Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Prev Next
Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off?
Quote | Reply
  
I live in a area where black bears are common. (Mid Maryland)
With the new housing developments going in, which displaces wildlife we have seen more activity in recent years.

I’ve seen bears on my rides in the past no problem. Once even in a tree...

The other morning I was riding my road bike, still pitch dark. I thought I heard a galloping sound like a horse on my right side behind me... then gone only about 3 or 4 seconds I heard the galloping. pitch dark could not see anything. Forgot all about it.
Even if I had bear spray, i could not see anything to spray and happen much faster than I could have take the spray out.

Today I opened the local news paper and found that a woman was attacked by a bear, which was about 5 miles from where I heard the galloping.

Has anyone carried bear spray on the bike or run and had to used it? Or use it in general?

Is this something I should even be concerned? (At this point I am a little)
I do swims in areas where 6 ft bull sharks have been caught, never worry about sharks at all. Been walloped in the side by a large snakehead last year.

https://www.fredericknewspost.com/...74-25c35781f011.html



This was taken a few years ago at our friends house.

Last edited by: heliix: Oct 1, 20 14:52
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [heliix] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I haven't had the need to use it, thankfully but I do carry it around when I do longer trail runs in the remote parts of the PNW. Just one of those things that one probably doesn't need but if you do... you'll be thankful. Especially when running since you are at more risk of startling a bear and that's definitely not what you want to do. I have read stories of its efficacy but I am sure there are stories where it didn't work, either way, it's not very heavy but you do need to ensure you have it in a place you can grab it in an instant, like your front pocket of your hydration vest or tight on your belt, if you're wearing one.

On a side note, while hiking in the winter, I slipped down a small slope and in some crazy move my hand removed the safety trigger and pressed it, my face went into the cloud and I inhaled a bit of it. Not a direct hit but enough that I just sat there for a good 15-20 minutes and used all my water to get it off my skin and the taste out of my mouth. Its powerful stuff and I can see how it would work on a bear.

808 > NYC > PDX
2020 Races?: Nope.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
works well and worth carrying, but making noise works better so you don't sneak up on them,,,,if they hear you coming they generally skedaddle
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [heliix] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Pre-Covid, I was riding up Frederick County at least once a week and I've seen a black bear once while riding home from work in the middle of the road near the AT trailhead off RT 40 and I wouldn't even even consider carrying bear spray. Way more likely to get hurt running into a deer or having one of the locals run you off the road in their pickup truck. I would say it's a non-issue and not worth worrying about in the slightest. If there was brown bears and you were mountain biking, sure.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [tylerwal] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I have a friend in Western Montana that was attacked by a Black Bear when he was walking an access road with his two Huskies. This is a guy who practiced his bear spray skills because of where he lives and was already kind of freaked out about them to the point of not going outside without the spray. The bear charged out from the brush and knocked him down and took a big piece of his scalp loose. After that he was able to deploy his mega blaster bear spray which saved his life. The Huskies were useless.

"Aquabike is a swim then sleep session on aerobars ...."
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [Fuller] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
That is a scary story. I hope your friend was able to fully recover.

I also live in Western MT. I never carry bear spray and I've had a black bear in my house. I treat black bears as large scared dogs. If you freak them out, they will respond appropriately. If you give them warning, it is almost never a big deal.
If I'm in an area where you can't see far ahead, I make noise while I'm running. Even if that means continuously talking out loud while running by myself.

There are basically no grizzlies near where I live. When I go into Grizzly country. I carry bear spray. Grizzlies are terrifying.

To the original poster: Learn how to point and discharge the spray. If you have bears becoming accustomed to people with food, you'll need to be prepared.
I recommend running with a trail backpack that has the front mount bottle holders. They do a good job of holding the spray and make them easy to access.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [heliix] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
For mountain bikers, a small cowbell or jingle bells is something to consider to prevent encounters. Back up "bear spray" will be a Glock 10mm in a chest pack made by Hill People Gear.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [Enduro211] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Enduro211 wrote:
[..]Back up "bear spray" will be a Glock 10mm in a chest pack made by Hill People Gear.

That's a crappy plan. If you want to ensure you do not get hurt during a bear encounter, carry spray. If you think you have the nerves to hit bullseye on a 20mph moving target you know might seriously hurt you, bring your gun.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [Runorama] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
More people get attacked by dogs, maybe it should be rebranded as dogspray, but which you can also use for bears.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [Enduro211] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Enduro211 wrote:
For mountain bikers, a small cowbell or jingle bells is something to consider to prevent encounters. Back up "bear spray" will be a Glock 10mm in a chest pack made by Hill People Gear.

