That's Australia lol :P
We actually only have 2 native species of mammals (bats) and bird's, and a whole lot of native birds. Also no snakes.
So all of my hiking experiences have been predator free, lol
So the first time i encounter a safe harmless little snake I'll probably run away screaming LMAO
* a side note:
there are mammal's that were introduced as pets, food sources, or
the basis of a fur industry. And they are damaging our forests and killing off our native birds.
Here's an add which show's the fearsome Australian possum, we have 70 million of them, as you will see, they are quite "dangerous" lol
Edit: Heheh! I appear to be a little bit off the subject
Last edited by Nudgeworth; 09-30-2007 at 07:28.
I highly doubt any bear that has been sprayed before will have a resistance to it. I honestly think it's just backcountry lore about pepper spray resistant bears.
I agree with whats been said of safety in the woods vs. home. I feel much safer in the woods.
Maybe we should all just use our hammocks as a human bear bag. Hang 20 ft up
i would think i would much rather have a good serrated knife than pepper spray if i was being attacked by a bear. although i've never had a bear encounter, i did come within 30 feet of a bobcat in cades cove (GSMNP). it was a big one too, about as big as a full size golden retriver. he just looked right at me for a second and never broke stride. pretty cool.
there are mountain lions out west, and i'm much more afraid of them than a bear. i just see how my house cat manhandles our dogs which are twice her size, and then i imagine if she was 175+ lbs. .
i think if you were really attacked by a big cat or a bear, a sharp knife or a gun would be your best.
i did hear a story of a guy who fought off a lepord attack by shoving his thumb into the cats eye socket though. i bet he felt like a bad a$$ after that was over.
The new issue of Backpacker magazine has an article about how smart the bears have gotten in Yosemite. It was a great article.
Whatever happened to just throwing some food at the bear and then hoping that you can outrun your hiking partner?
I'm going on a three-day hike with my son in late October and I decided to buy two canisters of bear spray due to the fact that bear encounters have increased to the level that use of bear resistant canister for all food is mandatory.
But I'm guessing that most encounters with an aggressive bear are not going to give the person being attacked enough time to un-holster and de-safety the canister - however your hiking partner - if they are not running off into the woods screaming - might be able to get the bear off you with a squirt or two - which is the real-life scenario documented at the guard alaska site.
I wonder if a stun gun might be a more effective defense than spray or knives - they sure seem to work on all the college kids getting stunned on yuotube. And they have ones that both fire up to 15 feet away and work in direct contact - so if you miss the shot you can still stun the beast when it gets to you. Unlike a gun or pepper spray, taser work when they hit almost any part of the body. Unfortunately, several states prohibit their possession by non-law enforcement people.
"Every day above ground is a good day"
I'd say that your best defense is to avoid situations where you're likely to encounter a bear. Take precautions with your food and other good smelling things (toothpaste, soap etc..) and where you prepare or use said things.
Pepper spray gets mixed results from the field, especially since its harder to use accurately than a gun. You sure want to be aware of wind direction since getting even a little blowing back at you is going to be REALLY unpleasant. Also remember that if people hyped on adrenaline can function after exposure then animals can too.
A good dog who stays WITH you and doesn't run off, after stuff is an extra deterrent. Especially if they "marK" around the camp area. Most animals will respect that barrier.
Gun choices vary. Shotguns with slugs are your BEST bet if you want to be certain. Otherwise something like a high power handgun is good 10mm, 45-08, ...
Being Canadian its quite difficult to get permission to carry a handgun, and of course its illegal to carry ANY gun in a park. So, we make do. I've seen bears when camping, but never been bothered.
I can't say for sure... I have tried it, but never had any bear contact when I did...
So can't say if it worked or not.
Anecdotally though, a famous Canadian author (Farley Mowat) has success with this keeping wolves out of his camp in the far north.