View Full Version : Real world predator defense...

May 17, 2012, 07:14 AM
So we always have a run of bear or other predator attack threads and it is always the same ol' song and dance...
Handgun or long gun... Rifle or Shotgun... Shot or Slug... Chest or Head shot...

Lemme ask you this and this alone...
Can you use any of these proficiently under the most heated pressure?
Can you navigate the woods at full sprint safely with your loaded weapon?
Can you hit the broadside of a barn from inside while under pressure?
Have you ever done even the most sedate self defense drills in the woods?

While many of the things me and buddies did as kids were potentially dangerous and utterly stupid now that I look back... I will say I am thankful for the life lessons learned during many of these...

Me and one buddy would "Race Home" through the woods for lunch but number of kills along the way was the winning factor... Man I could slip quick in thick woods with that pellet rifle in hand...

Or we would play "Hide and Seek Sparrows"... we would split up on a known block of woods and try to drop a sparrow or black bird at the other's feet without them knowing we were there...

As an adult I have done some speed runs through thick woods with my long guns and handguns with shooting during to verify I was still able to efficiently deploy lethal force...

A well placed little thing beats a miss every day of the week...


May 17, 2012, 07:42 AM
There was a recent incident in CA where a family was attacked by a mountain lion . Without a gun the man killed the cat with a big cast iron frying pan ! :p

May 17, 2012, 08:07 AM
I think bear or mnt lion attack you would be forced to use what was on hand, eg. Frying pan.

I doubt that I could run very far any more, so some comedy may precede my death by mauling. Vain attempts to shoot the animals may occur.

I will most likely be ill prepared for the event.

May 17, 2012, 10:53 AM
One never knows for sure how they'll react in a situation till they're there, but I feel confident, given half a chance and alot of luck that under an attack I could keep my composure enough to get a reasonable shot off.
One thing for sure, unless the mauling includes chewing my trigger finger off, it'll be movin'. :D

May 17, 2012, 10:58 AM
I know this does not have the dramatic appeal of an attack by a mountain lion or a bear, but the most dangerous predator we need to be on the lookout for is man. No other animal on the face of the earth will travel 15,000 miles just to kill another animal. I think all the hype about bears and lions, while it can rely on truth about their killing ability, is grossly misplaced. So, Brent, your game about being able to get close to your buddy without him knowing it is a very valuable exercise, probably much more so than being able to outrun a bear (which can run at speeds up to 35 mph compared to an Olympic athlete's 15 mph, and my 6-7 mph).

May 17, 2012, 11:07 AM
There was a recent incident in CA where a family was attacked by a mountain lion . Without a gun the man killed the cat with a big cast iron frying pan !

And another killed a 300 lb bear with a stick of firewood.


If attacked by ANY predator the last thing you should be doing is running. You won't out run it anyway and it will only provoke it more. The best defense is to remain calm, stand your ground and bluff. Even a 500 lb bear does not know it can easily kill a human unless it has done so in the past. Either fight with what you have, (a surprising number have fought enough to convince animals to discontinue the attack) or play dead in the case of really large bears.

Those that have ice water flowing through their veins and calmy stand their ground and make a good shot will stand a much better chance than those who run and try to make a poor shot.

May 17, 2012, 11:32 AM
Can you use any of these proficiently under the most heated pressure?
Can you navigate the woods at full sprint safely with your loaded weapon?
Can you hit the broadside of a barn from inside while under pressure?
Have you ever done even the most sedate self defense drills in the woods?

I can operate a firearm with proficiency under pressure, just not that well.

My full speed is other people's fast walk. No problems with the navigation part though.

Somewhat better than the broadside.

Self defense drills? We called it playing army:)

I don't get too excited about the prospect of being attacked by a bear or cougar. I figure the odds are less than for lightning.

May 17, 2012, 03:04 PM
Hey..Davy Crockett grinned a bear to death. I hate to tell you what Chuck Norris could do.

May 17, 2012, 04:22 PM
I am too fat to run from anything effectively, but I'm big enough and I have enough chutzpah to at least try to bluff a predator into leaving me alone. I hope I never have the opportunity to try it with a bear or a big cat, but I have been successful with several large dogs and one fair sized wolf. I have no doubt that any of them could have taken me in a fair fight (not that I would've fought 'em fair :D). If I have a gun handy, I will use any time gained through bluffing to try to get in my best shot. If I don't have a gun, I'll do my best to put a hurtin' on it while it eats me. Maybe all of the spicy food I eat will give it indigestion, too. :rolleyes:

All that being said, I don't really worry much about running into predators.

May 18, 2012, 12:24 AM
I humped the Rockies for most of my teens and twenties wearing a .44mag Super Blackhawk loaded with 270gr +P jacketed flat point ammo in a vaguely western style holster. It defended me successfully against 5 humans (2 encounters, no shots fired.), many sleepless nights in a tent, and ZERO bears...but I WAS injured: Now my right hip has chronic pain, which gets worse if I walk too far carrying a heavy sixgun.

I now carry pepper spray backed up by a much lighter .357 with stout loads (remember: pepper spray won't shoot through the walls of a tent). My one and only Mountain lion encounter came while wearing an 1851 Colt replica in .44 cap & ball. It would've worked. In Black Bear & Cat country with NO Griz thrown in, I carried a Hi-power a lot with a mix of +P HPs & FMJs. I have no doubt it would have worked.

When screwing around in Yogi and Bobo's back yard though, we ALWAYS travel in armed pairs. My buddy may not be able to stop a charging griz, but I can poke almost any gun in Yogi's ear and kill him while he is attacking my friend, and vice-versa. That said, still use enough gun that you Could stop an attack...

