Bear Spray Demonstration for Hunters

Craig Boddington, hunter journalist, demonstrates how and why hunters should use bear spray while they’re afield in bear country.

1-minute bear spray training video

Tips for Elk Hunters in Grizzly Country

As a hunter in the fall in grizzly country, you have a higher chance than hikers and other visitors of encountering a grizzly bear. Typical hunting behavior is what increases this risk: hunters move quietly, downwind from game, and often travel during the same early morning and late evening hours bears are most active. In addition, hunters may move through dense timber, along trails, and in other areas frequented by bears. Hunters produce carcasses and gut piles that are very attractive to hungry bears trying to build body fat before winter hibernation. There are several websites that will test your ability to recognize black vs. grizzly bears before you go out in the field.

If you choose to hunt in areas inhabited by grizzly bears, you need to learn how to avoid having a confrontation with one of them. Killing a grizzly bear in the Lower 48 States is both a federal and state offense that can bring criminal and civil penalties of up to $50,000 and a year in jail. Hunters are responsible for being sure of their target before they pull the trigger, and claims of self-defense are thoroughly investigated. Unnecessary killing of grizzlies only contributes to their decline, and may result in more restrictive hunting privileges in the future.

Learn about bear behavior: Bears often sleep during the day in dense “dark” timber; if disturbed in their day beds, they are often surprised and will sometimes charge in confusion. Bears like berries, so try to avoid large brush patches; if you must travel through a brush patch, watch for moving bushes and always make noise to alert bears you are coming.

Tips for Black Bear Hunters in Grizzly Country

If you choose to hunt black bear in areas inhabited by grizzlies, you need to be able to distinguish between the two species. Killing a grizzly bear in the Lower 48 States is both a federal and state offense that can bring criminal and civil penalties of up to $50,000 and a year in jail. Hunters are responsible for being sure of their target before they pull the trigger, and claims of self-defense are thoroughly investigated. Unnecessary killing of grizzlies only contributes to their decline, and may result in more restrictive hunting privileges in the future.  There are several websites that will test your ability to recognize black vs. grizzly bears before you go out in the field.

Grizzly Characteristics