View Full Version : self defence from animals?

May 31, 2005, 09:52 PM
let me start off with a scenario.

your taking a walk in the woods one day and you stumble upon a very angry animal(dog, pig, bear, whatever) that proceeds to charge or harras you. your in a pair of jeans a t-shirt and jacket, the only protection you have is a small .22 caliber pistol in your coat. how many shots from that pistol do you think it would take to drive away or kill that animal?

the reason why i am asking is because either a .25 caliber raven or a .22 pistol chambered in hyper velocity stingers or velociter is what is usually take with me when i go on my day long walks through the woods or urban exploring, so far i use it to plink around when i'm bored or bring home the occasional rabbit and i carry it for peace of mind. i'm wondering what type of power it would have in a real encounter, like a stray dog or a wild boar?

i dont hunt as often as most of the people on this board so i'm turning to you guys for help. i'm curious to know what this little round can do.

May 31, 2005, 10:09 PM
The .22 may work for a dog, but anything more than that and you'll be SOL.
I've been charged by a wild hog before and it was pretty wild, but a dose of 000 buck solved that :D
Anything above a dog is going to be a pretty tough animal, and you need an according caliber. If you want pig protection I'd go with either a .45 (what I carry when pig hunting), a .357 Magnum or .357 Sig possibly.
As for bears, I have no clue, other than get the biggest gun you can handle.
The .22 is a great round for lots of things, but if you ask more of it than it can give, you will be disapointed.

May 31, 2005, 10:16 PM
With an angry animal, your 22 would be a tad small and ineffective on the kinds of animals that are more likely to hurt you. I would look for a tree and climb it. Then you can shoot from your perch if the animals continue to harrass you. That said, 22's have killed every animal in the lower 48 states. It just takes a while for the larger animals to die unless you penetrated their skull. You up to that with a wild dog that is trying to attack you?

If I was truly worried about being attacked by an irrate rabid animal, I would lean toward the magnum revolvers such as the 357, 41, and 44 for the lower 48 states and still have some ease of carry holstered. Go bigger in Alaska.

If I believed there was a 50-50 chance of attack, I would carry a rifle!

June 1, 2005, 12:14 AM
A .22LR is far from ideal, but as 22-rimfire said, it has killed every animal in the lower 48, including grizzly bears and moose. I would use hot FMJ ammo, and aim for the head. Try to hit the soft spots, such as the eyes and ears (into the brain). Most animals are going to be considerably tougher than a human, due to thicker skin and muscle on the surface. I heard a report (can't remember where) of 9mm rounds only penetrating 1 1/2 inches into a grizzly bear.

June 1, 2005, 12:24 AM
Yeah, I've read those stories about the hunters walking back with their rifle slung and suprising bears, lucking out with a head shot from a MKII. Sure they did it but it was a fluke or they was some seriously Godly men!

I wouldn't count on a .22LR.

I was small gaming with my 10/22 and was standing still, heard a twig snap and swiveled my head to be staring at 3 mtn lions, a momma & two yearlings at about 25 ft. I drove em off but never felt so undergunned in my life. I lug that redhawk around now when small gaming.

Lawyer Daggit
June 1, 2005, 12:26 AM
.22LR is going to seriously P - off quite a number of aggressive animals. Best approach in respect to Bear would probably be to play dead- try shooting it with a .22LR and you are asking for trouble- unlikely the round will get past the animals fat reserves to do any damage.

With cartridge round it will work on snakes and may scare off dogs- will kill a dog at low range.

June 1, 2005, 02:08 AM
a bear killed with .22lr? What the F&%#!? :eek:

how is that possible?

June 1, 2005, 05:55 AM
Used to have a Para P-12 that was very "concelable" and quit comforting to know that I had 12 rnds. of .45 at my comand. Fit in my jeans hip pocket yet was very easy to get to. Gotta get another one. :cool:

June 1, 2005, 07:54 AM
a bear killed with .22lr? What the F&%#!?

