Can Bear Spray Protect You From a Bear Attack? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Can Bear Spray Protect You From a Bear Attack?

COEUR D' ALENE, Idaho. - Bear Spray is a popular item this summer at many North Idaho sporting goods stores.

"I mean we sell a lot of bear spray especially during the summer time, but for some reason this year we've sold quite a lot more," said Steve Green, Wholesale Sports sales associate.

Steve Green with Wholesale Sports in Coeur d'Alene attributes the higher sales to some of the more recent reports of bear attacks, along with a higher number of people recreating in the area.

"Tourists all sorts of people wanting to protect themselves," said Green.

"It really does an excellent job getting it to stop and getting the attention of a bear and preventing in most cases a further attack," said Jim Hayden, Idaho Fish and Game Regional Wildlife Manager.

Jim Hayden with Idaho Fish and Game says it is unlikely that you will ever see a bear out in the woods but if you do it is important to be prepared.

 "If you happen to be in a situation where you do encounter a bear you want to take the spray out of your holster. It needs to be available to you, it can't be buried in the bottom of your backpack," said Hayden.

Hayden says even though the labels say you can spray a bear from about 30 feet away, it works better the closer you are to the animal.

"Basically you aim it in the area in front of the bear give it a quick blast…When you're aiming you are aiming for the face area, looking for the mucous membranes, the eyes the nose the mouth anything that's going to be sensitive," said Hayden.

Despite their effectiveness Hayden warns that people should still try to stay away from the bears.

"Just having the bear spray with you doesn't give you a free pass. What you're looking for is to avoid the situation in the first place," said Hayden.

  • This web story was filed by Mike Perry

 

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