March 24, 2018

Bear Spray — Accept No Substitutes

bear-sprayAs hunters take to the field, bears are near the top of their safety concerns — and for good reason. The number of grizzly bears has increased dramatically over the last 20 or so years, and bear encounters in the wild are occurring more and more frequently.

The Island Park ranger station is encouraging people to use bear spray instead of bullets. They contend that bear spray will stop a bear with great certainty than bullets (which may go off target in a moment of panic.) They also point out that by using the bear spray, both the hunter and the bear can live to fight another day.

The ranger station has stated that most people who have not been successful with using spray on bears were using pepper spray or personal defense sprays, and not actual bear spray. They point out that only real bear spray has the necessary punch to stop a bear (which makes me wonder what it would do to a potential rapist?) So if you’re going to rely on bear spray, be sure you accept no substitutes.

In the interest of complete disclosure, opponents of spray (who are also proponents of guns) point out that for the spray to be effective, you have to use it within 25 feet. Some people don’t want to wait until a big ol’ angry grizz is within 25 feet to find out whether or not it works. Personally, I’d say you have to have pretty big cojones to stand, can raised with a perfect self-restraint, until a charging grizzly is within 25 feet.

At the end of the day, neither guns nor bear spray are for the faint of heart. For more information contact Lynn at the Island Park ranger station 208-558-7301.


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