Eh, that was in one of the hunting rags awhile back. Some hunter was dragging his deer down a frozen creekbed with his rifle slung and come around a bend to suprise a sow & cubs and she charged him. No time to unsling the rifle so he grabbed his MKII and popped it once in the head. Must've got it in the ear or eye.

Doesn't mean it would work for you or I. I think a 45 is too light for woods walking too.

June 1, 2005, 09:00 AM
yea gun selection depends heavily on what you expect to encounter. no bears in illinois, and near the family place in WI bears are so rare that i don't ever expect to see one and would _never_ bother putting in for a tag. so what i'd be worried about is coyote and maybe the occasional cat. for that purpose 9mm is plenty. i don't often carry into my own woods but when i do i go with a 40. any premium defense round would comfortably dispatch the most likely thing i'd run into, a coyote. i'm still on good terms with my old girlfriend and want to get up to hunt bears with her brother well north in WI one of these years, so if i was going to spend some time up there i'd probably cave in and spend the money to go for the .44 mag sidearm, along with whatever rifle i'm actually doing the hunting with. wolves are making a pretty strong comeback up there too. ammunition selection's as important as firearm selection, if bears are what you're worried about you want to stay away from JHPs/JSPs from what i'm told and just go with the heaviest, slowest-expanding chunk of metal you can throw at them. and of course we should make the obligatory "shot placement is the most important thing" remark - once i get one of those chew suits they use to train attack dogs i'll try and bring a polar bear down with my .17 pump airgun to beat out mister long-rifle :P

June 1, 2005, 10:40 AM
down here in SE Texas a Piney Woods Rooter can be encountered...say at least a .38. or a .357 or a 45LC should do the job. I dont think you could go wrong with a .44 magnum in most cases.

In case of angry grizzy bear I would want a S&W 500, 45 Casull, ect... and still probably piss my pants and scream like a girl...lol

Capt. Charlie
June 1, 2005, 12:38 PM
The only two N. American animals I worry about are wild boar and dog packs. Bears (including grizzly) are usually no problem if you're making noise. Bad encounters with grizzly usually occur when you surprise them. I know some backpackers that have a cow bell attached to their packs in bear country. Dog packs are a different thing altogether. They have no fear of humans, and you're dealing with more than one. I was driving the back roads of E. Kentucky a few years ago and came upon a dog pack in the process of taking down a goat. Got out of the car with my Smith 19 and yelled at the dogs, who promptly turned their attention to me. I picked out what seemed to be the leader and put a .357 round in the ground right between his legs. He still didn't yield and just when I was about to shoot him, he (and they) finally turned and ran. Long story, but in the end the farmer that owned the goat also owned the dogs, and thanked me for not shooting the dogs. Maybe the bang from a .22 might have done the same thing. Maybe not. For wild boar though, forget the .22... period. A friend was hunting boar in E. Tenn. a few years ago with a .44 mag. He hit the boar from (what he said) was about 20 yds. away. Instead of dropping, the boar charged and split him to the bone from calf to thigh. He's lucky to be alive. Boars are tough critters! :eek:

June 1, 2005, 12:55 PM
a .22 wont do anything to a larger animal, even a large dog I would believe. You would need to carry something a bit larger, like a .40 or .45.

June 1, 2005, 05:37 PM
i dont plan to put 100% faith in my .22 pocket pistol. i just want reassurance that it would at least weaken the animal while i find a nice big rock to club him with :). I must admit that in north georgia i dont see many bears... as a matter of fact i've never seen a bear in the 10 years i lived here. but you never know. boars and dogs are a real issue though, i am pretty sure i could take a large dog on bare handed, but a boar? i'm not sure, i've never been attacked but i know their power. i have heard stories of them flipping cars on the freeway and running off unharmed, breaking bones and killing hunters. still, i am not exactly sure how tough they are.

i usually find a nice, thick, walking stick in the woods and walk around with that, would that do any good?

the possum
June 1, 2005, 06:53 PM
How many shots would it take? All of 'em. At least.

