Preaching bear awareness and the benefits of carrying bear spray is a
year-round job for Chuck Bartlebaugh, regardless of whether bears are
hibernating or prowling where hunters and hikers roam. From his
Missoula-based Center for Wildlife Information (www.BeBearAware.org),
Bartlebaugh works with state and federal agencies to present programs
and educate the public on how to safely coexist with black bears and
grizzlies. In this video, he focuses on the use of bear spray. The
specially formulated aerosol cans of capsaicin (pepper) likely would
have deterred most of the bear attacks that injured or killed hikers and
hunters in the Northwest this year.
Here are a few key tips to remember about being in bear country with
bear spray: 1. Buy the big can (10 ounces). 2. Carry it in a holster
ready for use. 3. To thwart bear aggression, spray in front and below
the bear’s head to create a foggy irritant barrier. 4. Spray no longer
than needed to stop the bear, then back away slowly, talking forcefully
to the bear. You may need to spray again. 5. Don’t run.