I was quite saddened to hear about the fatal bear attack at Yellowstone National Park this past week. I'm saddened because once once again a life has been lost that a little planning and prevention could have very easily spared. A 57 year old man and his wife were out hiking in the park and stumbled upon a mother grizzly and her cubs. One of the main reasons that bear attacks occurs is because a mother grizzly feels her cubes are threatened. This bear did not take the man's life because she was a blood-thirsty man killer. She attacked the man because she thought that her cubs were in some sort of danger. Unfortunately however this man nor his wife was carrying a spray on them and as a result they had no means of stopping the bear from charging. The Yellowstone Park rangers even said that bear spray would have very likely stopped the bear attack. If there is any positive note from this story it is that the wife was able to escape a similar fate by playing dead and survived physically unharmed. I say “physically” because she is obviously emotionally destroyed and will never be the same. When I think about the fact that a very inexpensive bottle of bear spray could have preceded this I really got a sinking feeling in my stomach. Had this man and / or his wife had taken a few minutes to go online and purchase a can of bear spray and kept it in their pack he may very well still be here to take his wife on future hiking trips. Please do not make the same mistake, if you are planning on camping or hiking in any area that has even the slightest chance of seeing a bear, go online and buy bear spray. And for the love of god keep it on your person at all times.
Bear spray works in much the same way that pepper spray works on a human attacker. In fact, bear spray shares the same ingredients as does pepper spray but is often more concentrated and many times will have a bit more range than the average canister of human pepper spray. It is much safer than carrying a handgun and in many studies has actually proved more effective at deterring bear attack than is a firearm.
It's careless not to take such an easy precaution and if you care at all about yourself and your loved ones you will take such precautions before venturing into bear populated areas.
Please take care,