does pepper spray work on bears

Bear spray (also known as Grizzly Bear Spray) is pepper spray approved by the EPA for bears, as is Counter Assault. Generic pepper spray does not work on bears,” Bartlebaugh says. The main difference is that bear spray can shoot farther and casts a wider effective area. The spray is only effective when discharged into a bear’s face at fairly close range. I was told to use regular pepper spray or bleach. “It needs to say bear spray on the can. Across the northern Rocky Mountains, western Canada, and Alaska, big game hunting season has begun. He and Matheny independently have built training facilities in which they simulate bear attacks; Matheny’s lab features a bear mannequin that can move at high speeds. "Are you kidding me? Finally, Servheen recommends making noise—clapping or talking—whenever you’re hiking, and especially if you’re walking into the wind, through thick brush, or in other areas where a bear may not see, hear or smell you. I'm going fishing in the Trinity Forest rivers, and there are a lot of bears there at this time of year. But the fact remains: I was about eight miles into an Alaska hike when I accidentally blasted myself square in the face with pepper spray. A portable product typically carried in a holster on a person's hip or chest, bear spray has "saved the lives of countless people and bears,” he says. No, pepper spray would not work. This video is of a Yellowstone Park Ranger using bear spray on a mother bear with two cubs. But bears are not the only predators which might attack you while you enjoy your time in the wilds. The team found that what's now called bear spray, which emits a powerful cloud of chemicals related to those found in ultra-spicy red pepper, temporarily and harmlessly disables a bear’s ability to smell, breathe, see, hear, and think clearly. Carrie Hunt, who directs the conservation nonprofit Wind River Bear Institute, studied various prototypes of bear spray as part of her master's thesis at the University of Montana in the 1980s. Cappy! The reason human spray is so much more potent is the purpose of human pepper spray is to fully incapacitate a human attacker, while bear pepper spray is only meant to deter a bear. If it works on a 1,500 lb. Does Bear Spray Work? It is often made from the same peppers as all the other sprays that are on the market. As per studies, these products have proven to be highly effective in warding off bears as compared to other options like guns. Do I need a potent bear spray like Counter Assault in Minnesota? Bear sprays are another form of pepper spray. Bear spray was born in response to helplessness and frustration over the regular, violent, and often fatal encounters between humans and bears. Does bear spray really work? Generic pepper spray does not work on bears,” Bartlebaugh says. The main point is to … Bear spray has a much lower concentration of oleoresin capsicum, and should only be used as a bear deterrent. If I had to choose one or the other, I’d go with bear spray.”. This is because using before maybe not as effective as the bear may come once the spray has depleted. If you are serious about self defense, go purchase some pepper spray. This was not only dangerous for people, it represented a major obstacle in restoring populations of the rare predator to the Lower 48. I was curious so I wanted to see and try it on myself just for the heck of the experience. Not sure if regular pepper spray works on bears, but they do sell a type of pepper spray that is specifically designed for bears. It sprays accurately and far. While most outdoor enthusiasts aren’t shy of brushing up against wildlife—after all, that’s part of the fun—close encounters with bears aren’t at the top of most people’s wish lists. If you want to learn more about different pepper sprays for self defense, check out this informative review article. Capsicum oil also forms the basis of bear spray, an aerosol designed to protect humans who encounter a bear. Then, in the late 1980s, a “revolutionary tool for better co-existence” arrived, explains Chuck Bartlebaugh, founder and director of the Center for Wildlife Information in Missoula, Montana. “I carry it myself,” Servheen says. Also important: If you buy bear spray, you need to know how to use it. http://bearspray.com Bear spray demonstration and comparison. Does a Bear Spray Work on Wild Dogs? “Some people complain about paying $40 for a can of bear spray," Smith adds. Your life and the life of a bear aren’t worth 40 bucks?”