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Discouraging Bears


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Hi Guys,

I plan to hike mostly in north Georgia where black bears are not unheard of.  I know you can use bear spray but I'm wondering about using pepper gel instead.  This way I could use it for both 2 and 4 legged predators (bears, cats, wild dogs, etc.).

Ideas?  Would pepper gel work or would it just piss the bear off?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I imagine it would work but your aim would need to be good as it doesn't disperse into a wide cloud like bear spray.

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I am in agreement with alcap; I would simply use the big canister of bear spray for anything smaller that it might be necessary for.  I saw a video a few years back where a jogger used bear spray on a mountain lion and it worked perfectly.  I wouldn't think that anything else would have a higher resistance to it.

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  • 6 months later...

Use pepper spray designed for bears.   It keeps some distance between you and the critter.  Learn the ways of bears and stay out of their way. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

And learn to manage your food.  If you manage your food, bears are far less interested...

This is the biggest factor, I think.  A lot of people don't realize how keen a bear's sense of smell really is, or how food oriented they are, especially in spring and fall.

Edited by jay
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ppine

Most people have not worked in country with bears with high densities.  Coastal forests can have up to one per square mile.  It is best to learn to avoid them.   Make noise when you travel.  Avoid dense thickets of veg like alders.  Avoid traveling near dark.  Stay out of the tall grass.  Expect to see them around salmon streams.  Avoid eye contact.  Back away.  Give them escape routes.  Learn how they think.  

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spanz
On 1/5/2021 at 4:23 PM, ppine said:

Most people have not worked in country with bears with high densities.  Coastal forests can have up to one per square mile.  It is best to learn to avoid them.   Make noise when you travel.  Avoid dense thickets of veg like alders.  Avoid traveling near dark.  Stay out of the tall grass.  Expect to see them around salmon streams.  Avoid eye contact.  Back away.  Give them escape routes.  Learn how they think.  

and even though bears can smell you a mile away, and hear and see you excellently too....it is actually pretty easy to surprise and startle one.  If they are busy rooting around in the dirt for grubs....they are NOT listening or looking around for humans.  So when all of a sudden they are startled to learn you are there, their reaction can be pretty unpredictable.  Luckily, the couple that i have startled that way just run away, but i am talking the more cuddly east cost black bears!  

The best idea is to make some noise when you are hiking, coming into a clearing, etc.

Edited by spanz
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