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lauxier
04-03-2007, 10:25 PM
What is the best bear spray?I have a can of pepper spray developed by a guy,who was mauled in Glacier--It is about 4 years old--I hope it works--I don't usually carry it,The spray,my Ruger Alaskan revolver,and all that stuff they recomend you carry usuallystays in the truck---have long since give up the notion of being a pack-mule---don't carry much any more---but---I am interested in the bear spray--Do you'all think bear spray should be considered a necessary deterrant to be packed and closely kept "just in case" ---and is there a bear pepper product that clips or slides on your belt--LAuxier

sammcdonald
04-03-2007, 10:31 PM
the weapon is illegal. bear spray is not necessary.

mstone
04-03-2007, 11:10 PM
I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble of taking it with you or not. I've heard different opinions on its effectivness. Gotta tell this story though. I took a trip some years aqo to the Madison river area in Montana. I'd gone out a week ahead of my wife who was to join me for the second week of vacation. Before I left, she hounds me about getting some bear spray because she has bear dreams I think. I picked some up at a fly shop below Cameron. The only reason I decided to get it was because I wanted to hike up Indian Creek, a feeder stream to the Madison which runs out of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness area. At the trailhead, the signs tell you that you are entering grizzly country......oh boy. I went in about a mile, caught cutthroats and rainbows, beautiful country, few others around, saw no bears, probably because I was singing so off key. It was, as they say "bear spooky". Anyway, fast foward to the next July. My wife and I joined some friends in Chicago for a long weekend to see a game at Wrigley field. We flew out of Nashville. Before we left, someone mentioned the fact that riding the L Train from the airport to our hotel could be risky. Well, what else do I pack? Yep, bear spay. Of course, its a great weekend, nothing bad happens. When we get back home, I notice the bear spray is missing from our luggage. Some weeks later my wife receives an official looking letter from the FAA. (The tickets were in her name) They simply told her(us) that this was a warning and that she(us) was being put on some type of list. It went on to tell about the fines, etc. (jail time maybe)
Needless to say, she was hot. We've laughed about the bear spray for years now. Have'nt bought any scince.


mstone

orvis
04-04-2007, 01:28 AM
Folks I have hiked alot in the park over the years. Years that I wasnt quite so fat and out of shape. I have hiked up on many bears and on one trip i saw 6 in one day and I have yet to see a bear anywhere in the mtn's except in cades cove that wasnt on the run in the opposite direction. I was fortunate enough to watch one for a few minutes one time on a hike while I had stopped to eat lunch. The bear didnt know I was around when he walked out of the woods near me. I really enjoyed watching him for what seemed like 4 or 5 minutes but soon as he got a whif of me and then saw me he took off like a bullet if someone had been feeding him bolona sanwiches he would have ate me and my lunch that day. I belive that if a bear hasnt been feed by humans or hasnt been eating garbage then most of them have a fear of humans. I know anything can happen with a wild animmal and iam no bear expert but I just dont feel much danger from bears in the smokies. I do have alot of respect for them and leave them alone. I think for the most part bears in the smokies are like the flyfisher people, they are all pretty good folks. I fear the tourons more so than the bears.

WNCFLY
04-04-2007, 07:47 AM
lauxier I carry a bear spray called counter assault. This spray has a belt holster that hooks on your side. You will never even know its there. This is the same spray the rangers carry out west for grizzly bears. Unlike some of these other guys I have had a rather hairy situation with a bear. I was camping in the head of a deep creek one weekend and had a bear come into camp while me and my freind were cooking breakfast. I had seen bears before but this one was acting different. The bear came straight for our food and obviously I had no problem giving it up. We shouted at the bear to leave which seemed to make him angry. Anyway after about a hour of us sitting up on a hill watching a bear tear through our stuff he must have got bored and went back into the woods. He pretty much just tore up our campsite but did not damage our flyrods, which was all I was worried about. Well after this I decided to pick up some spray just in case. These guys are right, you probably will never need it, but it just gives me a little piece of mind when I am in the backcountry.

