PDA

View Full Version : da bears...


jacdaw
04-22-2009, 09:15 AM
So, wilderness camping in the Sierra never really left me worrying about da bears, but here I am in CO now. My arsenal is not up to da bears: Ruger single six .22 non-mod, Walther P38, M1 .30 cal carbine (1944).

What would you choose? 44mag or 45ACP?

Uncle Ben
04-22-2009, 09:27 AM
ya need a 10mm (.40) or bigger or your just gonna make 'em really mad! I often have my .41 mag S&W limited police model 58 nearby when in the hills. Anything short of African big game will not survive! Quick Google search.... http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_4_51/ai_n11840297/

Man Jerk
04-22-2009, 09:39 AM
I've heard bear spray is the most effective.

Uncle Ben
04-22-2009, 10:40 AM
I've heard bear spray is the most effective.

Do I hear a bear joke coming on? ;)

Uncle Ben
04-22-2009, 10:43 AM
Do I hear a bear joke coming on? ;)

Gotta do it....

The National Park Rangers are advising hikers in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.
They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.
Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear's sensitive nose and it will run away.
It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.
Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.

subzali
04-22-2009, 10:54 AM
I would be a little more worried about lions than bears around here...but just the same UB's choice would seem like a pretty good option.

FWIW Grizzly's have been extinct in Colorado for quite a few years, though I have heard a couple reports of some sightings in the last couple years, but either way you're much more likely to encounter a black bear around these parts. Wyoming it's a different story, and for that a .44 mag might be a little better choice, leastways that's what I've been thinking about getting for when I head back up that direction some day.

cbmontgo
04-22-2009, 11:09 AM
I've got a .44 Mag (Ruger Vaquero) for this purpose. I just hope I never have to use it; that sucker will make you deaf for about an hour.

Uncle Ben
04-22-2009, 11:14 AM
I would be a little more worried about lions than bears around here...but just the same UB's choice would seem like a pretty good option.

FWIW Grizzly's have been extinct in Colorado for quite a few years, though I have heard a couple reports of some sightings in the last couple years, but either way you're much more likely to encounter a black bear around these parts. Wyoming it's a different story, and for that a .44 mag might be a little better choice, leastways that's what I've been thinking about getting for when I head back up that direction some day.



Very true on all accounts. I have encountered many bears and of the several kitty's I have been close to I have only seen 1. :eek: Bears spook me more than cats largely because they can be unpredictable.. More likely than not they want nothing to do with humans but they do know we are a source of easy to get food. Cats are stalkers and will attack if they are starving but they are also cowards and will generally choose the smaller animals and they always come from behind. Many time while hunting I have seen cat tracks on my tracks when I have back tracked. The scariest thing I have ever stumbled on is a fresh cat kill! You're hiking along doing your thing when suddenly the snow is all tore up and there is blood every where and no cat in sight....scares the pooh right outta ya I tell you!

timmbuck2
04-22-2009, 11:20 AM
Great question, and 1 I have been meaning to ask for a looooong time. I do a lot of solo (and now with a small one sometimes) camping and hiking and 4 wheeling and fishing etc and have been wanting to carry some protection for a long time. I have never been a gun guy, just did not grow up in that culture, and would not mind some direction...what to buy, where to buy it, where to get training, etc. I want to do it right...and like UB says I don't want to just piss them off! :) Thanks, and sorry for the hijack....

T

subzali
04-22-2009, 11:22 AM
whatever you get make sure you know how to use it! (that wasn't aimed at you Timm, just another thought I wanted to throw out there!)

Uncle Ben
04-22-2009, 11:35 AM
Great question, and 1 I have been meaning to ask for a looooong time. I do a lot of solo (and now with a small one sometimes) camping and hiking and 4 wheeling and fishing etc and have been wanting to carry some protection for a long time. I have never been a gun guy, just did not grow up in that culture, and would not mind some direction...what to buy, where to buy it, where to get training, etc. I want to do it right...and like UB says I don't want to just piss them off! :) Thanks, and sorry for the hijack....

T

The beauty of having a large hand gun with you is, unlike pepper spray, you don't have to be close to them. Middle of the night and you hear a ruckus going on outside and you realize somethings in the cooler or your trash. You get up grab the pistol and a flashlight. You see the bear and it sees you....you pause and dang if the bear decides you are a threat and gets PO'ed....one shot into the air is usually enough to scare the pooh out of it and make it run away.....if it doesn't you have 5 more to spook the threat or defend yourself! Hopefully you will never ever get into that scenario but if you do..... Most of the time when you spot the bear it either runs away or continues to try to get the food (because you did secure it right?). Remember, shooting to scare and or defend yourself IS your last option and also your last defense!

