Mary Maley was taking a 150-mile solo kayak trip from Ketchikan, Alaska to Petersburg, Alaska. The bear first appeared near the kayak. Mary stepped out of the forest service cabin door to see what was happening. The bear started to approach her, and she thanked the bear for leaving her kayak alone. The bear kept coming at her. She threatened to pepper-spray it, then pepper-sprayed the bear. It stopped approaching her, but . . .
it went back to the kayak and damaged it (in spite of Mary’s entreaties). You can see the bear shaking its head to rid itself of the effects of the bear spray as it goes back to damaging the kayak.
It is not clear if this should be considered a bear spray failure or a success. The bear stopped coming at her; Mary was not physically harmed. On the other hand, she was in Berg Bay, 22 miles Southeast of Wrangell, AK, about 100 miles into her trip. The spray was not enough to stop the damage to her only form of transportation many miles away from help or civilization. She might have been in serious trouble if not for the sailboat in the background.
It would have been better if she had shot the bear. It’s obviously a problem bear that will either be shot now or cause some serious problems and be shot later.
This may be a wake-up call for Mary [above]. Any woman that’s doing a long distance solo sea kayak trip is no wall flower. Anyway, what’s your advice? Spray? Spray then gun? Gun? Or none.