The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

View Poll Results: What is the best hiking / camping gun
.22 pistol / rifle - bang scares animals and is light 6 4.51%
.38 / 9mm pistol / carbine - adequate stopping power for most encounters 4 3.01%
.40 / .45 pistol / carbine - proven stopping power 8 6.02%
.357 mag / .44 mag - I will haul the weight - great stopping power 50 37.59%
5.56mm rifle - My AR will stop those beasts.... 1 0.75%
308 / 7.62mm - heavy round does the talking 10 7.52%
12 ga - the mother of all defensive loads. 51 38.35%
30-06, 7mm rem mag - long range shooter 2 1.50%
.375 H&H, .460 weather mag - elephants - NP 5 3.76%
Other.... 7 5.26%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 133. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 30, 2005, 12:16 AM   #76
Limeyfellow
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2005
Posts: 1,380
The spray they make to repel bears is alot stronger than mace or pepper spray and works a majority of the time. Its more a last ditch effort though. If you do get attacked by a bear the best targets tend to be the face, nose and ears.

Where the bear was following you, it would have been better to all stop and take a stand together to appear more intimidating. Thats not acting defensively and is a dangerous. The same if they go in your tent or cabin and so on.

Usually you only drop down and play dead when its a defensive attack on you and you used any deterrents you have, they usually lose interest in you. If they don't then you fight back. The defensive attack accounts for pretty much all attacks. This can be avoided most the time by making sure the bear know you are not a threat or prey by talking calmly and letting it get your scent and so on. Most the time when they charge up to you they will stop at the last moment as a threatening motion. Don't run or your screwed.

If they just seem to ignore you its best to slowly and quietly leave the area.
Limeyfellow is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 12:23 AM   #77
BobK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 19, 2005
Posts: 838
Grew up hunting and fishing in Alaska. Shot bear with 338 win mag. Other than that when fishing or out and about we carried at LEAST a 44mag. Most of the time we had a 12 ga or Marlin 45-70.
Don't kid yourself. Any revolver with less than a 6" barrell isn't going to generate enough muzzle velocity and follow up shots will be much tougher. Take the advise of someone who was "tree'd" by a ****** off bear after he was shot 3 times center mass with a 338 and once by a 44 mag. I spent the night in that tree.
Dogs are a terrible idea. I have seen bear chase dogs all the way BACK TO THE OWNER!! This happened in Mt Mckinley National Park about 30 years ago. Back then you were allowed to travel through the park in a private vehicle unescorted. Now you have to ride a tour bus.
BobK is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 11:28 AM   #78
Duxman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 1,294
Cavemen had spears - they beat bears

I do not know what the exact kill ratio is, but our ancestors killed bears and other predators for food, with nothing more than spears and clubs.

The modern hunter / hiker armed with today's magnificent weaponry should well be able to defend himself from these beasties.

Lets face it would you rather have a rifle / shotgun or even a .44 magnum vs a sharp long stick when facing a beastie like a bear?

Duxman is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 12:55 PM   #79
panzer426
Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2005
Posts: 78
when we went camping in Alaska years ago the wild life agent told us the best defense against a charging grizzly are in order: be lucky and not see one; be inside a vehicle; dog that will bark and stand ground while you also make noise and throw rocks and or sticks; 12 gauge buckshot to the front legs; bear spray to the face. claimed that the majority of times someone defended themselves with a 44 magnum, or even a 30-06 against a charging bear, they shot for the head (hard to do when a 1,000 pound ball of teeth claws and fur is coming at you) the ones that hit the head left a scar on the bears head where the skull deflected the shot and it tore a furrow along the scalp.
panzer426 is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 03:03 PM   #80
black bear 84
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246
Concerning pepper spray, I am a little ambivalent about it. I guess I will have to see some field tests with real bears before I will trust it fully.
I have a video of Wayne Carlton, “Call’n Bears,” where he called one and used pepper spray on him. The bear retreated, but I think was more surprised of seeing a human being and not a rabbit (as the call was imitating).

When you see a dog get sprayed by a skunk you see that it really bothers him and he tries to take it off with his paws and is frantic about it and in pain (burning sensation).
That bear that Wayne sprayed didn’t show any of this, and in my opinion, was not affected by the spray.

Every time that I hear about carrying pepper spray for defense against bears I am reminded of a story that my son wrote for another Forum, that went like this.