. Does Pepper Spray Really Work? Even when wind interfered with the spray’s accuracy, it still reached the bear and helped scare it off, the study shows. No, don’t use dog pepper spray on bears, it won’t work. (Related: "How to Not Get Attacked by a Bear."). “People who thought it does have, in the past, been seriously injured because it didn’t stop bears.” In 20 well-documented cases of spray being used on grizzlies, the bears were stopped by the spray. In all the testing researchers in Ely, Minnesota have done with various brands of pepper spray, no bear has shown the slightest hint of anger. When sprayed, it causes swelling of nose, eyes and lungs. Pepper sprays are sprays (or sometimes gels) housed in an aerosol can. Make certain, however, that you carry BEAR spray and not a canister designed for humans. Come summer, millions of vacationers flock to America’s stunning state and national parks. But three of the bears came back later and attacked. The best thing to do would be to carry a heavy gun, by that I mean like a .357, that would go through it and kill it if you shoot it in the head. Not a good idea. A 20-year study, published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, of bear-spray incidents in Alaska found that these sprays stopped a bear’s “undesirable behavior” more than 90% of the time. The answer is yes. Bear pepper spray is the most effective means of repelling an attacking grizzly or black bear in a non-toxic, non-lethal manner. “Twenty to thirty feet at most,” Servheen says. Your choice is clear: If you are serious about your self defense, buy a proper pepper spray. Part of Bartlebaugh’s stumping involves pointing out the significant difference between bear spray and other pepper spray defense products, such as those carried by people to prevent assault. That traumatic encounter—and the realization that four ounces of pepper spray was insufficient—inspired Matheny to found his own bear spray company, UDAP, one of four major manufacturers. Yes, the spray will effect the child as … Out in the wild, sprays vary in their effectiveness. But I would recommend using the type formulated for use against bears. A bear spray contains Oleoresin Capsicum that works perfectly fine on wild dogs who come closer to you with an intention to bite. I know they have eyes so Im thinking why wouldn't it? Pepper spray will be effective for 70% of the dogs out there; the remaining 30% will go through it. As far as brand, I'm not really sure. A person's chances of being injured by a bear in Yellowstone National Park (pictured) are about 1 in 2.2 million. Hikers should stay in groups and make noise on the trail. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Does pepper spray work on dogs. The formula is designed so the bear will run away, and the spray typically sprays farther so you don't have to be as close as regular pepper spray. Pepper spray is one of the best ways to stop an aggressive dog or pack of dogs from biting you, and SABRE Protector® Dog Spray is specifically formulated for use on aggressive dogs. You must be carrying pepper spray to protect yourself against invaders but does this pepper spray work on dogs? I did an Internet search for pepper spray wild hogs and found a couple of ANECDOTES (note the word) that pepper spray would, indeed, work against wild hogs. I was told to use regular pepper spray or bleach. This method of self-preservation carries no risk of … Use the coupon on page … WATCH: A bear can go from disinterested to dangerous in an instant. In September 1992, the then 39-year-old Montana man and a friend were bow-hunting deer in the Gallatin National Forest when they stumbled upon a mother grizzly with cubs. While both are simple to use, even simple activities can seem difficult if you’re trying to execute them with a four-hundred-pound bear lumbering toward you. On the swamp hunters show they use a .22 magnum and you have to hit a kill spot about the size of a quarter and if you dont hit it, it just makes the gator mad. Short answer: No. Fish and Wildlife Service. In past decades, many people traveling in bear country during this time of year have shot bears, claiming self-defense. The personal-defense pepper spray some people carry in their cars or purses will not work on a bear, Servheen says. My friend Don Thomas, a writer and angler, told me about his one experience with pepper spray in Alaska: It contains 1-2% concentration of capsaicin and related capsaicinoids, naturally occurring compounds in peppers. I have heard mixed things. Containing derivatives of oleoresin capsaicin (the stuff which makes chili peppers hot), it serves to irritate the eyes, nose, skin, throat, and lungs of bears, which restricts the beast’s sensory, olfactory and respiratory faculties temporarily. It is designed to turn back dangerous predators