Recommendations For The Effective Use Of Bear Spray


Montana Fish Wildlife Parks - FWPThe Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee recommends the use of bear spray and reminds hunters and others that despite its proven effectiveness, it is not a substitute for using proper bear safety techniques in the first place. The IGBC provides these guidelines:

When to use bear pepper spray:

Bear pepper spray should be used as a deterrent only in an aggressive or attacking confrontation with a bear.

How to use bear spray:

Each person should carry a can of bear pepper spray when working or recreating in bear habitat. Spray should be tested once a year and the expiration date checked. Do not test spray in or near camping area.

Selecting a bear spray:

Purchase products that are clearly labeled “for deterring attacks by bears,” and that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

No deterrent is 100% effective, but compared to all others, including firearms, bear spray has demonstrated the most success in fending off threatening and attacking bears and preventing injury to the person and animal involved, said the IGBC.

For more on living with bears and being bear aware, see the FWP home page at and click on Wild Things then Be Bear Aware. For more on bear resistant products, go to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee Web page.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email