Bear Spray

Posted by Leanne Smith on

What Is Bear Spray?

In the mid-1980s Carrie Hunt, a graduate student at the University of Montana, conducted experiments to see what may stop a charging grizzly bear. When she tested personal defence sprays and law enforcement/military pepper sprays, she found potential but also obstacles to overcome for effective use on bears. Her research led to an understanding of what the active ingredients in bear spray needed to be, and how it worked in different charging bear scenarios. A volunteer to the project, Bill Pounds, successfully developed a concentrated formulation that was well-atomized and able to be dispersed in a powerful, expanding cone-shaped cloud that did not require aiming. Their bear spray could discharge for more than seven seconds, spray 30 feet, and be deployed by simply directing the spray downward in front of the charging bear. These results were a breakthrough that began the bear spray industry; and has saved the lives of people and bears.

T.J. Schwanky, outdoor writer and host of Outdoor Quest TV. Sheep hunting nut and African plains game junkie with a love for adventure hunting. T.J. knows that not all bear spray is the same and has tested many different brands but he chooses Yukon Magnum compared to the other of dozens he's tried for its range and the highest capsaicin and related capsaicinoids available in canada.

How To Carry Your Bear Spray

Bear spray should be carried in a readily accessible hip or chest holster, not in a backpack or pocket.


A bear can run 55 kilometres per hour …. that is over 50 feet per SECOND!


  • Q -  I already carry a gun when I hunt. Do I still need to carry bear spray?

    A - When a bear attacks, bear spray offers several advantages over a firearm:

  • Bear spray requires less accuracy than bullets fired at a moving target, especially when you’re under stress.

  • Accidental discharges or badly aimed firearms can kill people, while bear spray has never caused a fatality. Bear spray leaves the bear alive, and less likely to approach humans in the future.

  • Firing a warning shot from a gun may not scare a bear away, but a sprayed bear is likely to leave.

Bottom line: hunters who carry bear spray are prepared for anything.

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