Polar Bear Safety 101

Noise Deterrents

Guides use a variety of noise deterrents to manage bear encounters that work by scaring the bears away with a loud, unpleasant sound. Common noise deterrents include:

1. Banging rocks together or shouting loudly to distract the bears away from their interest in humans.

2. Honking your vehicle horn.

2. Cocking a gun – bears are familiar with the sound and it scares them.

3. Shooting a cracker shell that lands near the bear and acts like a firecracker to produce a loud, unpleasant sound that will scare it away. Cracker shells travel up to 100 metres and are used to manage bears at a long distance.

Physical Deterrents

Physical deterrents are used as a last line of defense against particularly persistent bears and are not a routine part of managing polar bear encounters. They work by using pain and discomfort against the bears that they learn to avoid.

1. Shooting rubber bullets (slugs) or a rubber buckshot at the bear. These are only used when cracker shells won’t work and are designed to stop a charging bear without injuring it.

2. Shooting a live round of ammunition. This is only used if killing a bear is your objective. *

*Disclaimer: the guides on Polar Bear Town do not use live ammunition on the show