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Bear Pepper Spray

  • Bear Pepper Spray More Effective Than A Gun

    Lake Tahoe Black Bear searching for food smallerIt is that time of year again when people go hunting, camping and fishing, and bears began to come out of hibernation. Many people carry a gun for protection of the unexpected bear encounter, but is that the weapon that should be carried for that purpose?

    Two newly released research studies, reported by the Jackson Hole News and Guide, shows that Bear Pepper Spray may be more effective then a gun when confronted with aggressive Bears.

    The Journal of Wildlife Management published that less than 2 percent of those that carried Bear Pepper Spray were injured when meeting up with an aggressive bear. Compare that to almost 30  percent that had a gun being hurt during an incident.

    It was also reported that Bear Spray could help prevent injuries by working 98 percent of the time, compared to 70 percent of gun incidents working.

    You can see the complete article here.

    We carry two excellent brands of Bear Pepper Spray. Pepper Mace™ Bear Spray and Guard Alaska® Bearspray . You can purchase them here.

    Be Safe Out There!

  • Coyotes, Jackrabbits, & Raccoons oh my! Where is my animal repellent?


    We live in The San Joaquin Valley, California and it is not uncommon to see Jack Rabbits, and Raccoons on the farm land around us. Is not unusual to hear Coyote yelps and screams if you are fishing around area lakes and Rivers, but it is, or I should say was, unusual to see these animals walking down city streets, attacking people in their carports, and chasing small animals inside your house.

    But that is just what has been happening California:

    Other than sighting many jackrabbits in home gardens, other specific incidents have been worthy enough to make the newspaper and television news.

    In San Diego County, a Coyote was sighted chasing a cat down the middle of a gated community street.

    In East Lake, a resident reported hearing coyotes hysterics near by as a pack captured their dinner.

    A Rancho Penisquitas resident, reported that here neighbor's dog was taken from a fenced yard, by a possible coyote, and that they are now afraid to leave their dog outside.

    A Spring Valley resident, reported that a coyote chased a dog through a dogie door right into the house surprising the owner who was then in a fight to save her pet.

    In Sacramento, a young woman was attacked by raccoon, twice, while walking from her car to her front door. She is now undergoing rabies treatment.

    In densely populated area of Stockton, a set of three raccoon cubs were found living in a home owner's back yard tree.

    And in Glendale, an entire pack of coyotes have taken up residence in an upscale neighborhood home that burned last November.

    These are just some of the incidents reported in our area. We need to change the way we treat our pets and garbage and we have another use for animal repellent pepper spray.

    First understand that animals that normally live in the wild, are loosing their homes and food sources, as we spread out our cities to accommodate the growing population. So they move down from the hills looking for food and nesting areas.

    Help keep them away from your home by:

    Placing garbage in cans with animal proof lids.

    If possible, watch your small pets while they are outside or place them in pens.

    Don't leave out pet food where wild animals will find an easy source of food.

    If you have yard or a home garden, consider fencing it in and research methods to repel animals from it. There are chemical, electrical, and electronic animal repellents on the market.

    If you see a wild animal, keep your distance. There are recent cases of rabies transmission from a paw scratch.

    Keep animal repellent nearby. You never know when it could be needed to save your pet, or child from an animal attack.

    But above all, be safe out there!




  • Yosemite National Park Backcountry Black Bears & Repellent Spray Pepper

    Black Bear ForSecuritySake.comOur Back Packing party was four adults and three teenagers. We learned much about Black Bears while camping in the back country Hetch Hetchy reservoir area of Yosemite National Park.

    After six hours of hiking up the mountain trail above the reservoir, we reached an area with supplied fire rings and wire cable lines strung between trees. We decided to camp there for our trip.

    Camping near us were four park rangers studying the design of some new bear proof containers.

    We knew we were in Black Bear country and we were prepared with our Bear Pepper Spray Repellant, but we learned a lot more from these rangers and our trip. The area we were staying in is the drop off point officials take Black Bears that were aggressive and a nuisance in the Yosemite National Park Valley.

    The rangers gave us some facts about Black Bears in the Yosemite National Park Area:

    Always keep food, makeup, and any sugar, or sweets out of your tent and parked car. Black Bears have torn into tents or cars when a smell of food or sweets is present. Instead always place your food in a bear proof container or hang it in line strung across two trees out of reach of bears.