Pepper Spray and Bears

The hikers shuddered in the cold winds blowing that day over the treetops of Yellowstone National Park. They clutched their parkas closer to their chests in the hopes to warm themselves against the fury of the bitter maritime polar winds that blew against them. After all, the guide had warned them to be equipped for unexpected and unfriendly weather.

The guide, a middle-sized male of forty-nine years, exhaled and gave a loud noise of mild exasperation beneath his silver bushy moustache as he climbed up onto a protruding section from the side of the hill. It was a Wednesday, and as the previous days of the week, Ray Bucklesmith was leading a group of tourists across a small portion of the northern border of Yellowstone Park. At the moment, he was guiding the hikers over a small hill, which for the most part had a gentle elevation and allowed for a comfortable pace, granting leave to observe the scenery of the autumn colors as a background against the distant mountains.

“Everyone here?” questioned the guide, gripping a nearby cedar branch for support. “Great.” His eyes moved across the leaf-covered ground and the surrounding scenery for a hint on what interesting fact to point out to them. Not that they were very interested, in that sense.

He happened to spot a small pile of waste on the ground about three meters from his spot. Instantly, he was able to recognize it.

“Alright, as you may have noticed, we are on a heavily used bear trail. Now, the bears can’t ascend this hill, but they go across horizontally. You can see here,” and he pointed to an oak tree, “that there are several markings in the shape of claws across the surface of this tree. This was most likely was done by, oh, most likely some young black bear cubs under orders from their mother to climb the tree.”

“No kidding?” said one of the men, donning a gray parka. “Bears can climb trees? I never knew that.”

“Yes, well, not all bears. Black bears of this region are quite the experts at climbing trees because they are often under threat from the more aggressive Grizzly bear.”

“What? There are Grizzly bears in this place?” There was a slight hint of fear detectable in the woman’s voice.

“Yes, and you were warned of that in the distribution of the safety pamphlet that we handed out earlier.” He gazed, irritated, across the sea of guilty countenances that clearly showed few of them had paid much attention to the pamphlet in the first place.

“Okay, as the pamphlet mentioned, it is best when traveling into bear country to carry pepper spray to repel a bear away from you at close range. And it is also recommended to take little bells and strap them to some part of you in order for the noise to scare away nearby predators.”

He sighed. “In any case, a way you can tell a difference between a black bear and grizzly bear without seeing them is by their droppings.” He stooped low. “Gather around,” and motioned with his hand.

“In this sample, we can see the basic diet of a black bear.” He prodded the feces with a twig as his audience glanced on in disgust. “You see here, we have berry skins and some undigested grass blades. This gives you a typical black bear diet; berries and grass. Black bears also enjoy grubs, ants, bees, and the occasional meat they can get their paws on.”

One of the people asked, “What’s that smell? That ain’t no berry smell. It’s weird.”

“That,” replied the ranger as he walked over to a nearby bush, “comes from this pile of droppings. Grizzly bear droppings. It’s a rare thing to see the two bears together in the same area, which led me to infer that the grizzly bear was intruding on a mother black bear’s territory. A show of strength probably followed, while the cubs were sent up that tree for their protection.”
“Yeah, but why that smell?”

“Well, as I said, you can infer a bear’s diet from its droppings. While black bear droppings usually contain herbs and insects, a grizzly bear can be usually identified for the stench of pepper and-” He prodded the sample over- “little gold bells.”

The attention of the crowd suddenly intensified significantly.

black bear 84
black bear 84 is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 03:45 PM   #81
Para Bellum
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2005
Location: right there
Posts: 1,847
our ancestors killed bears and other predators for food, with nothing more than ...

Quote:
I do not know what the exact kill ratio is, but our ancestors killed bears and other predators for food, with nothing more than spears and clubs.
That was one of the reasons why our planet was soo poorly populated then...

