Bear issues - how would you deal with it?

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paradoxbox
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Bear issues - how would you deal with it?

Post by paradoxbox » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:09 am

Anyone from Alaska or other nearby rural areas will know if you go into the bush, you need a shotgun. Well since that's out for most foreigners in Japan, what's to be done?

Recently a bear was shot and killed about spitting distance from where I live. I really dislike the idea of walking in the woods without a gun but those are the rules of this place.

This year the food appears to have been scarce (probably too much rain?) so the bear attacks have been on the rise.

Anyone have some ideas on ways of dealing with bears that are legal or at least "gray" in Japan?

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Re: Bear issues - how would you deal with it?

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:49 am

I've seen people wearing a bell in areas that have bears, I think the idea is that it alerts the bear to your presence so it can move away and not be surprised by you. Perhaps carrying an air horn (1020円 from Waveinn.com) might work or a car emergency flare but I wouldn't like to put either of those to the test with a seriously angry bear myself.

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Eric in Japan
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Re: Bear issues - how would you deal with it?

Post by Eric in Japan » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:17 am

Bears are bad news. Stay safe! At my recent kusakari-ki licencing course, the forestry guy giving the course warned us that bears who have attacked humans before now view the bells as dinner bells. His advice- don't wear one.

Is pepper spray legal in Japan?

If you can't get it, you could probably puree some fairly hot peppers in vinegar and strain it through a coffee filter.
A spray bottle can shoot quite accurately and fairly far. That is a last resort kind of thing though.
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Re: Bear issues - how would you deal with it?

Post by gonbechan » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:06 pm

You can get Canadian bear spray online but its about 10.000円 for 1 bottle.

Amazon Japan Bear spray

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Bear issues - how would you deal with it?

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:06 am

Eric in Japan wrote:Stay safe! At my recent kusakari-ki licencing course, the forestry guy giving the course warned us that bears who have attacked humans before now view the bells as dinner bells. His advice- don't wear one.
That's quite scary, that the thing supposed to offer some protection is actually going to make matters far far worse.

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Eric in Japan
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Re: Bear issues - how would you deal with it?

Post by Eric in Japan » Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:54 pm

The bears who have successfully attacked and eaten humans wearing the bell hear it as dinner bells, the other bears wouldn't.
"... so, the cucumbers said to the cabbage, `Lettuce Go.`"

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Re: Bear issues - how would you deal with it?

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:06 pm

Still a bit of an unpleasant dilema as to whether you should wear a bell or not. If you don't and there are any bears around that haven't already attacked people you may well get attacked but on the other hand if you do wear one and there are bears around that have previously attacked people you may end up getting eaten. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

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Re: Bear issues - how would you deal with it?

Post by Eric in Japan » Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:02 pm

I guess I would go by reports of bear attacks. If there are reported attacks, no bell.
Still I guess the chances of being attacked are about the same as being struck by lightning though.
"... so, the cucumbers said to the cabbage, `Lettuce Go.`"

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Re: Bear issues - how would you deal with it?

Post by Funasshi » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:22 pm

I was under the impression that one can carry hunting weapon if one obtains the license for it.

Sorry if I am not up to date, and googling the topic just shows that it is possible (even if is quite hard) to get gun license. :)

Has that changed recently, is it limited to certain areas of Japan only, or does it not apply to foreigners for some reason?

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Re: Bear issues - how would you deal with it?

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:06 am

Foreigners are able to get a gun license (check out Yabanjin Lifestyle), it's not easy but at the same time it's not impossible. You just need to take the courses and pass the tests and then you are free to own a gun.

Hunting season starts either this weekend or early next week so do take extra care when venturing into the woods, some hunters open fire on the slightest sound so perhaps make plenty of human sounding noise when walking around in the forests over the next few months.

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