"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


Pepper Spray? I Want Some

I thought I'd address something that came up in the comments of my last post. About pepper spray and bears. Some are misunderstanding what I wrote.

I meant I was wondering if pepper spray would work to make a moose go away. Not a bear.

I am not having bear problems. If I had bear problems, the fix is easy. Call Idaho Fish and Game and they'll come right out, trap it, and haul it away far from humans. I know this because we've had bear problems in the past. This is how we solved the problem.

Pepper spray works on bears, by the way. Jack Hanna used it on a male Grizzly who charged at him recently. The bear ran away when that spray hit him. If it works on a male Grizzly ready to put another male in his place, it'll work on any bear.

Jack recommends that hikers have a can of pepper spray with them when hiking in the wilds. I'd never thought of pepper spray. It's good advice.

Our moose problem? Fish and Game refuses to come out and haul the moose away, or do anything at all. And they are a real problem for us. Imagine, if you will, at least a dozen of these big scary fearless things living in your back yard and you'll understand what we're up against, I hope.

Some years ago my husband was out in the front yard winding the garden hose on it's little hanger thingy. I was in the house at the time. I glanced out the window to see a very large moose standing right behind him. It was, in fact, sniffing him and he wasn't even aware it was there. It was a frightening thing to see. I slowly walked to the window, which was open thankfully, and whispered to Sweet Hubby to turn around. He's face to nose with a curious moose. If I had a can of pepper spray, I would have used it. As it was, he just stood still as a statue and eventually the moose lost interest and wandered away.

My husband is 6'5. That moose towered over him. They're BIG! Bigger than a horse.

And extremely unpredictable. I know I make jokes, and I take pictures of them, and I oh and ah the babies and I do think they're awesome and beautiful and it's exciting to see them, but Sweet Hubby and I have a very healthy fear and respect for these creatures. They are wild animals and very dangerous. We keep our distance. I have a telephoto lens on a darn good camera so I can take the pictures and remain safe.

In all honesty, I would rather not have these moose hanging around. I'd rather they were up in the mountains, away from here. I also know there isn't anything I can do about the situation right now. Until someone gets hurt, Fish and Game is not going to take this as a serious threat. I don't want me or someone in my family to be the one who gets hurt.

I need some way to protect myself, my fur kids, and my property. I can't use a real gun. It's seriously against the law to shoot a moose in these parts. Pepper spray sounds like a good idea to me. If it works on a grizzly, it will probably work on a moose.

This guy thinks he's my protector from moose.

Where does one get pepper spray anyway?

Have a good day.


  1. Any sporting goods store that caters to hikers or hunters probably has pepper spray. Especially if it's around Yellowstone...

    We're just a little north of Sandpoint, and only have the occasional moose wander through. But they do cause havoc when they do. Fences mean nothing to them, whether the fence is barbed wire or electric, or, sometimes, stock fencing. And once my cat decided he wanted to be face to face with one... thankfully, the moose was in a good mood!

  2. We carry pepper spray on longer hikes as our locale is crawling with bears... though thankfully the ones in the immediate area are all black and pretty well-behaved... but you never know. Just up the road the serious grizzly territory begins, which is a whole different matter.

    Anyway, a couple of key points are a) the range of your sprayer - generally you have to be at very close range for even the larger ones to have much effect (which means it is a last ditch defense rather than a deterrent) and b)make sure which way the wind is blowing so you don't get a faceful yourself.

    Have you tried noisemakers? Our conservation officers mostly use those to warn off the bears that do get a little too "friendly" in town - you can hear them all across the valley, they're so loud.

  3. Thanks Ruth. Noisemakers have no effect on moose. They pretend they're deaf.

  4. Hi..Knew you were relating to moose. They are very dangerous and scary..and know the problems you and others are having with them
    currently. I know you can't shoot
    them... and I would not want to
    try to get close enough to one to
    pepper spray...but if they are
    right at your front door as these are, that may be one defensive tactic til you get to cover.

    The years that we lived in the wilderness with two little ones, taught us all about moose, black bear,and grizzly. We or our dog chased black bear out of our camps on a daily bases,but you don't chase a moose out!

    I was young then, and tents were
    many times the only house we had
    following my man's work.
    Thankfully, the days in tents
    were not in grizzly country.
    However, the hunting locations were.

    When you mentioned bear, it just
    reminded me of the kids back packing bear encounter recently...and our own close call at Priest Lake berry picking a few years back....grizzly..not black bears. We quit picking berries there after that..not fun!
    When we camp at Priest now, it IS in grizzly country. We never sleep in a soft side anything there.
    Take care..may see you at the fair!
    Oh, we bought pepper spray at Black Sheep..