View topic - Bear Spray in Ontario

Canadian Canoe Routes

Bear Spray in Ontario
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Author:  K9to5 [ July 26th, 2006, 8:47 pm ]
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Pepperspray-> Illegal in Canada (Law Officers just confiscate it)
Mace- Extremely Illegal ( Night in Jail most likely, carrying concealed weapon, this stuff has been illegal in Canada for ages though.

Plus they really need to be close

Bear spray shoots a massive spray at least 15 ft out, its not like dinky pepper spray or mace, it really gets out there trust me, thats why the stuff works and is expensive for a 1 time use can.

I saw a show a few years back on American Satellite (Dish Network I think?) were they were testing bear sprays, they were literally walking up too aggressive grizz/black bears pawing, stomping, chattering etc...) bear got one smell or taste of that nice yelloe spray and ran like dogs with their tails between legs ) they also would wimper like a dog.........if you don't want an altercation, don't rely on bangers, they were only proven to be 75% useful on that show i watched to aggressive bears, the spray worked 100% of the time on 200 individual bears.

Author:  canuckcamper06 [ July 26th, 2006, 10:19 pm ]
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I spend most of my outdoor time in APP and its not so much the bears that scare but some of the bad habits other campers have that induce the animal to come nosing around. Always carry a a can of spray in a holster on my hip.


Author:  K9to5 [ July 26th, 2006, 10:42 pm ]
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I agree CC, 2 years ago in APP near the Barron I was walking down a trail w/ my dog when a border collie/husky mix came flying around the corner off leash and when it approached me and tucker it was snarling and showing its teeth, it kept circling us as i was yelling "come get your dog before it gets hurt! " I knew someone had to be around , sure as hell just as my dog lashed out and tried to bite that dog the owners appeared around the corner..........they had the nerve to threaten my shepherd for trying to bite their dog.......they didn't get the cleanest choice of words from me in my response along with the fact they were staying at a campsite just down the trail and didn't have the dog on a leash no longer then 3 m (Rule) ........i ran into a warden at the barron access lot and told them what happened .......he went in right after them hope they had their dog on a leash. now if i was as neglectful as those people and tucker was off his leash, with the way that dog was acting it would've got hurt, a 55 lb dog isn't gonna do anything to my 100lb shepherd. that dogs lucky I am responsible, its not like it was a 50 lb pitbull at least.

Author:  Ghost Brigade [ July 27th, 2006, 10:26 pm ]
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My wife and I watched a bear video showing proper technique and effectiveness of bear spray on Grizzlies and black bears in B.C. This was a mandatory requirement to paddle the Bowron lakes. The bears were kept at bay, but i would like to see how the rest of that video would play out in real situation. Does that bear high tail it out of the area or shake it off and stick around for round two? :(

Also mandatory was a canister of bear spray. We had just received a can from my brother thus saving the $40 -50 that the park was charging . Those were the days when you could still fly with them :o

We encountered a mother and two cubs our first day out on one of the portages. After she pushed the two young ones up a tree she stepped out on to the trail about 20 ' from us, as we backed away slowly with our arms over our heads, descending from her sight . I waited a few minutes before walking up the knoll talking loudly, she was still there with her cubs just behind her. She now raised up on her hind legs and swayed back and forth a couple of times as i backed away slowly again with raised arms and talking in a normal voice to the bear. Her teeth snapped once and she made a grunting sound twice. As she came down on all fours she turned quickly sending the cubs running, and then mamma hightailed it off the trail, with one last look over her shoulder at me. The bear spray in my pocket did make me feel confident, it stayed there the entire time except for when I broke the safety tie and put it at the ready.

Our cans stay in each of our days packs in the outside rear small pockets, one pack / canister is always with us. If you were ever to have to use it i believe under favourable conditions (wind, time of day- for light and accuracy you can buy some time with a predacious bear, at least to make your escape/plot your next move. Practice spraying expired cans, get comfortable with it.

I agree that bear spray should be treated like a weapon and that bears can be more of a nuisance in some pp. But, i believe it does not matter were you are, if you are in bear country, there may be a predacious bear. This is the one that you will need to be prepared for. This bear is not an aggressive bear, just one that is looking for a meal, just as it would stalk and hunt a calf moose.

