Posts Tagged bear mace

Jack Hanna fends off Bear Attack

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 27 July, 2010

Jack Hanna recently encouraged hikers to carry bear pepper spray in a public service message for the National Park Service. If you don’t know who Jack Hanna is, he’s a TV host, Columbus Zoo keeper, and a frequent guest of the David Letterman show.

While encouraging others to do so, Hanna has also carried Bear Mace while hiking in the woods for over 15 years, and never had to use it himself… until this past weekend in Montana’s Glacier National Park.

Hanna and his wife Suzi were finishing up a 5-mile hike from Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park on Saturday. Another set of three hikers were also in close proximity. As the group continued down the path and turned a blind corner, a mother grizzly bear with two large cubs were making their way up the trail towards them, not 30 feet ahead.

This particular trail has a steep drop-off on one side, and a sheer cliff on the other, without any real escape path. “We thought of letting them go by, but the trail was cut into the rock and was too narrow,” Hanna said. “So I said: ‘Everybody talk loud and we’ll back up until we can get off the trail.’ “

Hanna reported it seemed more like 1/2 an hour, but in reality the five of them slowly backed up the trail for about 5 minutes. They met up with another 2 hikers, a man and his 10-year-old son coming down the path. Now the 7 of them were backing up with no visible place to go but backwards. Eventually a small rocky clearing granted the group as much of a break as they were going to get. Hanna instructed the group to “crawl up the hill and put your backs against the wall.”

The mother bear and one of the cubs kept on going up the path, passed by the hikers and wandered off into another clearing up the trail. The other cub lagging about 15 yards behind the other two bears took particular notice of the frightened but calm group and decided to charge directly at them. Although smaller than an average human, that 125 pound grizzly bear cub is very strong and vicious, armed with very sharp claws and teeth, and has the potential to attract some pretty hefty back up, namely his 125 pound sibling and 400 pound mama!

Heeding is own public service advice, Hanna pulled out his canister of pepper spray for bears, and readied himself as the bear rushed forward.

“At about 30 feet I unload my pepper spray, and the wind takes it,” said Hanna, but the bear kept coming.

“Then I unload the second spray,” said Hanna, but the bear still kept coming.

“Then the third time I unload that pepper spray right in his face,” continued Hanna, forcing the bear to break off the charge and flee.

“You can’t do anything with a grizzly; they can run a football field in seconds,” said Hanna, “There’s no way I could hit that bear with a gun.”

This was the same trail where a California man and his daughter were severely mauled five years ago by a mother bear and two cubs.

On average, 35 individuals per year are mauled by bears in the United States. Don’t become another statistic! Protect yourself with bear strength pepper spray and arm yourself against possible bear attacks with safe, humane Bear Pepper Mace.

Our bear pepper spray has the strongest EPA approved animal repellent rating (2.0% Capsaicinoids) with an extreme blast range of 20-30 feet! Regular human pepper spray is not the same as bear pepper spray. Strap a can of Bear Pepper Mace to your side before you head out on your next outdoor adventure and store another can in your pack. Feel secure that you have a personal defense spray that can stop a possible bear attack. Bear Pepper Mace. Accept no substitutes.

Hopefully you go 15 years or more before you ever need to use it, just like Jack Hanna. But don’t be caught without it when you really, and I mean really need to use it.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Related Blog Posts:
Start Packing your Bear Pepper Spray and Bear Mace
Pepper Spray for Lions, Tigers and Bears
Get the Bear Necessities
Pepper Spray for Bears – Hunters, Hikers, Campers be Warned
Woman Mauled by Bear, Yogi has Alibi
Not All Bears are Cute and Cuddly
When Bears Attack!

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Get the Bear Necessities

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 11 February, 2009

If you are going to venture anywhere near bear country, you may be safer carrying a 9 oz. canister of Guard Alaska Bear Repellent or Bear Pepper Mace than you would relying on a gun. But you don’t have to take our word for it.

How about the recommendation of Thomas Smith and Stephen Herrero?

