Originally Posted by Wreckchecker
As for guns, the most common gun I've seen in the Alaska bush has been a short barrel pump shotgun. We did have spray but also the pumps on the packs in front of us...
Originally Posted by icebox
...that saying the time I spent in Alaska and in camps around Yellowstone a 12 ga slug gun with the first round #2 and followed by 550 gr. slugs was the weapon of choice...
I like the shotgun advice... Nothing I prefer more for close encounters than a good shotgun.
Problem is that nobody makes nice, new, quick "breakdown" pump or auto shotguns any longer. That said, there is one great choice in shotguns that easily and quickly break down and re-assemble like that Alaskan Co-Pilot rifle...
The Winchester Model 12.
And they are readily available for reasonable prices on the used market. Grab one of those with a shorter barrel, a nice soft "breakdown" shotgun case, and some shells and you've got something that will pack just as nicely in most ADV bike side cases.
Here's some info on the Model 12, as well as a couple of sites that have a number of them for sale:
One of the great things about a shotgun, IMHO, over pepper spray is that it's effective on other dangerous critters, like snakes... or multiple, potentially predatory humans.
And regarding bear pepper spray that might get accidentally get used on people...
You might not kill your buddy, but burning him bad enough he requires hospitalization, and perhaps blinding him for life is not a pleasant thought, either. Something to consider with the wide fogging, range, and Scoville heat units bear sprays are capable of.
Just my less than two cents...