I spend a great deal of time in the Canadian Rockies. Yesterday was my first trip of the year. I was about 50km into the park systems, far enough in where the bear signs start becoming more prevalent and worded less touristy. It goes from “oh bears might be around so make noise lol” to straight up “yo a dude was mauled to death here in 2017 so don’t fuck around”. Anyhoo, I was mucking about on the latter path trying to make it to a waterfall I haven’t seen in a while and there were a good number of people out with me. I’d guess 10 other parties of 2-6 people. One party with a child in a stroller. One party with a baby in a back carrier. One party with 2 children no older than 6 yrs old.
No one was carrying bear spray but me. I look for these things. People were without coats, backpacks, etc. Seeing a cannister hanging off their hip or whatever wasn’t hard. No one was prepared for any kind of animal encounter where they would walk away with their face intact.
I cannot stress this enough, and this is coming from first hand experience. Bears are “fuck you” fast. If you think you can outrun a grizzly you are going to be amazed in the final few seconds of your life. If you can even see a bear in the wild your life is in danger, and that danger at this time of the year is super off the charts if it’s a momma bear with cubs and you find yourself between those two. Bears are apex af. They will actually eat your face while you scream loudly how you would prefer it not. No regard for your wishes given.
If you go to place with bears, cougars, or other fuck around and find out wildlife – don’t be stupid. If you’re American, bring a gun if it’s allowed, but also bring spray. If you’re Canadian, bring spray. Understand that neither of those things is a force field that will protect you from an attack. It’s a means of escape. Encounters suck. They are scary. You are fully at the mercy of the animal. I have 2 encounters with grizzlies and I pray I never have another, because there’s no way I’m that lucky.
There are subs dedicated to gruesome things and I’m not about to point anyone to those places, but there are many different videos and images of bear attacks on humans if you feel you need to be scared smart.
Here’s a quick video of a bear trying to run down food like its a lion in case someone tries telling you bears aren’t that fast or they can only run for short distances. I’ve seen them clear entire fields like a car on a highway.