A .22 may be good enough to hunt small game with, but when it comes to stopping those same critters quick, I think you'd be better off with a tomahawk or stout machete. Or a good walking stick. No kidding. The .22's only advantage is range, and we're talking about situations where the critter will practically be on top of you before you know it.

I'd still bring the .22 just in case you have time to scare them off or take them down from a distance. But honestly, I'd practice shooting it a bit with my weak hand, so I could keep my big Bowie knife ready in my right hand, for the serious work up close. But that's just me. Then again, I can't remember the last time I only had a .22 in the woods...

Just saw your last reply.
I don't think a walking stick is a bad idea, as long as you can weild it with one hand, and it doesn't seriously interfere with your draw.
Also, my comments above were more about smaller thin skinned critters- dogs, cats, etc. For boar, I can only make educated guesses, since I've never hunted 'em. Only butchered domestic hogs.

June 1, 2005, 07:17 PM
You can pick up a decent used .357 for a couple hundred bucks.

June 1, 2005, 07:22 PM
In case of angry grizzy bear I would want a S&W 500, 45 Casull, ect... and still probably piss my pants and scream like a girl...lol
ahhhh, so you've discovered the ancient native ways of fending off attacks from grizzly: the screaming urination.

June 1, 2005, 07:31 PM
:D Lmao

June 1, 2005, 08:39 PM
I've seen a domestic pig shot between the eyes with a .22 and.... Nothing.
It made a small black dot on the skin and did NOT break through the bone. The pig made an awful noise and was very, very angry until someone pulled out a .44 mag. Don't even think of it with wild boars.

I've also been attacked by wild dogs. Once a dog was killing chickens and when I went to stop it, thought I should be next. Ten shots from a .22 pistol turned him around, did not kill, but ran him away. Don't count on being able to get much shot placement if an animal jumps you, you'll miss shots you can't belive.

Get a bigger gun if at all possible. Remember, safe not sorry.


June 1, 2005, 10:06 PM
i have a friend who kills his domestic pigs with either a .22 to the head or a hammer. between the eyes is the worst place to shoot a pig, the skull is re-enforced with a thick layer of bone. shoot it there and you'll end up running :rolleyes:.

and about the dogs... dogs are not that tough when you compare them to other animals of there size. if you can kill a domestic pig with a .22, you can certainly kill a large dog with one. i agree a .22 is not enough to kill it reliably but like i said, i could probably take on a dog bare handed and i would be prepared to do so.

a wild boar is what i am afraid of... if i stumble onto one with piglets i will probably end up running like hell or climbing a tree. i usually carry a walking stick later in the day but i wonder how much power and energy it would take to drive him off or, at the very least, bash its skull in :barf:. boars are mean, and will sometime run you down for no reason. getting in trouble with a feral pig is a real possibility.

i have carried a .22 for years and i'm not going to go out and buy a .44 magnum just because of the animals around here. my only weapons with me is a walking stick, a small knife, and a .22lr pistol. like it or not its all i have and its what i feel comfortable carrying... and if i ever get into trouble, the police might think my .357 is for hunting rather than self defence.

June 7, 2005, 09:06 PM
a canadian olympic athlete was killed by a grizzly bear two days ago in Alberta and i dont think that anything less than a full load 500 grain hammerhead .45-70 would've helped her that much

Paul B.
June 8, 2005, 01:46 AM
Sum1_Special said, "i have carried a .22 for years and i'm not going to go out and buy a .44 magnum just because of the animals around here. my only weapons with me is a walking stick, a small knife, and a .22lr pistol. like it or not its all i have and its what i feel comfortable carrying... and if i ever get into trouble, the police might think my .357 is for hunting rather than self defence."

Well, you sure as hell ain't gonna bash a hogs head in with a stick, that's for sure. You might want to go for a bigger knife for pig sticking too. And the .22? Lots of luck. :rolleyes:

I was once charged by a hog in Big Sur California. I had an S&W Model 28 four inch .357 magnum with me. It took two fast shots to stop that hog. A .22 would never have done the job.