Thomas S. Smith, associate professor of wildlife science at Brigham Young University, “is highly respected among bear biologists, naturalists and educators. His one-on-one experience with bears in the field is an enormous resource to the bear management community,” said director of the Center for Wildlife Information, Chuck Bartlebaugh, who runs “Be Bear Aware” and other wildlife safety campaigns. “This new study is important information that is needed by hunters, hikers or campers to understand the value of bear spray and how it can protect both people and bears.”

Dr. Stephen Herrero is Professor of Environmental Science and Biology at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is recognized throughout the world as a leading authority on bear ecology, behavior, and attacks, writing several books and papers on those topics.

Smith has faithfully carried bear pepper spray while conducted fieldwork among bears for over 16 years but admits he has never had to actually deploy bear spray. Caution and wisdom are the best prevention of bear attacks, and being a bear biologist, you would expect nothing less. “I wish I had more scary stories to share, but I’ve behaved myself.”

Non-experienced, non-bear biologists don’t quite have the luxury of knowing bear behavior inside and out.

Many hikers, campers and other outdoors people have expressed concern, as well as unfounded doubt and criticism over the effectiveness of that little can of pepper spray on a ferocious bear. “Working in the bear safety arena, I even found a lot of resistance to bear spray among professionals,” says Smith. “There was no good, clean data set that demonstrated definitively that it worked, so that’s why we did this research.”

Sensing the need for some answers and reassurance, Smith and colleagues analyzed data from 20 years of bear spray incidents in Alaska, home to 150,000 bears.

From their findings, pepper spray specially designed for bears effectively halted 92% of the cases of an aggressive bear encounter, whether attacking or rummaging for food.

Only 3 individuals were injured by bears out of 175 people associated with the study, with none requiring a trip to the hospital.

“People working or recreating in bear habitat should feel confident they are safe if carrying bear spray,” says Smith.

Smith had some previous research of the effectiveness of guns in similar situations. Only 67% success. It was noted on average it takes four hits to even stop a bear, and the accuracy needed “during the terrifying split seconds of a grizzly charge is extremely difficult”. On top of the physical issues, many national parks have restrictions on bringing guns in the first place.

The research debunks some of the common misconceptions about using bear spray:

- “Bear spray doesn’t work when it’s windy.” Wind was reported to have interfered with spray accuracy in five of the 71 incidents studied, although the spray reached the bear in all cases. A wind meter was used to test the speed of the bear spray as it shot out of the canister and repeatedly averaged 70 miles per hour. Smith also noted that bears and humans can easily see each other in open, windy spaces. The surprise encounters tend to occur in wooded areas in which vegetation blocks wind.

- “The spray will also disable the person using it.” In the 71 incidents documented in the study, only 10 times did a user report minor irritation and two reported near incapacitation.

- “The can might not work.” There were no reports of spray can malfunction among the 71 studied incidents.

It is believed that one of the primary reasons bear spray works is that it gives users a reason to stand their ground. Running is the worst response to an aggressive bear, Smith says, “but it’s hard not to. Just picture the meanest dog in your neighborhood and multiply his size by ten. It’s very hard to keep your feet from running, but bear spray gives you an option. When you stop and plant your feet, that makes them stop.”

This is because even though humans are much smaller than bears, the animals still view us as risky. “Having seen bears with porcupine quills in their faces, I’m sure that most bears learn at an early age that size is not a good indicator of threat,” Smith said. “There’s always this fear of retribution that keeps them in line. They could take any person they wanted. But they don’t know that.”

It was also noted that the hissing sound and sight of the expanding pepper spray cloud are often enough to frighten away the animal. “I have data to show that if you sprayed water, they often would run,” Smith says.

It was also reported that there were 11 incidents where bear spray was applied to objects like tents in attempt to repel curious bears. Do not attempt this, as it actually backfired and attracted bears instead. You should also discard practice spray canisters before entering the woods.

Other findings reported in the paper include:

– On average, the spray was used when the bear was about 12 feet away (Bear spray typically covers 20-30 foot range)

- 35 percent of incidents involved hikers, and 30 percent involved bear management activities

- 60 percent of the incidents occurred between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

- Nearly 70 percent of the incidents involved brown (grizzly) bears and 28 percent involved black bears. The study also reports the first two documented uses of bear spray on polar bears in Alaska.

