Wildland firefighter and nature photographer, Curtis Matishwyn, actually scored an endorsement deal with SABRE after this video of him using their Wild Max Bear Spray went viral over the summer. After a minutes long, low speed pursuit all it took was a well placed half second spritz of aerosolized capsaicinoids and this little fella did a quick 180 and get the heck outta there. Nice shot.
This is your friendly reminder to always carry bear spray when you’re in their territory and to never feed wildlife. Yesterday I was out shooting photos on a trail just outside of Waskesiu when this bear started following me. I started out about 100 meters away from the bear and was actually shooting photos with my long lens. I was upwind of the bear and it definitely smelled me. It started to walk towards the trail so I also positioned myself further down the trail to get a photo as it crossed it. It got to the trail then started walking towards me.
At about 40 meters away I put the camera down and started talking tot he bear so it knew I was a human. It continued down the trail towards me so I left the trail to give it an easy path by me. When it turned off the trail and started following me I started shouting and waving my arms over my head to try to scare it off but it was not phased by that. Based on its behaviour it looks like this bear has been fed by humans before and now associates them with a food reward.
After about 5 minutes of the bear following but never directly charging me I decided to discharge my spray and thankfully it worked as designed. In hindsight I likely should have discharged the bear spray earlier and likely will do so in the future but there was also a strong wind and I needed to make sure I was upwind of the bear and spray. Hopefully this encounter will help the bear learn to run from humans rather than approach them as continued behaviour like this can lead to the destruction of a bear.
Also for the people wondering this was taken in a National Park in Canada so it is not legal to have a gun for protection and I believe there are studies that show bear spray is actually a more effective deterrent than a gun.