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Protection From Bears - Article
Protection from Bears
Seeing nature whether while camping, hiking, or staying in a cabin is a way to unwind completely and relax. No phones ringing, no buzzers, no car horns give a welcome rest to the ear. That is until you hear the sound of wildlife you realize is much bigger than a squirrel or deer. Your own theory of live and let live is commendable, but there's a good chance this philosophy isn't shared by this wildlife creature. Just as in the city there's some peace of mind offered with a different type of pepper spray than you'd use on a human attacker. Bear deterrent is a method of giving yourself more space between you and an animal bent on defending its territory.
The use of bear spray is not cruel and doesn't hurt the animal involved. In fact, The Sierra Club is firmly behind the use of bear spray as this lowers the number of bears killed in acts of self defense. The correct use of the spray will deter an attack before it happens, and is safe for the environment.
Bear pepper spray or bear spray can be used directly in the bear's face as pepper spray is against a human attacker. However, you never want to be that close to this large and unpredictable a wild animal if you can help it. Bear deterrent spray can be used at a minimum of 25 feet. This is for situations when a bear is believed to be charging from a distance. A bear can run 30 miles an hour and can close that distance incredibly quickly. Be prepared to create a barrier of spray between you and the bear while the bear is outside that distance.
At 25 feet the bear spray will create a barrier between humans and the bear, and at this distance you are given the maximum amount of time necessary for the spray to affect the animal's nose, eyes, throat, and lungs. This affect is temporary, and not harmful to the bear(or mountain lion), but it will give you time to make an escape and leave the area.
While causing the bear discomfort can to some sound cruel the reality is even in cases when the human survives a bear attack the animal is usually viewed as a dangerous risk and is killed to prevent further attacks. Most bear attacks occur because humans surprised a bear by appearing in a location when their approach was not detected. The bear's first instinct is to run away, but if the bear considers you as threat to young, or sees you as predator in territory with low resources it may charge. Using bear pepper spray or bear deterrent keeps both humans and animals safer.