Originally Posted by Kytroutbum
A better solution is to pack a canister of bear spray and learn HOW TO USE IT. It has a range of 40 feet and suspenses in the air creating a fog. I've had the wind carry it back on me after showing my wife how to use the can, so I can attest to its potency!(:>)
Other areas may have more bear, but if they are hunted they have some fear of man. In the Smokies we could be dealing with a problem someone else started. I remember camping at Elkmont just behind the old Cabins, my neighbor kept food on his picnic table at night. We had to chase off a bear twice till his wife packed up camp.
ijsouth- I think I heard of two attacks last spring or year before. One I know was a snorkeler at a spring. I had a large gator come out of nowhere and grab a bass I was fighting near Naples. I've really gained respect for them. I read that some guys actually wade into the canals around the Tamiami to get at Snook under the bridges.
I vote for both. If I can use the spray fine, but if he jumps me out of nowhere, I can get to my knife within a reeasonable amount of time. I may need quite a few stiches by the time I get to it, but...But, yeah, the pepper spray is the best alternative. I just know how bad my hearing is. I don't hear much when I'm in or near the water. I try to keep an eye out, but bears are quiet. Dang rascals...