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#293282 - 09/07/19 04:02 AM Everything we've read about bear spray is wrong?
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2332
Loc: Big Sky Country
Oh, boy! Here we go again! whistle grin Interesting article; it may be that everything we've been told about bear spray vs firearms is wrong and based on a very flawed reading of very flawed studies. It appears that bear spray is very effective at 'hazing' bears that are curious but has about a 33% chance of dissuading and actual attack. And it's less effective against black bears than Grizzlies.

I would encourage everyone to carefully read the linked article, then read it again.

Discuss!
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“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#293283 - 09/07/19 01:30 PM Re: Everything we've read about bear spray is wrong? [Re: Phaedrus]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3161
Loc: USA
Lots of good stuff in this article.

A few thoughts:
  • If you plan to carry a firearm, get training first, and of course only do so legally. Know your capabilities and limitations.
  • Defensive tools need to be readily accessible, or they may as well be on Pluto. This likely requires forethought and adjustment of how you carry your tools and whatever pack you have.
  • Avoidance is best. Following that is non-lethal deterrence.

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#293284 - 09/07/19 03:45 PM Re: Everything we've read about bear spray is wrong? [Re: chaosmagnet]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1105
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
Lots of good stuff in this article.
[*]Avoidance is best. Following that is non-lethal deterrence.
[/list]


One train of thought is that if a animal is attacking, it is better to kill it then, rather than run it off to later attack someone else again.

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#293285 - 09/07/19 06:05 PM Re: Everything we've read about bear spray is wrong? [Re: clearwater]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3161
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: clearwater
One train of thought is that if a animal is attacking, it is better to kill it then, rather than run it off to later attack someone else again.


If a bear is treating a human as an annoyance or a threat to their cubs, that’s one thing. If a bear is trying to eat a human, that’s something entirely different. My reading leads me to think that bear spray is significantly less likely to deter a predatory bear, and I’d be a lot more inclined to use louder tools.

My real-world interactions with bears have been limited to taking pictures at the zoo, so I’m certainly no expert.

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#293287 - 09/07/19 06:52 PM Re: Everything we've read about bear spray is wrong? [Re: clearwater]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6941
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: clearwater


One train of thought is that if a animal is attacking, it is better to kill it then, rather than run it off to later attack someone else again.


Taking this line of thought to its logical conclusion, shouldn't we just shoot all bears on sight before they have the opportunity to attack?

Then we can start on the wolves, coyotes, snakes, and any other animal that poses a potential threat. Safety first! (along with a dash of sarcasm).
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#293292 - 09/07/19 11:32 PM Re: Everything we've read about bear spray is wrong? [Re: hikermor]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2332
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Originally Posted By: clearwater


One train of thought is that if a animal is attacking, it is better to kill it then, rather than run it off to later attack someone else again.


Taking this line of thought to its logical conclusion, shouldn't we just shoot all bears on sight before they have the opportunity to attack?

Then we can start on the wolves, coyotes, snakes, and any other animal that poses a potential threat. Safety first! (along with a dash of sarcasm).


I think it depends on the reason for the attack. Bears will sometimes attack when you surprise them or get too close to their cubs. If that's the case then the bear is displaying normal bear behavior; that's kind of 'self defense' on the part of the bear and it not necessarily to attack another human. But if the attack is predatory- ie the bear intending to kill and eat a human- that bear has to die or a human will eventually die.

Humans are pretty soft, weak prey for apex predators (at least in the absence of a firearm). Allowing humans to become food habituated to people is extremely dangerous to both humans and bears. Bears should fear humans and when they don't bad things happen.
_________________________
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#293294 - 09/08/19 01:12 AM Re: Everything we've read about bear spray is wrong? [Re: Phaedrus]
Montanero Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1509
Loc: North Carolina
If the bear is attacking you, you may get one chance to do what you can in a second's time. If you haven't done by then, you are not going to get to do it. There will not be time to think through options. If you don't have it ready, it will not be used.

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#293295 - 09/08/19 04:13 AM Re: Everything we've read about bear spray is wrong? [Re: Phaedrus]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1105
Loc: Channeled Scablands
if you are talking other wildlife attacks, I would want to kill and keep the animal for testing. Dogs, bats, skunks, coyotes, ticks, snakes, spiders, wolves.

That man attacked by a wolf in Canada has to go thru rabies shots. They later killed what they thought was the wolf, but can't be 100%. Antivenin costs in the US can bankrupt a person. Lyme disease can be no fun either.

I don't know what serious diseases bear bites carry. The transmittable to human ones I am aware of come from the human eating the bear. (trichinosis, parasitic worms).

"Taking this line of thought to its logical conclusion, shouldn't we just shoot all bears on sight before they have the opportunity to attack?"

How is that logical? Most bears (or people for that matter) won't attack. Ones that have attacked, do so again frequently enough.

A bear tearing thru your trash can deserves some hazing to keep it from being habituated. A snoot full of pepper spray may be a good thing for the bear. (That and a better trash can).

A bear tearing thru your buddies skull ---

There is a judgement call to be made, in my mind lethal force comes into play at least when the animal has wounded someone.

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#293296 - 09/08/19 04:27 AM Re: Everything we've read about bear spray is wrong? [Re: Montanero]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2332
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: Montanero
If the bear is attacking you, you may get one chance to do what you can in a second's time. If you haven't done by then, you are not going to get to do it. There will not be time to think through options. If you don't have it ready, it will not be used.


I think generally you're right but last fall here in Bozeman a young man was attacked by a Grizz. Kid barely saw the bear before it was on him. It charged and knocked him flying into a tree, and as he was under the bear he managed to retrieve his bear spray from his backpack on his back (!)and drive off the bear! Man, hope the kid bought a lottery ticket on the way home.

I think the most important thing is to not assume you're dead until you actually are! Keep doing everything you can til the bear digests you! smirk
_________________________
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#293297 - 09/08/19 04:28 AM Re: Everything we've read about bear spray is wrong? [Re: Phaedrus]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2332
Loc: Big Sky Country
Just to clarify my OP, I really didn't state it quite correctly. There was nothing wrong with the two studies but they have been used incorrectly to make comparisons that aren't valid. Yet that's not the fault of the original researcher.
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“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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