Bear spray encouraged, not guns - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Bear spray encouraged, not guns

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Park managers encourage using bear spray and not guns if you encounter a bear.

Bob Gibson with Fish Wildlife and Parks says you have a 92% chance of never encountering a bear up close, if you use bear spray the right way.

By using the spray, Gibson says it makes the bear very uncomfortable because the spray makes their eyes, ears and nose burn.

Gibson says when purchasing bear spray make sure to look at the expiration. He says if the date has expired, don't use it because it will be less effective.

Gibson says reaching the bear spray and using it quickly is one challenge faced by people trying to defend themselves. Gibson says make sure the bear spray is easy to grab and that you know how to use it. Gibson tells us milliseconds count in a life or death situation.

On Monday Gibson gave us a demonstration on how to properly use bear spray. (watch the demonstration above)

Gibson also wants to remind everyone never run, it triggers the chasing of instinct predators like bears.

After the spraying the bear, if it works, slowly back away from the situation and put some distance between you and the bear while it recovers.

If the bear spray fails, Gibson says roll up in a ball, face to the ground and cover your neck and head with your hands and play dead.

Eventually the bear should get tired of picking on you, according to Gibson.

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