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PETA Rejoices: Bear Spray Works, Bear Uninjured, Hunter Gets Mauled (Graphic Image)

A hunter who was tracking a wounded elk was attacked by a grizzly. The bear chomped on his hand, then retreated. The hunter had a rifle, but chose to use bear spray instead. He got ready for the bear with the bear spray.

The bear came back.

The hunter sprayed the bear and himself. The bear retreated.

The bear came back. The bear spray was empty. They hunter threw the empty can at the bear.  The bear retreated.

Having expended the potential for bear spray defense, the hunter readied his rifle.

They bear did not come back. From krtv.com:

He put up his arms to fend off the attack, but the charging grizzly bit his right wrist. He threw himself on his back and rolled to his stomach so the bear would maul his backpack instead of his ribs.

The bear backed off and circled back into the brush, out of Kiedrowski’s sight, which he said gave him time to ready his bear spray.

“I got really quiet because I knew it wasn’t over yet… You could hear him huffing over behind where he originated from… and then all of a sudden it came around the exact same way but this time I was actually ready for him,” he said.

Kiedrowski sprayed the bear as it charged a second time, covering the bear’s face and getting some on his own as well. The grizzly shied away and circled back again. As it came back a third time, Kiedrowski realized his bear spray was empty. With his face “on fire,” Kiedrowski threw the empty can at the bear, causing it to back off into the brush, he said,

Kiedrowski said the entire attack lasted about two minutes.

He readied his rifle and made his way up onto a ridge, where he had a better view of the surrounding area. He stopped to assess the situation and made a call to his brother, Zach Kilwein, who was about three miles away.

“I just got attacked by a bear,” he said to Kilwein.

“How bad is it?” Kilwein asked.

“It’s pretty bad.”

It is hard to know if Kiedrowski was carrying his rifle at the ready. Most hunters do so when tracking wounded game, but some do not. Joe Kiedrowski has not been quoted about how he carried his rifle.

Two months previously, a woman was mauled in the same area. Companions used bear spray to drive off the bear after the woman was chewed up. That mauling was close to the carcass of a cow.

Some people claim the bear spray worked exactly as intended. It saved the life of the bear. Even though the hunter (and earlier the woman) were seriously injured, requiring hospitalization, they survived, and so did the bear.

At some point the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) advised people to chose bear spray or a large caliber pistol.  From KRTV.com, attributed to the FWP :

– Carry bear spray or a large caliber pistol, know how to use it, and keep it on your hip or somewhere equally accessible.

Some people carry both. I have not been able to find this advise on a FWP official site, so they may have changed their policy.

If you have a rifle in your hand, it offers another option.  One of the major proponents of bear spray, Tom Smith, Professor at BYU, said so in a Sports Afield article in 2012. He said that it would be foolish to drop a rifle to attempt to obtain pepper spray, while being charged. From hcn.org:

Here’s the problem, according to Brigham Young University professor Tom Smith. In an interview with Sports Afield, he said, “If I’m actually out hunting and I have a gun in my hands, and suddenly a bear comes at me, do you think I’m going to lay the gun down and pick up bear spray? Are you out of your mind?”

We do not know how Joe Kiedrowski was carrying his rifle, or how he was carrying the bear spray. He did not use either in the initial attack.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

Editor’s Note: As my long time readers are aware, I am not a hunter; though I fully support hunting and am a champion of its use in conservation and good governance of nature.  I’ve also been quoted as saying that it is not a mountain lions fault for mauling humans when they keep encroaching on land that has, for half a billion years, been in the domain of nature.

With all that being said, if you come across a bear just standing in your way and you want to try and stay ahead of a bad situation and toss out some bear spray along with some loud noises to get that bear moving along away from you, fantastic.

If on the other hand a bear is charging at you, false charge or not, I echo the words of Professor Smith, do not drop your gun to go for the spray.  As I have seen human beings shake off mace, tear gas and pepper spray, I’ve little confidence in a motivated bear being dissuaded after a little spice in the eye.  Hot lead on the other hand is loud and painful and if you don’t kill the bear you might just spook it off.  I also don’t recommend rape whistles for women to blow when they are being attacked but rather aerating their attacker.

Pepper spray is about preventing an attack…shooting is about stopping it.

Here are some more failures of bear spray and the fallout from that failure:

Bear Spray Failure in Montana (WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Another Bear Spray Failure (Warning: Graphic Images)

 

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