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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

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Old June 27, 2005, 05:10 PM   #1
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Grizzly scenario

Grizzly Kills 2 Alaska Campers

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 27, 2005

(AP) Two people camping along the Hulahula River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were killed by a grizzly bear, officials said.

Officials discovered the bodies and an unused firearm in a tent Saturday at a campsite near the river. They also shot and killed the animal.

The couple, whose names were not released, was believed to be in their late 50s or early 60s, North Slope Borough police said. They were from Anchorage and had been on a recreational rafting trip down the river, Alaska State Troopers said Sunday.

The victims were in their tent when the attack occurred, according to Tim DeSpain, spokesman for Alaska State Troopers.

The campsite was clean, with food stored in bear-proof containers.

"The initial scene indicates that it was a predatory act by the bear," DeSpain said.

A rafter had seen the animal at the site and notified authorities.

The couple's injuries were consistent with a bear attack and there were no signs of foul play, said Kelly Alzaharna, a lieutenant with the North Slope Borough Police Department.

There were no other people at the campsite, which was about 12 miles up river from Kaktovik, a community of about 300 on Barter Island and the only village in the refuge.

Officials are not sure when the couple was killed.

From CBS news.

The Q to everyone is: What weapon would you carry when camping / hiking - keep in mind that weight is an issue when doing so - and why? (Typical encounters in NA: BG's, snakes, wild dogs, boars, wolves, cougar and of course bear.
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Old June 27, 2005, 05:26 PM   #2
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i read that today and was waiting for the post
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Old June 27, 2005, 08:51 PM   #3
Bob F.
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Read an article a while back: "experts"/survivors recommend a handgun, .44 Mag or bigger. Actually, they prefer slug or BIG bore rifles, but say you only need 'em when you lay the long gun down to do something else-clean your kill/catch, cut firewood, whatever. Hear a noise, look around to see br'er bear sitting or standing on your gun.

Stay safe.
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Old June 27, 2005, 09:00 PM   #4
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Slugs out of a 12 gauge..

I know I can hit what I aim at, and I know I can controll it enough to fire at a decent rate.
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Old June 27, 2005, 09:06 PM   #5
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Always bring a dog!

I voted 12 ga (slugs) but wouldn't mind a good .375 H&H

Seriously, its hard to prevent something like this I would think. When I am camping there are MANY times (read: most of the time) when I don't have a long gun in my hands, ready to fire... which is why if you are truely serious about avoiding being breakfast/lunch/dinner you should bring a dog. At the very least he serves as an alert.
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Last edited by Wraith; June 28, 2005 at 05:52 PM. Reason: do I need one?
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Old June 27, 2005, 09:18 PM   #6
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Make sure the dog is fat, and can't run faster than you
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Old June 27, 2005, 09:21 PM   #7
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Or have a fatter hunting partner.........
Have a nice day at the range

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Old June 27, 2005, 09:26 PM   #8
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They had a gun, unused.

Which means to me, they didn't have a chance to use anything that they may have brought.

A nice fat barking dog could have been of help .

A case of people in a tent, hearing aids off (or ears not as good as they used to be), and a bear.

In bear country, maybe a sentry wouldn't be such a bad idea. That's why you have kids, so they can stay up while you get your z's . Well, my father's deal was so someone else could do the lawn but that is another post.

From the story told, I doubt that anything would have helped.

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Old June 27, 2005, 09:48 PM   #9
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Slugs seem to have worked fine for me.

If you have ever been out on the tundra, it's like a large green shag carpet that you sink into up above your ankles and just as quiet. Couple that with the probability that these folks were nestled all snug in ther sleeping bags, and it's doubtful they even heard the bear approach. That would explain the unused firearm.

ANWR= Oil good. Grizzly bears bad.
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Old June 28, 2005, 01:00 AM   #10
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I would carry a slug gun and my .40 S&W, plus a long knife. When my life is potentially on the line, I don't really mind packing a few extra pounds.
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Old June 28, 2005, 06:47 AM   #11
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We lived in Fairbanks ( FT Wainwright, actually) for several years in the '80s. Whenever I ventured into the interior I carried a S&W M629 .44 mag (stainless is a great finish for the environment) and a 12 ga. w/slugs. Kept a 6" Python in the truck when travelling to Delta Junction or Anchorage. Thankfully never needed to use either!
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Old June 28, 2005, 07:04 AM   #12
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Id bring along my German Vorsteh hunting dog and a 44 on me or very close at ALL times. As backup id have the trusted Franchi semi auto shotgun with all 7 rounds in it. A decent campfire going would also help.
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Old June 28, 2005, 07:05 AM   #13
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let me think

I think I would carry a 12 gauge with slugs and a 44mag pistol of some sort or instead of the shot gun I could use a 45.70????
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Old June 28, 2005, 07:27 AM   #14
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Old June 28, 2005, 10:13 AM   #15
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Yeah, I voted magnum revolver, .308, and 12-gauge.

