The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 25, 2021, 03:17 PM   #1
AlongCameJones
member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 203
Will your deer rifle help you in a pinch in case a bear attacks you?

Let's say you are out hunting deer in Montana or Idaho one November morning during gun season and all you happen to have for a weapon is a bolt-action rifle in .270 Win. or a Savage Model 99 in .250-3000 Savage. Then all the sudden, a big grizzly bear starts charging out of the woods toward you at 50 yards away. Are you adequately armed with your deer gun in case you have to shoot the bear to save your own life?
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 03:54 PM   #2
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: In the valley above the plain
Posts: 12,913
If not, then no shoulder-fired weapon on this planet will be adequate.
__________________
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 04:07 PM   #3
Sarge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 5,381
Yes, but I don't have any centerfires smaller than a 30-06. I was hunting that country it'd be loaded with heavily constructed 180 grain bullets. I'd have a 44 mag as well.
__________________
People were smarter before the Internet, or imbeciles were harder to notice.
Sarge is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 04:20 PM   #4
AlongCameJones
member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 203
When I think of a classic American woods gun,

I think of the time-honored lever action. My favorite is the venerable Savage Model 99/1899. My grandfather owned one in .300 Savage only for deer hunting. It was sadly lost in 1999 during a home burglary and never recovered but I digress.

I think of bear mostly inhabiting North America in forests. A woods gun seems fitting in the woods for hunting deer, elk, moose, etc. The lever action cycles fast in a hurry and is easy to carry in thick cover. Most lever jobs have no scope but just iron sights. Iron sights will get you on target much quicker than a scope. I don't even think a scope with low magnification is as quick as iron sights. I prefer a peep sight on such rifle as I was an army soldier once and young who qualified Expert with his M16. I just find that rear aperture so user-friendly. Some might argue that an open rear sight is faster than a peep but a peep allows for more precise shot placement. The American military swapped open rear sights for peeps along time ago on issue rifles for apparently some good reason. When Big Brown Smokey really gets in your face like an angry army drill sergeant complete with pumpkin badge and round-brown Smokey Bear hat, the front sight post alone should be sufficient for good aim to take him down anyway.

I would not myself feel weakly-armed should Ol' Smokey go barreling out of the woods toward me within 50 yards should I be carrying an iron-sighted Savage 99 lever job with a chambering of .308 or .300 Savage which holds up to 5 shots.

Some say you should prudently have a handgun as a sidearm in bear country to back up your "antlered-species" rifle. The gun that comes to mind is a Smith & Wesson Model 629, .44 Mag, 6" barrel loaded with the proper Buffalo Bore hard-cast ammo.

Now about how to carry that wheel gun while hunting with a rifle. Does this look like a good chest holster for such a hog leg as Mr. Gun Blue 490 is sporting in this following video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH8DS6mIsUU
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 04:28 PM   #5
Scorch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 14,953
I guess it depends on which rifle I use. I can choose from some pretty heavy hitters (375 H&H, 416 Rem, 444 Marlin), any one of which would make me feel very comfortable in big bear country. Most people don't get deep enough into bear country while deer hunting to really worry about it, elk hunters do though. My usual deer rifle is a 7X57, so while it may not be ideal it would be adeuate for the task at hand if a bear should decide to get frisky. And if it's not adequate, I will be spread out in little piles across some pretty country!

As far as a handgun, even a really powerful handgun is not as powerful as a almost any rifle capable of taking deer.
__________________
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Scorch is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 04:36 PM   #6
Don Fischer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2017
Posts: 1,868
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorch View Post
I guess it depends on which rifle I use. I can choose from some pretty heavy hitters (375 H&H, 416 Rem, 444 Marlin), any one of which would make me feel very comfortable in big bear country. Most people don't get deep enough into bear country while deer hunting to really worry about it, elk hunters do though. My usual deer rifle is a 7X57, so while it may not be ideal it would be adeuate for the task at hand if a bear should decide to get frisky. And if it's not adequate, I will be spread out in little piles across some pretty country!

As far as a handgun, even a really powerful handgun is not as powerful as a almost any rifle capable of taking deer.
Right on about the handgun. Always amazed me that someone carrying say a 30-06 in bear country would also carry a handgun for bear protection. I am amazed as it sounds like it they are attacked by a bear they are going to throw down their rifle and pull their six shooter out! Absolutely amazing!
Don Fischer is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 06:43 PM   #7
AlongCameJones
member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 203
Scorch, might a moose hunter possibly

run into a bear? I might have the same beloved iron-sighted Savage 99, as normally used for deer, in a .30-something caliber in Alaskan timber after a Bullwinkle where a Kodiak or some other Big Brown could possibly jump me. I don't own such rifle yet but I'm now on the market for one in very good if not mint shape.

