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Letter

Donate online to seventeen local non-profits that are participating in Bitterroot Gives from 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, to 10 a.m. on Friday, May 4.

I recommend Perry Backus get with the National Park Service and the State of Montana. Both teaches a whole different process of proper use of bear spray.

First off, not every bear is traveling at 35 mph directly at you. A small can of bear spray, which is the most commonly one carried has a seven second span of spray. Therefore triggering it at 60 feet increases the chances it loses it’s strong effect due to wind conditions (more common than you would wish) plus it spreads out with less particles striking the bear.

Both the NPS and the State of Montana trains participants to us the length of a school bus as the trigger point - 45 feet. Aiming to the side of the bear, sweep your hand one way to the side slowly for 1 second, then back again for one second - building a powerful barrier across the front of you, this takes the wind factor out of the equation and increases your safety. Then when the bear hits that concentration he will drop instantly.

You still have five seconds left to get away. The bear fully recovers after 45 minutes with no ill effects except a bad memory of people encounters. You are long gone with the assurance of five second of spray remaining to make it to your car.

Every incident ever recorded resulted in just 2 percent minor injuries. Go with confidence knowing this.

Harley Rimer,

Billings

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