hiking in bear country

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Mack Bolan, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Mack Bolan

    Mack Bolan New Member

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    handgun for hiking in bear country

    thats from the thread on the grizzly downed by a .45 acp...but you reference relying on a .357 mag, which is slightly comparable to a 10mm, maybe not enough hence my question:

    if I were going to be hiking in bear country, mid to upper west montana, would a 1911 in 10mm be worthy of carrying just in case or should i just go with the bells and pepper spray and the Almighty Lord?
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    1911 in 10mm, bells, pepper spray, the Almighty Lord, and good sense to be aware of your surroundings.
     

  3. Flintlock

    Flintlock New Member

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    Bear Country

    I carry the 10mm and a can of UDAP in Alaska. But for camping or being near the salmon streams, access to a rifle or shotgun is wise.

    I would think this would easily apply to Montana as well.

    Which 1911 do you carry in 10mm? Wilson Combat?
     
  4. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    The Lovely Miss Freefall just bought a 10mm Colt for woodswalking. I wouldn't feel helpless with it with full power loads. I personally carry my .44 because that's what I have and I can't afford a .475 Linebaugh.
     
  5. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Dan Wesson C-Bob
     
  6. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    This may sound a bit off but do you have a zoo near by you can go to and stand 40 feet or so away from a full grown Bear ?

    Alot of folks aren't lucky enough to have a zoo in their city and never have and let me tell you when you do this after watching some of the nature films on Bears and you watch one toss a 200 lb + log or rock getting under it looking for bugs to eat and then see just how massive they are "FAce to face" so to speak you have a whole new perspective on them as preditors .
    If you find yourself in the woods hunting and run across a bear track in the snow that is still coming down and know for a fact that bear is close by or it's prints would be gone even having a Rifle in you hands looks small when knowing how big and dangerous these animals can be .

    Personally if I could carry an M1 Tank on my back for Bear protection I would !!

    I would skip anything less than a 41 magnum and all handguns as other than a back up and have a rifle as handy as I could if knowingly going into Big Bear country .
     
  7. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    As a guy I used to guide with said, "All day my rifle feels too big and heavy, but when the sun goes down it feels too small".
     
  8. Mack Bolan

    Mack Bolan New Member

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    yeah, me too the last time i was there, at yellowtail dam, bighorn canyon area...we had a momma black bear with cubs that were tearing up some tents ( campers fault tho, they left food in an unattended tents ) ours never got touched. -being i'm going to be much farther north and west i'm pretty sure a sighting or encounter is as likely if not more.

    I have a colt delta elite in 10mm. I do not own a high powered rifle yet, but i could borrow my friends ruger 77 in .270, i'm sure that would be better than a handgun but isn't that more of a big game(elk, mule deer, etc) rifle than a bear caliber like something in the .4 range?

    i figured a warning shot might be a little scarier and louder than me trying to yell and be scary but i dont know if that is even advisable.

    yes...thats partly the reason for asking, a pistol seems like a novelty item to have for that size of animal but it could be loud enough to scare one off...or piss one off too:eek:

    paying attention to the local reports and sightings will be first and foremost though.

    I appreciate all the advice from everyone, thank you.
     
  9. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I don't think he was talking about his 357 for grizzly bears but the name of ammo he uses.

    Results for Grizzly Cartridge

    It's hard cast, heavy rounds.
     
  10. superc

    superc Member

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    I picked a 1/2 quart of raspberries this morning. Saw a black bear at one end of the fence line, he (she?) saw me too. The bear picked at its end, and I stayed on mine. It looked kind of young, maybe 150 pounds or so. About 60 yards distance between us. I was wearing a New Service, so I wasn't too worried (but did keep one eye on it). When I decided I had enough berries I went back in the house.

    My point is 80 - 95% of the time, if you ain't doing something to scare or bother it, it is a fairly peaceful encounter.
     
