Bear spray does work when properly used!
If you have ever visited our nation's first National Park, Yellowstone, you likely saw all the warnings about bears the recommendations to bring bear spray for safety reasons. Some people laugh off the idea of bear spray as being a deterrent against an aggressive bruin.
You have probably heard the old jokes about bear droppings "having bells in it and smelling like pepper." It has probably one of the things that has led most people to argue a firearm is a far more effective form of bear defense.
However, the experts agree that used properly, powerful bear pepper spray can be a powerful deterrent for a bear that intends to do a human harm. For more proof of that, watch this video out of Yellowstone where a ranger uses bear spray to turn a mother bruin and her cubs away from a group of tourists.
There you have it, bear spray works. This ranger deployed it to perfection and this bear wanted no part of it after feeling the burning sensation.
Prior to getting blasted, that female black bear made a couple of aggressive lunges in the direction of the ranger. Because of the proximity of the tourists, it is not surprising he broke out the spray to discourage that behavior further.
While it may also seem cruel to chuck rocks at the bears, this is good conditioning for the animals. Thousands of tourists come through this park every day and the last thing rangers want is for them to become too comfortable with humans. That is how many bear attacks happen.
If you carry bear spray during your outdoor adventures, just make sure to keep an eye on the expiration date. The spray loses its effectiveness over time. Used properly in the right situation, bear spray will save your life.