North west riders weigh in; Firearm for bear country travel (Montana)

Discussion in 'Americas' started by 5 speed, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. SafetyDon

    SafetyDon Riding the western US

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    Studies say use bear spray. Less than 2% of people using spray have been injured with zero fatalities. The same is not true for those trying to shoot Grizzlies, even with mortal wounds bears have still killed people. We did Glacier last year and encountered Grizzlies (didn't have to spray) and headed to Yellowstone in two weeks. I would not go without bear spray....not as macho, but safer.
    #61
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  2. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    Whatever your considering as lethal for bear, it's slightly inadequate if they are pissed off at you.

    Just sayin.

    #62
  3. Migolito

    Migolito Prognosticator and MotoYogi

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    The idea of a Grizzly entering your tent as gently ripping the tent open, peering in, and then nibbling on your foot is kinda cute. Thats not at all what happens. In Yellowstone NP (lookit up yourself)a couple of years ago there was a backpacker who was sleeping inside his 2p tent in a back country campground with other campers. The witnesses described the attack, which they witnessed from beginning to end. The female grizzly (smaller that a male by about half btw) walked over to the tent, smelled it, used a claw to open the tent and snatched the screaming man from the tent. it then walked away carrying (not dragging) the dying, screaming man into the nearby bush. The witnesses described the attack from bear smelling the tent to the man being carried away as lasting about 2 seconds!!! Just a thought about 'protecting' yourself against a hungry bear.
    Like many of you, I'm a hunter. I was prepping for a DIY Bowhunt in a remote island in Alaska. In talking with the guide he recommended a 12g shotgun with a particular hard slug. (I believe the Alska WIldlife rangers use this slug) He said there were way too many failures of lead slugs on bears. Lead slug FAILURES on bears. They simply did not penetrate he said! So, honestly, talk of any handgun to stop a hungry Grizzly.... Were talking charging bears, not hunting bears. He also rx(and Im not kidding) an electric fence set up around my tent. He said bears will definately visit my tent many times and the fence works as a deterrent.
    #63
  4. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    That is interesting stuff. I'm surprised to hear about the lead slug failure to penetrate, though not completely shocked. I have heard advice saying they are good at stopping the advance of a big animal like that because you can use them to disable legs. One front and one rear leg disabled and the bear can't come at you very well.

    Never heard of using an electric fence. That sounds like a pretty elaborate effort, but I can see where it might be useful if you've been out hunting and may still smell like blood from cleaning game. Pretty hard to get yourself spotless clean in the field.

    I also wonder about being able to effectively stop an attack in your tent. Whatever you use would need to be practically in hand when the bear ripped open the tent. Even if a handgun was big enough to kill the bear (I assume you'd want to kill it fast at that point), could I successfully fire a .454 or larger revolver one-handed? With .454 Casull rounds, I find a snubnose handgun close to unmanageable even with 2 hands. I suppose there is the adrenaline factor that is hard to know until it happens.
    #64
  5. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    You won't have time or calm to hit a leg, let alone two. And after being in Alaska a few times, I can believe about lack of penetration even if you were SO lucky to hit the heart when head-on.
    That's why the air horn is immediately next to me. Bears are opportunists and will run when spooked.

    If you have ANY blood on you or in the tent, I don't want to be anywhere near you.
    #65
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  6. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Do AK hunters have field showers or something?
    #66
  7. northwestsupra

    northwestsupra that guy

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    Bear spray is plan a

    AR pistol 7.62x39r with 1500 lumen long distant light plan b

    Attached Files:

    #67
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  8. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    Here's a guess at what the plastic gun is for: If you shoot enough deer with that 7.62 and stack the carcasses a half mile away, the bears ought to leave you alone. Right?
    :lol3
    #68
  9. statsman

    statsman Long timer

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    There are far too many people posting on this forum who have far too much confidence in the ability of a heavy calibre pistol to stop a bear.
    If the danger is from another human, one shot from a magnum into the main body mass will put the attacker on his butt.
    But bears are not humans. There are far better methods (such as bear spray) which are far more effective.
    Like most predators in the wild, bears are lazy.
    If their sense of smell tells them they will have to work hard for their dinner, they will simply go after an easier target.
    #69
  10. jacoba331

    jacoba331 Been here awhile

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    That's why training is key. Doing drills and getting very comfortable with whatever gun you choose is way more important than the actual choice of gun.
    #70
  11. northwestsupra

    northwestsupra that guy

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    Although it might not be the perfect choice and it might not work it's a good plan that least have something if all else fails. It's something that's easy to pack along just in case bear spray might not be always effective a firearm might not always be effective. But hoping that it will walk away when you make loud noises or hears your little bells I'd rather have a plan b do not have anything at all

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    #71
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  12. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    Don't bother with a gun. Simply walk directly toward the bear and box him on the ears.
    bear.PNG
    #72
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  13. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto Supporter

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    Like you can do "drills" at the range that will prepare you for a grizzly....:jack
    #73
  14. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    If you want to do the gun route, go with the most reliable 12 guage you can find, cut down to the minimum legal length, with a good sling so it's easy to carry around. Your choice what to do about a choke. Buckshot in the first load as warning, slugs after that. Practice firing off the magazine fast -- if it's a surprise encounter at night or at close range, you aren't going to have a chance to aim. And stay away from bears so you don't have to use it. Those suckers can take a lot of damage.

    Still, the best bear story I know was two friends who heard a bear rummaging through their campsite late one night, and reached out to trigger the car alarm on their SUV. Bear fled, friends were safe -- the ultimate yuppie bear encounter. Works for me :)
    #74
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  15. statsman

    statsman Long timer

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    Training has zero to do with it. You are shooting an animal with a skull that is as bullet resistant as a tank.
    You are an excellent example of what I am talking about.
    The odds of bringing down a bear with a hand gun (regardless of calibre) are about the same as flapping your arms and flying.
    We have all read the stories of the few people who accomplished this. What we don't read is the stories of the people who failed because they're dead.
    #75
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  16. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    The only guy I know who tried to bring down a bear with a handgun still has one eye. The other eye and half his face are now gone. I'm not trying it.
    #76
  17. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    +1
    Blacks are the mildest of our North American bears and even a little blackie has a skull that is thick and with surfaces so angled that bullets ricochet off. Notice how you also don't have a clear heart or lung shot. If it's attacking, you probably were either sticking around one foraging or so close when you surprised each other and he can easily get to 30 mph in a few lunges. Think about a car suddenly springing to come at you at 30 mph from across the width of a small house. Forget back-up weapons, you won't have time and get one chance. Because of the adrenaline factor, the only half-way effective training I've ever heard of is wha the Alaska State Troopers do, because it involves a charging bear target. Most of their guys fail on their first tries.
    [​IMG]

    Most bears will shamble off UNLESS you give them cause to attack. Shooting one which is just annoyed because you interrupted his normal day would be a really good cause. With the spray, they want to leave.
    #77
  18. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Coworker of mine hunts bear with a handgun.

    [​IMG]

    One shot. One kill.
    #78
  19. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    Number of deaths from bear attacks in North America since 1900: 67
    Number of unintentional firearm deaths in USA (2000-2015): 10,109
    #79
  20. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    Hunting is not head-on in a charge
    #80