6 Oct 23
“You can bet your life on bear-spray”
So say any number of “outdoor experts” seen on TV.
Yet, that proved a fatal fantasy one week ago for a couple hiking in Banff National Park in Canada’s Alberta Provence.
The couple and their dog were attacked and killed by a female grizzly bear. Their partially-eaten bodies were found near their campsite by Park Rangers.
The (likely) offending bear was subsequently “euthanized” (ie: “shot”) a short time later by the same team of (heavily-armed) Park Rangers.
A fully-discharged bottle of bear-spray was discovered at the scene.
The bear was apparently unimpressed!
Lesson 1): The “bear-spray will protect you” fantasy has been sold to naive hikers for years. It may work some time, yet this couple bet their lives on it, and it didn’t.
For one, I don’t like betting my life of things that “usually work,” particularly when they’re gleefully promoted by people who themselves personally never enter the woods unless heavily armed!
Of course in Canada, legally going armed is all but impossible. After all, bears are protected.
As we see, people aren’t!
When in “bear country,” my advice is to always carry (on your person) a 44Mg revolver, loaded with heavy, solid bullets that are going to have sufficient penetration to reach a bear’s vital organs.
Even that is on the minimum edge of adequacy when it comes to big, aggressive grizzly bears!
I’ve never hunted bears, but I did shoot and kill a charging (at me!) Cape Buffalo in Africa, and I used a bolt gun, chambered for 458Win and loaded with solid copper bullets, made for me by friends at Cor-Bon.
That combination proved incisively adequate.
I would not have been comfortable using anything less!
Lesson 2): Be selective with regard to whom you take advice from!
You have to ask yourself, “Is this person just promoting the ‘party line,’ an agenda-driven fantasy designed only to ‘protect’ bureaucratic careers?
Or, is he really interested in the preservation of my, personal good health?”
In most cases, you get what you pay for!
“Free advice is usually overpriced”
Charles McKenzie