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100954 07-08-2013 07:18 AM

Bear Spray Test
Taking my two grandsons, ages 11 & 9 to Montana in two weeks. We're packing into the Frenchies Meadow area of Slough Creek. Over the July 4th Holiday we were preparing gear, etc. I had a Bear Spray canister that was at least 10 years old, so I decided, since I'd never had to pull the trigger on one, to do so. It's an excercise I would recommend to anyone fishing in bear country. I was suprised at how even the slightest wind impacts it. I was expecting a stronger stream of spray, but it's not. It's a fine cloud. In the conditions I was in on the 4th, 20' - 25' would have been the max. range. If you do decide to do a "test run" with an old canister, we aware of the wind, as shooting into a head wind will surely blow it back in your face.

mridenour 07-08-2013 07:57 AM

Re: Bear Spray Test
Just bought my first canister of bear spray. I hope I never have to use it!

streamborn_jr77 07-08-2013 08:34 AM

Re: Bear Spray Test
gonna be heading up to Yellowstone soon was told i should get some....

cowger10 07-08-2013 09:14 AM

Re: Bear Spray Test
Streamborn I live very close to Yellowstone and it is my recommendation that you pick some bear spray up. There are plenty of places that sell it around here.

mridenour 07-08-2013 09:29 AM

Re: Bear Spray Test
Yeah, I got mine from Cabela's. I'll be near Yellowstone soon, leaving Saturday for Cody.

blackbugger 07-08-2013 10:09 AM

Re: Bear Spray Test
A word of warning to all.

DO NOT leave the can exposed in your car in the sun!!!!!!

It WILL explode if it gets hot enough and you will be VERY unhappy!

It's an easy thing to forget if the can is part of your gear and you just toss it in the front/back seat with various items and then leave your vehicle parked in the sun somewhere, like I did once upon a time.

navezgane 07-08-2013 10:32 AM

Re: Bear Spray Test
Bear spray has come a long way in even the last 10 years. I would recommended buying a long established brand and not one that's new and on sale.
That said, I'm also a form believer in carrying a firearm as well. Here is a video of a brown bear attacking a man and getting sprayed by two different people and although the bear got off the man, he looks as if he is ready for more after being sprayed, and this was a bear that was born and raised in captive. Also, if the bear is on you such as if your asleep in your tent, the chance of being able to use spray is small.
Warning, this video contains graphic footage. Bear attack is at around 4:45

akruss 07-09-2013 09:33 AM

Re: Bear Spray Test
I use to train govt. folks on bear spray and firearms for protection against wildlife in Alaska. I used all of last year's spray for training purposes and had everyone buy new for the year. I agree with you; it doesn't spray very far, it's easily blown by the wind (especially into your eyes when sprayed upwind) and it only has affects on bears when sprayed directly into their eyes. Spray has more affect on grizzly/brown bears than black bears. I wouldn't expect it to have any affect on enraged bears - grizzly or black. Brown bears have been observed rolling in the stuff that was sprayed on the ground around tents in hopes it would keep bears away - they must like spicy stuff too. Lastly, you are not allowed to fly with spray on either commercial or bush planes. The latter often have containers attached to landing gear to fly with spray outside the cockpit. After using spray, be careful not to touch your eyes or other sensitive tissues - yep it can hurt there too, LOL. In any event, I suggest you purchase bear spray at your destination and leave it with the store when you leave. I knew a couple that were chased out of their house for several hours until firefighters found a leaking canister of bear spray in their basement. As Blackbugger suggests, don't let the stuff cook. It's a good tool under the right circumstances but demands respect.

PS. If you have never used bear spray or haven't done so recently, I'd strongly recommend you buy two canisters and shoot one off in the way of practice. You have to be scary close and looking/aiming at the eyes of the animal. Try it in a crosswind and consider what would happen if you shoot it off upwind.

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