Bear Country

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by JTJ, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We will be traveling with our RV this summer and will probably end up in bear country. We kayak, bike and hike. I always keep a 12 gauge next to the bed and in bear country I load slugs. When we hike I carry a pistol but I am trying to figure out which one. My ccw is good where we are going.
    Ruger SP101 2" 158gr TMJ 1100-1200fps 5rnds 28 oz loaded
    Glock 36 185gr TMJFN 1000fps 7rnds 28 oz loaded
    Steyr M40 165gr TMJFN 1150fps 13rnds 35 oz loaded
    180gr FMJ 1000fps

    A 44mag or bigger would be nice but I dont have one. I will also have bear spray.
     
  2. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Don't forget the reinforced bumper, just in case you see one dining at the Roadkill Cafe. Bumper Tap FTW!
     

  3. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    If a bear is determined enough to attack you, it will most likely be a Brown bear. They seem to be the most aggressive by their nature. Use that bear spray first to distract and blind, then use your choice of handgun, targeting nose, eyes and mouth.

    How fast can you run and how are your tree climbing abilities? :eek:
     
  4. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    Don't discount the Black Bears either. Usually they are clown like but don't be fooled. They can get your arse too.
     
  5. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    only vulnerable point on a bear from the front with a handgun is its nose. the hole in the skull at the nose is about the size of a small fist. i would take whatever gun your the most accurate with and most familiar with. unlike SD vs a goblin, bear encounters tend to start a bit further out with lots of threats by the bear before an actual charge. you will liekly have time to aim and fire a warning shot to scare it off then re-aim if it doesnt run.

    LAST thing i would do is wait till its close enough to use a spray device!!!!!

    bears like spicy food.

    if the bear is diseased or wounded your prolly doomed anyway :/
     
  6. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    Some interesting intel about Black bear attacks. Recently published. ;)

    Most black bear attacks, though rare, are by males | Biodiversity | EarthSky

    As both JonM and I have stated, shoot them preferably in the nose, it leads right to the brain.

    Black bear skull nasal cavity.

    [​IMG]

    Grizzly (Brown) bear skull nasal cavity.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Flat4sti

    Flat4sti New Member

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    Hiking in Bear country is serious business. All family members should where bells somewhere on their clothing. You definitely to not want to startle a mother black bear and her cubs, who if they had heard the jingling bells would have gotten outta the area. You should also carry some from of pepper spray. It is also important to be able to identify the signs that bears are in the area. There are two types of bears to concern yourself with. The black bear and a grizzly. the tracks will look basically the same. but there scat is much different. Black's being mostly herbivorous will have berries and fur from smaller mammals. Now the grizzly **** will smell like pepper and have bells in there..
     
  8. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    In black bear country, I'd be satisfied with the .40, .45, or .357. In grizzly country, .44 mag is probably the smallest I'd be comfortable with. I'd prefer it in a carbine, but that's difficult to carry.
     
  9. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I was in Alaska I carried a 12 gauge with slugs. Forest service does not like to see people running around with a rifle or shotgun. I can hide the pistol. I did not know about the nasal cavity. That gives me a little (very little) more confidence in a pistol.
     
  10. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    My daughter,The Lovely Miss Freefall, is going to Anvik as a fish counter. F&G provides a shotgun. She is taking her Colt 10mm, stoked with Buffalo Bore 220 gr hardcast alternating with BB 200 gr FMJ. I advocate shooting center line to try to hit the spine. The odds of aligning your bullet path with the nasal channel seem slim unless you kneel to face the charging bear. Which according to law enforcement experiments up here is the best way to hit the vital area of something approaching you at 35 mph.
     
  11. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Now wouldn't this be simpler if the bears were all taxidermically stuffed & just posed behind a bush or something (maybe wiping butt with rabbit).
    :D
     
  12. HKSlinger

    HKSlinger Member

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    I recall talking to some of the old timers in Canada about black bears. Said they'd go for the kill rather then mauling like browns so often do. No bluff in 'em.
     
  13. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    Follow the local customs...
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

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    I heard something like this somewhere before...

    A group of clients sitting around a campfire in Alaska asked their grizzled old guide to settle their argument on the best caliber handgun to carry in bear country. One client argued for the 357mag, another the 44, the third argued the 454 Casull was the smallest he'd trust . The guide surprised everyone when he quickly answered "a snubnose 38".
    "What!?!" exclaimed the clients "surely a 44mag at the least, even that may be too small. Why on earth would you suggest a little 38?"
    "Look" said the guide, " if your gonna wander around in bear country carrying just a handgun, the 38 special is just about perfect. It's lightweight, quick handling and fits easily in your mouth when a bear has a hold of you. By far your best handgun option during a bear attack"
    :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  15. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

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    Another one I remembered

    A client kept going on and on about the stopping power and sheer awesomeness of his new S&W 44 mag.
    For the tenth time he asked the guide "Have you ever seen a better pistol to carry in bear country? Such beauty, such power"
    Finally the guide said, "It sure is a fine weapon, but you should really file that front sight off"
    The clint gasped "I wouldn't want to ruin such a beautiful pistol, why ever would you suggest I file the front sight off?"

    "So it won't hurt so bad when the bear shoves it up your A$$":p
     
  16. Tailypoe

    Tailypoe New Member

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    you've piqued my interest

    wow, I didn't know large animals could be so resilient. ...
    I have a fixation with this, i'm sure everybody's wondered about bears.
    .... i can't really picture myself plugging a bear with 8-11 .45 acp rounds from my 1911 and having it keep moving towards me.
    I'd expect the bear to lose some form if i shot it anywhere. .. .. i'd start with the head , another key point in my imagining would be legs, with a hollow tip .45 round. in an insufficient girly calibre like a 9 or .380 i'd probably spray at the head and pray.
    unless i'm in immediate danger, i don't want to lug around a shotgun unless it's got dragoon flaming rounds or it's compact and lightweight.
    In reality if a saw a bear i'd probably scutter for higher ground if i didn't frighten it off and not hit much. : / grizzly bears need to chillax. real talk.
     
  17. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    Large bears are resilient. They take multiple hits from large caliber rifles and keep coming. They are Americas' answer to the Cape Buffalo. You need to kill them to stop them.
     
  18. shooter57

    shooter57 New Member

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    a 357 mag loaded with the right ammo and a well placed shot will put any bear in the continental united states down no problem if you're the one doing the hunting but if the bear is attacking you neither of those rounds you mentioned nor anything smaller than a 44 mag is going to save your butt and even then there is a story I read while at Yellowstone about an early settler that shot a grizzly with a 45-70 in the chest only to be mauled before the beast died

    just saying

    I would go with the mace
     
  19. Tailypoe

    Tailypoe New Member

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    yeah they tend to respond to burning and macing a lot better than being shot , but, c'mon, if u can blow holes in thick metal plates, and a couple rounds through the head doesn't drop an animal, u may be dealing with some manner of extra -ordinary occurence. extra-ordinary, extra ordinance.
    :D moose, bears, buffalo, they all have fragile little skulls just like us.
    perhaps someone should trap bears and prefom a ballistics test on them, for science !
     
  20. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    I bet I can come up with someone who would readily volunteer for that job.