IGBC CLARIFIES BEAR SPRAY RECOMMENDATIONS

IGBC CLARIFIES BEAR SPRAY RECOMMENDATIONS

A victory for the safety of people in bear country recently occurred when the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) took unanimous action to clarify its bear spray recommendations.  Comprised of representatives of various state, federal, and Canadian wildlife management agencies, the IGBC helps coordinate the recovery of grizzly bear populations, and provides public information about bear safety and the use of bear spray.  The IGBC has historically recommended that bear sprays have a minimum duration of six seconds.  Recently, however, the IGBC adopted a new policy that recommends the use of any EPA-registered bear spray product without reference to spray duration, that is, the time it takes for a can to discharge completely.  The IGBC correctly recognized that existing federal bear spray registration standards are adequate for public safety and that consumers should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use of their selected bear spray product.  Exercising its collective professional judgment, the IGBC appropriately withdrew its outdated six-second spray duration recommendation, which lacked any scientific or empirical justification, and conflicted with modern bear spray studies.

Following the IGBC’s decision, UDAP has received various inquiries about the meaning of and reasons for the IGBC’s action.  Many of these questions appear to have arisen from a misunderstanding of how bear spray is regulated, how it is intended to be used, and from incorrect or incomplete reports in the media.  The following Question and Answer narrative is intended to provide clarity for those who have reasonably been left confused by recent media coverage.  Customer safety is UDAP’s number one priority, and we feel an obligation to provide clear, accurate, and complete information to our customers.  If you have questions or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact UDAP’s leadership here, or visit UDAP’s  website.  We would be delighted to hear from you.

 

Who regulates bear spray?

 Bear spray is considered a pesticide and is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursuant to broad authority granted under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  FIFRA establishes that all pesticides sold or distributed in the United States must be registered by the EPA.  Registration is based on evaluation of scientific data, product performance testing, and assessment of the risks and benefits of a product’s use.  Currently, there are only four EPA-registered bear spray products on the market.  The EPA also regulates pesticide labels and instructions, which allows the agency to control how products are used.  It is unlawful for any person to use a registered pesticide product, such as bear spray, in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.


What role does the IGBC have regarding bear spray?

Unlike the EPA, the IGBC does not have statutory authority to regulate bear spray, or its registration, labeling, or use.  Instead, the IGBC’s mission is to “Recover, manage, and secure the future of grizzly bear populations and their habitat so that grizzly bears no longer require protections afforded by the [Endangered Species Act].”  The use of bear spray is an important management tool that serves the IGBC’s mission by helping promote the recovery and survival of the grizzly bear as a species.  Bear spray is a powerful, non-lethal deterrent that, when used correctly, can stop a bear attack or lessen its severity without permanently harming the animal.  It is an effective alternative to lethal personal protection options, such as firearms, and its use can both reduce human injuries caused by bears and decrease the number of bears killed in self-defense.  For these reasons, the IGBC recommends bear spray when used in conjunction with proper bear avoidance safety techniques, and has historically provided the public with guidelines for selecting an adequate bear spray product.

 

What was the IGBC’s recent action?

The IGBC recently revised and clarified how it will provide the public with information and recommendations about selecting bear spray.  During the infancy of commercial bear spray development in the 1990s, the IGBC established a set of bear spray guidelines that included such things as recommended spray distance and pattern, concentration of active ingredient, minimum net weight, and minimum spray duration.  For years, the IGBC recommended the use of bear spray with a minimum spray duration of six seconds.

On December 13, 2016, the IGBC Executive Committee unanimously withdrew the six-second duration guideline in favor of recommending the use of any EPA-registered bear spray product, without regard to a numeric bear spray duration criterion.  The IGBC recognized that EPA’s current bear spray registration standards are adequate, and it committed to rewriting its bear spray guidelines so that public has the most accurate and reliable information available.  The IGBC will publish its revised bear spray recommendations by the end of February 2017.

Please note that the IGBC’s action does not, in any way, allow for the production of small, palm-sized pepper sprays to be marketed as “bear spray.”  EPA’s pesticide registration requirements prevent this from occurring.

 

What led to the IGBC’s clarification of its bear spray recommendations?

