Counter Assault Bear Deterrents have the optimal combination of spray distance and spray time when compared to like sized canisters on the market.

Recipient of 1998 Interagency Grizzly Bear

Committee Stewardship Award for

Research and Development of Bear Pepper Spray

Note: The EPA requires the concentration of Active Ingredient (capsaicin and related capsaicinoids) range between 1% and 2%. The minimum size can the EPA requires is 7.9 ounces or 225 grams.The EPA requires each registrant to provide spray distance and time of continuous spray for their product and include the information on the label, although the EPA has no established limits.

Why is Spray Time Important?

IGBC Bear Spray Guidelines 2017 Excerpt

“Given the unpredictable situations that may be encountered and the possible need to use bear spray multiple times during the course of one trip (e.g., wind, multiple bears, the hike out, etc.), be sure to carry an adequate amount of bear spray. Consider carrying two cans.”

Why is Spray Distance Important?

      • Bears can charge at speeds up to 30+ mph. They need sufficient time to change from a contact charge to a bluff charge.
      • If a bear is going to charge more than once, it creates a barrier zone for the bear to have to reenter.
      • CROSS Wind may reduce the distance.

There are many types of ways that bears confront people. The three most common encounter scenarios where spray distance will be important:

      1. A sudden close encounter and defensive charge from 15-25 feet.
      2. A full defensive charge from more than 50 feet away.
      3. A gradual continuous approach (curious, predatory or defensive to determine what and who you are).


Counter Assault products have a four-year recommended replacement date because ALL aerosols lose propellant over time. This four-year replacement date means that it should shoot to maximum distance the first four years, and should spray a considerable distance after that date. Though the potency of the pepper does not diminish, all aerosol canister seals will weaken over time, allowing the propellant to escape.



Yes, Counter Assault Bear Deterrent is EPA registered and can be taken across the Canadian border for your own personal use. The product must return to the US and cannot be sold or remain in Canada.  This allowance applies to Bear Deterrent only, and does not include self defense pepper sprays which are not legal in Canada.

Please refer to the letter from Health Canada below.
Canada Health Letter

No, bear deterrent cannot be carried on an airplane or packed in your checked luggage because it is above the maximum size allowed.  FAA regulations do not allow transportation of more than 4 ounces of pepper spray packed in checked luggage.  You may call us for dealers in the area you are traveling to, or we can drop ship to your destination.

Yes, although it will not spray as far at freezing temperatures because a decrease in temperature causes a decrease in pressure. In extreme cold weather, American and Canadian park rangers carry their Counter Assault under their jackets to keep it warm for emergency use. It has been used effectively in Cape Churchill, Manitoba against polar bears using this method and also in the Arctic at extremely low temperatures of 12°F/-12°C to -6°F/-22°C.

Capsaicin and related capsaicinoids are the Active Ingredients within Oleoresin Capsicum. Commonly referred to as OC, it is a natural, oily, resin-like substance derived from hot peppers, the same ones used in spicy foods. Bear sprays that contain OC induce an almost immediate but temporary burning sensation of the skin and a burning, tearing, and swelling of the eyes. If OC is inhaled, the respiratory tract becomes inflamed resulting in swelling of the mucous membranes lining the breathing passage and temporarily restricting breathing to short, shallow breaths.

Counter Assault developed the sophisticated dispersal system that creates an atomized fog, which produces a pepper cloud slow to dissipate. The most effective dispersal system is the atomized fogger.

To be effective, Counter Assault Bear Deterrent must be airborne. Do not spray this product on objects, tents, or humans; such use has NO deterrent effect on bears.

We recommend using short bursts (one-half to two seconds) as opposed to a long, continuous spray.

The sound made by the atomized fogger blast of Counter Assault will frequently startle the animal, as it is not a familiar noise. Sometimes this is enough to chase it away.

  • If a bear or large predator approaches to within thirty feet, give a short warning blast, placing a fog between you and the animal. Note: Check for wind direction and position yourself upwind if possible, to avoid cross-exposure.
  • If the bear or large predator continues to approach or to charge within 20 to 30 feet, use short blasts, continuously in succession, aiming low at the head and toward the ground in front of the animal so it runs into the spray, until the animal retreats or is deterred.

