A couple of good links are:
There are many other sites on the net, just put “bears” into your search engine.
An excellent book is “Bear Attacks Their Causes and Avoidance” by Stephen Herrero. There are many other books and links if your inclined to just look around a bit.
I don’t know if you folks have all the information. Lasers are tremendously effective. I watched a documentary where a laser was used to blow up a planet. That was, admittedly, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. I just think the laser needs to be powerful enough. Maybe Regan’s strategic defense initiative combined with GPS traking collars . . . Hmmm.
I live in grizzly country
I hike by myself all the time all I ever see is Black bear. Just jump up and down and wave your arms, if that doesn’t spook them away then throw a stick or rock. Holding a large stick and waving it while yelling seems to always work.
Tip don’t eat pepperoni sticks while hiking in bear country. If you have been unlucky enough to have walked between a mother and her cub then you are in real danger. I would never stake my safety on crap like bear spray, lasers, or friggin eyedroppers ! If the above advice doesn’t work on your bear, then use your 41 magnum.
While advertised and tested…
to thirty feet, the efficacy of the spray drops dramatically at that range. I tested some of the popular sprays by discharging them into old bedsheets suspended from a clothesline. I discharged at 10, 20, and 30 foot range. The patternation and saturation results were quite dramatic at the varying distances with the closer ranges being substantially more effective. Obviously, the farther the target range the greater the interference of the spray due to wind currents. At 10-15 feet it would take a pretty strong breeze to endanger the defender. Do not mistake these large bear spray canisters for the more anemic products offered to the general public for personal protection. Many of those units wouldn’t repel an attacker as their volume is too little and the propellants are not powerful enough. The bear sprays really deliver!
You are correct regarding the black bear tactics - most of their ‘charges’ do end in what we call a bluff. Poor terminology on our part as the bear is NOT BLUFFING, nay, he is assessing the intruder.
My personal protocol is to not discharge at thirty feet. This is too far away to properly evaluate a black bear. It may not rush at all, it may rush and evaluate, and it may, of course, attack physically. But, if you fire at the bear at thirty feet, your defence is compromised as the bear may not be properly deterred. While it seems extreme, my protocol is to wait until I can 'see the white’s ‘o their eyes’. A thirty foot confrontation will see me drawing my cannister while redirecting my visual attention and side slipping away. I’ll not turn my back on the bear as I want to be able to fire if necessary.
If it rushes me from that distance then I’ll assume a firing position and try to back out of the scenario but I keep a position that allows for an accurate short range delivery.
Again, knowledge of ursine behaviour is paramount in order to realistically evaluate the situation as well as maintaining one’s cool under fire, if you will. Knowledge is the greatest weapon we have.
My perference is the UDAP spray which I carry in a homemade belt holster.
I saw that documentary!
I think it was referred to as the “Allen Parsons Project”! Yeah baby, yeah!!
Depends on the type of laser…
The type I currently work with puts out in excess of 300mj. That would certainly make an impression on any animal. Hmm… now I just have to figure out a good way to haul a 23lb laser and a 270Vdc power supply around.
I’ve a rather extensive…
library on the topic, including many peer reviewed papers, but the text I recommend to most folks is Dave Smith’s, “Backcountry Bear Basics”. Inexpensive and easy reading, this book will help you understand the bears and their behaviour without coming across as an advert for related products or sensational documentation of bear attacks.
Published by The Mountaineers Books, ISBN 0-89886-500-X.
I wouldn’t be so quick…
to ridicule pepper spray unless you’ve tried it or worked with professionals whom depend upon it.
While the .41 mag is a fine cartridge and certainly capable of cleaning taking a black bear, it is not ideal for a defence protocol in terms of bears.
If you’ve ever shot a bear then you know how critical bullet placement is in order to reliably anchor and kill the animal with honour. During a bear attack, you will probably be faced with a frontal aspect and that is not going to be to your advantage. All the power of the magnum handgun will not quickly stop the attack in most cases. Killing power is of little consequence in a defence role, stopping power is everything. In a potentially lethal close encounter with a bear the pepper spray, properly used, has more stopping power than the large handgun.
These are, of course, my opinions only and everyone looks at the issues a bit differently.