Questions About Bears
Bear Sprays Work
can I do to help prevent bear encounters in camp?
kinds of bears am I most likely to run into?
should I do in a bear encounter?
bear pepper spray and mace attract bears?
makes Counter Assault Bear Repellent Spray by Bearicuda different from other bear sprays?
should I do if I accidentally get sprayed?
should I use Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray if I am approached by
Bear Mace hurt animals?
I take Bear Deterrent Pepper Spray into Canada?
I carry Bear Mace onto an airplane?
is the shelf life of bear spray?
Bear Deterrent Spray work in freezing temperatures?
is it important that Counter Assault Bear Deterrent is EPA registered?
1. How Bear Mace Sprays Works
Capsaicin and related capsaicinoids are the Active
Ingredients within Oleoresin Capsicum. Commonly referred to as OC,
it is a natural, oily, resin-like substance derived from hot peppers,
the same ones used in spicy foods. Bear mace that contain OC induce
an almost immediate but temporary burning sensation
of the skin and a burning, tearing, and swelling of the eyes. If OC is
inhaled, the respiratory tract becomes inflamed resulting in swelling
of the mucous membranes lining the breathing passage and temporarily restricting
breathing to short, shallow breaths.
Counter Assault Bear Mace by Bearicuda utilizes a sophisticated dispersal system to create
an atomized fog, which produces a pepper cloud slow to dissipate. The
most effective dispersal system is the atomized fogger.
Bearicuda Bear Deterrent
To be effective, Bear Deterrent must be airborne.
Do not spray this product on objects, tents, or humans; such use has
NO deterrent effect on bears.
A group comprised of bear biologists and wildlife specialists released
recommendations for bear spray on August 12, 1999. Their Bear Spray Position Paper lists the following criteria:
Our Bear Repellent Spray meets or exceeds all the Recommendations.
Bear Biologist & Wildlife
Counter Assault Specifications
1% to 2% Capsaicin and Related Capsaicinoids
2% Capsaicin and Related Capsaicinoids
25 feet or more
Spray Duration (min)
7.9 ounces of net weight or 225 grams
8.1 ounces of net weight or 230 grams
Cloud Pattern Spray
Cloud Pattern Spray
Derivative of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC)
Derivative of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC)
2. What can I do to help prevent bear
encounters in camp?
Remember that bears are curious creatures with a powerful sense of smell.
Please follow local camping regulations, but here are some tips:
- Set up cooking, eating, and supply areas at least 100 yards from
your sleeping area.
- Store food and odorous items by hanging at least 10 feet above ground
and 4 feet from top and side supports or by storing in approved bear-resistant
containers. Click here for a diagram.
- Select food in individually sealed packages. Plan meals carefully
to prevent leftovers.
- Store pet food, livestock feed, and garbage the same as food. Never
bury it; pack it out.
- Strain food particles from dishwater using a fine mesh screen and
store with garbage.
- Dump dishwater at least 100 yards from your sleeping area. Food odors
may attract bears.
- Keep sleeping bags and tents completely free of food, food odors,
or beverages at all times.
- Store personal items (such as deodorants, toothpaste, make-up, soap,
and lotions) with food and garbage when not in use. Any odorous product
may attract bears.
- Camp in open areas away from trails, thick brush, berry patches,
spawning streams, or carcasses.
- Sleep in a tent for increased safety.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after cooking, eating, or handling fish
or game. Always minimize odors.
- Change your clothes before going to bed -- do not sleep in the same
clothes you cook in.
- Rehearse what you and others in your group will do -- day or night
- If a bear appears in your camp or while you're hiking. Review local
regulations before your outing.
3. How do I tell a Black Bear from a
most common North American bears are the black bear and the grizzly bear
click here for identifications.
The black bear is the smaller of the two, uniformly black, brown, blond,
or cinnamon in color.
Grizzly bears often have medium to dark brown legs, hump, and under parts
(grizzled) fur on their head and upper body. The grizzly's distinctive
shoulder hump is actually muscle mass that
enables powerful digging with its long claws. The claws of the black
bear are better for climbing. Back
4. What should I do in a bear encounter?
If you see a bear and it has not seen you, Stay calm
- if you see a bear and it hasn't seen you, calmly and quietly leave
If on a trail, step off the trail on the downhill side and slowly leave
If the bear has seen you, identify yourself - let the bear know you are
Talk in a soft to normal voice, do not yell. Help the animal recognize
you are human.
If the bear cannot tell what you are, it may come closer or stand on
its hind legs to get a better look or smell.
A standing bear is curious, not threatening, but this is a good time
for a first short (one-second) burst of Counter Assault, bear mace which may send
the bear on its way.
Try to back away slowly diagonally, but if the bear follows, stop and
hold your ground.
Pick up small children immediately and stay in a group.