Besides Smith and Herrero, Terry D. Debruyn of the National Park Service, and James M. Wilder of Minerals Management Service were also involved in this study. The paper also relies on an earlier publication of a decade’s worth of bear spray data by Herrero and Andrew Higgins. The research was funded by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center. Source

So in conclusion, a study reviewing bear incidents in Alaska over a 20-year period, involving 175 people, and found that pepper spray deterred bears (including grizzly bears, black bears and polar bears) in 92% of cases. In 98% of cases, people who used bear spray were uninjured by the bear; in the remaining cases, injuries were minor. In only 7% of cases did wind interfere with accuracy, and in only 3% was the person using the pepper spray incapacitated by the spray. (Report did not state if user error was involved.)

Clearly as we have stated in the past, bear spray is a highly effective defense against aggressive bears. Nothing is 100% effective, but if the possibility of encountering a wild bear presents itself, I’d rather be safer than sorrier.

Obviously, we want to prevent criminal use of bear spray, but we must also bear in mind that this product saves lives and protects people from serious injury in the woods. Or anywhere a bear may wander.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.


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Pepper Spray for Bears – Hunters, Hikers, Campers be Warned

Posted by Rob on Monday, 10 November, 2008

We have been saying it for awhile, but another grizzly bear expert is urging hunters and hikers to carry bear pepper spray when entering the woods. It just makes sense.

This time, Mike Madel, a bear management specialist from the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has reported an increase in hunter bear encounters over the past few years. As if you needed another reason to defend and protect yourself from an angry, 8 foot bear in the woods.

“Hunters like to rely on firearms, and things do happen pretty quickly,” Madel says. “But if both backcountry hikers and hunters have red-pepper spray on the hip, it can be accessed quickly and used.”

A mother grizzly was shot last month on Summit Trail between U.S. Highway 2 and the South Fork of the Two Medicine River near East Glacier. A hunter was imitating a female elk call, or “cow talking” when the mother bear and two cubs investigated the noise.

Madel says the mother charged the hunter who ended up shooting and mortally wounding the bear. The two cubs were not captured and a warden who responded to the scene and shot the seriously wounded bear, decided the two cubs were to fend for themselves. Pepper spray may have prevented the death of that mother bear.

The bear isn’t the enemy, we are invading their home. Most of us would rather deter the bear from approaching and leave the scene with both parties unscathed.

A year prior, a different hunter was attacked by a grizzly bear near Dupuyer in Montana, and then another hunter shot and killed a female grizzly that charged him near East Glacier. A third hunter was unharmed, although shaken up by a close encounter along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Madel believes a large number of elk along the Front is attracting many hunters, which in turn, leads to more encounters with the local grizzlies.

This is true with more than just the elk hunters in Montana. Anywhere hunters are in the woods hunting elk, moose, deer, wild turkey or any other hunting season prey, an encounter with a grizzly bear, brown bear or polar bear may be possible.

Even wilderness hikers and campers need to be careful and prepared for a bear encounter. Even when meticulous bear encounter prevention measures are and should be taken, a chance bear-to-face meeting could occur.

I have seen many bears at a rather close distance. Luckily the fences and zoo enclosures protected me quite well. In the wild, I’d rather have a can of bear mace strapped to my hip, with a back up can in my pack. I hope all my companions have their bear spray readily available too. Just in case.

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Woman Mauled by Bear, Yogi has Alibi

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 7 August, 2008

There are plenty of good-natured bears in the world. Yogi Bear and Boo Boo do steal picnic baskets, but I’m not scared of getting physically mauled by them. Winnie the Pooh is harmless, unless you choke on one, Gummi Bears are fine. Who else? Paddington Bear and Corduroy from the children’s books are nice. Bear in the Big Blue House is kinda of weird, but safe none the less.

Unfortunately, it was not one of these bears that showed up in a Canadian woman’s front yard in Vancouver, British Colombia the other day. Reportedly without any provocation or warning, while simply attending her garden, she was viciously mauled by a black bear.

Hearing the woman screaming, some neighbors rushed to her aid and threw rocks and drove the bear from the scene. The bear was later shot and killed by the police. Apparently it is well known that black bears can often be found wandering out of the nearby mountains and into these suburbs looking for food.

