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Sourcing suggestions for bear spray


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#1 Foy

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 01:08 PM

As our planned "social distancing" trip to Montana draws near, last night we learned about a grizzly attacking a US F&WS field biologist yesterday afternoon about 1 mile from our first stop, in Montana's Centennial Valley.  The location is apparently within the Red Rock Lakes NWR. The biologist survived and was released from the hospital after treatment for "severe puncture wounds".  News reports say the individual first saw two grizzlies, apparently juvenile 2-3 year old siblings, from 80-100 yards away and he/she deployed bear spray as one of the bears charged and attacked.  

 

We were already planning to acquire bear spray X 2 but due to a number of factors will want to go ahead and get some now rather than have to enter retail establishments in WY, ID, or MT prior to our arrival.  If anybody has purchased online and has a recommendation for brands, retailers, etc., we'd enjoy hearing about it.

 

Foy


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#2 JaSAn

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 01:23 PM

Buy online.  Your chances of getting 'fresh' stuff is greater.

 

Bear spray looses potency after a couple of years, so the later the manufacture date the better.


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#3 Wallowa

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 03:08 PM

Having ridden my dirt bike all over MT,ID and WY. [live NE OR]..my best advice to you is stop being afraid; have situational awareness but don't succumb to fear.

 

No buggie men in outdoor stores or Cyrus the Virus laying in wait for you nor is there a bear around every bush... bear spray is touted to stop attacks; wonder what went wrong in the incident you described...not wishing to start a bunch of arguments with my comments just my experience over several decades in the outback...on dirt bikes, on foot and in our Hawk.


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#4 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 03:40 PM

I’d buy on line.  You may never need it, but it’s good insurance.  Can help with two legged bears as well.


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#5 Taku

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 03:49 PM

Bear spray does not lose potentecy, what happens is that the propellant can slowly leak from the container and the spray does not get dispersed as well as it should. Check with the manufacturer about how to test - I believe weighing the can and marking the date and weight and re-weighing is recommended by at least one of the makers. You can also recycle old bear spray containers in most towns around the GYA. As for the incident up in the Centennial Valley, the biologist was working on a sage grouse survey, saw two bears, once charged. Bear spray deployed, some injuries. No official report yet, but likely defensive response. Sounded like the bio was in a brushy area and surprised the bears. Outside of the willow riparian areas, most spots in the Red Rocks area are sage/grass, most likely way to surprise a bear there is terrain features, unless you surprise a bear sleeping in the sage! Here is a link:  http://igbconline.org/bear-spray/

Lot's of online sources for buying online.


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#6 Foy

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 05:16 PM

Thanks, Taku, for the good link to the bear spray info. A friend who resides in Dillon notified me of the biologist attack last night and I understand the jury is still out on the cause.  I also understand the location is very much in the same neighborhood of a sharp increase in Griz activity just in the fall of last year, Sept-Oct 2019.  After hiking in to a lake also in the Elk Lake area in September 2018, along a narrow path in a ravine for about a half-mile, I decided "no mas" on the hiking in my favorite parts of Montana without bear spray. We'll also be in the Big Hole within a handful of miles of the location at which the first confirmed Griz sighting in decades occurred in 2016.  Seems pretty clear the Gravellies, Beaverheads, Snowcrest, and maybe soon the Pioneers may see some new neighbors moving in.  

 

If we were prone to succumbing to fear we sure as heck wouldn't be driving +2,500 miles, camper in tow, to do so

Interesting that Mr. Sagebrush's tips included bear spray's effectiveness on human's, too--in the process of lining up campsites for the road trip getting out to Montana, I was advised of some situations in Nebraska where campground owners had recently been overrun by squatters during the overnight hours with groups of individuals arriving between long after dark and 1-2 am.  According to local law enforcement, the groups were believed to be "protesters" traveling between cities and their MO was to overwhelm small facilities, refuse to pay, and vandalize the bathhouses.  So, part of our situational awareness is to be prepared for unwanted and unsolicited interactions with those who may take exception to our North Carolina license plates or well-groomed senior citizen appearance. I'm 6'2" and 225 lbs, fit, and I can take care of myself and my wife, especially with a couple of dispensers of chemical backup at hand.

 

Thanks again, all.

 

Foy


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#7 craig333

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 06:11 PM

My bear spray is pretty ancient so I looked at some on Amazon. Interestingly most of the brands can't be shipped to my location. Doesn't say why. Not sure if I can just go over to the sporting goods store and get some. 


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#8 Taku

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 07:01 PM

Foy, I know that trail too, can't say as I blame you. sometimes better to go somewhere else. Craig, likely the potential for a can leaking is why most carriers won't ship it. Had a can go off in the tail boom of a 212 in Alaska. It was in a foam lined ammo can and it got into the cabin readily while in flight. Luckily, we were fairly low level and put down. Had to have another ship come pick us up. Took the mechanic and pilot a couple of days to decontaminate the ship so the pilot felt it was safe to fly. That was a bunch of years ago!


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#9 PaulT

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 08:19 PM

Before using bear spray on 2 legged varments, search for "bear spray vs human pepper spray".

 

Bear spray is much lower in the pepper concentration  for several reasons. Primarily, bear spray contains a larger volume of the sauce intended to put up a wall of fog to ensure not missing and because the bear's nose is more sensitive and has larger olfactory surfaces. The people spray is for closer application and targets the eyes, mouth in addition to the nose.

 

I'd include a marine aerosol emergency horn along with the bear spray and kept equally handy to the bear spray.

 

Make sure if entering Canada that you carry only the certified bear spray.

 

My $.02

Paul


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#10 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 08:53 PM



Having ridden my dirt bike all over MT,ID and WY. [live NE OR]..my best advice to you is stop being afraid; have situational awareness but don't succumb to fear.

 

No buggie men in outdoor stores or Cyrus the Virus laying in wait for you nor is there a bear around every bush... bear spray is touted to stop attacks; wonder what went wrong in the incident you described...not wishing to start a bunch of arguments with my comments just my experience over several decades in the outback...on dirt bikes, on foot and in our Hawk.


Thanks,I think you are right on.

We have walked a lot of the trails at Yellowstone and always try to be

aware of things around us.

 

In our many years of camping we have come into contact with our share of bears.

Not close but within sight of them.

 

We have had some interesting experiences.

The one most scary was sitting at the camp table at Mendenhall Glacier CG.

having our breakfast. We were both sitting on the same side of the table looking

out into the forest at the lake. Up strolls a black bear coming toward us .

We quietly stood up moved ourselves and the food to the car. The bear luckily

moved back into the woods.We now sit across from each other at the table.

Watching our backs.

Camping is always an adventure.Stay safe out there.

 

 

Frank


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