By the way: Brown bears easily outrun racing horses. The make 100m with a standing start in 6 sec in the woods. They are as close to perfect as nature can be.
__________________
Si vis pacem - para bellum
If you want peace - prepare for war
Para Bellum is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 05:36 PM   #82
panzer426
Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2005
Posts: 78
normal pepper spray, such as police use, is designed to work on humans. dogs have smaller tear ducts. there is a product called bear spray that works very well. I dont remember the site but they showed videos of testing and worked very well. it is 2 times stronger the LEO and civilian pepper spray, and powerfull/concentrated enough to cause permanent blindness and brain/nervous system damage in humans.
our ancestors most likely made one kill out of 100 attempts at killing bears with pointy sticks, and I shudder to guess how many hunters lost their lives in both failed and successfull bear hunts. untill the firearm even kings who hunted bear rode on horses (several men armed with bows/arrows, spears, and swords) and used a pack of dogs to chase the bear and wear it out. that was thousands of years after cave men killed bear with spears and rocks. and most likely they didnt HUNT bear, they would have known that they had little chance of succes and would have stuck to bison, mamoths, and deer.
personally I will carry, and use against a bear in this order (yelling and praying the whole time): a 12 gauge pump aimed at face, chest and legs all at once; a 44 magnum (or similar) revolver aimed at center of visible mass; a dog; bear spray; a flashlight (if night time); then rocks/sticks/anything I can get my hands on. and most likely the bear will either turn around and retreat or will kill me before I get to go through even 1/4 of those.
panzer426 is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 07:08 PM   #83
Twycross
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,187
Quote:
They are as close to perfect as nature can be.
A shaggy, smelly, lump o' lard is close to perfection?
__________________
The test of character is not 'hanging in' when you expect light at the end of the tunnel, but performance of duty, and persistence of example when you know no light is coming.
- Vice Admiral James Stockdale, USN (ret.)
Twycross is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 08:09 PM   #84
BobK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 19, 2005
Posts: 838
I've seen bear run through bushes and alder up to five inches in diameter while chasing a moose. They are a most impressive animal and should not be underestimated. As far as pepper spray, sorry but I don't trust it. I don't carry spray for humans. I'm not about to carry it for bear. Once you **** off a bear, only hot lead or a lot of luck will stop it.
BobK is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 08:49 PM   #85
CarbineCaleb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2004
Posts: 2,745
Man French Kissing a Grizzly?



This photo off National Geographics site has this caption:
Quote:
Trainer Jeff Watson bonds with his bear Brody, the cover boy of this month’s National Geographic, by spitting into his mouth. Brody may seem cute and cuddly at moments like these, but Watson is uncomfortable with visitors and television clients who don’t temper their affection for Brody with a little bit of respect. “This bear is not a pet,” he says. “I’ve raised him from a cub, and I have to watch every move I make.”
__________________
“Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think.”
Niels Bohr
CarbineCaleb is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 10:12 PM   #86
Nnobby45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,148
What kind of slugs.

OK, what kind of slugs do experienced people carry in Griz country? I've always wondered if the typical foster type might be a little soft and provide inadequate penetration--especially when trying to break a shoulder bone. Heard good thing about Brennekes. Never hear anything about what people really carry up there. Could someone be more specific than just SLUGS.

Also seems to me that at close range, the first rounds should be slugs, with the last couple rounds either being slugs or buckshot for real close range.
Nnobby45 is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 11:13 PM   #87
CarbineCaleb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2004
Posts: 2,745
Best slugs for grizzlies

If I actually needed to shoot one, I would want the new Remington 12 gauge Core-Lokt Ultra Sabot Slugs - they are a high velocity .50 caliber bonded/jacketed bullet, roughly equivalent to a .45-70 rifle round.

On the actual probability of needing one, however, see this thread:
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=174660
__________________
“Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think.”
Niels Bohr
CarbineCaleb is offline  
Old June 30, 2005, 11:42 PM   #88
Twycross
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,187
I am wondering why people would choose long-range intermediate-power rifles such as the 7 mm. For the same weight, you can get a lot more power, and you don't need the range. It's not like there are going to be hikers out there taking 400 yard pre-emptive "self-defence" shots are unaware grizzlys. Not attacking the choice, just wondering if there's something I havn't considered.
__________________
The test of character is not 'hanging in' when you expect light at the end of the tunnel, but performance of duty, and persistence of example when you know no light is coming.
- Vice Admiral James Stockdale, USN (ret.)
Twycross is offline  
Old July 1, 2005, 02:44 AM   #89
mathman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,531
I am curious as to what type of firearm the couple had in their tent. Perhaps it was a long gun and perhaps that is why they could not use it. One could argue (I suppose) that in a tent, a .44 mag (et al) would be best for maneuverability.