It is also reported that attacks on humans are rare occurrences, but let’s not be taking the risk lightly when you know you are in bear country. If I ever saw a bear wandering around the neighborhood, you can be sure several cans of Bear Pepper Spray would be close at hand from that day on.

Isolated incident or not, bears and humans do not mix well, as this black bear has proven. With some bite and claw wounds to her arms and skull, the woman is in serious condition in the hospital, but the injuries are not life threatening. Life changing, but not life threatening.

It is not immediately known exactly how much of a surprise this attack was. The woman may or may not have had the time to back away. The woman may have missed warning signals that might have prevented this attack. The woman might have been in better shape if she was more aware of her surroundings immediately before the attack occurred. But it is too late to prevent the situation now, only future attacks may be thwarted by applying some basic bear-awareness and self defense strategies when encountering bears in the wild. Or even bears in your backyard.

For more information about handling encounters with bears, check out our tips here. For purchase details on Bear Mace, Guard Alaska Pepper Spray for bears and bear spray holsters, check out our selection of products.

Bear Pepper Spray Squidoo

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Not All Bears are Cute and Cuddly

Posted by Rob on Saturday, 26 July, 2008

A man claims he killed a black bear in self defense but he has to defend himself in court as he has been charged with shooting an endangered animal.

John Tanksley says his dog attempted to chase the animal off his property at Newcomerstown, Ohio but the 165 lbs bear kept coming back. While trying to get the dog back in the house, the bear charged the man and his girlfriend.

If Tanksley is convicted of the misdemeanor offense, he may face up to one year in jail and could be fined $1,000.

That $1000 could have bought a lot of Guard Alaska or Mace Bear Pepper Spray. Almost twenty-nine 9 ounce cans worth to be exact.

The proper use of bear pepper spray can help reduce human injuries caused by bears, reduce the number of grizzly, black or polar bears killed in self defense, and help promote the recovery and survival of these animals.

On average, 35 individuals are mauled by bears every year in the US. Kinda justifies $34.88 and maybe the extra $9.88 for the holster. I hate to hear the stories of animals having to be killed needlessly, but everyone has the right to defend themselves from harm.

Don’t become another statistic! Protect yourself with bear deterrent pepper spray and arm yourself against possible bear attacks with safe, humane Bear Pepper Mace.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

Yours in safety,

Bear Pepper Spray Squidoo

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Does a Bear Smell Pepper Spray in the Woods?

Posted by Rob on Monday, 2 July, 2007

If you read my blog back at the beginning of May, you
already received my Bear joke, and bear safety tips. If
not, you can scroll back to:

I love that joke. Of course, I have never been chased by a
bear. I’m sure that experience would sour the joke for me.
I also would never knowingly be caught out in bear country
with out some handy dandy bear spray.

One of the things I have noticed lately in my marketing
efforts, namely Google Adwords, is that I get quite a few
clicks on my Bear Spray ads, but convert far fewer to
actual sales. In an attempt to rectify this, I have just
decided to offer you a discount on the holster that you
probably should purchase as an accessory to your canister
of bear spray.

If you order one can of Bear Pepper Spray or Bear Mace, you
will be offered the nylon holster at 1/2 price, and if you
buy two cans, you will get a FREE holster. Normally the
holster would run you $15.00, so you are either getting a
$7.50 or a $15.00 price break.

Having your Bear Spray attached to your belt or front strap
of your backpack is HIGHLY recommended. When you need to
grab your bear spray and unload its contents in the general
direction of a bear, the last thing you want to do is have
to dig through a full backpack, or search around for it.
You need it right there, right in reach, right when you need
to use it.

Besides the whopper sized 16oz Wildfire Pepper Sprays, the
Bear Sprays are on the pricey side of the pepper spray
spectrum due to their size and special formulation. But
please do not let the $39.95 price tag discourage you from
arming yourself!

Even though I make money from selling you products to defend
yourself, I truly hope you never have to actually use them.
Especially in the situation as terrifying and stressful as
fending off a charging grizzly bear. But then again, if you
were ever faced with that situation, how much would that
$40 can (and $7.50 holster) be Worth to you?

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to
you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection
could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth
Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your
personal well-being?