  11. joshfireart

    joshfireart New Member

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    only 2 things in the world scare me women and grizzly bears and im not sure grizzly bear scare me
     
  12. Pat-inCO

    Pat-inCO New Member

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    If you want to carry a semi, the 10mm would be a good choice (in between .357 and .44mag power levels).

    The tree huggers really like the small bells and pepper spray. Last I heard, they had a few tree huggers disappear. Funniest thing, bear scat around there had small bells in it and smelled of pepper. :D

    If I could, I would probably opt for a Marlin "guide gun" in .45-70. Very compact, plenty of "whump", and a four shot mag. Get one in a stainless and you have a beautiful rifle.

    Getting back to the handgun, a 5" 1911, stainless, and good holster would - not - leave you wishing for a larger pistol.
     
  13. Flintlock

    Flintlock New Member

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    So true, nice quote..
     
  14. Flintlock

    Flintlock New Member

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    A .270 is plenty for Black Bear. I haven't found them to be super tough to kill. Some poeple even hunt them in the Lower 48 with 10mm handguns. Sometimes they can get pretty big and sometimes they can be aggressive, but overall, I wouldn't be hesitant in carrying a .357 Magnum, 10mm, .45 Long Colt, etc.. for Black Bear protection. Brown Bears might be a different story though...
     
  15. RCgeek

    RCgeek New Member

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    I live, hunt, hike, camp in north western Montana and I usually carry a s&w .44 mag with me, but the .44 I have has a 8 3/8 inch barrel and is quite heavy and akward to carry for much distance. I'm considering right now purchasing a 10mm to carry instead of the .44.
    Lots of people will argue all day about this. Half the population says the 10mm is enough, half the population says the .44 mag is the minimum to carry. I would think the 10mm would be plenty as long as you use common sense, and practice practice practice.
    The best, biggest gun in the world doesn't do a thing if you can't draw and fire it quickly and accurately enough to do the job.
     
  16. Flintlock

    Flintlock New Member

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    I do a fair amount of hiking and backpacking and that is precisely why I opted for the 10mm. It is so much lighter and practical to carry. The reality is that a handgun in general is not the optimum defensive tool for bear protection as rifles and shotguns are far superior for that purpose. However, on my hikes, it is not practical to carry those so I have a can of UDAP to supplement my handgun choice.
     
  17. RCgeek

    RCgeek New Member

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    I think that is the direction I am heading. I really want a 10mm, but if I buy a .45 I can get free ammo for it. I'm also considering starting to carry UDAP as a first choice and relegating the pistol to backup.
    I've had a few run ins with bears both black and grizzlies and like has been mentioned before as long as you use common sense you'll be fine. I've never been charged or threatened by a bear. Just have to respect them.
     
  18. 500mag_guy

    500mag_guy New Member

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    well personally the only caliber id ever trust in bear country now that i have one is my 500 S&W with the 8 3/8". pushing 350 grain hornady xtp! i love when i see that bullet hit something!!! big boom with big distraction! :D
     
  19. Mack Bolan

    Mack Bolan New Member

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    well, this is all pretty encouraging news, as usual it seems like common sense is a significant underlying factor. Again i appreciate the responses, I think i'm going to bring it along, and at the very least i'll get accustomed to hiking around with the extra weight on the side in additon to the 35mm canon i haul around:)
     
  20. Thebiker

    Thebiker New Member

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    If I am going to be out hiking when the bears are still trucking around, my Ruger Super Blackhawk in 44 mag with 300 grain Hornady XTP loads is my only choice. I carry it in a comfortable shoulder rig and don't notice it even at the end of the day. I have carried it in a cross-draw in the past, but found the shoulder rig more comfortable.

    And even then, I would really prefer not to meet up with a bear with a bad attitude.

    The only time I would consider carrying a smaller handgun in that situation, I am also toting 30-06 or a shotgun loaded with slugs. But then I do value my hide and like it in one piece. JMHO
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010