Bear Spray when border crossing

Discussion in 'Canada' started by davidtn, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. davidtn

    davidtn Nom nom nom

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    I am headed to Alaska in a couple of weeks and am wondering if it is OK to carry bear spray across the US/Canadian border?

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. alphajory

    alphajory Been here awhile

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    as long as you don't use it on the border guards you should be ok
    #2
  3. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

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    You should be OK as long as it's the big can and not pocket size.

    Pocket size is a "prohibited weapon" here.
    #3
  4. Twistn'roads

    Twistn'roads Been here awhile

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    I crossed the Canada/US border numerous times last year on my northern trip carrying bear spray. I always claimed it when asked and never had to show it. It is in a largish can and clearly says "bear repellent" on the label.


    ~TR~
    #4
  5. HighScore

    HighScore No More, all done.

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    Oh Jesus Christ!
    There is absoloutely NO NEED for bear spray PERIOD when coming to Canada on a motorcycle.
    When was the last time you read about a Canadian motorcyclist being mauled by a goddamn bear?:poser

    If you feel the need to carry bear spray while riding within Canada, perhaps you should stay at home.

    I've had SEVERAL bear encounters riding motorcycles throughout bear country here on the west coast of Canada and believe me, they're more scared of a noisy motorcycle than you would be of them.

    In addition, using bear spray on a human in Canada is illegal.
    The mounties will throw you in jail only to share your cell with a "different kind of bear".


    [​IMG]g
    #5
  6. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    I'm thinking you should lay off the coffee or Redbull!!

    Steve
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  7. HighScore

    HighScore No More, all done.

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    C'mon Steve
    You like bears don't you?
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  8. MR X

    MR X MOTORCYCLE MADMAN

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    :poser :poser :poser :oscar :oscar :clap
    #8
  9. Hockeygod

    Hockeygod Been here awhile

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    I'd leave the bear spray at home. If you are camping and really feel the need for it, buy it once you cross the CDN border. And like the others say, get the biggest one you can and make sure you tell the border patrol as small ones are considered a prohibited weapon. (I know mace is a different thing, but be aware you can't import or carry mace at all.)
    #9
  10. Commuter Boy

    Commuter Boy Long timer

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    Absolutely situational. Bear spray is ok for camping, not ok for use anywhere else. Like most of our laws, it's not black and white and subject to interpretation.

    Bear spray in your camping gear, not easily accessible while you're riding? Probably ok.

    Bear spray in a belt holster as you drive up to Canada Customs or at a traffic stop? Probably going to get you some rubber glove treatment.

    Regardless, Customs or law enforcement can hassle you about it if you profile in any way, or if they're just being pricks, and there's nothing you can do about it.
    #10
  11. R_Lefebvre

    R_Lefebvre Been here awhile

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    I thought it was only illegal if it was labelled anything other than "Bear Spray". It's the label, not the size, AFAIK.

    But yeah, the border guards can pretty much do whatever they want anyway. The Canadian guards typically only care about making sure you pay your taxes. The the US guards who are on the lookout for Roast Beef Sandwhiches of Mass Destruction.
    #11
  12. MTRhead

    MTRhead HOLYSHIFT!!!

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    Better to be safe then sorry.
    We have a cottage 2 hrs north of TO, 20min to the nearest town. Some of us ADV guys were up riding for the wknd, one guy woke up early sat morn, went for a ride and came across a bear on the road. Apparently, it didn't run away, but casually walked off into the forest. That would tell me they are not afraid of too much if they are hungry.
    See below.

    In sept 08, a man on a motorcycle was sent flyin of his bike as the bear pounced on him.
    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/813747

    Here in Ontarioio, in the last month, we have had 3 attacks or attempted attacks, an hour and a half north of Toronto. One guy was on his ATV at the time, another woman on a bicycle, and another man mauled while planting.
    http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/article/821037--woman-unharmed-after-bear-chase-north-of-orillia

    The mauled victim
    http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/article/813758--mauling-victim-gives-chilling-account-of-bear-attack

    The video
    http://www.thestar.com/videozone/813854--video-chilling-account-of-bear-attack

    Enjoy the trip:ricky :ricky


    "I just realized i never crash.....so i'm gonna stop wearing a helmet"..................
    #12
  13. RumRunner

    RumRunner Sit there, turn that

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    Ian, that's a pretty chilling story and way to close to home. At our camp last week-end I saw more bear tracks than I have ever seen and was on high alert all the time even though I knew my small caliber rifle would do little to discourage a beer. One thing my father taught me was that being in a group of 2 or more individuals will often make the bear turn and run away. What you worry about is an older bear who has lost the ability to hunt well, that bear is often desperate for an easy meal/prey.

