the Geyser Basin and had only gone a very short distance before I ran across a grizzly with an elk down. Fortunately I saw him first and discretion being the better part of valor I made a quick retreat. Paying attention to what’s around you, making noise and especially staying far away from any cubs is the best option, certainly better than a spray or any gun that doesn’t require wheels to transport it.

Eurocamper

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Posted: 03/30/12 04:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you're confining yourself to the front country (boardwalks, viewpoints, well traveled and short trails, RV campgrounds and the like) it would probably be overkill to carry pepper spray. However, if you plan to venture into the back country at all I would highly recommend carrying it. I carry Counter Assault brand when I'm hiking in Yellowstone, and have seen the rangers up there carrying that brand as well.

Studies show that pepper spray is highly effective against grizzly bears, while guns seldom are effective.

Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska


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Suzanne and Brad

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Posted: 03/30/12 03:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not an answer to your question, simply my two-cents.....

We've hiked in bear country many times and choose not to carry bear spray. Be sure as you hike that you make noise - not those silly bear bells, but your own noise. Sing. Talk. Chant. Whatever.

When you walk/hike close to a corner, in a lower tone voice loudly talk/yell, "Hey Bear." (Or something to that effect) Do it twice or three times - like us, they may hear the end of the first time and ignore - will perk up hearing something a second/third time. Why a low-tone voice? Because like humans, older bears lose their high-pitch hearing and they won't hear children's or women's voice as well as men's voices.

Above all else- have fun!


Happy Travels!
Suzanne & Brad

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