I've been thinking about this a lot and feel bad that these people did everything right...even had a gun for the unlikely worst case senario...and didn't even get off a shot! Life is unfair sometimes...
mathman is offline  
Old July 1, 2005, 03:22 AM   #90
stephen426
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 2,884
Apparently they didn't do everything right. They could have set up a perimeter to alert them of trouble. More likely than not, the man was killed first (probably just trampled as the bear was investigating). I think the bear would go and check out the site and attacked when the couple awoke and panicked. The woman was probably so freaked out and possibly not familiar with guns that she couldn't do anything about it (sorry to sound sexist, I know ther are plenty of women who shoot, but you ladies are still i the minority). It doesn't take much for a grizzly to kill a person. One swipe can do it with those nasty claws of theirs.
__________________
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!
stephen426 is offline  
Old July 1, 2005, 03:48 AM   #91
mathman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,531
well, ok...they didn't do everything right, but they probably did more than 99% of people who venture out into the woods...
mathman is offline  
Old July 1, 2005, 10:34 AM   #92
panzer426
Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2005
Posts: 78
the most often reason a bear attacks a tent is..first it knows camp sights may mean easy food (hot dogs, chicken bones, candy or chip wrappers etc), and the tent itself gets attacked because bears are curious (and may have gotten food from inside an empty tent once). they sort of pile drive the tent with their front paws. so most likely the couple didnt know anything was wrong untill the bears paws slammed down into one or both of them, seriously doubt the bear roared as he approached the camp sight or tent and they typically dont gradually tear the tent with their claws. imagine waking up with 1,000 pounds (more or less, dont know what this one weighed) slamming into any part of your body with incredible force. wether it was the man or the woman or both that got hit first it would all happen so fast that before they realized what had happened it'd be too late to grab the gun. they did a lot right, except for as someone said, they didnt put up a perimmiter. for that they could have used sting with bells, or one of those motions sensing perimmiters like someone posted on a prior page.
panzer426 is offline  
Old July 1, 2005, 11:22 AM   #93
Limeyfellow
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2005
Posts: 1,380
I am just glad that we no longer have to worry about running into cavebears. Those things made Brown Bears seem like Winnie the Pooh.

Of course bears are alot less deadly than mosquitos that kill 2.5 million a year.
Limeyfellow is offline  
Old July 1, 2005, 03:44 PM   #94
Dave R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2000
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,073
I occasionally go backpacking with my Ward's boy scout troop. Last hike we took was into Loon Lake, near the Secesh river. Pretty far back in the country.

We ran into a hiker who was carrying what appeared to be a Marlin Guide Gun. Pretty good choice. From the look of his pack and beard, I think he had been in-country for 4-5 days.

I was carrying a .45 acp. I figure the chance of a bear encounter there is pretty remote. And if we saw a bear it would likely be black bear, not Grizzley. We saw no bear tracks, though we saw cougar, deer, elk and moose.

I don't think there's ever been a bear attack on a scout troop. Bears can't stand that level of noise.
__________________
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
Dave R is offline  
Old July 2, 2005, 12:09 PM   #95
black bear 84
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 23, 2005
Posts: 246
Stephen and Panzer426
Are right about the perimeter alarm, and what probably happened to a tired sleppy couple of certain age with more sluggish reaction than the average camper.
They were doing almost everything right; cooking and eating in one place then traveling and sleeping in another, having food stored in bear-proof containers and having a gun for defense.
I don’t think that they had a perimeter alarm, (maybe because in the Tundra is not trees to attach the cord) and I just consider that the first priority. I have two, the first one being the Para cord and the screaming siren and the second is the Driveway alert.
And if I were camping in Alaska I will probably have one more Driveway Alert.
I can not say enough good things about this unit; I have tested it in my back yard, in rain and snow and always work.
I got mine thru Heartland catalogue.



Why is it so important to be warned of an intrusion in your campsite? Well, I just woke up and went to the computer, and my eyes don’t focus properly. My legs and arms are painful from the arthritis and from getting the humid air the entire night, my responses are sluggish, and I need a little time and a cup of coffee to just get going. (I am 60, the age of the lawyer that got killed.)

I imagine that after paddling a canoe or hiking for several hours your body responses will be at an all time low. Awakened from profound sleep by an attacking bear, what are your chances even if you have a gun nearby?

I am going to implement in my camping routine two more things that I have learned on this Forum. My.44 Magnum or the S&W 500 (if I can get one) is going to be attached by a lanyard to my wrist, and my sleeping bag will be unzipped.