I’d go with Dirty Harrys advice. .44 magnum.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [heliix] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Bear spray is very effective. Making your presence known is an important part of preventing encounters, surprising a bear is generally not a good thing. It's why people try to make periodic/loud noise when in bear country.

Efficacy of the spray is covered here:
https://www.distinctlymontana.com/...-vs-gun-which-better
Last edited by: rijndael: Oct 2, 20 4:25
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [tylerwal] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
tylerwal wrote:
Pre-Covid, I was riding up Frederick County at least once a week and I've seen a black bear once while riding home from work in the middle of the road near the AT trailhead off RT 40 and I wouldn't even even consider carrying bear spray. Way more likely to get hurt running into a deer or having one of the locals run you off the road in their pickup truck. I would say it's a non-issue and not worth worrying about in the slightest. If there was brown bears and you were mountain biking, sure.

i live in Va and in Va I agree........but out west the black bears and grizzly are a different story, with black bears more aggressive and more of a nuisance than here
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [heliix] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I have a dozen or so interactions a year with Black Bears, mostly on my deck or around my house. Never need more than to make a lot of noise. Once I get them to turn away from me, I typically chase them until off the property. Bears are slow thinker. When you first encounter them they have to take a second to asses the situation, they will not turn and run until few second of mental processing. But if you make noise until they turn away from, your good. Here is My wife running one off two night ago. Watch how the bear thinks for a second or two before it runs away.


https://my.arlo.com/...35FEDA1BA6A45_202010

BoulderCyclingCoach.com
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [rijndael] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
rijndael wrote:
Bear spray is very effective. Making your presence known is an important part of preventing encounters, surprising a bear is generally not a good thing. It's why people try to make periodic/loud noise when in bear country.

Efficacy of the spray is covered here:
https://www.distinctlymontana.com/...-vs-gun-which-better


From most of the comments
I am thinking that I may have surprised the bear

A bear bell may be the answer on dark rides and runs.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [oprfcc] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
oprfcc wrote:
That is a scary story. I hope your friend was able to fully recover.

I also live in Western MT. I never carry bear spray and I've had a black bear in my house. I treat black bears as large scared dogs. If you freak them out, they will respond appropriately. If you give them warning, it is almost never a big deal.
If I'm in an area where you can't see far ahead, I make noise while I'm running. Even if that means continuously talking out loud while running by myself.

There are basically no grizzlies near where I live. When I go into Grizzly country. I carry bear spray. Grizzlies are terrifying.

To the original poster: Learn how to point and discharge the spray. If you have bears becoming accustomed to people with food, you'll need to be prepared.
I recommend running with a trail backpack that has the front mount bottle holders. They do a good job of holding the spray and make them easy to access.


Other than more frequent wearing of hats he's OK, but even more "Bear Aware" than usual. The Forest Service folks found an animal carcass just off the road from the incident so evidently mama bear thought he was threatening her late afternoon snack.

So about that bear in your house, did he leave politely or did you have to break out the home movies of your last 27 triathlons?

You: "Now back in '93 you can see that I'm really fit but I was nursing an anal fissure and some terrible hemorrhoids, but nonetheless..."

Bear: "He's out of beer, this isn't worth it"

"Aquabike is a swim then sleep session on aerobars ...."
Last edited by: Fuller: Oct 2, 20 11:34
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [Runorama] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Runorama wrote:
Enduro211 wrote:
[..]Back up "bear spray" will be a Glock 10mm in a chest pack made by Hill People Gear.


That's a crappy plan. If you want to ensure you do not get hurt during a bear encounter, carry spray. If you think you have the nerves to hit bullseye on a 20mph moving target you know might seriously hurt you, bring your gun.

Neither is very effective on a bear that really wants to harm you.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [rijndael] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
rijndael wrote:
Bear spray is very effective.

Nope: https://www.outsideonline.com/...does-bear-spray-work



The bears you need to worry about are the ones charging with intent to kill you. People spray bears that are just snooping around and call that "effective".