The exercise of sound professional judgment and scientific reasoning is what most directly led to the IGBC’s revision of its bear spray recommendations.  UDAP played a supporting role by providing information and initiating discussion and review of the six-second spray duration guideline.  In June 2016, the IGBC invited UDAP to make a presentation to the Executive Committee at its summer meeting in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.  At the public meeting, UDAP highlighted the lack of scientific or empirical support for the six-second spray duration guideline and explained how the recommendation served no purpose other than to improperly promote or endorse one particular commercial bear spray manufacturer over all others.  After its presentation, UDAP requested the following two actions:

  1. That the IGBC withdraw the six-second spray duration recommendation and reconsider the committee’s role in issuing public position statements on bear spray product performance and efficacy; and
  1. That the IGBC fulfill its promise not to promote or endorse one commercial bear spray product over any other.

The IGBC agreed to consider UDAP’s requests and formed a bear spray work group to evaluate its bear spray recommendations and appearance of implied product endorsement.  At the IGBC’s winter meeting on December 13, the work group reported its findings to the Executive Committee and recommended taking action consistent with UDAP’s request.  Upon the work group’s recommendation, the IGBC unanimously agreed to continue to recommend use of EPA-registered bear spray products and to rewrite its bear spray recommendations/guidelines without reference to a numerical spray duration criterion.  The IGBC also agreed to continue to be vigilant and conscious not to promote or endorse any one commercial bear spray product over another, and decided to add an additional disclaimer to its website.

The IGBC’s actions are good for public safety and government transparency.  In revising its bear spray recommendations, the IGBC has embraced science and sound professional judgment, and demonstrated a commitment to providing the public with accurate, reliable, and meaningful information about bear spray.


Did UDAP file “legal action” against the IGBC?

No, contrary to erroneous media reports, UDAP has not filed legal action against the IGBC in any court or administrative body.  UDAP presented its concerns in an open public forum at the IGBC’s regularly scheduled summer meeting.  UDAP submitted written materials and a PowerPoint presentation for the IGBC’s review and consideration, and engaged the IGBC in a professional, courteous, and productive manner, without any need for litigation.

 

What were UDAP’s main concerns in bringing this issue to the IGBC?

UDAP’s main concerns were: (1) public safety, (2) the need for accurate public information about bear spray, and (3) the basic notion that bear spray recommendations ought to be grounded in sound science, not speculative opinion.

UDAP’s core mission is to provide for the safety of people who are hunting, fishing, and recreating in bear country, and its products are specifically designed to fulfill that purpose.  As a company that stakes its reputation on keeping people safe and alive in bear country, UDAP was concerned that the IGBC’s six-second bear spray guideline was not based on science or empirical data, and yet it was being represented to the public as a benchmark for product safety and performance. In truth, there is no scientific literature or peer-reviewed research concluding that bear spray with a six-second spray time is any safer or more effective than bear spray with a four- or five-second spray time, when used properly.  Indeed, the leading contemporary bear spray researcher, Dr. Tom S. Smith, has concluded that “based on data we collected, there is no indication that any of the commercially available products bests another by durations that vary by a few seconds,” but instead “all fall within an acceptable range of effectiveness in light of the results of the study I conducted on the efficacy of bear spray in Alaska.”

Consistent with Dr. Smith’s observations, EPA-registered bear spray products have proven to be effective, non-lethal tools for deterring bear attacks, and there is no evidence that any EPA-registered bear spray product is unsafe or inadequate for its intended purpose, even though a majority of bear sprays do not meet the old six-second guideline.  There is an obvious disconnect between the six-second guideline and the actual performance and efficacy of bear spray in the field, and as long as the six-second guideline remained in circulation, the public was not receiving the most accurate and reliable information in selecting bear spray.  UDAP – with the support of another bear spray producer, scientists, experts in human-bear interactions, and users of bear spray – contacted the IGBC to voice its concerns and set the record straight on the six-second rule.

Upon review of UDAP’s presentation, written submissions, and its own independent research, the IGBC unanimously decided to remove the duration guideline from its public recommendations.  It is anticipated that the IGBC will publish its revised bear spray recommendations and white paper by the end of February 2017.

UDAP supports the IGBC’s decision, and applauds the Executive Committee’s efforts to provide the public with accurate information concerning bear spray and its use.  The IGBC members showed leadership and interest in public safety by basing its decision on available science and proven experience, rather than the speculative opinions of those advocating for an arbitrary six-second rule.  Those living, working, and recreating in bear country are safer today and will gain more confidence in the use of bear spray due to the actions of the IGBC and its clarified recommendations.  Removal of the six-second rule will also eliminate favoritism, alleviate concerns about implied government endorsement of commercial products, and contribute to better public education concerning bear spray.  Those looking to purchase bear spray should seek out an EPA-registered bear spray product and follow the manufacturer’s instructions printed on the label for its proper use.

