WildSafeBC will be doing a short public presentation (30 minutes) on preventing wildlife encounters and how to safely use bear spray. Inert bear spray (bear spray without the potency of the cayenne pepper) will be used to demonstrate. This is your opportunity for hands on practice with the inert spray.
The safest wildlife encounter is one prevented. Having bear spray accessible and knowing how to use it will enable you to remain calm, give you the confidence to stop, assess the situation and back away slowly in the event of an encounter with wildlife. Bear spray is not a substitute for using common sense but can be used as your last best defence if necessary.
Properly used bear spray is said to be the most effective bear deterrent available, and a study co-authored by University of Calgary Professor Stephen Herrero found that attack victims using spray are much less likely to be injured than those defending themselves with a gun. The 2012 study, published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, showed that 92% of people using bear spray during an attack escaped injury, compared to only 50% of gun users.