Mendocino
04-22-2009, 11:52 AM
FWIW: It is my understanding that black bears attack much more frequently than grizzlys (at least in Alaska),

timmbuck2
04-22-2009, 11:55 AM
whatever you get make sure you know how to use it! (that wasn't aimed at you Timm, just another thought I wanted to throw out there!)

No worries, I plan on doing everything right and getting plenty of training before I carry anywhere...

RockRunner
04-22-2009, 03:08 PM
I was always told a .44 Mag or bigger but I not a hunter so I would not be sure about that. I do know that pepper spray makes them made, and makes the person spraying it nearly deadly ill DAMHIK. If I were to do it again I would but the directional streaming pepper spray, much more user friendly.

nakman
04-22-2009, 03:12 PM
Ok so putting the guns aside for minute..... do you guys all put your food back in the truck at night? Or do you make a sling and suspend it from a tree or something? What about your greasy smelly grill, do you put that back in the truck, or just move it away from your tent?

My procedure has usually been put the trash & food back in the 80, but move the stove away from both the tent & 80 and hope the bear goes there first. And try not to make a smelly mess... though honestly most of my camping has been on red dirt, or else it's with 20 other Cruisers- not many bears attracted to each. However curious what the recommendation is, when more or less solo.

Jacket
04-22-2009, 03:28 PM
Here's what happens when you don't secure all your food. Fortunately we caught him in the act and he took off when we yelled at him...fortunately.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h201/mralsto/CB_Ouray_08/IMG_0903.jpg

I've only ever hung my food when backpacking on foot; when I have the truck all of it (including trash and cooking stuff) goes back into the car (obviously I'm not perfect though...). I've seen plenty of reports of bears breaking into people's car for food, but I think that's pretty rare on the relative scale. And I try not to put my tent too close to the truck...

After last summer's run-in, I've strongly considered a gun, but I haven't done anything about it yet. We're planning a camping trip to Yellowstone this year, so I probably should get that figured out....

Corbet
04-22-2009, 03:31 PM
for bears I'd want .41 mag or larger.

But I live in fear of big cats more than bears so I regularly carry my 9mm auto while hiking.

However I rely on Porter as my main deterant for both. And he should smell either long before I see one.

Tim, I normally set up then tent some distance from truck/cooking area. Then use judgement on trash/food/stove as to hang or store in truck.

Uncle Ben
04-22-2009, 04:51 PM
Ok so putting the guns aside for minute..... do you guys all put your food back in the truck at night? Or do you make a sling and suspend it from a tree or something? What about your greasy smelly grill, do you put that back in the truck, or just move it away from your tent?

My procedure has usually been put the trash & food back in the 80, but move the stove away from both the tent & 80 and hope the bear goes there first. And try not to make a smelly mess... though honestly most of my camping has been on red dirt, or else it's with 20 other Cruisers- not many bears attracted to each. However curious what the recommendation is, when more or less solo.


Generally I leave my food in the truck or the second tent. When we hunt we always have two tents....one sleeping and one for the mess tent. Somehow waking up to the warm breath of a bear doen't get me to excited. (FWIW my wife is not a bear.... lioness maybe but not a bear) Also, while hunting unless it's bad (warm) weather for hunting the bears should be sleeping but the cats are very active!

treerootCO
04-22-2009, 05:48 PM
A lever action Marlin 1895gs in .45-70 is what I carry in the 80.

farnhamstj
04-22-2009, 07:56 PM
You guys scare me. Seriously. Black bears are harmless with the exception of mothers with cubs. We have black bears visit the back yard regularly. Almost always in the fall when they are fattening up for the winter. Totally good idea to do the bear bell thing if you are solo. If you are having a conversation with someone else while you are hiking. That's generaly enough to allert the bear to your arrival. I keep my cooler and trash in the back of the cruiser with the windows rolled up. More for racoons, weasels, fox, and camp robbers. Except where in is noted that bears frequent the area.(Wyoming, sand dunes co) where there are bear boxes provided. I camped 40+ nights last summer with wife and kids. Never saw a bear while camping in CO. I work as a guide on trail 50+ days a year. Never seen a bear on a tour. I've seen mtn lion tracks twice in 10years. I put worrying about black bears right there with worrying about being carjacked when I go to Denver. If you really want to protect yourself get some pepper spray. Keep a clean campsite and use common sense.