    Never try to take food away from a Black Bear once he has it. They will protect their food.

    Black Bears will return to a point they have found food in the past.

    Never run from a Black Bear. Black Bears will normally stop a charge when you stand your ground and look as large as you can. If you run, they see this as a sign of weakness and may chase you down.

    Black Bears normally scare away with banging pots and pans or thrown rocks. Bear attacks are rare as long as you use common sense.

    Never get between a Black Bear and her Cub(s).

    Bears are smart; they will learn different techniques to get at your food. We learned this as we had Black Bears in camp every day and night we spent there.

    Here are two of our experiences with these bears:

    *We did not use our bear spray here because we wanted to see what the bear would do and we were never in any danger from the bear.

    We followed instructions and hung our food on a supplied line stretching between two trees. Some of us were in camp when in bright daylight, an adult Black Bear spotted our food.

    This bear climbed one tree where the food line was secured and tried several times to reach out and snag the food bag. The bag was out of reach and we thought the bear had given up.

    The bear then climbed the other tree where the line was stretched and tried again without success. We were sure at this point the bear would give up, but then the bear stood there under the food pacing back and forth, ignoring us. Then we realized just how smart and powerful these bears are.

    After a few minutes of pacing, the bear went to a young pine tree and began to push it from the trunk toward the food line. To our amazement, the bear was able to push the tree toward the food and climbed the tree, while keeping it bent toward the food bag. As the bear got close enough to reach the bag, it used one front paw to swipe the bag in the middle. And with that the Ripstop Nylon bag was in two pieces, the bottom full of food now on the ground.

    The Black Bear ran off with the food bag and did not spill a single piece. But we had one more thing to be amazed about with this bear.

    Knowing that it is bad news to mess with a bear with food, and armed with our Bear Pepper Spray, we waited an hour and followed the bear tracks. We walked only a couple hundred yards when we found the leftovers, and none of it was uneaten food.

    There on the ground was the empty Ripstop Nylon bag and twenty beef jerky plastic wrappers, all in a neat little pile. We will have a good time with this true story for many years to come.

    Simply put, Bear Pepper Spray is a good thing to have when those unexpected bear moments arise. You may never need it, but when you do need it, not having it could be tragic.

    One day of our camp out, our three teenagers just happened to get to close to two bear cubs that had wandered into camp. Momma bear was not yet in sight and while paying attention to these cubs, momma bear charged the boys.

    The boys did not stand their ground, but one of our adults with Bear Pepper Spray Repellent and another with banging pots and pans did. This Black Bear family did not return to our camp during our stay.

    Keep watch on our blog and you will see some more stories from our bear encounters.

  • Black Bear Pepper Spray Repellent Works Lake Tahoe California

    I was watching  Animal Planet's Blond vs Bear episode "Breaking Point", They report that there are over 600 Black Bears in the Lake Tahoe area.  As a result, there are about 100 calls a day to the Bear League. Some of these are called emergencies, because a bear has interacted with people in a way that is dangerous for the people, bear, or both.

    The Bear League tries to protect these Black Bears by trying to scare them away and back into the forest. In this episode, they use knowledge of Black Bear behaviour, noise, rocks, paint ball guns, and non-lethal shotgun rubber bullets to scare the bears away.

    The problem is if the bear didn't learn to stay away from the experience, it will probably return. Black Bears sometimes have to be repelled a number of times before they will be trained to stay away. If they become a nuisance, they have a good chance of being trapped and destroyed.

    Other than the TV show, I read about a multiple year study in the Lake Tahoe area. Biologists found that after 1,000 encounters with 150 bears that a number of bears will return after being hit with rubber bullets or pepper spray.

    Black Bears struck with rubber shotgun slugs would run away, but 90 percent of them would return within an hour.

    Black Bears hit with Bear Pepper Spray Repellent, would also run away, but only 82 percent would return within an hour.

    The above numbers show that Black Bear pepper spray repellent works better in training the bears to stay away.  Be sure to buy a couple of  bear spray cans and have them with you while renting cabins, or camping in bear country.

    The best thing to do to reduce Black Bear encounters is to learn bear behaviour before you rent or camp in bear country. Too often, tourists rent houses and cabins, or camp in the Tahoe area without any knowledge of how to live in Black Bear Country. They leave food out in the open, doors and windows standing open, and garbage out where the scent can be picked up by bears.

