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bear defense

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by romperstomper, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. romperstomper

    romperstomper Totentance

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    For those of you who hunt in black bear country, like me, what do you bring for bear defense, if anything? (I mean if you are carrying a hunting firearm best suited for varmint and small game like a rimfire.)

    Black bears can weigh in excess of 400 lbs. and are 6' long. For something that size I would generally think a .45 or .357 wouldn't be sufficient and a .41 or .44 Magnum might do the trick.
     
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    The best black bear defense is your head.

    Know when they'll be coming out of their dens with the little ones. Take care around gut piles you've seen and where you leave your gut piles. Just be generally aware.

    You also have to know your area. I'm friends with the G&F guys for the whole county and I get nearly weekly 'briefings' (beer on the tailgate) on what's been seen where and who's killed what. I live in "bear country", but seeing one at my elevation would be rare. I know more more specifically where they are in high concentrations at a given time of year. Which is a good thing to know if you want to avoid them or if you want to hunt them. If you know what the bears are eating and what they are doing, you'll have a better idea of where they are and how they'll react to you. Every bear that I've just 'run into' while out and about has taken off like a striped assed ape away from me. Talk with your G&F guys or bear hunters to get the scoop.

    Bears can be nasty and they are full of grit. I don't see them as a worry though. My everyday carry gun nowadays is a 10mm. I've carried a .44mag, .357mag and .45 colt as well and feel good about all of them.
     

  3. ILikeFtLbs

    ILikeFtLbs

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    I've hunted lots of black bears, and I assume that's what you're asking about. They aren't hard to kill. .40, .45, .357, 10mm, it'll all work. The 9mm can do it too. I doubt you'll ever have to shoot a black bear in self defense, but if you do, just keep shooting till he runs or dies. They don't hang around when the led starts hitting them.
     
  4. vafish

    vafish

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    Best defense for bears is to bring along a friend that you can out run.
     
  5. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    By the way. When I know I'm going to be up close with bears I always have a rifle. I don't worry about them while hiking, but if you're gonna go look for trouble, expect to get some in return at times. A scared bear cornered or in a tree can do some crazy things.
     
  6. bustedknee

    bustedknee The Snowflakes have invaded GT

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    Black bears?

    Just yell at them, they will sneak away.

    If they move too slow for you, open your coat as wide as possible.
     
  7. romperstomper

    romperstomper Totentance

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    No, I'm not. I was talking about stumbling onto a black bear and being attacked. When I hunt I am far more likely to be carrying a .22lr than a high powered rifle. What I wanted to know is what handgun can successfully stop a black bear attack. I believe this has been adequately answered.
     
  8. romperstomper

    romperstomper Totentance

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    ;e
     
  9. RugerFan58

    RugerFan58

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    This is something I've always found to be true. Black Bears want nothing to do with you unless you get between a female and her cubs. We see them all the time in Northern Maine. They're always running away from us at full speed. The reason I carry in the woods is for the two legged creatures. They are the ones to worry about.;c
     
  10. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    First time I ran into a bear (about 15-20 yards away) all I had was a .38spl snubnose. We both looked at each other like "OH SH*T!". Luckily he picked up and hauled off the trail. I just stood there trying not to pee myself. ;f
     
  11. ILikeFtLbs

    ILikeFtLbs

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    Sorry, that's what I meant when I answered your question. All of those pistol calibers I listed are effective for defense. Obviously you wouldn't go hunting for a bear with one of them.
     
  12. bustedknee

    bustedknee The Snowflakes have invaded GT

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    I have "stumbled" across hundreds of Black and Brown bears.

    The Blackies run away!!!!!

    The Browns are usually curious but move away slowly .

    The one time I was charged by a Brownie, the 44 on my hip became mighty small, mighty fast and stayed in the holster. I yelled at the bear. He realized I was human and slid to a stop, turned and ran.
    A handgun is a poor choice for stopping enraged Brownies!
    A docile, feeding Big-Bear (Browns and Grizzlies) is extremely difficult to kill. 30-06 and larger are recommended with 338 and 375 preferred. An enraged big-bear is near impossible to kill yet people insist on carrying a handgun for "bear protection".

    Now, having said that, you asked about Black Bears.

    I have had to kill only a couple of Black Bears. One was raiding my camp and bear season was open so my 338 turned him into a rug.

    The other charged me straight on so I shot him in the face with a load of magnum buckshot. This was at home in my driveway. He had been raiding garbage cans and when I went out to clean up his mess, he charged from the brush. Most likely, he considered me a threat to his food supply (much like another bear or a dog). I suspect he would had stopped his bluff charge a few feet from me. But I had to make a quick decision.

    Black bears bluff a lot. Their whole existence is about not losing face. When two bears meet, the larger of the two is usually in charge. They fluff up their fur and strut around. Again the larger of the two is boss. They will turn sideways to make themselves appear even larger. Again, the larger is in charge.
    I have used this technique many times. I simply hold my coat open so I appear 3 times larger, the bear slinks away.

