Packin' Meat

A breakthrough for bear defense.

For decades, there have been just two choices for active bear repellants: firearms and bear spray. Now, there’s a third—a compact pistol that shoots canisters of fragrant, exploding meat product. Originally developed by a postal carrier tired of being chased by aggressive dogs, the Sausage Shooter was recently adapted for use by outdoorspeople. The concept is simple: give an attacking animal a more alluring target, and give yourself time to escape.

The device is similar in size and function to a flare gun, except that instead of producing an explosion of light, it produces an explosion of pungent, rancid meat, intended to distract an attacking animal. The pistol is a standard single-shot, breech-loading flare pistol (available in black, pink, or Mossy Oak camo), and cartridges come in a variety of scents and flavors, including beef, pork, turkey, tuna, and “Grizzly’s Choice,” which is a “proprietary, premium barrel-aged tactical viscera” that is advertised to be “five times more disgusting—ten times more effective.” Cartridges are completely sealed and do not emit any odor until fired, with unlimited shelf-life. 

When deployed, the canister range is between 30-50 yards with a loud percussive blast intended to startle the attacking animal, followed by the immediate aerosolized release of putrid meat. “The odor is so powerfully foul, so violently offensive, so palpably disgusting, that no predator could possibly ignore it,” says biologist Abe Orrent. “It’s like catnip for meat-eaters.” With the animal distracted comes your opportunity to escape.

Just be absolutely sure you don’t accidentally discharge the Shooter in your home or car, or (God forbid) shoot it at a person. “We’re talking about the very essence of death itself here,” Orrent warns. “It’s like huffing Satan’s butthole. You can taste it. It smells like Roger Stone looks: evil as hell. It’s plausible that someone could gag to death just by catching a whiff of this stuff. You’d probably have to burn your house down to be rid of the smell.”

The Sausage Shooter is available at a variety of outdoor retailers. Find a shop near you that packs the meat at