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Bear gun; last ditch option?

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Old July 7th, 2011, 09:54 AM   #76
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Thanks! Those are Hornady 44 Mag, 225gr FTX Lever evolution rounds. They are supposed to be pretty nasty!

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Old July 9th, 2011, 03:02 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by jens5 View Post
12 ga. Shotgun with 00 buck,period!
Don't under estimate the 12ga with the 400gr slug too. Big diameter means bigger holes.

Didn't someone lately just kill a bear with a 410ga shotgun in his tool shed? Thats a little too upclose and personal for me but it worked. My knees knockin would be heard all over the net for sure. I was in the 6' tall grass in an open spot in an apple orchard with a bear comming at me about 10' away it stopped. I had a semi auto '06 at the time. When all of a sudden a little bird in the tree near me sang a tune to go back, go back hunters are here. That bear went back the way he came and went to the other side of the orchard and got up behind us to where he wanted to go. We spooked that bear for 4 days non stop and never got a shot. He was a smaller bear then. The lst time i was up there his droppings is half of a 5 gallon bucket so he is trophy size now for sure, he is a bigg'in. He is probably so big i'd have to kick him in the @ss to make him chase me to the car and shoot him at the car. How do i get a 400 to 500lb bear and maybe bigger out of the woods? We shot a smaller bear once and while dragging it out it hugged every nook and cranny on the ground it was a job with the three of us and were no light weights either. Bill

BTW; Not too many things scare me but ghosts, bullets and electricity plus bears i can't see near me.....I been followed many times by bigfoot too but thats another story....he smells my viddles and i'm not into sharing.


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Old July 19th, 2011, 06:37 PM   #78
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Bear Gun

If I HAD ti pick a pistol for bear defense, it would be a 4" 44 magnum revolver, probably S&W.
That said, my preference is always a shorty 12 ga shotgun loaded with slugs.

Snipe

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Old July 26th, 2011, 09:20 PM   #79
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Born and raised in Alaska to a family of hunting/fishing guides and bush pilots so I'll chime in with my two cents.

Bears don't hide behind every tree in Alaska and they're just as afraid of you as you are of them. The two major exceptions being sows and their cubs & major salmon feeding grounds.

As a kid in the bush I'd say my dog was always my best defense. So if you have the option to "pack a pup" I'd recommend that over packing a gun. But if you must carry...

A 12ga shotgun is probably still the cheapest bear gun around and the most useful. Pack a variety of loads: 00 buck, slugs & some kind of birdshot. If you're careful you'll find Sprucehen pairs nicely with Grayling and a riverside campfire.

I'd opt for a full stock and a good sling. Pistol grips and sawed-offs are cool but the confidence, accuracy and versatility that a full stock brings to the game is invaluable. And if you find your tube empty a good buttstroke to the snout will certainly leave a mark - always go down swinging, it may mean the difference between death and a good mauling.

The Ruger Redhawk, in any variant, makes a good sidearm for the bush. My father, uncles and grandfather all owned and carried them. It was the first handgun that I fired and when we homesteaded in the late 80's it's what was strapped to my chest by my dad. (I was ten years old and the thing was bigger than my head but that's a whole other story).

Personally I feel that the whole problem bear idea is a bit overrated. You don't find problem bears in the wild, you find them around populated areas and garbage dumps. The average hiker won't even notice that a bear is close and if they do it's probably already too late.

On a canoe trip I'd doubt very much that you'd experience any problems with any wildlife and unless you're real quiet you most likely won't see much, which is fine because you'll be too busy taking in the magnificent scenery and marveling at the midnight sun.

One last note: As always, use your best judgement. A bear isn't a human, you aren't going to intimidate it. And a threatened bear isn't a bear, it's a thousand pound perfectly evolved killing machine. If means to kill you it'll probably succeed. It's good judgement that brings you home, every time.

Pack plenty of bug dope and mountain money and bring a Mepps #2 silver and you'll eat like a king!

