bear spray

I hear Tara yell, Kyle! The bear is behind you!

My name is Kyle, I’m a forest tech living and working in northern Ontario (Hearst), Canada . I have had more than 1 bear encounter working up here. The only reason I am alive today is because of your product! Last summer (2009) in late July, me and 3 other forestry workers were dropped off at a lake in a remote area, where you can only fly into. We had to portage along a trail only used by hunters, presumably, for about 800m. When we got about 600m along the trail, 2 of my fellow workers had yelled for me and another to come back because there was a black bear on the trail near them. So me and the other worker walked back about 50m to the other 2 guys, and were getting ready to scare it off. So, there were 4 of us, 3 men and 1 woman.

All of us have seen plenty of bears in our lives and felt as though, we could scare it off and we could be on our way. So as we were standing there, watching him come closer, he stood up to a tree and he sniffed the air, also showing us that he was a fairly good size…probably a good 300lbs, close to 7 foot when standing. So we did the whole “whoa bear” and tried to make ourselves look as big as possible…remember, there are 4 of us. So we did that and he wasn’t effected, in fact, he got down from standing up and started to walk closer to us. We grabbed some pots and pans and banged them together, trying to be as loud as possible, then he ran away. Not convinced he was completely gone yet, we just waited for a couple minutes and sure enough, he came back…so we banged the pots and pans again and he ran again.

After maybe 5 minutes, we could see him starting to circle us about 20m away. At this point, we didn’t know what to think besides, we are getting hunted! So after another 5 minutes of him just circling us, he started to walk towards us again. We had bottles of butane and propane for our cooking stoves, not knowing what to do, we thru the cans at the bear! Not sure if it was the best idea, but when we did, he would turn and chase them, giving us milliseconds to relax and try to gather our thoughts on what to do next. After we stopped throwing the couple cans at him, he started walking with his head down, low to the ground, walking slowly towards us…and then the huffing started, he started false charging and swiping at us, and at this time, he was maybe 5m’s away. At that point my fellow worker had my can of bear spray ready and aimed and let er’ go fully into his face! He got covered in it and took off running.

After about 20 minutes and no more signs of him, we set up camp not to far from where this all happened. We didn’t have much of a choice where to set up camp, since the work we had to do was close. The next morning my workers and I were looking at our GPS’s and figuring out where we had to start the work day, when all of a sudden I hear Tara yell, Kyle! The bear is behind you! And I looked over my shoulder and the bear was again, maybe 10m’s away, sneaking up behind me. The worker who had sprayed him the night before was quick enough to grab the can and spray the bear one last time! He went running and we got on into the river and into our canoes as soon as he left.

So thank you for making a product that saved mine and my friend’s lives!  – Kyle

P.S. I have included a picture of me, at the actual spot of where the “bear negotiation” happened.

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