If you wish to learn more about the underlying fallacies of the six-second guideline, please see UDAP’s written submissions to the IGBC, here and here, and its PowerPoint presentation, here.

 

Where did the erroneous “six-second” recommendation come from?  

The origin of the six-second spray duration recommendation is shrouded in uncertainty.  What is known is that in the late 1990s, when commercial bear spray use and development was in its relative infancy, the IGBC tasked the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee (YES) to issue a bear spray position statement to inform and educate the public about the use of bear spray for self-defense in the backcountry.  The YES committee recommended bear spray with a range of 25 feet and use of the “largest size” can available, to accommodate things like environmental conditions (wind, rain, cold), highly agitated bears, multiple bear encounters, multiple charge encounters, and having reserve spray for the hike out.

The IGBC subsequently outsourced its review of bear spray to the Center for Wildlife Information (CWI), a now defunct non-profit organization which was led by an individual without any formal scientific training and who is believed to have had a close association with the only bear spray company (at the time) to produce a can that sprayed for longer than six seconds.  In 1999, CWI presented its bear spray recommendations and urged the IGBC to adopt a six-second spray duration guideline, which it did.  It was at this time that the YES committee’s original recommendation to use the “largest size” can available was transformed into a numeric duration recommendation.

While the six-second duration recommendation has persisted for years, the underlying basis and justification for the guideline has never been substantiated with scientific or empirical data, despite repeated inquiries and a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, for documents, studies, reports, and any other supporting information.  The lack of any supporting documentation calls into question the transparency and neutrality of the process, reasoning, and justification for the six-second rule.

Promoters of the duration guideline continue to refer to the research of Dr. Charles Jonkel and Carrie Hunt from the 1970s and 1980s to support their position.  While the importance of Dr. Jonkel’s and Ms. Hunt’s research to the development of bear spray as an effective deterrent cannot be overstated, their work simply does not conclude or provide direct support for any numeric duration guideline, let alone a six-second requirement.  At most, Ms. Hunt’s research suggests the need for bear spray that has “repeated application,” which all EPA-registered bear sprays are capable of doing.  Moreover, Dr. Jonkel’s and Ms. Hunt’s research predates the EPA’s regulation and oversight of bear spray, and so they lacked any opportunity to test the performance and efficacy of the products now on the market, which significantly limits the relevance of their research to the question of duration.

Another misperception commonly held by proponents of the six-second rule is that six seconds is needed to compensate for various contingencies, such as repeated attacks, multiple bear scenarios, weather, and the hike out.  These scenarios do not, however, lend themselves to a quantifiable duration standard and they fail to establish why six seconds is the “magic” number to accommodate all these situations, as opposed to some other number.  What these scenarios do suggest is the need for a bear spray capable of deploying repeated bear-stopping bursts.  As the IGBC’s own bear spray testing shows, even a 7.9 oz can with a four-second discharge time is more than capable of accommodating these various scenarios, assuming it is deployed properly (i.e., using one-second bursts, as per manufacturer instructions).  Moreover, these scenarios can be accommodated in other ways, such as recommending use of the largest volume canister of spray, as the YES committee suggested, or by carrying multiple cans of bear spray.

 

If not duration, what is important when choosing a bear spray product?

 

Mark Matheny Grizzly Attack SurvivorAs a grizzly bear attack survivor, Mark Matheny – the founder and president of UDAP – encourages the use of a high-volume spray. Published studies demonstrate that in many bear encounters an individual has less than two seconds to react before the bear makes contact. In these situations, it is not a matter of how long the can sprays in a constant duration, it is a matter of how quickly the product can deliver a bear-stopping dose of spray.  Bear spray is specifically designed to be deployed in repeated bursts, and UDAP bear spray, in particular, is designed to deliver a powerful, high-volume spray with each burst, when it’s needed most.  Given bear spray canisters with equal potency and spray characteristics, other than duration, would you rather have the spray that comes out slower (longer duration/lower volume) or the one that comes out faster (shorter duration/higher volume) if a grizzly bear is charging at you?

