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11B3OJ3 01-12-2014 03:53 PM

Moving to alaska, bear defense suggestions
So I am going to be stationed in Fairbanks this spring and am planning on spending much of my free time hunting and fishing. I am wondering what suggestions everyone may have for a bear defense weapon, pistol, shotgun or rifle, Im pretty open.

Copeman60 01-12-2014 03:59 PM

That's like a dream up there. For bear defense you could carry something like a 500 s&w. I'm sure open carry would be better up there

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Threetango 01-12-2014 04:04 PM

Do a search in the "hunting forum"

Here's a start.

11B3OJ3 01-12-2014 04:06 PM

Yeah I am pretty excited about it, gonna change my residence and get a lifetime hunting/fishing license if possible. I know the 500 is the obvious choice, and the first thing most people say, but between the price, and the price of ammo I have kind of put things like that or the 460 etc out of my mind for now.

winds-of-change 01-12-2014 04:10 PM

.44 magnum?

Axxe55 01-12-2014 04:14 PM

just remember when in the woods that have bears, you are no longer at the top of the food chain!

carry accordingly. large caliber pistol, or rifle or shotgun.

11B3OJ3 01-12-2014 04:16 PM

Thanks for the link tango, I have read many like that and understand most of the points of view of the commenters, just wanted to see if anyone had anything outside the box or some first hand knowledge of something working or worse not working.

JonM 01-12-2014 04:26 PM

police and game wardens in alaska pretty much all use 12ga 3inch magnum slugs in a pump gun. prolly a good reason they all use those over handguns.

trip286 01-12-2014 04:50 PM


Originally Posted by JonM (Post 1480875)
police and game wardens in alaska pretty much all use 12ga 3inch magnum slugs in a pump gun. prolly a good reason they all use those over handguns.

I don't normally comment on these bear defense questions, because I have no experience in the matter. But, I do follow the comments most times. The "bear" minimum is generally regarded to be the .44 mag in a handgun, but bigger if you can get it, such as the .500 or .460 that you already said is out of reach for you.

But, the biggest consensus is what JonM just mentioned. 12 gauge with slugs, or a LARGE bore rifle, such as the .45-70.

It seems to me, just by browsing the internet, if you look at a gun manufacturer's website and they have an "Alaskan" model, or "big game", or "Safari" model of a rifle, you may want to look at those chamberings to get some ideas on the "bear" minimum you may need.

(Y'all see what I did there? I'm a dork.)

Axxe55 01-12-2014 04:54 PM

there is also a difference in bear hunting and bear defence. hunting bear where you ae going to pick and choose the shot to take the bear gives you much more room in choosing a caliber and at what distance to engage the bear.

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