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Black Bear Defense Really Needed???

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by FullClip, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

    I keep seeing a lot of posts about what defensive type guns and caliber combinations are needed for black bears. Maybe I'm missing something, but have lived in Maine all my life (so far, as the saying goes) and have never heard of anyone being killed or even injured by a bear. I do live in the boonies and have seen them around the house and yes, had one that got to be a pain in the butt with my garbage cans once in a while. Myself, I never worry about them while fishing or hunting small game (rabbits and partridge). My only "close call" was once the ex and I were picking rasberries a few hundred yards from the house and there was a bear on the other side of the batch. The bear took off like a rocket when it sensed us. No change of underwear needed on my part, but pretty close.
    Not saying it doesn't happen, but does anybody out there have an statistics on black bear attacks?? Not grizzlies or browns, but just balck bears. I have a feeling we need to worry more about pit-bulls and rotwiellers.
  2. TScottW99

    TScottW99 NRA Life Member

    Jul 15, 2002
    Roanoke, VA
    Yes it's needed. Will you ever use it, proably not. There is proably a .00001% chance you will. BUT, always be prepared ;)

    Black bears are known for going the other way. Every encounter I have had with them has been this way except one. The biggest concern is if you accidently get between mama and the cub.

    Another thing about black bears is, if they attack, they are going to kill you. The stories of playing dead and the bear leaving doesn't hold true with blacks. When they attack, which is very seldom, they do some massive damage.

    I don't have any numbers but I can think of two attacks close by in the last couple years. #1 In WV was a teenage boy deer hunting in a tree stand when the bear decided to climb the tree the boy was in. The boy ended up stabbing the bear with his knife, since he couldn't get a shot at the bear with his bow directly below him. #2 Was some tourist idiots in the Smokeys that decided to save a poor fawn from the mean bear ;Q One dead toursit.

  3. {Not saying it doesn't happen, but does anybody out there have an statistics on black bear attacks?? Not grizzlies or browns, but just balck bears}

    Well florida has bear ( blacks ) and haven't had a fatal bear attack EVER. We aren't the black bear capital of the world. It is has been proven time after time that more people die in a year from spider bite than black bear attacks and more hunters are killed or injured getting into their tree -stands at the start of deer season then bear attacks.

    Make noise as you go about you business, staying alert, and not trying to get close to a Black bear or feeding one and you will be alright for the most part. They are unique creatures but you give them their room and respect and you won't have any worrys.
  4. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

    Guess I should have poked around a little on Yahoo before posting the question. It does look like you stand a much better chance winning the Power-Ball lottery than having a black bear ruin your day. Below is the link and an excerpt from State of Maine's "Kid page" with some numbers on USA wide bear attacks. Also looks like most attacks are by "park bears" where they have grown accustomed to people and Twinkies. Still with my luck, don't think it would hurt to have a little back-up handy just in case. Either that or make sure your with somebody you're not too fond of that can't outrun you!!;f
    Unlike grizzly bears, black Bears seldom attack humans. According to the National Center for Statistics, 1980-1983, for every death caused by a black bear, 17 deaths are caused by spiders, 25 deaths caused by (from) snakes, 67 deaths from dogs, and 180 deaths from wasps and bees. On average, fewer than three people are killed every year by the more than 650,000 black bears in America. Surprisingly, Black Bear mothers rarely attack humans when defending their cubs.
  5. micah

    micah loves you all.

    Oct 7, 2001
    If you're concerned about a black bear attack, I hope you wear a full body rubber suit to protect you from mosquitos which are far more dangerous.
  6. lazarus

    lazarus Hard to Kill

    May 30, 2001
    In the east, I am much more concerned about two-legged predators than bears. While there have been some rumors and sightings of mountain lions in recent years, I doubt we have a sizable population.

    I always carry a major caliber handgun when afield (usually a .45 ACP or .44 Magnum). My primary focus is humans, but I am sure my handgun would serve in a pinch against a black bear.

    On two occasions I have encountered bears in the wild. Both times the bear was making haste the other way.
  7. {On two occasions I have encountered bears in the wild. Both times the bear was making haste the other way.}


    I myself had 2 up and close encounters with blacks and one being a large bear in NJ. This bear was big enough to kill a human and yet when we returned to the camp site, the bear took one look us 3 humans and split. I can honesty say I wasn't scared nor felt threaten at the time.

    But I was very much scared after he ran away. ;)
  8. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    Cochise County, AZ
    That's been my experience as well.