Author:  K9to5 [ July 28th, 2006, 12:02 am ]
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I agree also about what happens after that all fairness, have you seen what mace does to a human? or even pepperspray? Now just think how much more sensitive a bears smell is?? yeah i doubt they are gonna hang around, besides after the initial spray and they take off it gives you plenty of time to vacate the area, don't forget bears have poor eyesight, half the time they don't see you until they are 15 ft away, thats why they are always nose up or nose to the ground, once the smell is real strong will they only look forward to see because they know what they are smelling it that close to them. I'll take my chances on bear spray and a knife as last resort before a banger, after i watched some of those bangers trigger mock charges in that video only to get dusted with some spray and retreat , i wouldn't even bother, a bear is a wild animal, some dogs can be ravenous or go ballistic with loud noises.

Author:  ladydi [ July 30th, 2006, 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Bear Spray

Read the various posts and had to add mine. Can't guarantee my statistic is accurate but very close - actual Black Bear attacks in Canada in last 50 years less than 30. More people are bitten by people!

Point being, Black bears are not predacious by nature. A bear that "grunts", rears on hind legs or even "bluff charges" has no intention of eating you - he is either curious (standing on his legs to get a better look) or telling you to back away. "Chuffing" or grunting is a stress reaction to having a human too close for comfort - if you hear this, you should respond by moving away to reduce the bear's stress. Bluff charging is the same. If a bear charges you and retreats, he had no intention of hurting you in the first place, again the best defence is to respect this, and move slowly away. You can speak in low tones if you need to speak at all. Standing sideways reduces your profile and reinforces your intent (which is hopefully to do no harm). I have ran into one such bear in Frontenac and did so, very quietly and respectfully. I didn't need to scream, yell or bang pots - I just choose the path of least resistance.

A black bear that IS going to attack you is in human terms "insane" and these bears are not going to bluff charge you, grunt at you or anything else. They will simply attack you straight on - without warning. You can't outrun them or bang pots to scare them -. The only strategy for this type of bear which 99% of us will never see in our lifetime is to fight it off in combat. Then use spray, fists, knifes or whatever you have to basically make it decide to give up eating you.

I am sure you can guess by now I don't carry bear spray. I don't think I could trigger it fast enough or accurately enough to do any good if I was ever put in a postion of mortal combat.

I will close by saying I am also very fastidious about my housecleaning around my campsite and believe most bear encounters are do to human ignorance and carelessness. As the owner of two large dogs, I also keep them leashed on a 3 meter lead since I don't go backcountry camping to torment the local wild life when I am the "guest" in their wilderness.

So, give the bears a break,

Author:  Hillbilly [ July 30th, 2006, 2:06 pm ]
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Well said. I could not agree with you more. In 25 years of backcountry canoeing I have never seen a Black Bear except in a garbage dump many times, once in Algonquin Park about 1.5 km. up on the hill walking away from where I was going camping and once on a logging road in Temagami about 20km from my put-in.
I only pick what I consider a cleen campsite and have refused to camp at a few sites due to other inconsiderate canoeist. Black Bears are many and only a few sightings. A hunt camp operator told me that the MNR had done a survey around his hunting area and they told him that there are 10 bears for every 16 square km in his area. The area is crown land and he has hunters that use over 100 sq. km. to hunt in. With over 62 bear in that area and very few are ever seen and none have ever been a problem. By the way there is canoeing in this area.


Author:  ladydi [ July 30th, 2006, 3:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Bear Spray

Bill (aka Hillbilly)

If you mean Temagmi (re your comment canoeing in the area) I think it must be a beautiful area that I hope to go to.

Hoping to go to Quetico which I think is in that vicinity (have to check my map) - the only thing that keeps stopping me is the long drive and not enough vacation time. I opt for Killarney or Algonquin since I can get their in a 1/2 day and still feel like I am away from the grind of the city.

On a final "bear" note, their is a documentary that was out on video last year - I can't remember the name but just look for something regarding grizzlies. The documentary is about Timothy Treadwell - this man was actually a "wannabe" actor from L.A who's only claim to hollywood fame was he auditioned for the bartender on "cheers" and lost out to Woody Harelson.

Anyway, he has a near death experience with drugs and then decides he has to get close to nature and travels to Alaska every year to "live with the grizzlies". He does this for 12 years without incident. The 13th year he and his girlfriend are literally "eaten" by an old grizzly - you know this because he had this habit of keeping a camcorder on-site and although the video component wasn't "on" - the audio captured the entire grueling 6 or 7 minutes of it.

Won't ruin the movie for those of you curious, but basically this man annoyed me from the moment I heard him speak. He did everything "wrong" when it came to bears, the worst offence - he insisted on making the bears his "pets" rather than go and observe from a respectable distance (100 metres or more - MNR had posted the distance for visitors to the park) . Intead, he ignored the park guidelines and camped in the brush right in the middle of an area that grizzlies frequented.