Same with dogs. The ones in kill mode are not deterred by pepper spray.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [rruff] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Your chart lists pepper spray, but there's a difference between bear spray and pepper spray. Pepper spray is generally marketed for people. There's a difference in the levels of of Capsicum. And, you need to be careful about the bear type upon which it's being tested. Brown vs. Black makes a big difference. On the east coast, it's black bears that we're concerned with. From the same link you posted: "The study did find that the spray was effective in 20 of 20 encounters with curious bears. "


https://pubs.usgs.gov/...18/pdf/FS09-3018.pdf

Quote:
No deterrent is 100-percent effective, but bear spray has
been effective in fending off threatening and attacking bears and
preventing injury to the person and animal involved.
The proper
use of bear spray can reduce the number of bears killed and reduce
injuries to people caused by bears (from the Interagency Grizzly
Bear Committee at http://www.IGBConline.org).
Last edited by: rijndael: Oct 2, 20 10:11
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [McNulty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
McNulty wrote:
works well and worth carrying, but making noise works better so you don't sneak up on them,,,,if they hear you coming they generally skedaddle

Work well, but kind of a last resort when everything else as fail... + you are really likely to get some too if ever you need to pull the trigger.

Prevention is a lot better: Travel in group, loud human voice work best, bells are useless.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [heliix] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
One small thing worth noting (IMO) is if you're going to bring it, carrying the bear spray on your body is a must. Somewhere easily accessible. I'd also recommend practicing or at least understanding where the shit comes out of the canister.

Knocking on my bamboo desk as I type this but thus far 99% of my bear encounters the bear/bears is/are equally scared and off the trail before I can even process that it was a bear. The other times have been in Jellystone/GTNP where they're almost numb to human presence.

I bikepack a lot between Montana and Colorado and cringe when I see people toting it in the webbing of their seatpack.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [Tim_Canterbury] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
A good listen about bear spray and how to keep it on you is the "Meat Tree" episodes of the meat eater podcast.

Formerly MTBSully
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [heliix] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Bear spray is effective. As other mentioned unless you can grab it easily though it’s useless. I have done some backpacking in Alaska and 90% of people have bear spray on the waist or a gun on there chest. That said, the chances of needed bear spray with a Black bear is extremely low. They are fairly easy to scare off and will only attack with Cubs or desperate.

Where you benefit from bear spray is if you are in brown bear territory. In that case you’re stupid to not have it.
One thing few people take into consideration though is that bear spray only fires effectively 20feet so if it’s windy it’s useless.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [T2LV] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
T2LV wrote:
bear spray only fires effectively 20feet
And for 5-8 seconds.

I generally advise people to buy 2 cans. One to test out so you understand its limitations and one to carry.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [Runorama] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Runorama wrote:
Enduro211 wrote:
[..]Back up "bear spray" will be a Glock 10mm in a chest pack made by Hill People Gear.

That's a crappy plan. If you want to ensure you do not get hurt during a bear encounter, carry spray. If you think you have the nerves to hit bullseye on a 20mph moving target you know might seriously hurt you, bring your gun.

I think I would trust the spray over a 10 mm in any potentially deadly bear encounter. Don't get me wrong; I'm not anti-gun or anything. Far from it. I just think too many people overestimate the stopping power of handguns (or guns in general)...especially against a large animal approaching fast. There is a disconnect between what people see in movies and what happens in the real world.

Remember the scene from Dances with Wolves where Costner drops the stampeding buffalo and it skids to a stop in a cloud of dust, dead; just before reaching the little kid. That's a stretch even with a large caliber rifle, but it ain't happening with any handgun.

I've had to discharge four 12-gauge slugs into a small bull before it even went down to one knee. The first three slugs just pissed it off more.

Now, I know buffalo and cattle are a lot bigger than a black bear, but I'd still argue that any gun you trust to be reliable enough to immediately stop a bear, you aren't going to want to tote around while out for a run or ride.

Additionally, anyone is kidding themselves if they think they are going to get off the perfectly placed "kill shot" at an approaching angry bear; all while being startled themselves and having an elevated HR from running/biking. You have to just assume it's going to take multiple shots and that bear is still coming fast between each shot.

For the record, I've had hit-and-miss results with pepper spray (not bear spray) against people (work-related stuff). It's effective on some people. Others seem to be just like that bull...the spray just pisses them off more. I would operate under the assumption that some bears (like some people) might not be stopped by the spray.

I'm not saying the gun would be completely useless in a bear attack. It goes bang louder than a bell or whistle. And, I'd rather have a 10 mm Glock strapped to my chest than bear spray if the bear got on top of me (like literally on top me...clawing me and eating pieces of me) before I could react. At that point, you either give up, or you fight with whatever you have.

Sorry for going off on a long, slightly off-topic tangent. I'm gonna head to bed now and try not to have a nightmare are being eaten by bears.
Quote Reply
Re: Bear spray ... anyone use it and does it work well? Or does it just piss them off? [Signal8] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Well said.
Quote Reply

Prev Next