I made this thread to be very interesting. Over in Africa, the most dangerous animals and the hardest ones to gun down are: the cape buffalo, the elephant, the charging lion in thick savanna bush and the rhino. I would say the mighty tiger is King of Bad Beasts for Asia.

In North America, the most dangerous wild animals (man and Bigfoot excluded) are the buffalo and the bear, especially the brown or polar varieties. Wolves and cougar are not too hard to fend off with virtually any gun. I would have to say the Grizz is the King of North American wild animals. I would compare a Grizz for danger and toughness to kill along with a cape buffalo or a bull tusker.

There has probably been no more controversy and debate in the lore of the Great North American Outdoors than how to stop a charging bear. There are probably 100's of old wives tales about how it is done. Big Bad Bear stories make for the most exciting and chilling campfire stories at night.

Last edited by AlongCameJones; May 25, 2021 at 11:36 PM.
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 07:10 PM   #8
MarkCO
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 1998
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 3,595
Quote:
Right on about the handgun. Always amazed me that someone carrying say a 30-06 in bear country would also carry a handgun for bear protection. I am amazed as it sounds like it they are attacked by a bear they are going to throw down their rifle and pull their six shooter out! Absolutely amazing!
I always carry some kind of a handgun when hunting with a long gun. I'd of course use the rifle for any type of defense primarily. The handgun is merely a backup for a variety of scenarios that could occur hunting.
__________________
Good Shooting, MarkCO
www.CarbonArms.us
MarkCO is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 07:14 PM   #9
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: In the valley above the plain
Posts: 12,913
Quote:
In North America, the most dangerous wild animals (man and Bigfoot excluded) are the buffalo and the bear, especially the brown or polar varieties.
Moose ruin more people's days than bison. The only way you're going to get into trouble with bison is by being stupid, getting too close, and provoking the animal(s).
But moose will stomp you just for wearing a t-shirt that they don't like.
__________________
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 07:15 PM   #10
MarkCO
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 1998
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 3,595
^Yep
__________________
Good Shooting, MarkCO
www.CarbonArms.us
MarkCO is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 07:16 PM   #11
AlongCameJones
member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 203
One might want to dispatch a wounded game animal with a sidearm. There might be a defensive situation while out hunting where a sidearm is quicker to handle than a long gun.

Ok, what is a good sidearm holster for a hunter with a long gun or archery equipment? A hip holster? A chest holster? Other?
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 07:24 PM   #12
AlongCameJones
member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 203
I never thought of moose as a danger to hunters until Frank mentioned it here. Ok, we better have the proper anti-bear/moose weaponry on us and the know-how to use it while in moose and/or bear country.

I just scared up this following Yukon hunting video that's got a scary bear encounter while out moose hunting.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGgWM-GvyYw
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 07:27 PM   #13
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 10,545
It's been done with 9mm, I have no doubt about my 308 or similar rifle working.

https://www.wideopenspaces.com/alask...-a-9mm-pistol/


In this study of 93 cases of various handguns vs bear the handguns worked 97% of the time. And this study didn't just deal with big bore magnum guns, but many common cartridges including 22, 380, 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP.

https://www.ammoland.com/2020/03/upd...#axzz6vvT5MPjN

Chances are good you won't have 50 yards to prepare for the shot. 5 yards is more likely. That is why a handgun may be the better option.
__________________
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 08:32 PM   #14
MarkCO
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 1998
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 3,595
Quote:
Ok, what is a good sidearm holster for a hunter with a long gun or archery equipment? A hip holster? A chest holster? Other?
Depends on the handgun, weight, laws in your state, etc. I prefer it to be concealed for obvious reasons.
__________________
Good Shooting, MarkCO
www.CarbonArms.us
MarkCO is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 08:45 PM   #15
AlongCameJones
member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 203
I am most likely to deer hunt in a CC state like Idaho. Open carry is legal out in the wilderness of many states, I believe, and certainly in Idaho. If I'm out hunting with a long gun, I don't care if other people see my sidearm anyway. They already see the long gun in my hands. The bear-country sidearm I have in mind is none other than a Smith Model 629 .44 Mag. in 6" barrel and filled up with hard-cast loads as from Buffalo Bore. Is a chest or hip holster better?