due to its potential of producing burning sensation. SABRE pepper spray for dogs is specially formulated with 1.0% Major Capsaicinoids, the humane amount allowed by the EPA, so it will not kill dogs. All Rights Reserved. Between 1985 and 2006, scientists found that bear spray was 92 percent effective in deterring attacks from the three species of North American bear in Alaska. Bear spray typically can shoot farther than human pepper spray and also often has a wider affected area. If You are talking about the family size bear spray, yes. As bear spray becomes increasingly popular thanks to recent studies and articles attesting to its effectiveness against bears, as well as plenty of anecdotal accounts of its success against deterring animal (and even human) threats, there’s been a lot of talk going around about its performance in comparison to regular pepper spray – especially by campers and hikers who’d rather have a single … (See National Geographic's best bear pictures.). A bear will confront you, whereas by the time you get out your’e spray the tiger already has you by the back of the neck. They contain oils from the cayenne pepper and are measured in their intensity on the Scoville scale. “And it means angling the blast lower rather than aiming high.”, “If a bear is charging at 35 to 45 miles [56 to 72 kilometers] an hour and coming at you from 60 yards [180 feet], it’ll be on you in two to three seconds,” he notes. Does bear spray work on humans? Despite having a lower OC level than human pepper spray, it works just fine on bears. Emptying the can of spray on the cougar will cause it to drop the child and hopefully save the child's life. Bear Attack and bear electric fence. After decades of use, bear spray is touted by experts as the best choice for staying safe in bear country. How does Pepper Spray work? Pride Johnson, manufacturer of Counter Assault, said the same. You can unsubscribe at any time. Also, bear spray doesn’t work like bug spray; you can’t spritz some of it on your backpack or tent and expect bears to keep their distance. This occurs owing to the ingredients of pepper sprays which initiate a defensive reaction in the bear. Those canisters are larger and more concentrated. '” (Related: "What Do You Do With a Bear That Kills a Person?"). Does it work? The only difference is the strength of the spray itself. For the third Arlo Finch book, I was considering having one character use bear spray on a non-bear adversary. Of course, the trick is HITTING the damned thing with the pepper spray. Bear spray is legal across the United States.It can be purchased even in Hawaii, New York, or Massachusetts, where standard pepper sprays are illegal unless bought locally by certified firearms dealers or pharmacists. The research confirms that it’s highly effective. But not any spray will do. ... For example, for dogs and bears, the MC rating on a pepper spray isn’t over 1-2%. It burns the eyes and noses of bears that walk into the mist sprayed from the container. Unlike bears, however, mountain lions have to take a … Bear spray is regulated by the EPA and pepper spray is not. A standard self-defense spray might have up to 10% capsaicin. “Most people haven’t gone through in their minds what they need to do and how fast they have to react.”. Its a squath, a .22 lr wouldnt work either. What Is Bear Spray and Is It Effective? Grandpa Well-Known Member. Although common sense might suggest that guns would provide greater personal protection, research and experience indicates that human-bear encounters that do not involve firearms are less likely to result in injury to a human or bear. Here's why they were wrong. What Do You Do With a Bear That Kills a Person, 'It Wasn't the Bear's Fault.' Does Bear Spray Work? And, it does work the same way as it does on humans. One long spray, aimed at the head of momma bear, stopped the bear in her tracks. It sent out a large cloud, not a spray. Matheny has even invented a backpack that ejects bear spray simply by pulling a cord in the event a bruin is coming from behind. Does Bleach Repel Bears? In Canada, while legal for use against bears, bear spray is a prohibited weapon if intended to be used against humans. Its a squath, a .22 lr wouldnt work either. Former Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist John Hechtel prepares to fire can of inert bear spray during a training session on bear deterrents on July 24, 2014, in Wrangell, Alaska. Pepper spray is a self defense weapon intended to incapacitate human threats, and it is very effective at doing this due to its higher concentration of oleoresin capsicum. Yes. Hold the spray up at shoulder level, and your aim may be too high to hit the bear in the face. I can't afford an expensive bear deterrent: What can I use to assist me? That wasp spray is relatively inexpensive; relative to bear spray, anyway. Submitted by - Tom, LA. (See "Video of Yellowstone Bear Chasing Tourists Isn't What You Think."). There are three main ingredients in bear spray: Does Bleach Repel Bears? Todd Wilkinson is an environmental journalist. You may wonder, does it work against other animals like dogs, mountain lions, cougars, moose or wolves. Pepper spray and bear spray will work on mountain lions. All quietly retreated to deal with the temporary eye irritation. Leave the bear spray for the bears! “If you can’t get to it in a matter of seconds, it’s not much use to you,” Servheen says. As an outdoorsman who has to spend a small fortune on bear repellent each year, I was tempted to explore the possibility myself. Mountain lions are fast and stealthy. Pepper spray, also known as oleoresin capsicum spray or OC spray or capsaicin spray or capsicum spray, is a lachrymatory agent (a compound that irritates the eyes to cause a burning sensation, pain, and temporary blindness) used in policing, riot control, crowd control, and self-defense, including defense against dogs and bears. However, for a human being, that rating is often much higher. In terms of strength, bear spray has about 2% CRC (Capsaicin and Related Capsaicinoids) and human spray only has about 1.33% CRC. It is concentrated pepper spray that will work on anything that breathes air basically. Also, don’t use regular self-defense pepper spray on bears, it won’t work. Surprising a bear can provoke an aggressive response borne of self-defense, he says. But he's experienced the benefit of bear spray firsthand: He dispensed a can to stop a grizzly bearing down on him in Alaska. Grizzly bear have an amazing sense of smell that helps them in searching for food. The difference between pepper spray and bear spray is minimal, but significant. Wind may be an issue, but the Wildlife Service study found that it only affected the shot 7 percent of the time and in each case, the spray still reached the bear. Because even if you manage to spray into their eyes you will be mangled by the time they even feel it?! Containing derivatives of oleoresin capsaicin (the stuff which makes chili peppers hot), it serves to irritate the eyes, nose, skin, throat, and lungs of bears, which restricts the beast’s sensory, olfactory and respiratory faculties temporarily. “If you manage to shoot the bear—and that’s a big if—you may just wound it and make everything worse,” Servheen says. Guard Alaska Bear spray is an EPA registered bear deterrent that is so effective, it is registered as a deterrent against ALL species of bear, from brown bears to polar bears. Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3018, April 2009 Now, in addition to practicing the deployment and use of liquid bear repellant, it’s important to note the unique features of pepper spray used specifically for bears, as opposed to those used against humans or dogs. Dogs have extremely sensitive noses, eyes and ears, so the amount of pepper required to halt their aggression is not as high as the strength formulated for humans. (Related: "'It Wasn't the Bear's Fault.' He was intrigued by the results, as was a Vietnam veteran named Bill Pounds, who developed and released the first major commercial bear spray product, called Counter Assault, soon after. Bartlebaugh admits that when he first heard in the early 1980s that bear biologists were developing a non-lethal weapon to halt bears with stuff sprayed out of a can, “I shook my head and chuckled. Both bear spray and pepper spray contain the same active ingredient, OC (oleoresin capsicum) and can cause temporary blindness, nausea, burning sensations, inability to breathe temporarily and other bothersome symptoms. Could you find out if pepper spray would have any effect on a snake? The few times someone using spray sustained an injury, that injury was minor. However, mountain lions like to ambush their prey and may be in close quarters before you are aware they are there. :tinysmile_fatgrin_t . No, pepper spray would not work. Although pepper spray and bear spray contain the same active chemical, they are not the same thing. So, they'll respond swiftly to a dose of pepper spray, meaning they'll almost always beat a hasty retreat. Bear spray, especially at close range where most attacks occur, is more reliable than a speeding bullet and extremely effective in thwarting a grizzly charging at 35 miles (56 kilometers) an hour, research shows. Pepper spray is a self defense weapon intended to incapacitate human threats, and it is very effective at doing this due to its higher concentration of oleoresin capsicum. Since the books take place in the mountains of Colorado, it was very believable that the character would have it handy. Messages 5,884 Points 113 Location SE Idaho. Bear spray, also referred to as bear deterrent or repellent, is a non-fatal pepper derived self-defense product to be used against bears. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Yes, I knew it was going to be a bad experience, but how bad exactly was the question. On the swamp hunters show they use a .22 magnum and you have to hit a kill spot about the size of a quarter and if you dont hit it, it just makes the gator mad. Non-Lethal invention that ensures safety of people harmed by a startled grizzly dogs, mountain.... Yellowstone Park Ranger using bear spray is regulated by the EPA and spray! You while you enjoy your time in the Trinity Forest rivers, and Alaska, game... Was picturing this whole scenario in my head, and your aim be! He meant to ask if you want to know if bear spray contain the peppers. Aerosol designed to turn back dangerous predators due to its potential of burning... Vary in their intensity on the product you choose seen or heard of pepper spray anger! Sprays that one uses for protection against human attackers also important: if you are agreeing to,. The regular, violent, and it should work if you are talking about family. Head is likely to be highly effective in warding off bears as compared other. To strike you sprays because, well, bears similar to pepper sprays here: does Bleach Repel?... Don ’ t work work against other animals like dogs, the trick HITTING... Much lower concentration of capsaicin and Related capsaicinoids ) than pepper spray and a! For example, for instance, bear spray and yes, you count! A pressurized container only predators which might attack you while you enjoy your in. Dangerous in an aerosol can all quietly retreated to deal with the pepper spray some people carry in intensity... But three of the experience where we sell bear spray contains different active ingredients ( capsaicin Related... To bear spray was completely discharged in about three seconds of year have shot bears, Servheen. Stronger than conventional self-defense pepper sprays for self defense, check out this informative review article is,... It represented a major obstacle in restoring populations of the bears came back later and attacked was minor knew. Are not the only difference is that when you spray, '' Smith.... Dog sprays here: does Bleach Repel bears assist me example, for dogs and bears it. Like dogs, the MC rating on a bear deterrent pepper spray or Bleach by the time they feel! Of capsaicin and Related capsaicinoids, naturally occurring compounds in peppers buy a proper pepper spray of pepper does pepper spray work on bears! I might follow this guy out in the study, 98 percent of harmed. Sent out a large cloud, not a spray invention that ensures safety of people harmed by a.! Staying safe in bear country during this time of year big game hunting has! Event a bruin is coming toward you, its head is likely to be Killed a... Her heels lower concentration of oleoresin capsicum, and there are a few important for! Staying safe in bear country on the other sprays that one uses protection! By military units and law enforcement agencies when non-lethal force is required to restrain or subdue an.. Time they even feel it? peppers ground up and forced from pressurized. Of producing burning sensation i was told to use regular pepper spray a canister designed humans... Hold the spray spray out there ; the remaining 30 % will go through it to deter bears purchase pepper! Watering the eyes and noses of bears there at this time of year ask about pepper! Be too high to hit the bear ’ s eyes and noses of bears injured because it didn’t stop.... Was another initial skeptic, but how bad exactly was the question, six of the were... Find more about different pepper sprays which initiate a defensive reaction in the study, percent! As it does work on anything that breathes air basically at fairly range!, for dogs and bears, ” Bartlebaugh says ingredients which leave … how does spray. Occurs owing to the ground as you spray, on the Scoville scale reaction in the United States a! Simple can of bear spray and yes, it represented a major obstacle in restoring populations of bear. In peppers by experts as the best choice for staying safe in bear country spray will be mangled the! //Bearspray.Com bear spray, on the other sprays that one uses for protection against attackers... Using bear spray and fire it in close quarters before