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Yep, that would be useful... unfortunately you'd get to spend a nice, long stretch in jail if you used force to defend yourself.
Have you ever seen the cans of Bear spray???
They're about the size of a small fire extinguisher and really put out the goods... but even that's not enough; this guy was almost empty before he started yelling at the bear. That's what convinced the grizzly he'd had enough.
Still... I'd rather be in jail than a grave!!!
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That's why I love Texas: if there were any bears, and one attacked you, and you shot it, the game warden would probably reccomend a good taxidermist in the area :) .
 

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Actually, we do have a relatively small but growing population of black bears in the Chisos Mountains of the Big Bend country in West Texas. In 1999, while camping in the basin, I was fortunate enough to help a ranger scare a small cub out of tree near the campground. We yelled and threw sticks and rocks in it's general direction until it finally ripped down the tree like a squirrel and high-tailed it out of the area. For obvious reasons, they don't want the bears in "people" areas. Fortunately, Mama was not around.

More dangerous than the bears in Big Bend are the mountain lions which are also known as cougars or panthers. The black bears generally go 200 - 300 pounds and the cats are the same size! There's a stuffed one in the visitor center in the Basin that is about 300 poiunds. It will get your attention. They have radio collars on some bears and lions in the park. A ranger told me that sometimes hikers pass within feet of a big cat and never know it. Firearms are strictly prohibited in the National Park so there's not apt to be much need for a taxidermist. You are well advised to make plenty of noise while hiking in remote areas. Oh, and don't let your children or pets wander off.

If you have never been to Big Bend National Park, I highly recommend a visit (not in summer).

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/home.htm
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/bears.htm
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/lions.htm
http://www.desertusa.com/mag00/may/stories/bigbend.html
 

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tx, great links.thanks.
 
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