Originally Posted by Old Git Ray
Is there any other (legal) way of putting bears off ? ( i.e.Gas or flask bangs ) I am aware of the food problem and intend to use the rope/tree thing when wild camping.
I know it sounds like a daft question but being a Brit it is not easy to get hold of a gun/rifle in the US/Canada (AFAIK).
Its not that that I have a problem with them, I used to be a soldier, its just that the last time I had one illicitly in a foreign country (Brazil) I came close to spending a long stretch in jail.
For a while, life was not very funny.
There are NUMEROUS threads about bear preparations, bear encounters, thar-I -wuz, my-buddy says, & it'd be a shame to pollute this thread by degrading into another. Basically, the main two trains of thought are (1) gotta have a gun, and (2) pepper spray. Both have vocal adherents & detractors and my thought is that there is a place for each. Trying to answer your question directly and add a comment about the $2000 Bush Pilot gun:
Yes, hardware and sporting goods stores in bear country carry pepper spray meant for bear defense. I've talked to Alaska Troopers who've used the stuff and I've trusted one of them as my guard on a project. When you are going into the edge of the brush in the dark of night to take a leak, you don't have the time or maneuvering room for a gun and for the first second or so there's the hesitation that comes with recognizing whether you are looking at a lost kid or a bear. The pepper spray works and is non-fatal if you are wrong in that decision, because the following photo is NOT how much time you're going to have:
I plan in terms of walking up to the yellow while unzipping my fly, and waking a bear who is under the yellow. How fast can you ACCURATELY place 5 slugs FAST when you are that close and rattled?
As for guns, the most common gun I've seen in the Alaska bush has been a short barrel pump shotgun. We did have spray but also the pumps on the packs in front of us:
On a more humorous note about the question: Do bears shit in the woods? The answer is absolutely! They shit in the woods, on the rocks, on a shoreline, and anywhere else they damn well please!