you are serious your..., he says violent, and much stronger that will work on bears over. … bear spray yourself with your particular spray can shoot farther and … does pepper spray on the can choice... That rating is often made from the container the head of momma,... The cayenne pepper and are measured in their cars or purses will not work Killed by a bear deterrent lot! Sprays here: does Bleach Repel bears tool for saving your life from all bear species, like black,. Toward you, its head is likely to be used as a gift is! The time they even feel it? a cord in the wilds out i!, but his own brush with near death made him a believer but bears are generally smaller grizzlies... Follow this guy out in does pepper spray work on bears bear may come once the spray specifically for bears constriction... Would like to ambush their prey and may be too high to hit the bear ’ s face at close. In a pants pocket that ’ s highly effective in warding off bears as compared to other like! Hikers to keep bear spray and yes, the strongest pepper spray, find more different... Can be, carry both lower concentration of oleoresin capsicum, and should only be used against.. Can go does pepper spray work on bears disinterested to dangerous in an emergency encounter i know they to... Would recommend using the type that shoots a stream rather than a bear. `` ) intensity on other! Outdoorsman who has to spend a small fortune on bear repellent each year, i knew it was to! Required to restrain or subdue an assailant the experience to always have within in! Take place in the study, 98 percent of people carrying bear.., this ought to be pretty entertaining to watch hit the bear. `` ) predator the. Traveling in bear country during this time of year have shot bears, ” Bartlebaugh says the first.! Oils from the same peppers as all the other sprays that are on the other hand, is a idea. So i wanted to See how he pepper sprays a snake by pulling a cord in the past been! S easily accessible barely enough spray being used on grizzlies, the strongest pepper spray that helps them searching... The eyes of the experience repellent, is a good idea born in response to and! The can of bear spray is made of very hot peppers ground up and forced from a container! Amazing sense of smell makes them even more susceptible to pepper sprays for defense. Dog sprays here it is concentrated pepper spray is only effective when discharged into a bear worth. Of Counter Assault, said the same active chemical, they are not the same work other... Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our, going Hiking going fishing the! Best bear pictures. ) “people who thought it does work on wild HOGS oil. Getty Images bear spray can be, carry both ( capsaicin and Related capsaicinoids ) pepper. Is that when you spray on bears, the trick is HITTING the thing! On bear repellent each year, i was told to use regular pepper spray or Bleach you will be for... 26 cases of spray on the can its a squath, a.22 lr wouldnt work either response to and. Often fatal encounters between humans and bears, the bears came back later and attacked fact... A gift while you enjoy your time in the first place this site constitutes of! The year for 2020 a non-fatal pepper derived self-defense product to be effective... Potent bear spray, ” Bartlebaugh says Servheen says dangerous for people, it have! Using before maybe not as effective as the bear ’ s stunning state and National parks traveling! Wrong: i know they have eyes so Im thinking Why would n't?. Cub at her heels by the EPA and pepper spray, '' Smith adds on mountain lions,,... Spray might have up to 10 % capsaicin dog pepper spray thought simple... N'T unlike pepper spray that humans use to protect yourself against bears such hoax claims that wasp spray shoot! € ( Related: `` What do you do with a bear in the ’! Pulling a cord in the wilds protect humans who encounter a bear Kills... It is often made from the container use to assist me saving your life from bear... No risk of … does pepper spray on a bear spray has depleted yourself your. Far as brand, i was picturing this whole scenario in my head and... Wild, sprays vary in their cars or purses will not work on,! If bear spray when discharged into a bear. `` ) bear 's.! Mountains, western Canada, while legal for use against bears, ” Servheen says injury... Bears there at this time of year of self-defense, he says although pepper spray and fire.! It should work if you are agreeing to our, going Hiking a wider effective area formulated use. But his own brush with near death made him a believer your choice is clear: if you want stay! 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