In addition to having a high volume, bear spray should be registered by the EPA and be clearly labeled for use on bears.  It should spray in an expanding fog pattern with sufficient distance to intercept a charging bear, and it should contain the highest concentration of capsaicin and related capsaicinoids regulated by EPA (currently, 2.0%).  The net weight of bear spray should be at least 225 grams or 7.9 ounces, as required by the EPA, and it should be capable of providing repeated bursts of spray.

While the above considerations are important for selecting a bear spray product, it is even more critical for the user to be familiar with the specific performance characteristics of their chosen product and to understand and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for its use . . . and to practice.

 

I have seen numerous instructions for the proper use of bear spray, but they are not always consistent.  Which one should I follow?

You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions printed on the label of your chosen bear spray product.  Bear spray is regulated by the EPA and federal law requires users and consumers of bear spray to deploy the product in a manner consistent with instructions on the label.

Unfortunately, there is an ever-increasing amount of conflicting information about the proper use of bear spray being produced in media reports, government websites and publications, and by special interest groups.  While the intent of these sources is to educate the public on how to effectively use bear spray, the unintended consequence has been consumer confusion and misunderstanding.  It is critically important to recognize that not all bear spray products perform in exactly the same manner, and the variability in performance characteristics across product lines makes it exceedingly difficult and counterproductive to develop a set of generic bear spray recommendations to apply across the board.

For example, some sources instruct users to “spray for 2-3 seconds” when the bear is approaching.  This instruction ignores the fact that not all bear sprays discharge the same amount of active ingredient per unit of time.  For instance, a one-second high-volume burst from a UDAP can may discharge the equivalent amount of active ingredient as a two- or three-second burst from another brand of bear spray.  UDAP’s EPA-approved instructions direct users to release a one-second burst of spray as an attacking bear is charging.  To instruct a UDAP user to unnecessarily deplete his or her canister with a two- to three-second spray is not only irresponsible and dangerous, it also encourages use of the spray in a manner inconsistent with its label.

Other sources instruct the use of a zig-zag pattern or a side-to-side movement while spraying.  This action is completely unnecessary for UDAP products, which have a broad spray pattern and are designed to billow outward in an expanding fog.  Using a side-to-side motion while spraying not only wastes bear spray product, it decreases the effective distance the spray will travel, as can be seen in this video.

Bear spray producers continually test their products and develop specific, EPA-approved instructions for how to most effectively deploy the spray given the canister’s specific performance characteristics.  Users should understand and follow the instructions printed on the label of their chosen bear spray product.

UDAP Bear Spray products

 

Please, tell me more about UDAP.

There are more people than ever recreating, hunting, fishing, and enjoying the wild lands of North America and elsewhere around the globe.  In many cases, they are doing so in the midst of prime grizzly/brown and black bear habitat, which has led to more conflicts among humans and bears than ever before.  With bear populations on the rise, the need for a reliable and effective bear deterrent is as important as ever.

At UDAP Industries, we provide our customers with bear spray and personal protection products that help keep people safe in bear country.  Our bear spray products are powerful and robust, with several sizes, including the largest can of bear spray on the market.  Our customers tell us that the power and reliability of our products is the reason that UDAP bear spray is one of the most trusted and relied upon bear spray products available in the marketplace.

UDAP produces three sizes of bear spray:

  • UDAP 7.9 oz. Bear Spray (sprays for approximately 4 seconds continuously)
  • UDAP 9.2 oz. Bear Spray (sprays for approximately 5.4 seconds continuously)
  • UDAP 13.4 oz. Bear Spray  (sprays for approximately 7 seconds continuously)

 

Be prepared, carry bear spray, read the label, and know how to use it.  Practice makes perfect sense.

For more information and bear safety tips visit www.BearSpray.com.

Be Prepared

Every hiker, camper, and hunter should carry something in his pack or on his person that can start a fire. Matches, flint, magnesium sticks, UDAP Bear Spray, etc., all are good options. But, what if a person in the outdoors has lost or left behind his tool to start fire, and they must start a fire in the backcountry in an emergency. While there are many ways to start a fire in an emergency, the Fire Plow Method is effective, although challenging it is challenging to get it just right. The fire plow method is effective because it allows a person to use nothing more then the friction of wood against wood to ignite a spark.

