Yesterday I wrote to the Bureau of Land Management with questions concerning my upcoming trip to Colorado. Amazingly, they responded back in the same day. While reading through their responses to the questions I posed, I found one, let’s say concernedly shallow.
The question I had posed was “Is it lawful to carry personal protection while on Bureau of Land Management lands? The answer came back “It is lawful, but be informed that if you kill a bear of mountain lion in self defense that is attacking you, you have to fill out paperwork afterwards. You might consider using bear mace.”
First of all, when protecting my life, I want the most lethal means available to ensure I get to suck air another day. Second, the maximum effective range of bear mace in optimal conditions is 35 feet. When I say optimal conditions, that means the wind is at your back and blowing from you to the oncoming predator. If you don’t have optimal conditions, the effective range can drop down to less than 15′. A black bear can cover 50 feet per second meaning you have 7/10ths of a second to see the danger, pull out the bear mace and hit it with enough mace to make it change its mind about attacking you. Since my reaction time at my age is not even close to being catlike, all the mace will do is make the bear’s eyes burn while he is mauling me.
If I am unlucky enough to have a mountain lion attacking instead of a bear, it can travel at 73′ per second meaning I now only have slightly less than 1/2 second to recognize the threat, pull out the protection, and hit it in the chest and face with mace before he is clamping down on my neck with his incisors.
Considering all my options, I’ll be more than happy to fill out paperwork if necessary.