Last edited by AlongCameJones; May 25, 2021 at 09:32 PM.
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 08:47 PM   #16
AlongCameJones
member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 203
PS - A long dark rifle (deep blue makes guns look virtually black at first glance) looks scarier to a small child than a shiny stainless revolver which looks more like those fun cap-banging twirling toy cowboy guns.

Last edited by AlongCameJones; May 25, 2021 at 09:30 PM.
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 10:31 PM   #17
Geezerbiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2011
Location: Willamina, OR
Posts: 1,861
Any one heard any credible reports about grizzly bears harassing deer hunters?

I've heard unsubstantiated reports that in areas where both bear and elk share habitat, a rifle shot has become a dinner bell for bears. Again that's a very unsubstantiated report... In the unlikely event I was able to hunt deer or elk in grizzly territory, I'd want a rifle that could also bring down a bear.

Around here in western Oregon, I've heard stories of cougar showing up to a deer kill. I figured a .357 on my hip was a good idea in case a cougar showed up while gutting a deer. It's never happened to me but the added weight of a S&W revolver on my hip is hardly noticeable...

Tony
Geezerbiker is offline  
Old May 25, 2021, 10:47 PM   #18
AlongCameJones
member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2021
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 203
I would think black bear would much more likely be where deer are hunted than grizz. Big brown bear can quite possibly show up in elk or moose territory. Chances are your elk or moose gun and loads will summarily handle a grizz. Certainly any common deer rifle and load can take care of black bear. Heck, blackies are often shot out of a tree with a .243.
AlongCameJones is offline  
Old May 26, 2021, 02:17 AM   #19
HiBC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 7,785
There are Grizzlies in Montana and people have been killed by them.

People have also been killed by lightning,falling rocks, "Widowmaker" tree limbs. And cold,wet weather.

I'm not saying to ignore the possibility of a bear. Its kind of like winning the lotto in a bad way. We think of winning the lotto.It does not happen often.

You mentioned a Savage 99 in 250 Savage. If I'm not mistaken,the twist limits you to a 100 gr bullet. A 100 gr expanding game bullet would not give me great confidence against a grizzly,
Its a sweet rifle,but if I was losing sleep dreaming of having my scalp ripped off by a Grizzly.. I think I'd carry at least a 30-06,myself.

The stats say bear spray may be more successful. You can work that out for yourself.

Someplace I read "If you go rabbit hunting in India, be prepared to meet a tiger"

If I was concerned about bears,I would not carry a 250 Savage. But thats just me.
HiBC is offline  
Old May 26, 2021, 07:06 AM   #20
Shenna9220
Member
 
Join Date: January 31, 2016
Location: Zephyrhills,Fl
Posts: 78
Considering Bella Twin took a world record griz in 1953 with a single shot 22 using 22 longs, if you know how to use whichever rifle the OP suggested you will be fine. Considering thousands of hunters venture into the woods in the two states mentioned and only a couple of encounters occur each year, you really don’t have much to worry about until you put an Elk or deer on the ground, then you need to be aware.
Shenna9220 is offline  
Old May 26, 2021, 08:26 AM   #21
Pistoler0
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2019
Location: Conifer, CO
Posts: 576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Fischer View Post
Right on about the handgun. Always amazed me that someone carrying say a 30-06 in bear country would also carry a handgun for bear protection. I am amazed as it sounds like it they are attacked by a bear they are going to throw down their rifle and pull their six shooter out! Absolutely amazing!
But the issue with the rifle for self protection is access and availability. When hunting, one is not walking the woods with the rifle constantly at the ready. There is hikes, climbs, there is glassing, there is eating/drinking, there is loading and unloading of gear, preparing camp, there is looking at maps, there is the need to answer nature's call.....

In the scenario that the OP presents, and as far as stopping power goes, the rifle is the preferred choice for defense. However, 50 yards could be too small a distance to deploy it. Keep in mind that people with hunting rifles often get mauled when they have to put the rifle down for whatever reason (most often field dressing an animal). In addition, hunting rifles are/should be carried WITHOUT a round in the chamber (when there is no shooting opportunity) which adds time to their use for self defense.

I've never had a problem with bears while actively hunting, but I've had bears roam the camp site while inside my tent. I think that sleeping in a tent is the most vulnerable situation that you can be in when out in the bush. And in that situation, a pistol is what you want for self defense IMHO.


Incidentally the reason why I got into firearms (specially pistols) was that a bear surprised my better half and me when walking back to camp after a soak in our birth suits in a natural spring. I was an archer back then, and the bear turned me into Pistoler0. : ) Thank you bear.
__________________
Life is simply an inter-temporal problem of constrained optimization.

