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Thread: Bear Season

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    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    Bear Season

    I'm not sure if this is the right section to post this in, but if not the moderators can move it.
    Since bear season is upon us, I thought I'd post this recent abstract of an article in the Journal of Wildlife Management on the efficacy of bear spray.


    Journal of Wildlife Management

    Article: pp. 640–645 | Full Text | PDF (244K)

    Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska

    Tom S. Smitha,1, Stephen Herrerob, Terry D. Debruync, and James M. Wilderd

    a Wildlife Sciences Program, Faculty of Plant and Wildlife Sciences, Brigham Young University, 451 WIDB, Provo, UT 84602, USA
    b Environmental Science Program, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
    c United States National Park Service, Alaska Support Office, 240 W 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA
    d Minerals Management Service, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 500, Anchorage, AK 99503-5823, USA

    We present a comprehensive look at a sample of bear spray incidents that occurred in Alaska, USA, from 1985 to 2006. We analyzed 83 bear spray incidents involving brown bears (Ursus arctos; 61 cases, 74%), black bears (Ursus americanus; 20 cases, 24%), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus; 2 cases, 2%). Of the 72 cases where persons sprayed bears to defend themselves, 50 (69%) involved brown bears, 20 (28%) black bears, and 2 (3%) polar bears. Red pepper spray stopped bears' undesirable behavior 92% of the time when used on brown bears, 90% for black bears, and 100% for polar bears. Of all persons carrying sprays, 98% were uninjured by bears in close-range encounters. All bear-inflicted injuries (n = 3) associated with defensive spraying involved brown bears and were relatively minor (i.e., no hospitalization required). In 7% (5 of 71) of bear spray incidents, wind was reported to have interfered with spray accuracy, although it reached the bear in all cases. In 14% (10 of 71) of bear spray incidents, users reported the spray having had negative side effects upon themselves, ranging from minor irritation (11%, 8 of 71) to near incapacitation (3%, 2 of 71). Bear spray represents an effective alternative to lethal force and should be considered as an option for personal safety for those recreating and working in bear country.
    Last edited by johnnywalker; 04-08-2009 at 06:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

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