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Man Uses Bear Spray and Avoids Bear Attack

man uses bear spray

This intense video shows a man who encounters a black bear in the wild and uses bear spray to escape a potential attack.

Bear attacks are not uncommon and hikers need to be prepared for worst-case scenarios! Although bear spray might seem cruel at first, it actually proves the best option for both bears and hikers alike. Let’s dive into this incident and uncover the ins and outs of bear spray use!

What Is Bear Spray?

Bear spray is a non-lethal aerosol deterrent designed specifically for deterring aggressive or charging bears. The substance is derived from chili peppers, creating a temporary intense burning sensation if it contacts the bear’s eyes, nose, or mouth.

Note that bear spray is distinct from personal defense pepper sprays used against humans and much more potent! Bear spray is up to three times stronger than the average self-defense product. The reason for this is that bear spray is intended to be used from a much further distance.

The intent behind its formulation is to provide a safe, effective means to prevent bear attacks without causing long-term harm to the bear or the environment.

Is it Cruel to Use Bear Spray?

A common concern regarding bear spray is its potential cruelty. However, bear spray is considered a humane option for defending against bear encounters. Its effects are temporary and non-lethal, causing intense discomfort but not permanent injury to the bear.

The use of bear spray is often supported by wildlife conservationists and park authorities as it significantly reduces the likelihood of the bear or the human sustaining serious injury.

From What Distance Can You Use Bear Spray?

The effective range of bear spray typically varies between 18 to 30 feet, depending on the brand and environmental conditions.

Factors like wind direction and speed can affect the spray’s trajectory, so users must be mindful of their surroundings. Deploying the spray too early might waste its contents, while too late might not give enough time for the spray to deter the bear

Man Uses Bear Spray and Avoids Attack: The Video

YouTube video

In the video, wildland firefighter and nature photographer Curtis encounters a black bear in the wild.

Luckily, Curtis has experience and knows exactly what to do in situations like these. Displaying his calm and knowledge, once the bear is close enough, he uses the bear spray to safely deter the bear.

This encounter perfectly illustrates how you should use bear spray responsibly and effectively – avoiding a potentially life-threatening situation.

The Success Rate of Bear Spray

According to research, bear spray effectively stops aggressive behavior in bears in 92% of cases. Its success is attributed to the immediate and intense reaction it causes, giving humans a chance to escape or for the situation to de-escalate.

Bear spray’s effectiveness makes it a highly recommended tool for hikers, campers, and anyone venturing into bear habitats.

Do’s and Don’ts of Bear Spray


  • Carry bear spray in an easily accessible place.
  • Practice removing it from its holster and aiming.
  • Be aware of wind direction before spraying.
  • Leave the area calmly after using bear spray.


  • Don’t use bear spray like insect repellent on gear or clothing.
  • Don’t test spray in confined spaces or where others might be exposed.
  • Don’t discard empty canisters in the wilderness.
  • Don’t ignore local regulations regarding bear spray usage.

Man Uses Bear Spray: Conclusion

Black Bear Growling

The video featuring Curtis Matishwyn, who narrowly escaped a bear attack thanks to his bear spray, can be an educational tool for fellow hikers and nature lovers. At first, I thought the use of bear spray to be cruel, but in many ways, it also benefits the bear! When bear spray is used there’s a much smaller chance that the victim or park rangers have to intervene with weapons, probably fatally injuring the bear.

Thank you for reading this article about the bear that successfully uses bear spray to deter a potential bear attack! Get your paws on more of our bear content here:

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