If I throw 951 lumens of light in the face of a bear whose eyes are conditioned to the dark, IT WILL BE BLINDED.
My powerful flashlight (The MAG 951 for 951 lumens that I modify and also sell to members of this Forum) will be attached to my pants by the Maglite holder that you see in the picture. And as usual I will have a light going on the entire night; for that purpose I use an Infinity Ultra hanging from the ceiling of the tent.

In Alaska I also will have one of the new Marlin Guide carbines in 450 Marlin or hot 45-70 and the revolver will be a 454 Casull or an S&W 500.
If I could not buy those revolvers it will have to be my Ruger Redhawk with 7 ½ inches barrel and a very hot handload with the 300 grains Hornady XTP.

I would like to have a hiking staff made into a short spear, something like the Zulus used, with a cover for the blade to use while hiking and uncovered and lying next to me while sleeping..
Something similar to what is shown in my picture
So, the kit I showed before a couple pages up is the one I used for camping in N. Y. in black bear country.
This picture shows what it is going to be for Grizzly if I made my many times postponed trip to Alaska.



If all this precautions sound a little extreme to you, just consider what just happened to this couple.

Regards,
Black bear
black bear 84 is offline  
Old July 2, 2005, 01:08 PM   #96
stephen426
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 2,884
Looks like a pretty good set up tp me. Now the biggest probrem will be finding space in your pack for luxuries such as food and water!

I have a question about the Maglight modifications. What is 951 lumens in candle power (not that I know exactly how bright a certain number of cp is). How long does the battery last? Is the bulb durable or fragile? Will it get super hot with extended use?

One thing no one has mentioned it using an ultrasonic deterrent. I know most animals have a much wider hearing range than us useless humans. (Thank God we have more advanced brains or else we would be extinct like dinos!) It might be possible to rig either a trip wire or other type of sensor to one of those high frequency noise boxes. Any one know if this might work?
__________________
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!
stephen426 is offline  
Old July 2, 2005, 03:17 PM   #97
panzer426
Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2005
Posts: 78
not sure if I would trust ultrasonic. I wouldnt hear it and what if the bear is half deaf? or the device isnt at the right frequency to DETER him? I think I would use the set up black bear showed (perhaps with a minor few variations) and possibly add a perimiter trip wire attached to 12 gauge blanks. then maybe, just maybe, the bear would get scared off by the loud BANG!!! before I had to attempt scaring him off/killing him. and no matter how tired I am, if I sleep through the alarms I'd bet a 12 gauge blast would wake me up. assuming thats legal of course. and possible some battery or solar powered motion detecting lights strategically placed in a few trees.
panzer426 is offline  
Old July 2, 2005, 03:39 PM   #98
Capt Charlie
Staff
 
Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
Posts: 4,306
Unless you're broadcasting at 120+ dB, ultrasonics don't work. Gimmick. The hand held gizmo's might startle a curious, but wary visitor a little, but don't bet your life on it.
__________________
TFL Members are ambassadors to the world for firearm owners. What kind of ambassador does your post make you?

I train in earnest, to do the things that I pray in earnest, I'll never have to do.

--Capt. Charlie
Capt Charlie is offline  
Old July 2, 2005, 05:08 PM   #99
Bullrock
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2004
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,624
Close encounters of the critter kind
Quote:
While backpacking, I have seen about 10 each:
- moose
- black bear (3 times with cubs)
- grizzly bear (once with cubs)
Hey Caleb,

I don't need to go far to see critters. It's quite common to see a moose running around close by the house 3 to 4 times a year. They're usually not a problem unless it is rutting season. Black Bear are common, but I'd have my gun in hand before trying to scare one off with my voice as you did.

We don't have grizz here, so I've been told, but we do have large cats that will attack, and dog packs that have been know to surround folks hiking, snow shoeing, and CC skiing...Otherwise Maine is a nice State...
Bullrock is offline  
Old July 2, 2005, 05:29 PM   #100
stephen426
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 2,884
Fine. If the ultrasonics don't work, I'm setting up claymores! I'll toss in a few bear traps along the way that have a nice chunk of C-4 set with remote detination. That will show those darn bears!!!

I just figured it out! Wrap a nice juicy steak around a grenade and hang it from a tree. When the bear grabs the steak, it will pull out the pin and go BOOM!!! Not very sporting of me but I don't weigh 500 lbs., or have 4 inch claws, or run 45 mph either!
__________________
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!
stephen426 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14739 seconds with 9 queries