Should You Carry Bear Spray? Advice From the Man Whose Bear Encounter Video Went Viral

What would you do if you came face-to-face with a bear during a run, and that bear started following you?

Evan Matthews had such an encounter, and he captured it in a three-minute video that went viral. This all unfolded at Grand Tetons national park.

Matthews had bear spray with him, but the bear never got close enough for Matthews to use it.  He started talking to the bear, and Matthews retreated slowly, keeping his distance. At one point he told the bear "I don't care if you're hungry, I'm not your food."

Watch what else he did during his encounter with the young bear, who Matthews thinks was probably just coming out of hibernation:

 (Video courtesy of Evan Matthews)

The video went viral, and Matthews was contacted by media from across the country, including Good Morning America and Inside Edition.

Mace®  Brand had a chance to speak with him on the phone a few days after his encounter. He says he's spent many years in the area as a guide, and no two bear encounters are the same.

"If you're actively being attacked, fight back, spray the bear, do whatever you can," Matthews said.

Since this bear was not threatening him, he decide to try to establish some "mutual respect."  Matthews says, "usually bears will keep their distance and you can go your separate ways. This bear started to approach me, it saw me running and was curious."  He thinks the bear was more curious than anything.

Although he didn't end up using it, Matthews says "it's always helpful to have bear spray...I always want to have it with me as that backup option. It was certainly a bit of a comfort having it in my hand in this experience for sure."

Matthews made it safely to his car. The bear eventually made its way back into the woods.

It's an encounter that Matthews says he'll never forget.

If you're heading into areas near bears, always carry Guard Alaska Bear spray from Mace®  Brand. Be prepared for the unexpected.

Guard Alaska Bear Spray from Mace®  Brand combines an advanced delivery system with a powerful formula to protect you from bears or other outdoor threats. 

The power fogger spray pattern provides long-range protection which empties in 9 seconds and has a 20-foot range. Featuring a finger loop handle with an orange safety clip, this bear spray is easy to carry on your outdoor adventure. Plus it comes with a free holster. 

 Guard Alaska Bear Spray | Bear Repellent | Mace® Brand

The bear won't suffer any permanent damage, and the product is environmentally safe and does not contain flammable or ozone depleting substances. 

Mace® Brand is committed to providing community and family safety through individual empowerment. Personal safety devices improve the quality of life for everyone.

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