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#228691 - 07/27/11 08:40 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Denis]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

Where hunting of these animals is restricted, do these animals appear to be less aggressive/fearful towards human beings. Bears don't seem human beings are a source of food or there would be more deaths, missing hikers etc. Is this factored into any of the studies about bear attacks?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moyCJ7Z-EaY @6:15 - as Sally said -'Bears don't bother you if you don't bother them'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAFV5_4k0sA - Even wild birds will show no fear to humans in remote country.

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#228692 - 07/27/11 09:06 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: bacpacjac]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
John, It sounds like you're saying we should skip the bear spray.


No, I'm saying they shouldn't be *compared* as in this vs that, but rather they fill different and compatible roles.

Quote:
Are you advocating carrying both a gun and spray,


Yes.

Quote:
trying spray first and then shooting only if it doesn't work?


Not specifically. I'm saying you have two different types of tools and can respond as you feel the situation dictates.

-john

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#228702 - 07/28/11 02:45 AM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Susan]
speedemon Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 98
So this "study" that determines how effective bear spray is, only had data on 18 aggressive brown bear attacks?

"In 36% (18 of 50) of brown bear incidents, brown bears
acted aggressively towards people before being sprayed."

2 of those cases (out of 14 for which they had data), the pepper spray did not stop the bear. So in 15% of those cases, the spray did not stop the bear.

Be careful in trusting other people's statistics (or statistics in general). Read the data for yourself, draw your own conclusions, read the researchers conclusions, and see if/why they did or did not make the same conclusion as you.

Regardless, info on only 14 aggressive brown bear attacks does not give you enough info to draw a strong conclusion on whether or not bear spray will stop an aggressive brown bear. They should have mentioned their lack of data with regards to aggressive bears in their conclusion.

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#228704 - 07/28/11 05:09 AM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: speedemon]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: speedemon
So this "study" that determines how effective bear spray is, only had data on 18 aggressive brown bear attacks?

You are correct, that study (and it was a study, not a "study", by some of the most respected experts in the field) only included 18 brown & 7 black bear encounters where the bear was exhibiting aggressive behaviour.

These were the only known encounters in Alaska over the 2 decades the study covered where bear spray was employed.

However, I'm having a hard time figuring what percentage of actual attacks these 25 encounters would represent. It looks like there were around 12 fatal attacks in Alaska during the course of the study, but I can't seem to find anything on non-fatal attacks.

Do you know how many attacks happened during the study's time frame ('85- '06)? Given only 12 fatal attacks occurred I'm not sure how insignificant 25 attacks would be in the overall pool of attacks.

That said, these results are consistant with other, similar research performed. The US Fish & Wildlife fact sheet on this topic mentions 2 of these other sources:

"Law enforcement agents for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have experience that supports this reality -- based on their investigations of human-bear encounters since 1992, persons encountering grizzlies and defending themselves with firearms suffer injury about 50% of the time. During the same period, persons defending themselves with pepper spray escaped injury most of the time, and those that were injured experienced shorter duration attacks and less severe injuries. Canadian bear biologist Dr. Stephen Herrero reached similar conclusions based on his own research -- a personís chance of incurring serious injury from a charging grizzly doubles when bullets are fired versus when bear spray is used."

On the other side, I haven't found anything suggesting the conclusions drawn by these various studies are incorrect.

As a side note, I haven't found the underlying studies mentioned in that fact sheet yet, but I have emailed the USFWS to see if they can point me in the right direction so I can see the results myself.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order ó luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#228709 - 07/28/11 01:30 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Susan]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I found this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service article interesting:
http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/grizzly/bear%20spray.pdf

Another aritcle I read said this:

"A handgun or rifle seems like the obvious choice but according to studies when a bear is shot there is a high chance it will become enraged and further its attack if not taken down with the first shot. In fact when relying on your firearm there are quite a few things that could go wrong. Your gun may jam and malfunction, you might miss your target or the bullets may strike the bear but merely injure and enrage it. Even if shot multiple times."

"Just to clarify bear mace isn't the same as regular pepper spray it is much stronger. Regular sprays are designed to incapacitate humans whereas bear mace was specifically developed to repel an enraged bear."