Thanks from jens5
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Old July 27th, 2011, 04:28 AM   #80
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Personally I feel that the whole problem bear idea is a bit overrated. You don't find problem bears in the wild, you find them around populated areas and garbage dumps. The average hiker won't even notice that a bear is close and if they do it's probably already too late.

Pack plenty of bug dope and mountain money and bring a Mepps #2 silver and you'll eat like a king!
Like I said before, "Being from Alaska, there are other things in the backcountry that worry me more and tried to kill/hurt me than a bear."

I have been charged and come closer to bodily harm by a bull moose many times more than a bear.

Cold dark silty water scares me more than meeting a bear.

Yellow jackets are to be avoided more than a bear.

Being a guide in the backcountry year round, snow pack gives me very high pucker value way more than a bear encounter.

The weather is more dangerous than a bear.

My all time fear in Alaska, driving the Seward!!!! Especially during the 2nd run and during a winter blow.

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Old July 27th, 2011, 08:53 AM   #81
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Like I said before, "Being from Alaska, there are other things in the backcountry that worry me more and tried to kill/hurt me than a bear."

I have been charged and come closer to bodily harm by a bull moose many times more than a bear.

Cold dark silty water scares me more than meeting a bear.

Yellow jackets are to be avoided more than a bear.

Being a guide in the backcountry year round, snow pack gives me very high pucker value way more than a bear encounter.

The weather is more dangerous than a bear.

My all time fear in Alaska, driving the Seward!!!! Especially during the 2nd run and during a winter blow.
I think you just listed the top five concerns. I think I was subjected to more lectures about silt beds than anything else when I was kid. After that it was, "Where's your coat? Where's your hat? You know it's going rain. You can't trust the weather..." Alaskan sunshine - you can ring it out of your socks.

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Old July 27th, 2011, 08:56 AM   #82
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I think you just listed the top five concerns. I think I was subjected to more lectures about silt beds than anything else when I was kid. After that it was, "Where's your coat? Where's your hat? You know it's going rain. You can't trust the weather..." Alaskan sunshine - you can ring it out of your socks.
I guess I am not familiar with Alaskan 'silt beds' !?

Is the concern that they are like 'quicksand' or what?

CAVman in WYoming

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Old July 27th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #83
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Greetings,

My buddy just returned from the trip. Reports were that it was fantastic in every respect. No bears were crossed at all, but some bear foot prints seen. BTW, he ended up bringing his Marlin 44-70 carbine and no handgun. Thanks to everyone that responded.

Regards, Jim

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Old July 27th, 2011, 09:42 AM   #84
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Try This

454 Casull, both rifle and pistol, here is my choice for a rifle:
http://www.notpurfect.com/main/puma.html
I converted a Ruger bisley to a 5 shot 454 Casull, Magnaported, bobbed the hammer spur for no bite, cylinder made from 17-4ph.
Both weapons are light weight, the rifle offers fast repeat shots, common ammo for both, pistol is 5 inch and packs easy both cross draw chest or hip holster.
I use Lyman #2 lead alloy, 325 gr hard cast bullets that have been heat treated. The bullet mold is an Elmer Keith style:
http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=25
The problem is bringing enough gun and still being able to pack and shoot it.
The Puma 454 is light weight, easy to shoot, fast repeat rounds if you can get them off, and is reliable. The magnaport 5" ruger is light weight, easy to shoot (I tested this on my 10 year old son) and reliable. It gives you the ability to fit your weapon to your situation, sleeping, walking, going to the bathroom, cooking, eating and so on. I owned a 454 Casull Premier model and found the recoil unmanagable, the Bisley grip, with the magnaport really levels out the recoil. In any case if you have to use one on a bear you have failed to be situationally aware, or just very unlucky.
Have a great trip and bring back some pics to share.
One thing to think about if you pack a weapon that does not have an external hammer, it is dangerous to carry it with a round in the chamber. The Puma has the external hammer, the Ruger the same, if I was to carry a shotgun I would chose the Winchester 1897 for the same external hammer.
Remember you will have to have the round in the chamber all the time, time lost working a pump could cost you, or if you pack it all the time with one in the chamber it is probably more dangerous than the bear.
Just my thoughts from a "flatlander" lower "48er"

Remember "slow is smooth, smooth is fast, fast is lethal, or "take your time in a hurry".


