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Fall Hunting and Hiking in Idaho Doesn’t Have to be “Unbearable”

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 By Deborah Smith/John Robinson, Contact
September 10, 2007

With winter approaching, bears in Idaho's backcountry are busy finding as much to eat as possible, and they don't like to be interrupted. This is especially true of grizzlies. Monica Fella with the Sierra Club's "Grizzly Bear Project" says having bear pepper spray on hand might just save the life of a hunter or hiker.

""The Sierra Club encourages the use of bear pepper spray because each year several grizzlies are shot and killed by hunters, and several hunters are injured by these encounters. While no deterrent is 100 percent effective, bear pepper spray has demonstrated the most success of all countermeasures, including firearms."

Fella also recommends that hikers should make as much noise as possible while on the trail to give bears time to move away, because they will instinctively attempt to avoid encounters. She recommends hunters field-dress carcasses and remove them as quickly as possible to keep bears from sniffing out an easy, free lunch.

Bear pepper spray is available at sporting goods stores for about $30 dollars a can, a small price to pay for the ability to stop a charging grizzly in its tracks.

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