Bear Spray

The Fire Plow method is only effective if a person has a cutting instrument. A knife, or, if no knife is present, a sharp narrow rock can be used for cutting. After gathering wood and tinder, prepare the plow. The plow is nothing more then a stick that is roughly one foot long, and one, to one and a half inches, wide. Use the cutting tool – knife or sharp stone – to carve a point into the plow at a forty-five degree angle. Also, a base made up of wood will have to be created. The base should be wider than the plow, sturdy and flat. Carve a flat spot into the base with the cutting instrument for stability, and carve a shallow groove at the width of the plow to give the plow a guide to be worked in. Put the plow into the groove and begin to work it back and forth along the track of the base. Once the wood on the base feels softer, or, possibly, there is smoke in the track, increase the pressure on the stick until a small ember forms over the wood. Slide the ember, carefully, onto a pad of tinder – dried grasses, etc. – and, when the ember begins to burn the tinder, slightly blow on the timber to increase the fire.

The Fire Plow method is difficult to perfect, and, if a person is relying on this method for starting a fire in the woods, practice should be intense and repetitive, careful and consistent. And as always, don’t forget your UDAP Bear Spray!

Boots for Hiking and Backpacking

Finding the right hiking boot can be a challenge. The most important aspect to choosing a hiking boots is comfort. Also, the boot should match the hikers ambitions. Day hikers, hiking upon a well-maintained trail, may only need a lightweight trail runner. A backcountry hunter, however, may need a much stiffer boot, designed for steep, rocky terrain.

bear spray

Hiking shoes and trail runners are lightweight options, and many day hikers and backpackers carrying light loads will wear trail runners, because of the lightweight, supple fabric. Shoes are generally more comfortable and forgiving. However, the comfort of wearing shoes does have a tradeoff, because most shoe styles do not offer quality ankle protection. A hiker travelling over steep, rocky terrain, or someone who needs to carry a heavy pack, may need to forgo that comfort for the stiffness of a boot.

Backpacking boots are usually stiff, and the boots are usually cut higher up on the ankle for protection. These boots enable the hiker to carry heavy loads. The stiff boot also helps the hiker on rocky terrain, because the foot doesn’t flex with the edges of rocks, and, when hiking on steep terrain, the stiff boot will help with a hiker’s fatigue. The one thing to remember about stiff boots is that there are break-in requirements. A boot may feel comfortable in the store, but when it is worn for a mile or so, the stiffness of the boot can tire out the foot much more quickly. Also, feet swell after strenuous use, and when feet swell, the boot becomes much more tight while hiking. If the boots fit well, then after the break-in time, they should become more comfortable.

Mountaineering boots are very stiff and offer a great amount of ankle support. Mountaineering boots are usually worn in very steep terrain or on icy, glacial terrain. The boots are also important for ankle protection when carrying very heavy loads.

UDAP Back Attack Pack

When you have determined which boot matches your ambitions as a hiker, there are several things to consider when you choose your own boot. When purchasing a pair of boots, make sure that the boots fit. This sounds like a simple suggestion, and in many ways it is, but boots are worn in demanding locations. A dull pinch on a big toe, or a subtle pressure against the front pad of the foot can translate to an unbearable pain on the trail. Also, when you are trying on hiking boots, make sure to wear the same type of socks that you will use in the boots. If you are hiking in Merino Wool socks, for instance, don’t try on the boots with your sheer black business socks right after work. Also, if you wear orthotics, make sure to take those with you, because the cut on the orthotics, plus the size of your foot, may not match the foot bed of the boot.

Backpacking in Remote Areas

Backpacking into remote areas of the west is both fun and rewarding. There are many challenges the hiker can face on a pack trip, and he should always be prepared to encounter anything from unpredictable weather, injury, or even an encounter with a bear. One way that a hiker can be more prepared is to properly load his pack, and also to have his pack fastened correctly about his upper body so that the pack is merely an extension of him. Remember, in the backcountry, your backpack is your lifeline; it is responsible for protecting your food, shelter, and clothing.

backpacking-UDAP Bear Spray

A hiking backpack should not be worn like a school child’s pack. The hiking backpack is meant to carry much of the load of the pack on the hips and not on the shoulders. When you put on your pack, adjust the shoulder straps first, as this will lift the pack into position over your hips. Then tighten down the waistbelt. The waistbelt needs to be tight, but not so tight that it cuts off the circulation to your legs. The load straps should be tightened to a forty-five degree angle. If these straps are cinched in tight it will pull the shoulder straps of the pack into your skin.