    Some tips you can follow:

    Keep food locked in bear proof containers while camping, and keep garbage locked in bear proof trash containers. This is a good start to keeping bears away. If they come to your area and do not find food, they will travel on to another area.

    If renting a cabin or home, keep windows and doors closed, especially while cooking. Bears can easily rip screens or hook doors with their claws to get to food.  

    If a Black Bear does get into your home, then is the time to try to give it escape routes by opening doors, if it is safe to do so.  If a Black Bear feels pinned in it can be a dangerous situation. If you can get out without having to go toward the bear, do so.  If you can't get out make loud noise, but again make sure the bear has a way to get out in a direction away from you.

    Black Bear attacks in the Lake Tahoe are rare. If you use Bear Spray in self defense of a bear, keep in mind that if used indoors, or you are down wind, it can leave a small residue in the air. You may experience a little burn sensation in your eyes and nose. The irritant should dissipate from the air in about 15 minutes. If you feel the need, you can flush your face with water, but do not use creams that could cause the irritant to stick to your face.

    Always remember to never try to take food away from a bear, never get between a bear and a cub, and never run from a bear.

    The older Black Bear cub in the above photo was thought to have lost its mother and was in camp daily during a week long camping trip. We don't know his/her fate, but camp hosts feared the bear had chosen people as a new family. That means that as the bear grows up, that nuisance danger for the bear might happen. Please don't feed bears.

    To learn more Lake Tahoe Black Bear Facts see our posts Black Bear Facts and Purchase Black Bear Pepper Spray for Camping and Hiking

  • Black Bear Facts & Pepper Spray Repellent in The Lake Tahoe Area

    Everyone that has known us for awhile can tell you that our favorite places to be during the summer and fall are the Sierra Mountains. Yosemite National Park, Fallen Leaf Lake, and Lake Tahoe are some of our usual destinations. One thing these three places have in common is Black Bears.

    I would like pass on what Rangers have told me about Black Bears. I learned some of  this while camping with Rangers testing bear proof containers above Hetch Hetchy reservoir,  just outside Yosemite National Park, California. This area is where they took bears then that were causing problems in the Yosemite valley.  I have bear stories from that trip, but that is another blog . Other information came from the Lake Tahoe area Back Bear safety pamphlets.

    A bear’s prime motivation is food! Bears are attracted to easy meals, anywhere people prepare or leave food. If a bear doesn’t find food, it moves on.

    Black Bears are normally docile. When given a way to avoid conflict with people, bears usually take it. When they have food though, they will protect it and their cubs. Have a can of bear pepper spray repellent with you and ready to use, but only use it if the bear attacks.

    Black Bear attacks are rare. Even if a Black Bear charges, it will usually stop before reaching you as long as you give them space and are not between the bear and cub. An important thing to remember is not to run. 

    Bears are not vindictive and do not get mad when food is stored where they can’t get to it. They will stay around until they have run out of ideas though.

    Black bears are smart. They learn rapidly and know where they have found food in the past. When there is a smell of food, sweet drinks, makeup, or they have found food at a location before they will search for it. They can easily get into a tent and have been known to pry into cars, home window screens, and doors. 

    While camping, it is always best to store food in a bear box (found in developed campsites), or hung on a tree line or small limb out of reach of bears. And don't forget that garbage smells like food to a bear.

    People around you need to be educated. If you do all the right things and your neighbor does not, an attracted bear will look around you too.

    Black Bears climb trees when frightened. Treed bears will eventually come down if left alone, but may stay in the tree for several days.

    Black bears, not used to people, are normally like cattle.  They scare away easily with noise and thrown rocks. Never try to take back food a bear has found and never get between a mother bear and her cub(s).

    Just like people, when you think you know their habits, someone breaks the mold and does something different. It is the same for Black Bears. Black Bears in the Lake Tahoe area are used to people.  They will walk right into your camp looking for food and they are harder to scare away. See our post Purchase Bear Pepper Spray For Camping & Hiking for examples.

    Unfortunately, Lake Tahoe area Black Bears will come to your camp, people there or not. This is where they can be dangerous and un-informed people can get hurt.  If a bear comes into your camp and gets food, do not try to get it back.  Just like a dog, they will protect their food. They will also protect cubs, so give them space until they leave.

