Thread: Close Call
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Old September 20, 2000, 05:26 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: August 21, 2000
Location: Alaska
Posts: 148
mhannah1 - Since I'm up later that Keith I get to respond first. As an Alaskan, I do NOT recommend a .44 mag for defence against brown bears. A .44 should be considered a last-ditch, the-shotgun's-empty-OMG-defense only. Last year, I turned away a bear attack with a .44 mag at 12 feet. I had picked that day to leave the 12 ga. in camp, and felt absolutely ridiculous aiming a teeny little pistol at a pissed off brown bear. Followed up the bear the next day - despite hitting it at least twice with the .44 it had headed for high country and never stopped. If I had been shooting the best hard cast bullets made for the .44, I might have killed or anchored it, because I'm fairly certain that I hit it in the spine it as it was running away after the first shot - saw the blood between the shoulder blades and knocked it momentarily to the ground. That's almost always what happens when a pistol is used for defense against a bear attack - the bear runs off wounded into the brush, and reinforcements are called in to follow up the wounded bear, which is usually never found. I've seen it happen many times. Much as I like brown bears, its far better to dump the offending brute in its tracks than have it run off to an unknown fate. Having never been fond of shooting 12 ga. slugs, my latest firearm for working and hunting along the North Gulf Coast is the Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70. I will not go into bear country again armed just with my .44 S&W, although I am rarely found in bear country without it!(He's my buddy)
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