Spray and React

When the animal attack is interrupted, this is your chance to get away, but DO NOT RUN.

CAUTION: This product is no substitute for common sense.

If you see a bear and it has not seen you, Stay calm and quietly leave the area. If on a trail, step off the trail on the downhill side and slowly leave the area. If the bear has seen you, identify yourself – let the bear know you are human. Talk in a soft to normal voice, do not yell. Help the animal recognize you are human. If the bear cannot tell what you are, it may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell.

A standing bear is curious, not threatening, but this is a good time for a first short (one-second) burst of Counter Assault, which may send the bear on its way. Try to back away slowly diagonally, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Pick up small children immediately and stay in a group.

Try not to pose a threat – avoid direct eye contact, as bears may perceive this as a threat. Don’t make any sudden movements. If necessary, back away slowly to give the bear plenty of room to escape.

Wild bears rarely attack people unless they feel threatened or provoked. Stand still – hold your ground if the bear charges. Bears often “bluff charge”. Since it’s impossible to tell a bluff charge from the real thing, a short (1-3 second) blast of Counter Assault should interrupt the charge. Do not run – including to the nearest tree unless you are sure you can climb at least 10 feet before the bear reaches you.

Running is likely to prompt the bear to give chase. You can’t outrun a bear — they have been clocked up to 35 mph, and like cougars and dogs, they will chase fleeing animals. (Climbing a tree may not work for black bears because they are agile climbers.) Under no circumstances should bear spray create a false sense of security or serve as a substitute for standard safety precautions in bear country.

Remember that bears are curious creatures with a powerful sense of smell. Please follow local camping regulations, but here are some tips:

  • Set up cooking, eating, and supply areas at least 100 yards from your sleeping area.
  • Store food and odorous items by hanging at least 10 feet above ground and 4 feet from top and side supports or by storing in approved bear-resistant containers.
  • Select food in individually sealed packages. Plan meals carefully to prevent leftovers.
  • Store pet food, livestock feed, and garbage the same as food. Never bury it; pack it out.
  • Strain food particles from dishwater using a fine mesh screen and store with garbage.
  • Dump dishwater at least 100 yards from your sleeping area. Food odors may attract bears.
  • Keep sleeping bags and tents completely free of food, food odors, or beverages at all times.
  • Store personal items (such as deodorants, toothpaste, make-up, soap, and lotions) with food and garbage when not in use. Any odorous product may attract bears.
  • Camp in open areas away from trails, thick brush, berry patches, spawning streams, or carcasses.
  • Sleep in a tent for increased safety.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after cooking, eating, or handling fish or game. Always minimize odors.
  • Change your clothes before going to bed — do not sleep in the same clothes you cook in.
  • Rehearse what you and others in your group will do — day or night —
  • If a bear appears in your camp or while you’re hiking. Review local regulations before your outing.

The most common North American bears are the black bear and the grizzly bear.








The black bear is the smaller of the two, uniformly black, brown, blond, or cinnamon in color. The shorter claws of the black bear are better for climbing.

Grizzly bears often have medium to dark brown legs, hump, and under parts with light-tipped (grizzled) fur on their head and upper body. The grizzly’s distinctive shoulder hump is actually muscle mass that enables powerful digging with its long claws.

images reprinted with the permission of Be Bear Aware Campaign

If you are exposed, the effects of Counter Assault are temporary. The effects should dissipate within approximately 30 to 45 minutes. To relieve the discomfort of the individual who has been exposed. flush any exposed areas including eyes with large quantities of water. As soon as possible, the affected person should be removed from the contaminated area and placed in a fresh-air environment. First aid instructions are printed on each Counter Assault Bear Deterrent label.

Animals and people temporarily experience intense burning sensations, which should disipate in 30 to 45 minutes. Counter Assault is classified as non-lethal, and causes no permanent damage to the animal or person sprayed.

Any scent may attract bears, but there is no conclusive evidence by bear experts that bear spray does or does not attract bears. This issue came to light due to the improper use of bear pepper sprays. Bear experts all agree that bear pepper spray, when used correctly, is the best defense against an aggressive bear. To be effective it must be airborne.

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