    Be safe out there and remember to purchase bear pepper spray repellent for camping and to use it only in defense of a bear attack.

    More true stories to come.

  • Purchase Bear Pepper Spray For Camping & Hiking

    Now is the time to consider your camping plans for the year. While thinking about supplies, I would add a note to purchase bear pepper spray for your camping protection.  

    The situation pictured is a dangerous one.  While wild bears will normally scare away, some bears are used to people and will do whatever they want. This one had food and bears will defend their food and cubs.

    Last year we were camping in the Lake Tahoe, California area and as reported, black bear activity has increased in the campgrounds and back country. The number of bear incidents has increased to the point that authorities are considering opening a hunting season.  Hunting black bears is something that hasn't been allowed in this area for many years. 

    We have encountered Black Bears a number of times in the Lake Tahoe area and I would like to share a Black Bear true story  from our family trip last year.

    August 30th, 2010, I was sitting alone at our campfire at Fallen Leaf Lake campground. It had been dark for about half an hour and my wife was getting ready to join me from our 5th wheel trailer. I heard a grunt and looked up to see a 300lb Black Bear standing under our lit Coleman Lantern.  She was just 30 feet away from me, and I could see a tag in her ear (Tags are placed on bears when they have been aggressive in campgrounds and previously trapped and removed). The Bear’s eyes were reflecting green from the lantern, meaning she was looking directly at me. She turned away to look at my open campsite bear box which was empty of food and then she continued walking toward another campsite across a campground street.

     As I told my wife to stay in the 5th wheel and started to look where the bear had gone, I was passed by her cub playfully jumping around and falling behind. That’s when I heard the screams.

    The screams had come from two young couples that were tent camping in sites across from us. One girl was yelling “what do I do” and the other was yelling at the mother bear to get away from her desert.

    While telling the one couple not to try to approach the bear, we told the other to put all food and sweets in the bear box. But it was too late for the one campsite.

    They had just come back from the grocery store and had all of their food on the picnic table. The mother bear had found a feast and was not about to give it up. The campers and their neighbors tried though, moving their cars to light up the bears, honking horns to try to scare them away and taking flash pictures. What they didn’t know is that when scared, bears climb trees and stay there until they feel safe again. This area is full of pine trees and the bear cub did just that, but the mother bear climbed up on the picnic table and continued her feast.

    What I did next is not the smartest thing to do. I knew that I wanted a picture for my blog, but it was dark, my flash would not reach, and the car headlights were facing me. I decided to walk (what I thought was) safely around several campsites to the left and get to a position that would work. I needed to use my hat mounted flashlight to see where I was walking, so I didn’t notice that the mother bear ran out of the food.  She lost site of her cub, that was now in a tree. She began to walk my way and then considered me a threat.

    By the time I looked up, I saw the green glow of the mother bear’s eyes as she began charging in my direction. At this point I remembered not to run and thought I might need bear pepper spray, but instead I hit the shutter button on my camera. The flash was set to white strobe, to reduce redeye, and stopped the bear’s charge. The Mother bear then found her cub the two bears walked around me to visit one more campsite within my sight with the campers running to the safety of their car.

    I talked to a camp host the next day.  He said that this bear and cub had been a problem before and that they had learned to wait in the dark and then move into a campsite when the bear box was left open.

    Because the mother bear was used to people and not afraid of them, she repeatedly returned to campsites. She had been tagged and removed before and this time  would probably be hunted down.

    There is a saying in the Lake Tahoe area. A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear. Every Black Bear I have encountered in the Lake Tahoe area has been unafraid of people. The photo shown at the top of this article  is of a woman at Fallen Leaf Campground on an earlier trip. She was trying to scare a Black Bear that had stolen an open bag of chips from her campsite. She was trying to scare the bear away by hitting pots and pans together making a loud noise. The bear stayed right there, just five feet away from her. She had also allowed her children to walk near the bear as if it were a pet. Very dangerous to say the least.  What about me you ask? I took the picture with a telephoto lens.

    The bear did finally leave and bear spray was not warranted here because there was no attack. If not for her guardian angle, this could have been a very different story.

    Be safe out there and remember to purchase bear pepper spray for camping and to use it only in defense of a bear attack.

    More true Black Bear stories to come.

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