Bear spray works...

10:56 a.m. on July 27, 2010 (EDT)
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Interesting article about Jack Hanna and bears.

Jack Hanna wards off grizzly with pepper spray

I do wonder how it would have worked on the mother or why the mother didn't attack when her cub was sprayed.

12:28 p.m. on July 27, 2010 (EDT)
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I used bear spray while in Denali NP Alaska back in 2006. The bear stopped, sat down and acted very badly trying to get the spray from its face, only problem was the wind drifted the spray back at me and I felt remorse for the bear as the smell of intense jalapeno peppers stayed with me the rest of the afternoon. My eyes burned, my skin tingled and the taste in my mouth was the worst, like deepfried peppers soaked in hot oil. For me the sensation lingered about 3 hours. I can't imagine the poor bear's situation getting blasted in the face from about 15 feet and not just like my windblown blast which was much lighter I would guess.

10:36 p.m. on July 27, 2010 (EDT)
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My eyes burned, my skin tingled and the taste in my mouth was the worst, like deepfried peppers soaked in hot oil.

Guess it works really well on people too Gary... lol

6:47 p.m. on July 28, 2010 (EDT)
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I guess on a good note, at least it appears to have worked!?

7:18 p.m. on July 28, 2010 (EDT)
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If you haven't seen it, there was what appears to have been an unprovoked bear attack in Yellowstone last night, with one man dead and a woman and a man seriously injured. This was in a campground and appears to have been associated with food [oops, NOT associated. - I skimmed too fast, thanks D&G]

7:26 p.m. on July 28, 2010 (EDT)
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The article actually said that the the attack was NOT associated with food (or did not appear to be) and that these "random" acts are very rare.

10:04 a.m. on July 29, 2010 (EDT)
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I believe that in this case it did work.

In a previous line of work I was required to take a full-face, open eyes hit with 10% pepper spray, a lot of it. Another time I was required to take a hit from 5% pepper spray and it was no different except that decontamination took about five minutes less with 5%. Its like the difference between being run over by a Sherman tank or a dump truck. I must also say that during both of these exposures I was required to fight an instructor and subdue him and I was able to fight through the pain.

In short, a person (and probably a bear) can fight through pepper spray. Its not magic stuff. Is it a good tool? Yes! I have seen several bad guys curl up into a ball and cry like a little girl under pepper spray and I have seen others wipe it off and proceed to make a mess of several unprepared police officers. At the risk of anthropomorphising, bears are individuals and individual results may vary. Spray, then move so you aren't in the place you were when you sprayed the bear. He/she may remember where you were standing and find you with its eyes closed.

October 23, 2014
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