bear spray

“…he started to rock back and forth before finally charging.”

My father, brother and I took a two week vacation out west. While hiking around the base of Jenny Lake in Wyoming we encountered an adolescent black bear.  When we first embarked on the short day hike, I was not anticipating seeing much wildlife due to how heavily traveled the trail was. In fact, I distinctly remember chiding my dad for toting along the bear spray on his hip belt. It seemed as if we were passing other hikers every fifteen minutes or so. As we walked around the base of the lake, the trail dog-legged sharply to the right. When we rounded the bend we were astonished to see a black bear not more than twenty-five yards away. He was contentedly grazing away in what I presume was some sort of berry bush. The bear spotted us instantly and squared up to us on the trail, I imaginebear spray merely seeking to protect his food source. After a short time he started to rock back and forth before finally charging. When he was no more than fifteen feet away he put the brakes on abruptly, then slowly started to rock back and forth again. By this time my father had pulled out his bottle of UDAP pepper spray. They bear charged forward again and my father sprayed him with a large blast of spray as soon as the bear took his first step. It seemed (at least to my fright-frozen mind) that the bear was in slow motion as he turned his head from side to side to avoid the spray. Slowly, he turned and climbed up the hill to our left before finally perching himself on a rocky outcropping almost above our heads. From our vantage point on the ground we could clearly see him trying to use his forearms to wipe the bear spray from his muzzle. Looking back, I think the bear merely wanted to bluff us into running away, but at any rate I’m glad we had your spray. It worked perfectly, and I can honestly say it was the best money we have ever spent. To think that I had poked fun at my dad for carrying your spray! Crow never tasted so sweet.

Brett – Jackson , Mississippi

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