Edited by bacpacjac (07/28/11 01:32 PM)
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#228731 - 07/28/11 07:44 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: bacpacjac]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA

I have never used a bear spray, so I read this thread from Canadian Canoe Routes with interest.

Several members of the group decided to discharge their bear sprays as a small 'research project' since all the canisters were at least three years old and didn't have expiration dates.

"From what I've seen they all seem to start as a stream and over the course of about 10 to 20 feet move out into a cone around 6 foot diameter. The one thing that surprised me was the big difference in how fast they opened up into a mist, how far the stream went and how long the spray lasted... We all liked and settled on the make the got the furthest distance before coning... I'm guessing 25 plus feet and a 6 foot cone at that distance. We got just over 7 seconds of pepper."

He said the brand they all decided to buy was Counter Assault for duration and distance, and it has a glow-in-the-dark safety. (This link was from 2007) Bear spray

So, if the spray comes out initially as a stream, you could probably shoot it straight into the eyes/nose of a bear that was actually in the process of attacking someone else (or yourself), since it doesn't come out initially as a mist.

If the bear had the victim's head in it's mouth, the spray would probably still affect the victim, but if the bear had hold of an arm or leg or torso, the person holding the canister might be more likely to use it if they knew the spray didn't come right out in a cloud that would instantly affect everyone in the immediate area.

Sue

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#228733 - 07/28/11 07:48 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Susan]
THIRDPIG Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/26/01
Posts: 81
Ok no time to read all of this.But one of the kids was from around here and I read a lot of the local coverage.

First off they DID have bear spray,that is also easy to find if one well googles the new stories and reads the accounts.

Second they were walking in a creek bed they came around a bend and there was the sow and cub,she charged hard right off, no time for nothing .

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#228739 - 07/28/11 08:44 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: THIRDPIG]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Originally Posted By: THIRDPIG
First off they DID have bear spray,that is also easy to find if one well googles the new stories and reads the accounts.


... or reads this thread.

Quote:
Second they were walking in a creek bed they came around a bend and there was the sow and cub,she charged hard right off, no time for nothing.


No way! I didn't know that... until I read this thread.

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#228743 - 07/28/11 11:02 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Denis]
sheldon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 40
Originally Posted By: Denis

You are correct, that study (and it was a study, not a "study", by some of the most respected experts in the field) only included 18 brown & 7 black bear encounters where the bear was exhibiting aggressive behaviour.

Note also the definition of "aggressive" from their paper: "when the encounter included behaviors such as charging, agonistic vocalizations, or persistent following". People pointed out before that bears often charge as a test, without real intention of attacking. What JohnN asked was how many of these bears had a commitment to attack. The number is smaller than 25, and probably much smaller.

Originally Posted By: Denis
I haven't seen anything yet which would support this assertion that bear spray is not effective in some class of "committed" attack.

I guess the point is that we haven't seen anything yet which supports the assertion that bear spray *is* effective for "committed" attacks. The Smith et al. study that you cited does not show it since for all we know, none of these 25 attacks was "committed" (and the reason for that is that their definition of aggressive behavior does not necessarily indicate a commitment to attack).

Originally Posted By: Denis

Do you know how many attacks happened during the study's time frame ('85- '06)? Given only 12 fatal attacks occurred I'm not sure how insignificant 25 attacks would be in the overall pool of attacks.

I think what's interesting is not so much the fraction of all attacks they presented (as long as they were chosen at random), but rather the absolute number of attacks they analyze. The reason is that with so few attacks it is difficult to determine significance of the results. For example, they claim that for brown bears, the spray stopped the attack in 12 out of 14 cases. With so few cases, the 95% confidence interval for success is from 60% to 96%. I.e. it wouldn't be surprising if with more data their claimed effectiveness would drop to 60%.

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#228749 - 07/29/11 01:16 AM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Susan]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Spray and being in a group of four or more seems to be a popular precaution:

"One of the most popular hiking and biking trails in Banff National Park is bringing in restrictions at the height of the summer tourist season due to fears of bear attacks. Until Sept. 15, it will be mandatory for hikers to travel in groups of at least four. At least one of the individuals will be required to carry bear spray."

http://mobile.thestar.com/mobile/canada/article/1031709
_________________________
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