This is why you carry bear spray in bear country

This is why you carry bear spray in bear country

Outdoors

This is why you carry bear spray in bear country

In a warning to fellow hikers, Linda Vance posted a very persuasive photo on the Continental Divide Trail Class of 2018 Facebook page with these words: “Just in case you were thinking you don’t really need bear spray.”

The giant paw belongs to a grizzly bear that was in the process of being relocated by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks from the Ovando-Helmville Valley area to Glacier National Park, according to a FWP news release sent Wednesday.

“This bear was a typical young adult male with a paw about 6 inches wide,” Vivaca Crowser of the FWP told USA Today. “He weighed 474 pounds.”

And that is precisely why you carry bear spray in bear country, as Vance was urging in her post.

“Yes! You need bear spray!” Philippa Gunn wrote on the Continental Divide Trail Class of 2018 Facebook post. “I work as a ranger in the Rockies in Canada and teach people how to use it. Never go hiking in this part of the world without it.

“Most bears will not act defensively or be aggressive, but on occasion it happens—if you surprise one, it has cubs, or is defending a food source—and bear spray is effective. It also works on mountain lions and charging elk.”

Point taken.

Also on BNQT Outdoors: Expert halts grizzly bear charge with bear spray; video could save lives

Now, about that grizzly bear with the large paw:

“The bear was captured in a trap that was set in response to a livestock depredation on cattle that occurred earlier in the week,” the FWP said. “The 4-year-old male grizzly was not involved in the cattle depredation, but because of its proximity to cattle during the calving season in an area with a recent grizzly-caused livestock injury, the bear was relocated.”

Vance aptly described the grizzly bear’s relocation as “kind of like being arrested for trespassing in L.A. and sentenced to the PCT [Pacific Crest Trail].”

Photo of bear paw from Linda Vance used with permission. In second photo provided by FWP, Eli Hampson, a technician for FWP, is performing a BIA, aka percent body fat measurement.

Follow David Strege and BNQT Outdoors on Facebook  and Twitter.

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