Satterfield said a team of wildlife agents flew into the remote area by helicopter to track down the animal, which they spotted 30 yards from the injured man’s campsite. The bear had pepper spray on its fur and blood in its claws, he said.
Pepper spray is not the panacea that some would have you think it is. Then again, neither are bullets. I’ve only come across bears a couple times when I’ve been out fishing or hunting. Once, I came across a cub standing in the middle of the logging road at which point every sense went on alert asking “where’s momma bear?”. I was a bit undergunned that time since all I had was my P35 with me. Second time was when I was quietly sitting on the side of a hill and saw a black bear come running across my field of view, follower a few moments later by my hunting buddy running after it. Apparently he liked to chase black bears because if you got the running downhill, their butt end would eventually flip over their head and they’d go cartwheeling down the hill. Whatever. I was a little better armed that time with a FAL.
Sometimes bear spray works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes bullets work, sometimes they don’t. Play it safe and cover all the bases.
True story: I met the guy who developed the Counter Assault bear spray. He’s the guy in the promotional literature with blood all over his head from being mauled only moments before the picture was taken. Back then the stuff was sold as ‘pepper spray’ and the words ‘bear repellent’ on the can had been crossed out. I asked why and was told that to sell it as pepper spray for use against people was perfectly cool, but to market it as bear repllenet you had to do studies to show that it gave no lasting injuries to the bear. Go figure.