    It's still good to be prepared. Kind of like CCW around the city. The chance of actually needing it are slim, but when you do you REALLY need it. When I'm out in the sticks I worry more about rabid hippies and rattlesnakes than predators.
  9. J. Parker

    J. Parker

    May 24, 2000
    Ephrata, Wa.
    This is my observation after 30 some odd years camping/hiking/bashing around the woods of California, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington State. Black Bears in the western states are more aggressive because they have fewer food and water sources. Some of the largest Black Bears of all time have been taken in the eastern states because they have more food and water, plain and simple. Black bears out west are smaller, hungrier, and more aggressive IMO. Just my thoughts, John


    Aug 21, 2000
    Those stats were pretty cool. But, considering when you are out camping or hiking or just driving in remote areas, you have a chance to come across anything that can kill you. Cougars, criminals, black bears, wolves, snakes, your ex-wife, an escape con, whatever. The chances of encountering ONE of those things may be statsically slim, but when you add them all up, it is better to be armed and skilled.

    You are either prepared or you are not.
  11. I agree.

    It is also interesting that few than 3 means more than 2. 2 people a year killed by black bears? Seems to say it can and does happen.

    I remember the story of an Olympic level athlete in Canada stalked and killed by a black bear. Most stories I've heard involved stalking. So, evidently while most black bears are harmless, a few purposely decide to go after a human.

    Condition white in the woods is no place to be.
  12. sy2k


    Jan 22, 2002
    Yes. I've been attacked twice. Used pepper spray to repel one. The next time I had to fend one off with my mountain bike and handfuls of rocks.

    My glock 29 with 200 gr. doubletaps (either HP XTP's or flat point penetrators) goes with me everywhere when in black bear country (I live near the Sierras). Many black bears out here are conditioned to human food and presence and are very aggressive.

    Research bear behavior. Grizzlies maul more people yearly because they are highly territorial and foul-tempered with humans. But black bears are more likely to engage in predatory behavior towards humans (as rare as that is).

    True - you're not likely to ever be attacked by a bear. I'm sure more people die from spider bites, or get run over by cars, etc. But, trust me on this, you will regret not having a weapon if you're attacked. And why own a gun if you're not going to carry it for self defense?
  13. Dogbite

    Dogbite DNT TREAD ON ME

    May 20, 2000
    If it happens to anyone,it could happen to you-- be smart,be prepared.
  14. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

    Strange timing, but here's a link to The Bangor Maine news paper article of a black bear shooting that happened just the other day. Don't look like this was a timid one. Seems that along with the coyotes, the bears are becoming more accustomed to people and adapting.
  15. Besides black bears, snakes and spiders You also have to be concerned with Rabid animals.

    While a rabid racoon or skunk isn't going to maul you and eat you like a black bear could, being bitten by a rabid animal (and the resulting shots) is no fun.

    Had a case here in VA last fall where a guy was mowing his lawn and got attacked by a rabid coyote.

    Having a gun that is up to multiple tasks is a good thing int he woods.
  16. If I need to justify my chosen self defense method it's no longer a right (to keep and bear arms), but a privilege subject to revoke at the signing of the next piece of legislation, however to your point, the odds are low, (but not zero), that you would need to carry for black bear protection. Just in the last year or so, here in TN there was a woman killed in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park (where it is currently illegal to go armed) by a black bear, and a baby was snatched from a stroller in a yard by a black bear in New York State I believe it was also...
  17. mhambi

    mhambi κολασμένος

    Sep 25, 2001
  18. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

    Please push the veins back into your forehead!! I'm in no way asking anybody to "justify" anything. I was wondering about the odds of Smokey the Bear's evil twin brother trying to snack on my butt is all. As you can see, the odds of a black bear attack are slim, but they are there. It's not the way I want to go out of this world for sure.
    Like some of the others that have responded to the thread, I worry more about punks and such while hunting, or more likely, returning to the truck at the end of a hunting or fishing day. Even up here in the sitcks, it ain't like Mayberry anymore. My G20 would be enough medicine for most encounters and used to be "usually" on my hip, but now think I'll make that an "always" unless I'm already packing a rifle larger than the 10/22.
  19. I'm LMAO at you jerk, I was in no way "tense" when I posted that, it was simply a fact of how I view the current status of the right to keep and bear arms. Grow some thicker skin dude...
  20. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

    Well, I'm not going to worry about the name calling, have pretty thick skin really. Been called a lot worse before amd sure I will again.

    I do aggree with you're feelings about the whole gun control situation. All I can offer there is support the NRA and vote.