    To the OP, as others have mentioned, be careful at the border crossing, declare the bear spray. Also, practice good camping skills, do not keep your food near your tent, do not open that can of tuna and pour out the water/oil near your tent, do your cooking at least 100 feet or more from your tent, do not take a midnight piss near your tent. It's food that a bear wants. don't make yourself the meal.

    DW
    #13
  14. Hockeygod

    Hockeygod Been here awhile

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    "Roast Beef Sandwhiches of Mass Destruction"

    Quite possibly the funniest line I have read in some time... it's a classic!

    (What makes it even funnier, is the context - because it's true! The US Border Guards are ever vigilant to confiscate RBSoMD!)
    #14
  15. R_Lefebvre

    R_Lefebvre Been here awhile

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    Oh yeah, I used to cross the border daily for 5 years, and had several lunches confiscated. My favorite though was:

    "What's in your lunch bag?"
    "Pizza"
    "Does it have pepperoni?"
    "Yeah"
    "I can't let you in with that. Pull off the pepperoni and eat it right now, and I'll let you keep the rest."

    No kidding!

    To the OP, if it's bear spray, I think you'll be fine. Declare it, and even if they have a problem with it, you should be fine.

    I bought a Morning Star as a souvenir in Austria a few years back, not knowing it was a Prohibitted Weapon." I declared it just in case, and it was lucky I did. They confiscated it, but no charges or anything. That's the point of declaring it. You're fessing up before you have a problem, and I don't think you could be charged. If you don't declare it, and they find out, then you have a problem.

    My favorite Canadian crossing went something like this (I used to be an automotive engineer, and was ferrying parts from one facility to another, overnight, so I had to cross back into Canada.)

    "Sir, what is this box of parts?"
    "They're test parts."
    "These are PROTOTYPE parts?"
    "Well yeah."
    "Why didn't you declare these?"
    "Because they're worthless, and I'm taking them back across tomorrow morning anyway."
    "Sir, prototype parts are probably VERY expensive, and you have to pay tax on them even if you are going to bring them back tomorrow. How much are these worth?"
    "Well, they FAILED testing, so you tell me!"

    As for those ridiculing the guy for carrying bear spray... do you guys actually get out of the city much?

    A guy on another forum I know was attacked by a cougar while he was using a CHAINSAW. He saw it stalking him, revved the engine, but it attacked anyway. He raised the saw and got it in the shoulder, luckily he didn't get the chain pushed back onto himself. The animals are becoming unafraid of anything.
    #15
  16. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

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    +1

    I had a bear inside my truck while camped near Thunder Bay a couple of years ago. He took out the rear window to get in, in the middle of the night. I managed to chase him off with a couple of well-aimed rocks and a canoe paddle and a lot of yelling, but I had the spray ready just in case he turned on me. He came back twice more, after the third time I gave up and moved on. This was a yearling, not even fully grown. They're incredibly strong and resourceful, and they don't quit easily, especially if you have something they want to eat. It's rare that they do damage to humans, but it's pretty nasty when they do. I've seen the damage, it ain't pretty.
    #16
  17. daq7

    daq7 Been here awhile

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    I am kind of scared of bear attacks too, but I am reading this book on bear attacks, and I forget the exact statistics, but I recall thinking that to say bear attacks are shockingly rare (or rather deaths from bear attacks are shockingly rare) is saying something that even sort of overstates the case. I seem to recall that there are like 100-150 known fatalities from bear attacks int he last 100 years.

    Am I mis-remembering that? Because if it is accurate, it simply isn't rational to worry about it.
    #17
  18. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

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    You won't care if you're dead, but you will if you're mauled. :deal
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  19. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Should be OK to cross the border with bear spray, but make sure you declare it.... You could always buy a can of it in Canada if they don't allow it across....

    If your camping or hiking around the back country packing bear spray is not a bad idea...Recently we've had a large grizzly take up residence nearby so I started packing a can around with me again when I'm hiking and doing trailwork... I kind of treat it as the non lethal last resort when an encounter goes sour and the bear needs a little coaxing....
    #19
  20. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

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    like chow, keep sunblock away from camp too.
    #20