Jan 6, 2008 at 12:35 pm #1226606
Has anyone researched the plausibility of using a Tasar Gun (now, which are getting very small and lightweight) as a black bear protection device? I googled this and did not find anything. I'm curious why the absence of comment on this idea — you'd think it would have been explored. Comments?
This unit looks interesting, I have emailed the supplier for more information. Shows you how small these things have gotten.Jan 6, 2008 at 1:02 pm #1415044
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
I too have not heard of any formal use of Tasers in this application. I'd think they'd be a plausible option to spray, provided they were powerful enough to penetrate the bear's fur and incapacitate a 600-pound animal. It seems unlikely one designed for use on humans would do so.
That said, use against grizzlies would seem more relevant, as black bear charges at humans are much less common. I'd want double the fifteen–foot range and a whole lot more juice!
That C2 model in fetching purple does seem light at 5+ oz :-)Jan 6, 2008 at 1:54 pm #1415049
I did not see the weights at their web page. The C2 I don't like because it embeds two projectiles into the target victim which have attached wires to it and the electricity is sent via those wires: "The TASER C2 is a self-defense electronic control device. Electronic Control Devices (ECDs) use propelled wires or direct contact to conduct energy to affect the sensory and motor functions of the nervous system. The TASER C2 uses a replaceable cartridge, containing compressed nitrogen, to deploy two small probes that are attached to the TASER C2 by insulated conductive wires with a maximum length of 15 feet (4.5 meters). The TASER C2 transmits electrical pulses along the wires and into the body affecting the sensory and motor functions of the peripheral nervous system. The energy can penetrate up to two cumulative inches of clothing."
I'd rather have something that is wireless as I'd not want the weapon attached to the bear at all. As for the fur comment you make, they do note that some of their guns are good on dogs (who of course have fur). I wonder if any of the famous bear attack researchers have email addresses one could contact. Anyone have bear research names or email addresses to post here?
I know that black bear attacks are rare but due to their being more humans contacting black bears, there are more humans hurt by black bears than by brown bears I think I remember reading. I watched a 1 hour video on black bears and how to react to them — those who are predatory are scary for sure (although I know it is very rare for them to be predatory). Still if one could carry something for 3-4 ounces for worse case protection, it could also be used perhaps in worse case protection against bad-ass dope growers in the wilderness or mountain lions. I think there was one mountain lion attack around the JMT trails in the last 20 years — yes very rare. I also remember in the last 1-2 years a black bear attack on an elderly person on the JMT (not lethal but certainly hurtful) — it was a young black bear. I will be hiking the JMT in 2008.
ps – I do not think it important to incapacitate the animal as scare the sh** out of the animal to the point it backs off from you for good.Jan 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm #1415053
I don't think you will ever see tasers used on large animals, and I don't think they should be used in many situations on humans. Law enforcement is abusing the Taser and killing people in the process. The United Nations has declared the Taser as a form of torture.Jan 6, 2008 at 2:53 pm #1415057
John, the tasers you are talking about are the ones that embed probes in the victim and shoot electricity down those wires into the victim. The tasers I'm talking about are wireless and are not as powerful as the ones police use but I'm curious about whether or not they'd scare the animal away.
I agree humans should not hurt bears but I also agree bears should not hurt humans and I believe we have a God-given right to protect ourselves – the problem with bear sprays are many (they degrade, they are not field-rechargeable (if the spray is used), they are not ultralight, and not best used upwind, or inside a tent). The lightweight, pocket taser I saw useful on dogs use lithium batteries, and might just be a useful deterrent. I'm interesting in an effective deterrent, not a harmful weapon.