.308 for the semiauto aspect (Saiga .308, anyway?), magnum revolver and 12-gauge for "oh **** I need to kill this thing NOW".

Just some thoughts from a city boy.
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Old June 28, 2005, 12:16 PM   #16
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Wayne, the sentry idea is not a bad one at all. When I was in the scouts, whenever we camped in a non designated campsite(read, no one but us in the middle of nowhere), we had firewatch which also served as pesky animal watch. Rotate every 2 hours to keep the fire up(especially if we camped out on the snow). Couple times we scared off some coons.

We were in bear country, but felt safe. Why? Our scout master kept a Ruger Redhawk with him at all times... even though BSA policy frowned on it.
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Old June 28, 2005, 12:27 PM   #17
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Its gotta be a 12 bore pump loaded with slugs and if he soaked up all of them and still wants some more id go for two nickel plated desert eagles .50AE

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Old June 28, 2005, 12:38 PM   #18
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I would bring my 870 loaded with slugs.
Go ahead punk, make my day!
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Old June 28, 2005, 03:29 PM   #19
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Dog = great idea

Nice thoughts guys. We are going camping soon, and I will definately not mind carrying the extra dog food now - knowing that - a sentry is the best defense against the bad news bear.

By the way - I voted .308 (for big game) and a .22
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Old June 28, 2005, 03:38 PM   #20
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If a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with Foster-style slugs was good enough for Peter Hathaway Capstick to use against cornered lions charging at him through thick brush, then, it's good enough for me too! You might not be able to bring a long arm into action inside a tent, though; for this I'd keep a 40 caliber + something or other under my pillow.

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Old June 28, 2005, 03:41 PM   #21
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My friend used to work in Alaska years ago in bear country. He carried a 416 Rigby. It was with him all the time ,if he went to the bathroom the gun went with him.....Today I would first have a dog, then a Marlin 45-70 or a 12 ga with partition slugs.
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Old June 28, 2005, 04:01 PM   #22
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Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70 Gov't loaded with Buffalo Bore 430 gr. L.B.T.- L.F.N. - G.C. (1925 fps / M.E. 3537 ft. lbs.).

Aim for bear's nuts.
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Old June 28, 2005, 05:23 PM   #23
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Mossy 590 loaded with a dragon's breath shell and then slugs.
"The SKS is a rifle, made the way they should be, out of a heavy block of crappy commie steel, set in an inletted semi-reshaped 2x4."

Not my quote but I agree completely.
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Old June 28, 2005, 05:43 PM   #24
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40mm Bofors
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Old June 28, 2005, 06:15 PM   #25
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Back in (I think) 1972 in Yellowstone Natl. Park, a grizzly dragged a girl out of a sleeping bag, carried her back into the woods and ate her. Made world wide news, including a big article in Life magazine. No one's sure why, but some think she may have been on her period and the smell of blood triggered the attack. A friend of mine, Jim King, was with the party of rangers assigned to track down the bear. As Jim told it, they were about 2 hours out with Jim bringing up the rear. He had an 870-P loaded with slugs. Grizzly have a nasty habit of attacking from the rear, and Jim said he just got "that feeling" and turned around just as the bear started its charge from about 20 meters. Jim told me he fired, with his first shot hitting the bear square in the chest. He said it knocked the bear back on his haunches, but it immediately got up and charged again. Jim put four more slugs into that bear before it finally dropped, almost at Jim's feet. I remember him telling me, "you know those stories about people needing a skivy change? Trust me, they're true! " At any rate, an autopsy revealed human remains in the bear's stomach, but the biggest surprise was that it appeared that Jim's first shot basically ripped the bear's heart to shreds. That meant that the bear had continued to charge another 15 meters or so without a heart! Not to mention being hit 4 more times! Pure adrenalin! So, I don't think I'd bet all my marbles on any gun to solve the problem.
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