Try not to pose a threat - avoid direct eye contact, as bears may perceive
this as a threat.
Don't make any sudden movements. If necessary, back away slowly to give
the bear plenty of room to escape.
Wild bears rarely attack people unless they feel threatened or provoked.
Stand still - hold your ground if the bear charges. Bears often "bluff
Since it's impossible to tell a bluff charge from the real thing,
a short (1-3 second) blast of bear mace or bear repellant should interrupt the charge.
Do not run - including to the nearest tree unless you are sure you can
climb at least 10 feet before the bear reaches you.
Running is likely to prompt the bear to give chase. You can't outrun
a bear -- they have been clocked up to 35 mph,
and like cougars and dogs, they will chase fleeing animals. (Climbing
a tree may not work for black bears because they are agile climbers.)
Under no circumstances should bear repellent spray create a false sense of security
or serve as a substitute for standard safety precautions in bear country.
5. Does bear pepper spray attract bears?
Any scent may attract bears, but there is no
conclusive evidence by bear experts that bear spray does or does not
This issue came to light due to the improper use of bear pepper and bear mace sprays.
Bear experts all agree that bear spray, when used correctly, is
the best defense against an aggressive bear.
It must be airborne to work.
6. What makes Counter Assault different
from other bear deterrent and repellents?
It is the only Deterrent Bear Pepper Spray to meet or
exceed bear biologists recommendations. (See
7. What should I do if I accidentally
If you are exposed, the effects of Counter Assault
are temporary. With no treatment at all, the effects should dissipate
within approximately 30-45 minutes. However, some attempt should be made
to relieve the discomfort of the individual who has been exposed.
Treatment is accomplished by simply flushing the exposed area with large
quantities of water. As soon as possible, the affected person should
be removed from the contaminated area, placed in a fresh-air environment,
and told to place their head briefly under water while opening their
eyes. More complete treatment instructions are packed with each canister
of Counter Assault.
8. How should I use Counter Assault Bear
Deterrent Spray if I am approached by a bear?
Only a small amount of mace bear spray is usually
needed to resist aggressive behavior. We recommend using short bursts
(one-half to two seconds) as opposed to a long, continuous spray.
The sound made by the atomized fogger blast of this bear spray defense will frequently
startle the animal, as it is not a familiar noise. Sometimes this
is enough to chase it away.
- If a bear or large predator approaches to within thirty feet, give
a warning blast this bear deterrent pepper spray, placing a fog between you and the animal. Note: Check
for wind direction and position yourself upwind if possible, to avoid
- If the bear or large predator continues to approach or to charge
within 20 to 30 feet, use short blasts, continuously in succession,
aiming the bear repellant spray low at the head and face of the animal so it runs into the bear spray,
until the animal retreats or is deterred.
Spray and react -- when the animal attack is interrupted,
this is your chance to get away, but DO NOT RUN.
CAUTION:This product is no substitute for common sense.
9. Will Counter Assault hurt animals
Animals and people temporarily experience intense burning sensations,
which wear off in 30 to 45 minutes. Bear Mace is non-lethal, has
no ozone-depleting chemicals, and causes no permanent damage to
the animal or person sprayed.
10. Can I take this Bear Repellent into
Hikers are allowed to enter Canada (and re-enter
the USA) with US EPA registered bear deterrents for their own use/protection
against bear attack. (The product must return to the US and cannot be
sold or remain in Canada). We sell a Canadian registered product
that can be purchased by Bearicuda, Inc.
11. Can I carry Bear Deterrent and Bear Mace onto
FAA regulations do not allow transportation of more than 4 ounces of
bear pepper spray packed in your luggage. Back
12. What is the shelf life of bear mace
Counter Assault products have a four-year recommended replacement date
because ALL aerosols lose propellant over time. This four-year replacement
date means that it will shoot to maximum distance the first four years,
and will still spray a considerable distance after that date. For example,
Bear Spray Deterrent, when new, sprays 30 to 40 feet whereas
many other bear deterrents only spray from 15 feet to 20 feet when freshly
manufactured. Though the potency of the bear mace pepper spray does not diminish, all
aerosol canister seals will weaken over time, allowing the propellant
to escape. Back
13. Will this Bear Repellent work in freezing
"Yes, although it will not spray as far at freezing temperatures,
because a decrease in temperature causes a decrease in pressure, American
and Canadian park rangers carry their bear repellent under their jackets
to keep it warm for emergency use. It has been used effectively in Cape
Churchill, Manitoba against polar bears using this method and also in
the Arctic at extremely low temperatures of 12°F/-12°C to -6°F/-22°C. Back
14. Why is it important that Counter
Assault Bear Spray is EPA registered?
Any product that claims it can deter an attacking animal by definition
is a pesticide, and must be registered with the EPA.