Bears are appearing one after another in various places. Recently, there have been many reports of sightings of Asian black bears, especially in the Tohoku region, and there have been frequent accidents resulting in injury or death.
Last year, 2017, the number of bear sightings in Akita Prefecture reached 1,303, an increase of 434 from the previous year. Of these, 20 people were injured in 19 cases, both of which were the highest ever. In Iwate Prefecture, the number of encounters with Asian black bears, whose habitat overlaps with that of sika deer and wild boar, is increasing. Moving forward to the 1st of the month is also being considered.
There are also reports that hunters encountered Asian black bears from November 1 to 14, before the hunting season, but were unable to fire because it was before the hunting season, and there were several dangerous situations.
Even if you don't want to meet a bear, you may run into one out of the blue. In such a case, it is reassuring to have a "bear repellent" spray.
What is bear repellent spray?
Bear spray is a type of so-called pepper spray. Pepper spray is a self-defense device that shoots tear gas toward the face of a thug or wild animal to scare away the target.
In the case of bear repellent spray, it contains an ingredient extracted from chili peppers and is supposed to be sprayed in the face when a bear approaches several meters away.
When sprayed, the chili pepper ingredients strongly irritate the mucous membranes of the bear's eyes, nose, and throat, causing severe burning pain that lasts for several hours. It is not powerful enough to kill a bear, but it can be expected to reduce the willingness to attack people and make them flee from the spot.
*Never shoot at people.
Things to check when choosing a bear repellent spray
1. Spray reach distance
The distance of the spray is as short as 2 meters, and as long as 10 meters (manufacturer announced value).
Please note that the values announced by the manufacturer are experimental data in indoor windless conditions and may differ from actual field usage. Considering that the opponent is a bear, it can be said that the reaching distance is a little unreliable.Brown bears can run at speeds of up to 50km/h and are said to reach a maximum speed of 60km/h. In addition, it is said that Asian black bears run at a speed of 40km/h or more. Since there is no chance of winning against humans in terms of speed, it is better to choose one with the longest range possible.
2. Hotness rating (SHU)
There is a unit called SHU (Scoville Heat Units). In 1912, the chemist Scoville expressed the degree of spiciness by diluting the chili pepper extract with sugar water until the spiciness was no longer felt. It's a number that comes from
Currently, it is calculated by directly measuring the amount of capsaicin with a measuring instrument and converting it to the SHU value. SHU values are expressed as 1/10th of food test results when expressing values for military use.
If the test result for food is 1 million SHU, the military expression is 100,000 SHU. If the effective value is 150,000 SHU or more in military notation, it is sufficiently effective as a bear repellent.
3. Differences in SolventsAmong pepper sprays, there is also a super-strong spray (bear spray) that is supposed to be used against large bears such as brown bears. Bear Spray is an oil-based solvent that dilutes the undiluted solution. Oil-based solvent sprays are sticky and relatively difficult to wash off. It causes pain for a long time. Water-based pepper sprays, on the other hand, are relatively easy to wash off with nearby rivers, ponds, or water you carry with you. Much safer than oil-based. For black bears, use a water-based solvent.
important pointOil-based bear spray is powerful, so it can cause excessive pain to the target, and the damage caused by accidental injection etc. will increase. Avoid using bear spray on anything other than brown bears.
How to use bear sprayMost of the types are jetted after canceling the safety device. Attract the bear as much as possible, then aim the spray at the bear's face intermittently. When spraying, take a position where the person is upwind and the bear is downwind as much as possible. Conversely, if humans are downwind and bears are upwind, the spray will fly towards the humans.
Never use bear spray
If you frequently enter mountains where bears live for hunting or mountain work, we recommend that you carry bear repellent spray. In the unlikely event that you encounter a bear, you can keep your cool.
Of course, carrying a spray does not guarantee absolute safety. It is important to avoid encountering them first, and if you do, consider using spray as a last resort if you are likely to be attacked. Don't panic, don't make noise, and quietly back away while facing the bear.
Measures to prevent injuries caused by bears
To prevent personal injury from bears, take the following actions:
・When hunting or exterminating harmful birds and beasts, be sure to act in groups. Also, don't just focus on your prey, but work with your hunting buddies to keep a strict lookout behind and to the sides. Be especially careful in places with poor visibility, such as forests, along rivers, and fields overgrown with crops.
・When avoiding bears, use "bear avoidance bells", "radio", "whistle", etc. to emphasize the presence of humans.
・Take home leftover food, garbage, and leftovers from captured prey. Once a bear learns to taste them, being fed by humans will attract them.
・Never enter areas where dangerous bear infestation warnings have been issued.
- Never approach a bear cub