The irony is the bear that ate him was one of his bear "friends" - it was an old bear and was seen (also on Timothey's camcorder) the day before foraging for dead salmon at the bottom of a lake in late September when most bears had already left for hibernation. This man's death although tragic was completely predicatable. An old bear at the brink of starvation saw Timothy and his girlfriend as a quick "lunch" and took the opportunity to dine rather than die.

The documentary is interesting in that it interviews different people including the MNR and other locals.


Author:  Hillbilly [ July 30th, 2006, 4:05 pm ]
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I have to agree with you about Timothy Treadwell. You do not need to put yourself in that kind of position.
On the Temagami area. I leave my house in Brampton and can be where I put in in less that 8 hours arrive 2:30 to 3. Still have a couple of hours i can paddle before setting camp and I am away from people. Unlike Algonquin when you have to canoe at least 2 hours and then make at least one if not 2 portages before you are away from most. A little more road time for less people. I have also been known to leave on a Friday after work and camp on a Crown Land and start early Sat. morning to the put-in and have most of the day to paddle. Leave Sunday a week later and arrive home around 6pm, go to work Monday feeling good but hateing that I was not still up there.


Author:  ladydi [ July 30th, 2006, 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Where is Crown Land?

Bill (Hillbilly)

I concede when it comes to navigation, I cannot find my way out of a paper bag without a map.

This was one of my reasons to go backcountry camping - deal with my fear of getting lost (run towards what scares you!)

My question is: Where exactly is "Crown Land" ? I agree I am tired of Algonquin becasue like you said, way too many day trippers . I live in GTA west of 400 hwy - what highway or highways are you referring to. I have more vacation time coming and 8 hours is within my range of travel. I have travelled 7 hours to the east gate of Algonquin.

Can you tell me the town/city or point me to a website? I admit, in this area, not the sharpest pick in the shed.

Author:  Hillbilly [ July 30th, 2006, 5:44 pm ]
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Read your PM.


Author:  Old Canoeist [ July 30th, 2006, 8:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Pepperspray regulations in Canada

Pepperspray regulations - see

and search on pepper

Author:  Ghost Brigade [ July 30th, 2006, 10:19 pm ]
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Welcome to the board Ladydi.

How is a black bear predacious if not by nature?

In my encounter with the bears in BC at no time did I think she was going to attack me because she rose to her hind legs and snarled. We were just doing what was natural in this situation, mother bear checking me out and i backing away slowly. As i mentioned this was our first day out for this trip and we had just sat through the mandatory bear attack/ defence video after which we had to show proof of our spray which we had never carried before. Within the next two hours we had our encounter. My confidence in the spray was due to the fact that we were travelling in a area with a high bear / human encounter rate (100 thus far that season)

I am no expert on bears but I have read both Herero and Dave Smith to give me a better understanding of bear behaviour.

Again it is the predacious bear that you should be prepared for. Diane you state that the predacious bear will attack without warning. Yet In Allan Kesslheim book Water and Sky he is stalked for a couple of days on a trip in the NWT by a Grizzly bear which he eventually shoots. In Tidewater PP near the James Bay coast i had the experience of walking at night beside a black bear that was following me, he may have been sizing me up your just getting a good smell. I stopped and talked in a soft voice to the bear , not sure what was going to happen, the bear departed after a brief moment. Just because 99% of the time most of us will not encounter the predacious bear doesnt mean IMO that you shouldn't prepare for it. I respect bears and take a rational educated approach. Prepare like your life depends on it because it does if you are the 1% that the preying bruin is after :cry:

Author:  Ghost Brigade [ July 31st, 2006, 6:27 am ]
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Doug, there were was no inquest into Dr. Perry's death in Missinaibi PP( I believe). The coroner would send the summary of that incident to the family only.

Author:  GWA [ July 31st, 2006, 8:51 am ]
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actual Black Bear attacks in Canada in last 50 years less than 30. More people are bitten by people!

This is less than 1 per year, that's way too low. There have been 500 attacks by black bears in the last 86 years in National parks alone in the US. You really think all of Canada has a rate signifcantly lower than this (0.6/year vs. 5.8/yr)?

Point being, Black bears are not predacious by nature

????? :o :lol: :doh: :roll:

A black bear that IS going to attack you is in human terms "insane"

or hungry.......

and these bears are not going to bluff charge you, grunt at you or anything else. They will simply attack you straight on - without warning

actually, you almost always are stalked first...I've yet to read of a [predatory attack where the person was totally blindsided

Standing sideways reduces your profile and reinforces your intent (which is hopefully to do no harm

Every leadng bear attack expert would disagree with this. Look as large as possible, in a non-threatening way.

Gotta love the misinformation-net.

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