Yours in safety,

Rob Cook

Popularity: 4% [?]

When Bears Attack!

Posted by Rob on Friday, 4 May, 2007

Jesse and Lewis had been hiking all day with heavy packs across the wide open tundra. It was towards the end of the day when they saw a HUGE grizzly bear standing up on its hind feet about 300 meters away.

Knowing the ways of bears they both froze, daring not to move for fear of giving away their position. Both sensed the direction of the wind and realized their scent was carried directly towards the curious bruin. And at that moment they could see, even from such a great distance, the bear’s nose tweak, sniffing those molecules that shouted “Dinner!”

Lewis became worried, more so when the bear let out a great roar and launched on all fours in their direction. He reached for his rifle he watched as Jesse sat calmly down on the tundra, took off his pack, opened it and brought out a pair of never used running shoes. As the bear rapidly approached Jessie pulled off his hiking boots and calmly put the shoes on.

“What are you doing?” Lewis yelled. “You know you can’t outrun a bear!”

Jesse looked up just as he was finishing lacing his shoes. “Yea, I know. But you see, I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you.”

All kidding aside, bears are no joke. You don’t even have to be deep in the woods to worry about bears. Even in your backyard, you may encounter a bear if you are living anywhere near bear country. No, I’m not talking about the Chicago area, those Bears are virtually harmless…

Just the other day, a woman in Colorado was clawed by a bear. She opened her front door to figure out what her dogs were barking at. Stepping out onto he porch, she came face to face with the bear who took a swipe at her. Luckily for her, her wounds were not life-threatening.

This time of year is when the bears are ending their time in hibernation. They are hungry after the past few months of slumber and are looking for food. Greasy barbecues, food in your garbage, bird feeders, even car air fresheners may entice a bear to investigate further, wrecking havoc on anything in their path.

When hiking in bear country, always make your presence known. Avoid surprising a bear. Make plenty of noise near dense vegetation or areas of limited visibility. Remain aware of your surroundings and look for signs of recent bear activities, tracks, or scat. Avoid areas where bears might feed such as berry patches, stream sides, white bark pine stands. Carry bear pepper spray and keep it within easy reach. Know how to use it.

When camping in bear country, be sure to store your food in plastic away from your campsite. Hang the food from a tree at least 14 feet above ground and four feet away from the trunk. Avoid camping near stream sides, where bears like to frequent, or next to bushes where visibility is limited.

If you see a bear, keep your distance and allow the bear every opportunity to avoid you. If the bear continues to approach you, it is most likely trying to identify what you are. Remain calm. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening. Identify yourself by talking in a normal voice. Try to back away slowly at a diagonal angle. If the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Don’t run. Bears can reach speeds of 35 mph, and like dogs, they will chase fleeing animals. If the bear gets too close, wave your arms, raise your voice, and be more aggressive. Never make high-pitched squeals or attempt to sound like a bear.

If you are attacked by a grizzly bear, fall to the ground and play dead. Typically a bear will break off its attack once the threat is removed. Remain motionless as long as possible. On the contrary, if you are attacked by a black bear, fight back vigorously. Throw stones.

Remember, bear attacks are rare, and most can be avoided with the proper precautions. Always maintain a healthy respect for wildlife. Never feed animals, and be sure to keep an appropriate distance. The Sierra Club wants the Forest Service to require everyone who enters a national forest in grizzly bear country to carry bear spray. Spokeswoman Heidi Godwin said in a news release, “The proper use of bear pepper spray will reduce human injuries caused by bears, reduce the number of grizzly bears killed in self defense, and help promote the recovery and survival of the grizzly bear.”

Guard Alaska 20% ultra hot bear pepper spray has proven so effective repelling bears, it is the only one registered with the EPA as a repellent for ALL SPECIES of bear!

It is absolutely the most effective and powerful defensive bear spray available today. It is environmentally safe! Does not contain flammable or ozone depleting substances. The formula is scientifically proven superior, and endorsed by the Alaska Science & Technology Foundation. You need something you can depend on in the woods. Bear pepper spray is an effective deterrent to attacking bears. Treat all bear encounters with extreme caution.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

Stay safe and be prepared!

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