Pepper Spray and Bears
Bear Safety Tips To Prevent Wilderness Attacks
When hiking, hunting or just passing through bear country, it is always best to keep a generous portion of caution right along side of your can of bear pepper spray for the chance encounter of these dangerous creatures. Knowing how to spot bear habitat and the signs of recent bear activity can also provide a better chance of avoiding an unexpected encounter.
Obviously, the best deterrent of a bear encounter is to avoid areas that bears appreciate, but if you cannot avoid them, exercise extreme caution and be extra alert when passing through them. For additional protection, invest in a quality bear mace pepper spray approved by the EPA. Animal pepper spray and mace is legal in all 50 U.S. states. Even states that have certain restrictions on traditional pepper spray still allow animal pepper spray.
Bears travel along water, on saddles, ridges and along game trails and will eat dead carcasses whenever and wherever they find them. They will often feed on a carcass and leave it where it sits and keep returning to it until it is gone. They also will feed on grasses and vegetation in the area. They like to rest in cool, dark areas of the woods.
While grizzly bears typically are active during dusk, dawn and evening hours, they are not exclusively nocturnal. During spring and early summer, they are often found along streams and rivers at lower elevations, using their fishing skills during spawning seasons. They will also seek winter kills in these areas. During the summer, they generally head for higher elevations in park-like settings and when ripe, will eat berries. So, if you like to go wild berry picking, be extra careful, make lots of noise and keep children close to you at all times.
During the fall, bears are attracted to white bark pines, eating pine nuts and they are known to dig around tree trunks looking for the squirrels’ stash of hidden nuts. They have also been known to dig out roots in mid-elevation areas, especially during the years when fewer pine nuts can be found.
When heading into areas known to be bear country, check with the rangers, park officials and anyone else who may have knowledge of recent bear activity. You should also make sure others are aware of your intended path into back country. Learn to identify the signs of bear activity and avoid these areas. Fresh bear tracks, scat and ground tore up from a bear’s scavenging for food, or a half-buried carcass for which the bear will be coming back. Look closely at the tracks as the claws of a grizzly bear will stick out further from the pads than will the claws of a black bear.
More on Avoiding & Protection from Bear Attacks
Bear Attack Prevention
Get tips on what to do if you are approached by a bear in the wilderness.
Understanding Bear Behavior for Attack Prevention & Outdoor Safety
If you will be spending some time in bear country, learn about the basic behaviors of bears to reduce the risk of attack.