Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Aug. 9, 2022

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Animal deterrent effective, affordable

Nonlethal device may help avoid violent encounter


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Whether you’re in a city or a mountain town, wildlife is never far. Because of that reality, it’s important to be prepared should a potentially dangerous animal encounter take place.

As a dog owner who lives next to a stretch of wildland, I’m very familiar with hearing rustles in brush during nighttime potty trips outside. Sure, the noises might be coming from a squirrel or rabbit, but I’ve also seen bears and bobcats in the area — no match for my small pup.

The potential for a problem had me searching for a solution for the sake of my dog’s safety. Automatic lights didn’t do much to deter wildlife and I had my doubts about being effective with bear spray unless an animal got close — something I would prefer to avoid.

After trying a few different options, I finally found a tool that sends potential predators scrambling for the hills every time — a flashlight stun gun.

I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not suggesting you try to use the stun gun on an animal. Use the device as a deterrent instead, allowing the startling spark and noise to do all of the work from a distance.

Amazon sells many varieties of this tool and I’ve found that VIPERTEK seems to deliver a consistent product at around $20 to $30. Most of their options switch between flashlight mode and stun mode and are generally rechargeable. I’ve found the flashlight setup to be easy to maneuver and pack, also proving helpful when it comes to spotting animals in the brush.

Many nonlethal deterrents exist and it’s not a bad idea to carry and know how to use more than one. A bear bell is as basic as it gets, but something more aggressive, like a Taser or air horn, might be more effective if some sort of attack seems likely. Pepper spray or bear spray may also be an effective nonlethal way to deter an animal that’s already charging, though it’s better to scare the animal off before a charge takes place.

Doing your part to prevent a violent animal encounter is important for both your safety and safety of the animal. The flash and sound of a stun device can be an effective means of spooking an animal before it decides to charge. One that doubles as a flashlight means two tools for the price of one.

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