While there is no one absolute correct way to load a backpack, there are some basic guidelines that will ensure that the load in the pack will travel comfortably throughout the hike. First of all, place the items that you wont need until you camp like light clothing, and a sleeping bag and pad in the bottom of the pack. If you are hiking in bear country make sure to keep items like toothpaste, food, or even sunscreen away from these items that you will be using at night. Bears have a very keen sense of smell, and you do not want the smell of these items in the tent with you at night. Above the lighter items, you will want your heaviest items. These items ideally should be loaded close to your spine in the middle of your back. The Food, water supply, and stove can all be placed in this area of the pack. You can place your tent, rain jacket, and other soft necessities that you may need in an emergency around the heavy items to prevent any possible shifting.

backpacking-UDAP Bear proof container

Another option is a UDAP Bear Proof Food Container for storing food from bears.

 

Fishing for Steelhead

The Steelhead is an interesting species of fish. Steelhead are anadromous, which means that the fry are hatched in eggs in fresh water, and then grow in size in that fresh water before swimming downstream to the ocean, and the fish will spend anywhere from one to three years in the ocean eating squid, until it is time for the fish to return to its native river to spawn. Unlike the Salmon, however, the Steelhead will survive the spawn and can make the journey back into the ocean. Scientists who work to improve the numbers of wild Steelhead have even developed tactics to catch spawning bucks and transport the caught fish back downstream, where it ascends the river for a second or even third time, to fertilize eggs.

udap bear spray-Fishing for Steelhead

Steelhead swim up watersheds on the west coast and even as far inland as Idaho. Steelhead are separated into two distinct species: summer run Steelhead and winter run Steelhead. A summer run Steelhead will swim into its native water in the late months of summer and spawn into the late fall. The summer run Steelhead also makes the longest journey to spawn, while the winter run fish only spawns in coastal streams and may only travel short distances that can range from one hundred feet to thirty miles.

The rivers systems that these fish call home, from the Salmon River and the Frank Church Wilderness of Idaho to the remote coastal rivers of British Columbia and western Washington, can be remote and anglers should be prepared for the possible challenges that can come from fishing in a remote area.
A popular river for fishing summer run steelhead is the Clearwater River in Idaho. The Steelhead will begin to arrive in the river in the summer months, and when the fall temperatures drop, the fish can be found up the entire river system. Anglers adorned in both spin and fly tackle will run their lures through the deep holes and riffles. Anglers driving jet boats and anglers rowing drift boats will share the same waterway. And while the Clearwater is not a place for complete solitude, the immense forest surrounding the river is, and black bears, elk, and deer can be seen walking the tree line above the river.

As always, when visiting one of our fantastic National Parks or enjoying the great outdoors, please be sure to bring along your UDAP Bear Spray.

Wildlife on The Road

Looking for wildlife on the road can be fun and exciting. Different areas of the United States have an array of wildlife that can be seen from the open road. Unfortunately, wildlife will occasionally get onto the road. Knowing when to swerve your car can not only help you to save the life of an animal, it can help you prevent damage to your vehicle.

Look for Crossing Signs

Crossing signs are not always for ducks and deer. Because wildlife is different throughout the United States, you may come across crossing signs with different symbols. Even if you cannot identify the animals on the sign, you should still pay attention to your surroundings. Other animals may cross frequently at that point, even if they aren’t on the sign. Look for small animals like turtles, armadillos and cats that could get in the way.

Wildlife on The Road

Pay Attention to the Shoulders of the Road

Animals don’t always travel across the road. Many walk alongside it, but are rarely seen. Turtles are a great example and they can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle if you run one over. When driving, stay in your lane and be alert, especially in wooded areas.

Wildlife on The Road

Spot the Herd

Whether you are looking for wildlife for fun or to be safe, it is important to remember that deer and elk wander in groups. If one is spotted, more are probably in the immediate area. Slow the vehicle down and make sure none are crossing the road. Don’t rely on deer whistles or salt to keep the animals away from your car.Wildlife on The Road

Should You Swerve Out of the Way?

In most cases, drivers should make an effort to swerve out of the way. If this is impossible due to oncoming traffic or other road hazards, lock the brakes and use the horn. If the animal is large, such as a moose, it may be more practical to swerve away from the animal. A moose can weigh up to 1,600 pounds and collisions often cause serious damage to the vehicle and passengers.