    If you run from a bear, he will either run, just as fast as you, in the other direction, or he will chase you. You are very much like a mouse running from a cat. The bear will want to play. You will not enjoy the game!;P

    I have killed a couple Black Bears with a handgun (I had the handgun, not the bears ;i) . They are not hard to kill but do have the ability to cling to life. When hunting I very carefully stalk within range and precisely place a shot in the bears vital area. He is not enraged, not charging, not chewing on my arm, not climbing a tree after me, and not holding his coat open in a feeble attempt to scare me away. ~rf

    There are many theories on carrying a gun for Black Bears.
    1. Use it as a noise maker only. A 22 will do the job.
    2. Use it to shoot your partner in the knee. You won't have to outrun the bear, just your partner. A 22 should do the job nicely. ;z
    3. Shoot yourself, after a peed-off bear chews your face off. May require a caliber larger than 22, depending on the thickness of your skull. ~rf
    4. Unprevoked attack. You will most likely never see it coming. You are the "other white meat". Play dead (the joke is on you).
    5. Actual possibility. You stumble across a sow with cubs and you realize you are between them. She charges you. The biggest gun you own will be insufficient. I guarantee. ^3

    RugerFan58 told it like it is. I carry for the 2-legged critters.

    If you are really and truly worried about a Black Bear attack, carry a short-barreled rifle or 12 gauge loaded with buckshot.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. romperstomper

    romperstomper Totentance

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    Oh, really?

    http://www.bear.org/Black/Black_Bear_Facts.html

     
  14. noway

    noway

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    Most animals will protect their young. I think bustedknee post is the most educational on bears and such as hell entertaining ;)


    I've had one Blakcbear encounter at a state park in NJ and that was bear going thru the garbage can and I later found out thru the park ranger/attendant to NOT place trash at the campsite. All I did along with the other 2 campers was to yell at the bear. I wasn't scared till after the factr that I realize the bear could have "killed" me ;P. BUT the yelling and possible facts that the bear seen 3 humans might have freak him out.

    he/she ran off quicker than flash gordon.
     
  15. bustedknee

    bustedknee The Snowflakes have invaded GT

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    Yep! Really!

    I'm not sure what you are trying to say here.

    Are you disagreeing with what I said because of something you read?


    I said "charge". Dr. Rodgers said "attack". We are both right. I've met Lynn Rodgers. He did a lot of research on Black Bears where I used to live and he really impressed me with his knowledge of Blackies and his observations. I never heard him quote stuff he had read somewhere.

    I have been bluff charged several times by mommy-bears. If you have the hairs to stand your ground, she will most likely stop, back away, growl, snap her teeth, then maybe bluff charge again.
    You should move away!

    Note: I had one to leave her cubs and disappear quietly into the woods. I don't know if she was hiding just inside the brush line or still running to this day.

    But this bluff is where the trouble starts. Many people will shoot her. It is then called an attack by the newspapers. Was it really?

    Really?
     
  16. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    One of my brothers guides very expencive hunts for Lions on his ranch in faaaar W. Tex. Bewtween there, and the Sangre De Christo mountain range in Northern N.M. my stomping grounds for a very loooong time, i have personally just never had bear trouble. I don't guide any longer, but in all the years i did, no problems.... Yes i know it can happen, and i know of a bow hunting guide in the San Juans that got almost ate, by a Grizz, which is rare there, but a few left. He did survive, but it was really bad.

    I am just one of those guys that sees no need to get in a lather over the bear/couger deal. BUT, a good 44mag, or 45LC, on the hip, always makes me feel completely confident. ;)

    Most of the black bears take off when they see you, and are not the murderous blood thristy killers they have been made out to be, and even a loud noise or shout, can send them packing. They are stinking little pest in camps though at times, and this can be your encounter point.... but in all, in IMHO, i see no reason for alarm from the blacks.


    FTIW


    CanyonMan
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
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  17. frank4570

    frank4570

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    I have black bears on my property in Va and so I did some research on them a while back. There have been 2 recorded cases of black bears hurting people in the entire state. Both of those were bears that were wounded and cornered by hunters.The wounded bears were trying to get away. Other than those 2 cases there is no recorded history of a black hurting a human ever in this state.
     
  18. Mike Bolin

    Mike Bolin

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    I bought my Glock 20 to double as a camp/truck gun as well as a home defense gun. I've killed a few bears with bow and arrow and if hit properly tend to go down pretty fast. If I am bowhunting in bear country, I'd carry the Glock, at least when packing meat. Mike
    [​IMG]
     
  19. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

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    Haha, I used to ask my dad how he would survive if we ran into a bear while hiking, he simply replied, "Son, I am not worried about out running the bear, I just have to outrun you"
     
  20. EL COLONEL

    EL COLONEL

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    GET A SMITH 4 IN 629M 44MAG WITH 240GR GOLD DOTS.:thumbsup: