Curious grizzly bear cartoon

Bear Spray Stories Part 2: Almost Killed by Puppies

Alaska, Bear Spray Stories, Travel Cartoons

Welcome to part II of the bear spray stories. If you haven’t read part one, I’d recommend doing it now so this will make more sense.

To recap, I was in a dive bar in Anchorage talking to a park ranger, a veteran tour bus driver and veteran of the tourism industry in Alaska. The subject of bear spray came up and they recounted four of the funniest stories I’d heard about bear spray. For some strange reason, I decided to illustrate them on this blog.

In part one, we learned that bear spray is very effective in tear-gassing a busload of tourists, even it it isn’t very effective at getting a marmot out from under a bus.  In part two, we will learn that bear spray can save your life, provided you have the cajones to use it correctly.

Almost Killed by Puppies


The park ranger and his colleague were hiking in Denali National Park when off in the distance they saw a majestic grizzly bear.

Grizzly Bear Cartoon

The bear was about 150 yards away, which was a little too close for comfort, but the bear didn’t notice the rangers and was moving away so they were in a safe position. Nevertheless, they started to retreat.

As soon as they started to retreat, something unexpected, and cute, happened.

Grizzly Cub cartoonTwo grizzly cubs came over a knoll. The two cubs approached the rangers and were very curious.

Curious grizzly bear cartoon

curious grizzly bear cub cartoon


curious bears

After examining the two pink, hairless creatures for a minute, the two bears began to show off for the rangers.

Cute grizzly bear cubsThe rangers forgot about the mother bear as they were enthralled with the cute cubs.

Bear spray story cute cub grizzly

Then in the distance…


the mama grizzly turned her head and saw the cubs fraternizing with the humans. She was not impressed.


Suddenly the mood of the rangers changed. What had previously been awe over the cuteness of the bear cubs…

Bear cub puppy cartoon

turned to terror when the mom noticed the rangers and began charging.


The mama grizzly covered the 150 yards in about 10 seconds. The cubs, sensing that something was wrong, turned against the humans while the ranger unholstered his bear spray.




The ranger timed the bear spray shot perfectly, scoring a direct hit on the charging grizzly.

Bear spray cartoon

The ranger said that the grizzly started to veer off just as he shot the pepper spray, so there is a chance she was bluff charging.

bear spray cartoon

Mama bear was clearly agitated by the bear spray. She circled back, pawed at the ground and then retreated. Luckily for the rangers, they were upwind of the charging bear and thus got a face full of pepper spray also.

Bear spray thwarts attack cartoonThe bears walked off angry and demoralized and the rangers, glad to be alive, were also very glad that they hadn’t soiled themselves. Although terrifying, the rangers now have a great story to tell while in dive bars in Anchorage.

Dive Bar Cartoon

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Currently living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~

20 thoughts on “Bear Spray Stories Part 2: Almost Killed by Puppies”

  1. Hmm so how did the Rangers explain that they forgot that cubs have mothers?

    I’ve always wondered if I could be cool enough to discharge the bear spray at just the right time if needed. My friend is absolutely sure he’d empty long before the bear got in range.

    • The way the ranger told the story, they didn’t have much time to empty the can before the bear got there. He covered the ground so fast all he really had time to do was get it out and pull the safety. But I agree, I am sure I’d misfire on the bear spray. The one time I did have a close encounter, I did exactly what you are not to do – I took off running.

  2. Hey Jeff, welcome back! Love the continuation of the bear spray stories – great illustrations. Was this a first person account? ~Terri

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  4. I carry bear spray in my motorhome since I can’t carry a gun in all states. Never had to use it on a bear (or a human) but it does give a slight sense of comfort on the road.

    • After what I’ve seen and heard being in AK for 10 years, I’d feel better with bear spray than a gun, however, if you stay tuned for the next editions of the bear spray stories, you may not want either 🙂

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  6. wow! Better than a gun, in my opinion. A .22 would bounce off bear’s head. Fishermen in a bar in Haines told me to shoot first at shoulder to avoid the paw swipe. Then finish the job and bury bear in sticks and leaves so that fish and game doesn’t find out, otherwise you have to skin it, give it to them, and face a possible fine. You learn a lot in a bar! Bear spray is the way to go, unless you are a quick, and accurate under extreme pressure shooter. It would be a shame to shoot one that does a false charge.

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  9. I read this to my husband as we are sitting next to Otto Lake in our camper on a chilly windy evening, laughing our fannies off at your hilarious post. 🙂

    • That makes me smile. Did you read the others? It think those are better.

      If you spray yourself with bear spray you have to let me know.

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