Not all calls require a ‘chopper’, though. One technique of forcing a bear out of the urban area is known as ‘hazing’: using noise and other stimuli to simply drive the bear away.
“Sometimes, just a vehicle or our presence will be enough for the bear to turn and go,” explained Brett. If that doesn’t work, we use cracker shells, bird bangers or scare pistols – they make various noises.”
Beanbag guns and rubber bullets are among the last resorts, yet some bears won’t react to even those, said Brett.
“Still, there’s only been two instances where I’ve loaded a slug into my gun, and I’ve never had to dispatch a bear. This is my fifth season here,” he proudly added.
It’s clear that Brett is passionate about what he does. Long hours and alarm calls in the middle of the night are just part of a difficult job. Still, he does worry his role is misunderstood.
“The term ‘jail’ makes it sound like punishment,” he finished, shaking his head. “We’re trying to save their lives.”