The first year or so I carried daily, it was like wearing shoes. After awhile I realized there really isn't much threat at all, with the exception of a rabid animal. Nearly all predators just want to be left alone.
With two very alert dogs and a gun at your side, there wasn't much to be concerned with, unless something is injured or sick. Most of the attacks you hear about are either stupid people doing really stupid stuff or accidentally cornering a bear or lion.
Add to that, there are certain times of the year when the threat level increases, like spring, when mama needs to protect her young, or fall when storing fat for the long winter is imperative for survival, as I noted in another thread, where I walked between mama and her cubs.
For whatever reason, she knew I wasn't a threat and that's probably because she knew me despite my not even knowing of her existence. It's as much their property as it is mine and I've always respected that.
Case in point, a new bay area lib bought land down the creek from me, the woman claims to be a conservationist/rescuer of animals, takes in all kinds of animals, has cheap field fencing to keep them in. From Lamas and goats to God knows what all, problem is, they're bait to hungry critters looking for an easy meal.
In a couple of our videos you may have seen a rather large bear, he was beautiful, never once bothered me or my dogs. Then one day he stopped coming through, turns out, he had made a meal of a couple of her lamas. So her husband acquires a permit from the state to kill the bear.
Talk about fuckin hypocrisy, she killed the very thing she claims to protect, all because she refused to go the extra mile to protect those in her care. Yes, I was pissed and still am to this day. But I believe God will intervene and take her care privileges away, one way or another. What she did was unconscionable, she became the evil within the forest. There is much more to this story that I won't go into, but suffice it to say, she is a full blown NIMBY without conscience.
I hope she's reading this, because simply telling her wouldn't be enough, she'd simply block out what she doesn't want to hear, the truth.
Anyway, I no longer feel the need to pack, and neither does the wife, so she carries a horn and bear spray. She walks the forest every morning, though we see on the cameras just how close she's come to bears and lions, but like I said, they don't want trouble either. They hear her and the dogs and take off running.
To answer your question. No, it is nowhere the threat TV makes it out to be. Nature has a way of culling the weak and stupid, be it parents with toddlers, or leaving food in their tents, you're asking for trouble. The only issues I hear about are flatlanders thinking they can do as they please in the forest, only to discover they are not the top of the food chain. I've been up close and personal with both lions and bears, and you quickly realize you don't have a snowflakes chance in Hell of surviving if they decide you're on the menu.
Ever felt a fear turd peak out? I have.
Your knees go weak, your muscles refuse to act, and that's probably what saved me, the fact I didn't appear threatening, because I couldn't move (Frozen in fear), and the smell probably made them think I was sick and not eatable.
I kid you not, that's the only thing I can think of when those situations happened. I'm sure if I'd had a gun, the second I went for it, I'd have been ripped to pieces. Yes, that's how close I've been, within arms reach. I often wonder how many times I've been watched in the forest by predator's. Thank You God...
Like I said, nature has a way of culling the weak and stupid.