Whether you are looking for wildlife as you travel or are looking to be a safer driver, understanding how roads affect wildlife is important. Study tips for specific species that live in your area to gain a better understanding of what to do. This will not only help to make your journey a safer one, but a more enjoyable one. And carry UDAP Bear Spray in your vehicle at all times!Wildlife on The Road

Elk Hunting In Montana

If you are looking to enjoy a good elk hunt, then you may want to consider going to Montana for a hunting trip. It can be a great experience to hunt elks in the Big Sky country state.  Montana is state renowned for the majestic elks that it fosters. You can go on a hunting trip solo, or you can hire an outfitter to help you increase your chances of harvesting a big bull!

Elk Hunting In Montana

State laws

No matter where you hunt, you need to follow the rules! If you have an outfitter to guide you then you don’t need to worry, but if you’re planning on hunting unguided then you need to educate yourself thoroughly about the Montana state’s hunting laws.

According to the Montana state laws, if you want to hunt elks in Montana then you must purchase a hunting license, and an elk permit. Those who are caught hunting without the license or permit are fined heavily by the Manhattan authorities.

You can only hunt elks on specifics dates set by the Montana wildlife department; this is for the protection of the elks. So before you embark on your hunting trip, be sure to check the date to see if hunting will be permissible on that day or not.

Outfitters

If you’re a novice hunter, then its best to hire an outfitter to help you catch your first elk. There are many outfitters all over Montana, but not all of them are worth their price. Do your homework before selecting your outfitter; select a company that will truly give you a good hunting experience!

Contact multiple outfitters and get quotes from them, compare their service quality and price. Sometimes the hiring fees does not include your travel and boarding expenses so ask your company to clarify what expenses are included in their fees and what are not. Select your outfitter after careful evaluation.

A good outfitter will not only take you to good hunting spots, but he will also guide you in every possible way on your hunt.  Since outfitters are expert hunters, you can learn a great deal from them.  While hunting alone can take weeks, maybe even months, to hunt your first Elk, you can kill your first elk in two or three days with a good outfitter!

Hunting elk is an exhilarating experience, and I think everyone should try it at least once in their life!

Elk Hunting In Montana

When you’re elk hunting in Montana, don’t forget your Bear Spray! Visit UDAP.com for all of your Bear Spray needs!

Duck Hunting In Wyoming

Duck hunting is a popular sport in Wyoming since there are many ducks in Wyoming. Duck hunting offers world class scenes which cannot only be matched anywhere in the world. From rice fields which are awesome in duck hunting, can also be matched with prime ducks places especially in the winter season. A guide can be an awesome aide especially for the first time duck hunters unless you are familiar with the Wyoming duck hunting area. If you prefer not to have a guide, you can simply ask them questions on your way to the duck hunting expedition.

Duck Hunting In Wyoming

Wondering around aimlessly is a waste of time and therefore finding a guide is the easiest way. Many hunters usually waste their time going to places where the ducks are not there. Guides help hunters avoid to the wrong target areas and direst them where the fun really is. In Wyoming, camouflage is a must have in duck hunting expeditions so that the ducks cannot recognize you. Most are water proof and hunters should not worry about any clogging that might happen. Finding the right boat is another top move for any hunters. The boats help in navigating the swampy Wyoming Rivers and streams which the ducks throng.

The boats come in different choices with regard to choices and style. They come in different styles as well which definitely suit any duck hunter in Wyoming. Finding the right boat is not difficult as some are well painted and others custom made to suit the hunter’s need. For those who are not out door sport hunters, they should try online duck hunting games. When one comes to play these online games, they develop and stimulate a life duck hunting experience and so hunters can sharpen their skills at home before playing with the real ducks. No kidding!!

Another tip about the boat that should be noted is the fact that hunters need to choose a boat that blends with the Wyoming scenery. Bright colors always alert the ducks and so could be a game changer if one decides to go duck hunting. These Wyoming duck hunting tips will definitely help any duck hunter visiting.

Duck Hunting In Wyoming

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Backpacking For Recreation and Enjoyment

Backpacking is something that millions of people all over the world enjoy. Some go backpacking for the enjoyment of nature and the ability to get out and hike on a beautiful trail. Others go backpacking for the sport of it and the ability to get in great shape. Whatever the reason, backpacking is a popular and healthy recreational activity that promotes health and encourages a respect for nature. Enjoying a hike can be done in various types of terrains and areas. It is important to have the proper backpacking equipment as well as the knowledge to navigate the area.

