Big Bears Can Move Really Quickly Are You Prepared?
You're deep in the woods in bear country and you see a bear coming toward you, your first thought is to RUN...better not. These animals are FAST.
Grizzlies can run as fast as 35 mph and you can't.
Bear Spray is your #1 source of defense against an approaching bear.
- Fingers crossed you're carrying bear spray if you find your self in a situation like this.
- Toes crossed that you're carrying the spray in a place you can quickly get to it and deploy it.
- Eyes crossed that you have practiced drawing the cannister and have studied on how to use it.
There are many different companies that offer bear spray, personally I carry the Counter Assault brand. When I purchased it from Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, it came with a holster that will secure to my belt or straps easily.
Trained wildlife biologist from the Wind River Bear Institute, Nils Pedersen told Outsideonline.com:
For a bear, who has a sense of smell that’s considered to be seven times greater than that of a dog, when that spray gets in their snout, it’s very painful
Bear spray to a bear is like kryptonite to Superman. Meaning, their strongest senses are disabled for a period of time, long enough for you to have a chance to get away.
Here's how to carry and deploy your bear spray
Carry the spray like you'd carry a sidearm or taser. On your belt or on the strap of your backpack. You don't want to put it inside the pack, because the time it will take you to retrieve it will not be fast enough to use it properly in most cases.
Just like if you're carrying a firearm, you need to practice removing the spray from the holster you are carrying it in. You need your motions to be smooth, quick and accurate in the event you need to use the spray in the field.
When the bear is within 10 yards (30 feet), holding the can with two hands, deploy the spray pointing down at the bear. When spraying, it may try to move up, so it's important to keep it pointing down.
Make sure you're aware of a couple key factors when using the spray
The safety tab is removed: The spray should be one of your last sources of defense and that means the bear is approaching you. Just like a firearm, if you're safety is on when you're ready to fire it could be bad news.
Wind Direction: When deploying the spray, you want the wind to be at your back. If the wind is in your face, you're likely to be just as affected as the bear and not able to get away.
I've found a couple videos with different scenarios to show the proper ways to carry and deploy the spray. Purchasing a can of bear spray is a good investment, even if you never have to use it. Peace of mind for you and your loved ones is well worth it.
Remember to be Bear-Wise and safe while in bear country.