Last edited by Pistoler0; May 26, 2021 at 10:57 AM.
Pistoler0 is offline  
Old May 26, 2021, 08:50 AM   #22
Pistoler0
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2019
Location: Conifer, CO
Posts: 576
I'd like to re-post again on this thread because the issue of hunting firearms for self defense is one that often gets raised by anti 2A people who are against firearms that are designed exclusively for self defense, such as pistols, repeating rifles and carbines and so on.

What I tell my city-slicker, nature loving, Denver friends in conversations on this topic is that when you are venturing about in a place where there can be dangerous animals, it is irresponsible not to carry a pistol for self defense. Specially when camping in remote areas with family, kids, etc.

In addition, IF you are hunting, you have to carry your hunting tackle: bow and arrow or rifle. But although hunting tackle can be useful in a self defense scenario, it is not best suited for it.
__________________
Life is simply an inter-temporal problem of constrained optimization.
Pistoler0 is offline  
Old May 26, 2021, 11:08 AM   #23
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: In the valley above the plain
Posts: 12,913
Carry and use what you are comfortable with.
I hunt UT, ID, and WY.
Sometimes, I carry a 9mm or .327 Federal. Sometimes, I carry a .44 Mag. Occasionally, it is a .480 Ruger.
The big bores are more of a backup / short-range option for hunting than specifically defense-oriented.

Generally speaking, you are more likely to be faced by a threat from two-legged predators than the four-legged type.
__________________
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old May 26, 2021, 11:48 AM   #24
HiBC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 7,785
Quote:
Considering Bella Twin took a world record griz in 1953 with a single shot 22 using 22 longs, if you know how to use whichever rifle the OP suggested you will be fine.
Long go I read Bella's story in Kanut's book. She was carrying a single shot 22 and running her trap line. All the sudden,the bear was just there. It was a desperate act of defiance. The 22 long is loaded with a 29 gr bullet.

Thats all well and good. So,tell me,if YOU were going to Alaska Grizzly country,would you feel a single shot 22 long was adequate for YOU? I just do not understand the relevance.

A Colorado bow hunter was jumped by a Grizzly in southern Colorado and he managed to stab the bear with an arrow,killing it.

Shall we recommend carrying an arrow,just in case?

I think reliable penetration is important IF you are seriously thinking in terms of bear protection.

I don't think a belted magnum is required. A 30-40Krag,or 303 British,or 7x57 all could be adequate.

I'd call a 100 gr softpoint load from a wonderful 250-3000 an unreliable act of desperation.

I might prefer bear spray.

That said, I'd be far more concerned about being exposed on a high ridge when weather snuck over the top. I don't know what gun you use to shoot lightning.
Yes,Ive been stuck up under a low juniper,a sudden white out snow squall with purple flash,tearing sheet,KABOOM lightning snapping all around me.

Then there are stinking little ticks with Lyme disease.

Anywhere in life,there are risks. We arm for our fears.

Last edited by HiBC; May 26, 2021 at 12:00 PM.
HiBC is offline  
Old May 26, 2021, 03:41 PM   #25
Paul B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,526
I do believe that if I was deer hunting in and area known to have bears, that I would be adequately armed. I usually do an elk hunt on a private ranch in New Mexico and there is the possibility of a Mountain Lion or Black bear but that's all. Most of the time my rifle is a .35 Whelen with 225 gr. Barnes TSX bullets so no worries about inadequate power. I think that if I were to do a deer hunt in the area the OP stated, my .35 Whelen would be more than adequate. Still, I would also consider being my .44 Mag. handgun along as back up or for those chores around camp where carrying the rifle would be a handicap. Probably the lightest weight .44 I have is my Ruger old model flattop. A bit of a handful with Elmer Keith top hand loads but would certainly do the job.

There is a story in and old Outdoor Life Magazine where a Canadian was crossing a narrow gully o a log and met with a Grizzly Bear crossing on the log coming right at him. All he had was his Winchester M94 30-30 and killed the bear with one shot though the head. That's the good news. The bad? If he had not shot the bear in the head putting a hole in the skull, it would have tied the Boone and Crockett world record Grizzly. That gully was quite deep and he had a very heavy backpack so jumping off the log was not an option.
Paul B.
__________________
COMPROMISE IS NOT AN OPTION!
Paul B. is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 01:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2021 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Page generated in 0.30564 seconds with 11 queries