I've had several other run ins with wild animals including a rabid coyote, stray dog pack, and one Black Angus bull. He put me up a tree for one hell of a long time.

I seriously think that I'd rather have a bit of a hassle with the police than spend the rest of my life as a cripple because some wild pig ripped the crap out of my leg, or worse. You just might want to think about that.

Paul B.

big daddy 9mm
June 16, 2005, 06:20 AM
I also used to carry a 22mag ruger revolver in the woods at my parents house in th country. looking back on it, it was just mental security because a 22 is not anything compared to the size of those animals you listed. you will just piss it off unless you are a very good shot. get something bigger or watch your back very well. 22 mags are much better than nothing though. :cool: :cool: :cool:

Double Naught Spy
June 16, 2005, 07:43 AM
let me start off with a scenario.

your taking a walk in the woods one day and you stumble upon a very angry animal(dog, pig, bear, whatever) that proceeds to charge or harras you. your in a pair of jeans a t-shirt and jacket, the only protection you have is a small .22 caliber pistol in your coat. how many shots from that pistol do you think it would take to drive away or kill that animal?

If you manage to stumble across a very angry animal, chances are it is you, the human, that has screwed up. If this happens, you apparently will have been in condition white, stumbling blindly through the woods with no real situational awareness. From a wildlife standpoint, that puts your behavior into the prey category.

Think about it. If you stumble across an angry animal, it was angry before you got there. It will undoubtedly be making noises that you should have noticed and quite likely will have been in motion as well. Such an animal should be no surprise to you.

Maybe it wasn't angry before you encountered it, but is now? Quite likely, the animal will interpret your quiet approach as that of an aggressor and the animal may react by trying to defend itself against you.

If you do get attacked, it is because you have failed in your understanding of the situation of being in the woods. As a human, you are soft underbelly all over for the most part. You are a very easy prey animal with few natural defenses. You aren't fast. You don't have big claws. You don't have big teeth. You don't have thick skin or heavy fur. Such pitiful animals are best protected in a herd type of situation where their individual chances of being picked off are slim, but you are traveling alone.

If you are going to be traveling through the woods alone, possessing poor situational awareness, with only light clothing and a .22 for protection, don't count on coming out of the situaiton in good shape. If you are already making that many significant mistakes when you are out in the wild, then you will likely react wrongly when you encounter the animal and probably do many of the behaviors that will help signify you as prey, like running, screaming like a little girl or injured animal).

June 16, 2005, 10:57 AM
I have spent a fair amount of time in the backcountry and agree with Capt Charlie. I have seen all kinds of critters. People are big and smart - very few animals will even try to take you on - that includes animals that could take you (like bear or wolf).

I have only ever had one charge by a black bear, and I scared him off by shouting, using my voice like sharp, deep barking - "Hey! Hey! Hey!" I have though been approached by groups of dogs a couple of times, whom I also sent packing by facing them down and throwing front kicks at lead ones who approached - you're much bigger, and if you believe and show that you know you can beat them, they will likely go away. Maybe those two stories make you nervous, but that is from an awful lot of animal encounters - I am more afraid of people than animals, because other people actually are a lot more dangerous. Take a look at violent crime statistics versus animal attack!

The main thing to realize for animals is that they don't know your intent, and they have a concept, just like people, of "personal space". If you get inside that zone, they feel threatened, and even a mouse will attack you to defend itself (I have had that happen too - amazing! ;-)). If you keep a respectful distance, it's very very rare that there will be a problem.

If you still want to carry something to guard against animal attacks, I'd suggest a .357magnum revolver with a 4 or 6 inch barrel, loaded with hunting cartridges (not self defense cartridges). It's not too big, and can be shot reasonably easily, but has the power to kill something that might actually present a threat to you (like bear, mountain lion or boar, or a pack of wild dogs). If you don't mind carrying something in your hands, even better would be something like a lever-action .357magnum carbine.