Jack M.
04-04-2007, 09:23 AM
I think carrying something to ward off the very rare, but equally potentially dangerous, curious, hungry or disgruntled bear makes sense when in the backwoods of bear country, far from assistance should you be injured in an attack. I think sometimes people want to sound tough or knowledgable by discouraging people from carrying something that for so little inconvenience might save them from trouble, or at least give them confidence in their safety. I have fished in bear country without a care myself, but when I come down later this month with my 14 year old son, I am going to carry something, maybe a boat air horn, just in case we have an encounter with a dangerous bear acting less like the usual shy creature it is and more like a wild animal that has learned that humans might be a source of food or a threat to their yungins.

orvis
04-04-2007, 10:29 AM
I wasnt trying to be tough or knowledgable or call anyone a coward or anything negative. If it sounded that way Iam sorry. If I had more knowledge then it may not have come across to you that way. In no way was I trying to talk someone into not carrying bear spray for that one time when something could happen. Iam well aware that could happen to anyone even me. If anyone feels more comfortable carrying bear spray in the mtn's then by all means do it. Maybe I should have included that line in my post. I just commented my personall opinion based on what I myself have seen. Iam new here and didnt mean to step on anyones toe's but maybe I did so Iam sorry.

rainshaker
04-04-2007, 10:30 AM
I like that idea of the air horn...that's something I haven't thought of as a deterrent. I carry a small distress whistle in my fishing vest but an air horn might be a better bear repellant as well as a better distress signal.

Jack M.
04-04-2007, 10:37 AM
I wasnt trying to be tough or knowledgable or call anyone a coward or anything negative. If it sounded that way Iam sorry. If I had more knowledge then it may not have come across to you that way. In no way was I trying to talk someone into not carrying bear spray for that one time when something could happen. Iam well aware that could happen to anyone even me. If anyone feels more comfortable carrying bear spray in the mtn's then by all means do it. Maybe I should have included that line in my post. I just commented my personall opinion based on what I myself have seen. Iam new here and didnt mean to step on anyones toe's but maybe I did so Iam sorry.

My comments weren't aimed at you specifically. Every time someone seeks info about how to increase their confidence in their own safety around bears, snakes, etc., there are always as many if not more posts telling them not to worry than there are giving sensible advice about how to increase their confidence. Maybe being told not to worry spreads confidence, but I think more than likely it just makes the person seeking advice feel naive or embarrassed that they worried at all. Unfortunately, you just happened to post just before me. Sorry you were offended.

kytroutman
04-04-2007, 11:01 AM
For those who are apprehensive about carrying bear spray, the air horn or even a loud whistle is something to consider. Bears are spooky animals and do not like loud noises. I keep a whistle in my fly vest to deter the bears but it is also a noise making device if you should become lost in the woods.

WNCFLY
04-04-2007, 02:57 PM
Jack M I haved fished these waters for along time and have seen many bears in that time. Your right about some of these guys who act like their to tough to carry a little bottle of spray. I am not afraid of bears but I feel better just knowing I could turn away that " one in a million bear" that attacks me. These animals do attack alot up north and out west. They also recently killed a person and attacked two others here in WNC. I have seen a video of the spray I carry being used on a black bear and I can tell you the bear wanted no part of it all. Anyway I will take the 10 seconds it takes to strap this to my belt if a gives me just a little piece of mind when I am miles from anywhere and alone.

orvis
04-05-2007, 02:24 AM
Jack, I was afraid that I had offended you. Being prepared is the best way to go in any situation. Iam new to ff and this board. Iam still trying to feel it out a little bit. I have lived 35 min from gsnp all my life and have hiked and camped the backcountry for a little over 30 years. I really have ran into several bears in that time frame but Each person is different in how they handle these situations and they should handle them in a way that is comfortable for themselves . After reading my original post again it really does come across differently than the way I meant for it to. I normally dont join on line disscusion boards because of the misunderstanding that you and I almost had. Thank you for clearing that up. Sorry I took your post the wrong way. I will be more carefull and try to be more thoughtfull before I post.

Midgeman
04-05-2007, 10:29 AM
I subscribe to the " an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" school of thought. I had a very close friend that was attacked by a brown bear in New Mexico (I think it was New Mexico- Philmont Scout Ranch) many years ago. The bear smelled him, tore into the tent late and night and tried, quite literally, to eat him. Please note that it was his fault (he didn't follow the rules with respect to chapstick or something like that). He ended up losing all of the skin, straight down to the bone, on his head and the nerves in his left arm were severed... but he lived. While I am not anticipating breakin' the rules, I do think it makes sense to be prepared... that being said, I have also accidently maced myself while drinkin' with some friends in college... maybe I should just stick with a loud whistle.hahahahah