.... But I think that if we don't allow our nuts to swell up and dictate our decisions, we all would admit that pepper spray ends an attack faster than a 12ga slug, and is as easy and forgiving to hit with as a garden hose.

May 18, 2012, 07:12 AM
All I meant by the thread was "can you deploy, effectively, a form of defense when needed... Forgot about the spray...

Junior had to get into an "imact zone" on a military base, during exercises with incoming projectiles, with a fellow young hog dogger and the kid froze up with "shell shock" and was useless...

Had this been a different fear, both would have relied on one half of a pair to survive...


Art Eatman
May 18, 2012, 08:40 AM
I can dodge but I can't run. Okay, what I have become able to do is control adrenalin and not allow myself to become fearful. That allows smoothness, which is much faster than when in a panic.

Further, I have trained myself to live in Condition Yellow, not White. That's a bit of an edge for survival, right there. If there is some reason to consider the possibility of a dangerous animal when out in the boonies, one's level of alertness should be pretty darn high. As much as possible, use ears and nose, not just eyes.

Your brain should be as much of a defensive tool as your weapons...

May 18, 2012, 09:22 PM
Okay, ditching the spray.

What Art said is about how I feel, but he put it into words better than me. Actually, I hadn't really realized that condition yellow had become a habit in the outdoors until he said it first. If I am in a place I don't like, I go grip acquired or unholstered. If I hear a grunt, snap or crash in the brush, I go grip acquired or unholstered. This is true whether for Bears, Rattlers or Bungholes. I may well not be able to stop every charge every time, but I will be in the fight none the less. If that keeps the critter from finishing the job of mauling, biting or murdering me, then I can honestly say that having a gun was worth the weight. I can make center of mass hits at 10 yards from the draw, under stress with my GP-100 and stout loads, as fast as I can pull the trigger. If the offending Bruin is on top of me and being mean, I will try to return the favor before he does too much damage. I'll win...or I won't. If I am not armed, I will surely lose.

I hope I will never find out, but I'm not staying out of the mountains either.

May 18, 2012, 09:55 PM
Spent a lot of time (many years) in cougar/ bear / rattlesnake country in Colorado. Carried a single six(.22 mag). Bear encounters, a few, neither of us had much interest in each other, we just went our separate ways. Rattlesnakes, who knows, hundreds maybe? Only had to kill a couple and that was my fault both times. Cougars were a different story. Anything their size or smaller is seen as a food source. Say 5 serious encounters over the years gun drawn, at the first sign of aggression or sudden movement I would have taken them with a head shot. No problem, close enough to be a threat close enough to kill that way. Never had to fire a shot. Once I was aware of them and it was clear I was not going to run and act like prey they really just wanted to leave. I was in open prairie parts of the time in the woods other parts of the time, but I was always aware of my surroundings. Horrible cougar attacks happened regularly in a mountain suburb of Denver called Roxborough park. Some 110 lb trophy wife would jog past a 125 lb cougar at 5:30AM with her ipod in her ears. We had a one word description for these idiots, VOLUNTEERS! It's very simple preparation is protection. Literal elephant guns are shaky protection for the unprepared. These are animals they don't know any better, It's up to us to be the brains.

May 18, 2012, 10:03 PM
I did see a guy on the prepers show, he was telling his son, and showing him how to throw and axe handle. He said it was more deadly that a shotgun.

Art Eatman
May 19, 2012, 12:08 AM
The trouble with relying on throwing anything, axe or hatchet or knife or rock, is that the muzzle velocity is really, really low--and you only have one shot.

Irish B
May 19, 2012, 01:07 AM
I'm fairly confident I could not make a split second dead on kill shot on a charging bear with my .357 with 180 gr hard casts yet I still continue to carry it for bear protection in the woods. Luckily I don't have to kill it. I just need to stop the charge and that I could do. At home is a different story. I have an 870 filled with 7 brenneke 3" black magic slugs. There's not a predator on this continent I wouldn't stare down with that combo. . .except I guess a killer whale but I've heard theyre easy to dispatch!

Colorado Redneck
May 19, 2012, 09:18 PM
I once lived next door to a little 105 pound red headed woman from Virginia. She loved to go back packing over weekends in the Rocky Mountains, and often went all by her lil self. She never owned a gun, never took bear spray. Her and I went on a 7 night pack in the Mt. Zirkle Wilderness, north of Steamboat Springs, Co. and went by her rules--no gun, no nothing. One afternoon we saw a sow with two cubs, making their way around a rock outcrop a half mile from us. That night I thought a bit about those cubs' daddy that must live there somewhere, and all the while my tent mate was asleep. :D

A couple I knew, when they were just married back in the late 60's took a VW bug across Canada and tent camped almost every night. Same deal, no gun, no nothing. Saw one big black bear.

Given the few incidents of bear/human encounters that turn out bad, it seems like maybe we make more out of being ready than may be needed. Guess it is personal. Unless in grizzley country, bear spray is my choice.

Bear River
May 19, 2012, 10:24 PM
A fellow here in Wyoming fought off a Mtn. Lion with a chain saw. That cat took some big cuts from the saw before giving up:eek:

May 20, 2012, 02:20 PM
Couldn't agree more Colorado Redneck! A lot of my backpacking companions over the years carried nothing with them(this was before bear spray) and would have been shocked to know I was armed at the time! None of us was ever attacked in many years of sometimes solo backpacking. We understood and followed the rules about precautions when in bear country, that was all that was needed.

May 21, 2012, 02:54 PM
A Glock G20SF with 15 rounds of 10mm hollowpoints is not much heavier than a compact 45...