Note this story:
Here's an interesting story:
The excerpt below is from http://home.nps.gov/applications/morningreport/morningreportold.cfm
(pull down Sep 17, 2007 – this URL always shows the current date by default)
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Man Bitten By Bear Near Mist Falls In Kings Canyon
A 65-year-old man was bitten by a bear in Kings Canyon National Park on the afternoon of Thursday, September 6th. The man had been sleeping on a rock near Mist Falls, a four-mile hike from Roads End in Cedar Grove. He was awakened by other visitors who were yelling to him to warn him that he was being approached by a bear. As he sat up, the bear bit his right thigh, causing numerous puncture wounds. The man yelled and swatted the bear, but the bear did not leave the immediate area. Several people helped scare it away. Ten days before the incident, warning signs were posted at the Roads End Ranger Station following reports of a small bear approaching people near Mist Falls. Wilderness rangers looked for the bear on several occasions, but could not find it. On Saturday, this yearling female bear was found, tranquilized and euthanized by bear management staff. The man’s injury was treated by park medics at Roads End. He then went to Sierra Kings Hospital for further treatment. [Submitted by Alexandra Picavet, Public Affairs Specialist]Jan 6, 2008 at 3:03 pm #1415061
Death Valley National Park (CA)
Bobcat Attacks Result In Employee, Visitor Injuries
On Monday, December 17th, park staff were informed of an incident in which a bobcat had attacked a park visitor at Furnace Creek Inn. Rangers found that a 64-year-old woman had suffered scratches and bites on her hands, face and scalp. For several days thereafter, there were numerous bobcat sightings around the inn and resort. Rangers saw several bobcats that showed signs of habituation to humans, but were unable to determine which one was responsible for the attack. On Friday, December 21st, rangers responded to another report of a bobcat attack at the inn. An adult male employee of the resort had reportedly been smoking outside the building when the bobcat attacked him, inflicting bites and lacerations to his head and neck. Since the attack occurred on private property, California Fish and Game and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office were notified. Fish and Game officers asked the park to euthanize the bobcat to ensure public safety. Necropsy results, received last week, revealed that the animal was not suffering from rabies. Rangers and Fish and Game officers found that several resort employees had been feeding wildlife, greatly contributing to the bobcats’ habituation and aggressive behavior. [Submitted by Aaron Shandor, Acting Chief Ranger]
On another note, insofar as finding a list of bear experts, a good bibliography on bear books is here:
I also found a fatal black bear attack story in another park along the AT here:Jan 6, 2008 at 3:17 pm #1415063
I found this page too:
Lots of links collected in one page there.
One of the best links there is this one which is a site that collects black bear attack links and abstracts them:
One of them happened to a NOLS outing too.Jan 6, 2008 at 8:16 pm #1415094
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
…Jan 6, 2008 at 8:36 pm #1415098
I spent a night being visited by a black bear in my campsite last August after a lifetime of no problems with black bears. I posted a message about my experience on these forums.
Over the holidays I read "The Beast in the Garden." I recommend it.
My sense is we need to be more proactive with bears and mountain lions than we have been. I'm dubious about a Tasar and I'm not a hunter, but I think we are going to see more attacks if we don't condition these animals to fear humans. I thought a black bear would hear my voice and leave me alone as they always had before; this one never touched my stuff, but came back to my campsite every hour and a half all night long.Jan 6, 2008 at 9:01 pm #1415102
W I S N E R !Participant
I have a hard time seeing a taser as being the best protection from black bears. How long are you going to keep zapping one and what if it charges as soon as you're done? If it hasn't been tested for this purpose, how do we know it's sufficient/doesn't aggravate the bear more?
I figure with spray, it stays on the fur and in the nose, eyes, and mouth. Not to mention it sprays in a cloud/cone, probably reducing the need for aim. Additionally, spray, with the right holster, can be fired from the hip if mounted on your belt. I wouldn't want to see how fast I could draw and aim my taser while being suddenly rushed from the bushes.
On a side note, personal experience makes me wonder if protection is really necessary for black bears. I've yet to meet one that wasn't scared to death of a smelly, 6'2" hairless bi-ped waving sticks in the air and making very horrible noises.
Knock on wood.Jan 6, 2008 at 9:45 pm #1415111
Tim, Craig, Mike — all good counterpoints. Yea, it sounds stupid to be the guinea pig. I had hoped before doing a google that this topic had been investigated. To some extent the comments made would equally apply to whether or not such should be used with dogs, but these stun guns seem to be effective with dogs and large dogs can weigh up to 150 pounds, more than a black bear. Makes you wonder. In any event, I have emailed a couple of outside professionals. I will continue to probe and if I find out anything interesting, I'll post back here.Jan 7, 2008 at 7:07 am #1415132
@mysticmooseLocale: Great Lakes region
while it's possible a Taser model that shoots the darts (M26 or X26) could take down a bear, I doubt one without the probes could get good contact through the heavy fur. When I went through the Taser training course, they showed a video where a bull was stunned. It did knock the bull down, but once the shock was over, it got back up and was mad as hell. I don't think it's the right tactic to use with bears.
//steps up on soapbox//
And, having been shot with one (probes and all), I can say that while it is unpleasant, it is not torture when used properly. I've seen it used in situations to prevent physical resistance that would have likely resulted in injuries to both the officer and suspect. If it's used properly, the taser results in little injury. Like with any item used for self-defense, a taser is a tool only. The person behind that tool, be it a baton, taser, or a rock found on the ground, is responsible for how it is used. Any item can cause great harm, depending on the wielder.
//steps down from soapbox//Mar 3, 2008 at 9:13 am #1422843
Animal taser you asked for…when the bear does get up he will tear you to shreds…Mar 3, 2008 at 9:55 am #1422850
@andybaileyLocale: The Great Plains
A tazer is DEFINITELY NOT the way to go. As soon as the tazer stops shocking, the enraged bear will kill you! Some of the police tazers will continue to shock for 30 seconds, but even if you dropped the tazer and ran, I doubt that 30 seconds would be enough to get away!