Backpacking For Recreation and Enjoyment

Things Needed For Safe Backpacking

In order to backpack safely, it’s important to have the right equipment and even the right people surrounding you. If you are new to backpacking, it is recommended to have a partner to go along with you. Sometimes, there are group hiking trips so that it can be safer for everyone involved. Having a partner that is trusted or a group of hikers to go with can ensure a safer backpacking adventure. People going backpacking for the first time often find there are some things they weren’t expecting and having someone with knowledge along for the trip can be a huge help.

Backpacking For Recreation and Enjoyment

Once a partner or group is picked, the next step is to pick a destination. Choosing a destination can be based on factors that are important to everyone hiking. For those that are interested in certain types of terrains, there are guidebooks and magazines that can suggest various trails and give a description of the terrain. For those that are more experienced, it may be possible to choose a more challenging terrain to hike. For beginners, it is important to choose a terrain that is forgiving enough yet still carries the ability to give a challenging and fun experience. Guidebooks and magazines often have detailed reviews of hiking trails and even have maps of the entire trail. It is recommended to have a map of the hiking trail to take on a backpacking trip just in case.

When choosing a destination, it is imperative to choose one that can be hiked safely in a certain amount of time. Inexperienced backpackers may want to go on a shorter trip, typically less than ten miles. More experienced backpackers may choose to hike for several days and there should be a plan to stop and relax along the way. It’s important to have all of the necessary supplies regardless of how long you plan on staying. Planning ahead is the key to having a successful backpacking trip.

Supplies needed for the trip should be chosen carefully. It is important to pack enough water for the trip and calculate how much water will be needed for the planned amount of time. A map should be brought along of the hiking trail and kept in a protective cover in case of bad weather. A compass is always a handy tool to have as well. Other supplies to bring are: sun protection, flashlights, matches, first aid kits, lighters, a tent, and food. It is recommended to pack all the supplies into the backpack and practice hiking around with the weight of the full pack. This will ensure that you will have enough strength to hike with the backpack and have a successful trip.

Mistakes Made in The Great Outdoors

Hiking, camping and backpacking are all excellent ways to experience the wonder of the Great Outdoors. However, it can also be a dangerous way to witness Mother Nature in all her fury. Simple common mistakes made hastily can have inconvenient and even disastrous consequences. Here we explore some common mistakes average people make when enjoying nature.

Failure to Prepare

Whether you forget to bring a map and determine your route beforehand or you make a rookie mistake like not bringing enough water, you could add hours or even days to your trip if you get lost — no to mention lose expensive equipment along the way. That’s why it’s crucial to sit down before hand — even with a hike that you’ve done many times before — and map out your route, procure rations and make sure you have the proper gear.

Mistakes Made in The Great Outdoors

Ignoring Signs

You may think you can handle a bigger workout than you’re actually trained for because at the bottom of a mountain, anything seems possible. Halfway up and you may reconsider. By then it could be too late and you’re already committed to the summit run. Pay attention to marked trails and their ratings. Don’t go for an intense trail with lots of climbing and scaling if you’re just out for a casual scenic hike. Instead, pick a trail for your fitness level and gradually work your way up in ratings over time. Also, don’t go off the marked trail. Doing so could send you on a route that could get you lost in no time.

Failing to Test out New Equipment

One of the biggest mistakes in camping in particular is not testing out equipment such as grills, tents and even sleeping bags beforehand. Before you head out on your trip, make sure the grill works and that you have enough propane to fuel it. Nothing kills a good camping buzz faster than hungry kids huddled around the grill mad at Dad who can’t get the darn thing to work. Set up the tent in the backyard before going, too. Make sure you know exactly how to put it together to save yourself the hassle of wrestling with directions at the camp site. Pack all components of the tent with you, including rain covers and stakes, so you’re well prepared.

Mistakes Made in The Great Outdoors

Leaving out Food and Toiletries

Most people know not to leave out food at a campsite, especially at night when asleep, so that bears and other large animals don’t come a-hunting. But most people don’t realize that many critters, such as raccoons and squirrels, are attracted by the smells of toiletries like toothpaste, soap and bug repellant. Keep these securely packed away as well to avoid unwelcome visitors.

Mistakes Made in The Great Outdoors

Be careful on your next hiking or camping trip by preparing beforehand so you can have the most enjoyable time possible.