Jim

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Old July 27th, 2011, 11:52 PM   #85
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CAVman - exactly right about the silt beds being akin to quick sand. Some of the coastal regions in south central Alaska have some nasty tidal flats, especially the numerous estuaries along Cook Inlet.

There's a popular story in the region about a girl being trapped in the silt just south of Anchorage. Depending on the storyteller she either drowned in the incoming tide - rescuers being unable to free her from the silt/mud in time or she's pulled in half by the helicopter that tries to "lift" her from the mud/silt.

I have no idea if there's any real truth to the story, probably just urban legend. But its sticky stuff for sure. I've lost more than one hip boot while dip netting.

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Old July 28th, 2011, 05:59 AM   #86
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The dirt in most of low areas of Alaska is ground up rock from glaciers, silt. It can be found in other areas than just tidal but the closer to water the worse or more suspended water it has to turn to goo. The fire departments and rescue groups now have a large tube that can blow air down into the silt and around a stuck victim to release the death grip silt has on people who walk on silt and get sucked in. Happens quite often. Stories abound too but mostly from the 70s during the huge boom we had.

Silt looks like it will hold up and take body weight but a little weight and movement and the water inside turns it to wet goo and will suck you down as you struggle.

The 64 earthquake was made worse by buildings built on silt. When the earth shook, the water in the silt turned into wet goo and well, check out earth quake park.

I have been to my waist, not along the tidal areas but back in the Matt Valley, wife cut down and found some shrub Alders, not that many big trees in Alaska, made a platform around me so I could distribute my weight, used a another limb pushed down beside each leg so air could get in and release the suction until I could pull each leg up a little at a time until I could lay on the platform and get out. Sometimes wearing loose fitting break up boots that you can pull your foot out easy can help.

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Old July 28th, 2011, 06:09 AM   #87
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Greetings,

My buddy just returned from the trip. Reports were that it was fantastic in every respect. No bears were crossed at all, but some bear foot prints seen. BTW, he ended up bringing his Marlin 44-70 carbine and no handgun. Thanks to everyone that responded.

Regards, Jim
Glad to hear it. 99 out of a 100 times all anyone ever sees is tracks, bear has slid out of sight, could be close with its bear sense on alert but never seen.

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Old August 8th, 2011, 03:47 PM   #88
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308 autorifle, lots of practice at very fast hits on the 6" brain circle, at 50ft and less. Anything else, you are just kidding yourself.

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Old August 9th, 2011, 08:00 AM   #89
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Roger that. Handguns must be checked at the border. Then again, who the heak drives to Alaska?...LOL
We drove to Alaska from Seattle via the Yellowhead & Alaska Highways in the summer of 2004. I did a search on the ATF's website for Alaska FFLs and found a couple in the first AK town we'd come in to - Tok, AK. One of them directed me to a hunting/fishing/outdoors shop that offered a "mail-it-ahead" service. For a small fee, I sent my Super Blackhawk ahead to them and it was waiting for me when I arrived. They also shipped it back home for me when we were departing AK.

That being said - when I picked up my SBH and asked about ammo, the guy said something along the lines of "You only brought a .44 magnum for bear protection? Y'ain't from around here, are ya'?"

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Old August 11th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #90
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:-) yep, no pistol amounts to anything much when it's for real. They charge at 50 fps, you, know, and NOBODY can reliably hit the 6" circle of the moving brain with a handgun much beyond 10 yds, so you get .60 second in which to hit the brain, then it's all about being mauled, and what you can achieve while shoving your arm down his throat.

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