I do believe that the prongs would penetrate the fur of a bear, though; they can penetrate up to 2 inches of clothing!Mar 3, 2008 at 11:55 am #1422868
@delvxeLocale: Pacific Northwest
It looks like that closes the issue. That bull sure does not look incapacitated.Mar 4, 2008 at 9:07 pm #1423049
@joshleavittLocale: Ruta Locura
To answer the origonal question, yes I have. Or to be more accurate it is something that was explored durring the early development of the Wilderness-Solutions Palisade. The idea was kicked around and discussed between a bear biologist/behavioralist and myself while going over the possible effects and reactions that we might expect from a bear that has been shocked. After that discussion, and further real world testing, the short answer is that electricity could be used to deter a bear in the manner mentioned above, BUT…..a stun gun or taser, are overkill, and absolutly inhumane and unethical IMO. Besides that, the bigger impracticality here, is the issue of proximity, you have to make physical contact of some sort to apply the electricty, which is why bear spray is still the best option.
As a side note, the possiblity of a bear becoming enraged after being shocked, and going after a human with greater determination than previously displayed, was discussed multiple times at length. The conclusion…..there is a very, very remote possibility that this could happen, so remote, that it is very, very safe to say it wont. This is not to say that an animal will never return after being dettered, only that the application of a detterant wont escelate the the confrontaion.
"insert title here"
Wilderness-SolutionsMar 4, 2008 at 9:25 pm #1423053
@joshleavittLocale: Ruta Locura
The bull being shocked on You Tube is not a good camparison to what might happen if you did the same to a bear. The two animals are not even close to the same, and deal with fight and flight issues very differently. A bear, out in the wild, with a clear cut way to retreat, will do just that, retreat. A caged/cornered animal will react in a much different way, especially a penned bull.Jan 30, 2011 at 8:13 pm #1690352
@fuzzLocale: Sunny San Diego
While I think the idea of tasers on bears is not of much use personally, I can say its far from torture. As a carrier of one in a professional capacity… I have been shot with it. (Twice) and I didn't tell them where bodies are buried or national secrets. And I have used it on four occassions at work, including someone in the face. Unpleasant yes, but, Id have shot three of them 10 years ago. And all three are alive and well so, to each animal it's proper tool I'd say. With bears, noise and proper campsite / foodhandling seems to be key…. all is is a hail mary. And bear spray is fairly effective as last resort. Plus, tasers are fun to use on your partner when bored on graveyards and people are getting tired…. peps them right up! :)Jan 30, 2011 at 8:41 pm #1690364
@fuzzLocale: Sunny San Diego
Someone explain how I got sucked into the time warp? How did this happen? Where am I? who are you? Hmmm………. I just posted on a several year old thread and have no idea how. Time to go to be I think.
Later and sorry.
EdJan 30, 2011 at 9:51 pm #1690382
@dan_quixoteLocale: below the mountains (AK)
feel free to take a look at this:
A cop (and former pastor of mine!) used a taser on a bear this summer.
There was a longer and more comprehensive article in the paper a few days later after some significant backlash came to him, but I can't find it.Jan 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm #1690384
@umnakLocale: Southeast Alaska
This was the follow-up story…
Anchorage police Lt. Dave Parker didn't just scare a problem bear when he shot it with a Taser recently; he made it breakdance, Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert observed on his show Wednesday night. But then, Colbert said, Parker's superiors "took away exactly the wrong lesson from the incident" when they discouraged use of Tasers against bears. "What other means do we have?" Colbert asked. "Bears are immune to all other police tactics" — including racial profiling and good cop-bad cop interrogation techniques.Jan 30, 2011 at 10:26 pm #1690387
@dan_quixoteLocale: below the mountains (AK)
ahahaha, doesn't Colbert have a vendetta against bears?
Anyway, that wasn't the one I was thinking of, though it was a quality blurb.
here's the longer one that discusses the issue in a bit more depth: http://www.adn.com/2010/08/02/1392724/police-discourage-use-of-tasers.htmlJan 31, 2011 at 4:07 am #1690418
Our sport is in some sense, timeless, so a thread can re -awaken after 2 years. No problem. It can be fun. I enjoyed the article in the Alaskan newspaper about how the bear reacted. It would be fascinating to know how that bear's behavior changed subsequent to that event. Too bad the journalist did not have knowledge of the mid to long term results.Jan 31, 2011 at 4:25 am #1690419
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Ha, hey….don't miss….Jan 31, 2011 at 6:11 am #1690436
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
"Someone explain how I got sucked into the time warp? How did this happen? Where am I? who are you? Hmmm………. I just posted on a several year old thread and have no idea how. Time to go to be I think."
You've been tased too many times, bro' : )
I don't understand all the anti-taser backlash recently, like you said, much better than shooting someone
And thanks for your service, several recent police shootings show how risky it is
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