Beater
04-22-2009, 08:42 PM
You guys scare me. Seriously. Black bears are harmless with the exception of mothers with cubs. We have black bears visit the back yard regularly. Almost always in the fall when they are fattening up for the winter. Totally good idea to do the bear bell thing if you are solo. If you are having a conversation with someone else while you are hiking. That's generaly enough to allert the bear to your arrival. I keep my cooler and trash in the back of the cruiser with the windows rolled up. More for racoons, weasels, fox, and camp robbers. Except where in is noted that bears frequent the area.(Wyoming, sand dunes co) where there are bear boxes provided. I camped 40+ nights last summer with wife and kids. Never saw a bear while camping in CO. I work as a guide on trail 50+ days a year. Never seen a bear on a tour. I've seen mtn lion tracks twice in 10years. I put worrying about black bears right there with worrying about being carjacked when I go to Denver. If you really want to protect yourself get some pepper spray. Keep a clean campsite and use common sense.

AMEN!

I've been too many places/countries to count In over twenty years of back-country and I have seen ONE cat, zero bears....

Little critters? plenty. poisonous scorpions/snakes/centipedes? tons. Monkeys that will open your **** and strew it around just to be "cute"? lots.

oh - and do ask me about my bump in the night story while on guard duty on a certain wmd stash in the pacific next time I've had a beer..

Cat's are WAY more scared of us, and way smarter imho. They will only challenge if injured or protecting young if you are over 2 foot tall...

please... you carry that shiat cause you can...

Rezarf
04-22-2009, 09:15 PM
please... you carry that shiat cause you can...

:rolleyes:

To each their own, nothing wrong or paranoid about being prepared and having options... other than wetting your pants, or wishing you had another "option" when/if things ever did turn south.

My family and friends even myself are worth the preparation.

:thumb:

As for the original question, if I was going to have a dedicated backcountry gub, which I don't, I would spring for a S&W 629 4" stainless.

Jenny Cruiser
04-22-2009, 09:28 PM
Get a chihuahua. I talked to a guy the other day who carries one in his backpack while salmon fishing. He swears the dog sounds the alarm and it's barking will scare the bears. I suppose it could also be used as a diversionary appetizer while you scamper for safety.

If I had to shoot a bear at close range I'd probably choose a 12 guage loaded with slugs and buckshot.

Here's a charging bear vid. I think they're shooting 300 Win Mags.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZnsL7-UdGc&feature=PlayList&p=7BF0346C9B01CF8F&index=0&playnext=1

farnhamstj
04-22-2009, 11:52 PM
Ok I'll play. Man shot in Denver nightclub.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilPV6xuT_EI

Must be dangerous to go to any clubs in Denver.
Those were Grizly Bears. There are none in CO. Those guys were bear hunting, gee go figure.

farnhamstj
04-22-2009, 11:57 PM
Here's a man defending his life from a grizly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVS1UfCfxlU

Beater
04-23-2009, 07:53 AM
seriously though, you have more to fear from the little things that you likely can't hit with your handgun, and will be too close for a rifle to do any good. Don't get me wrong folks, I grew up way out in the country, and as young as 10/11 was taught how to shoot a street howitzer in the air to scare off unwelcome visitors to our property. And it did happen more than once. (happens when word gets out of the lake on your property being a well stocked bass habitat and the visitors are quite liquored up) as well as having gone through more military survival schools than I care to talk about.

Just do the math on the incidents to non incidents ratio. Best practices around personal safety are really your best defense.

j

subzali
04-23-2009, 08:33 AM
yes, it's an outside chance that something might happen in the wilderness with a bear or a lion (I've heard a story or two that describes a bear that WASN'T going to be scared away by barking dogs, yelling, clanging, etc. and I've seen a video of a lion coming out of nowhere to land on a guy who was minding his own business cross-country skiing. It happens.). But it's also an outside chance that you'll get a flat tire when you go driving somewhere, so that's why we take spare tires. The question wasn't whether or not he would take a gun, and it wasn't whether or not he'd use the gun as his first defense; it was WHAT gun would be suitable for animals that size on the outside chance that one would attack?

Beater
04-23-2009, 08:48 AM
yep - your right matt

I got on my soap box again.... :rolleyes:

I think caliber is important when trying to stop 400# of pissed off survival instinct. However, I do want to bring up one last thing:

You better have that firearm already in your hand/hands if a bear is close enough to charge. you need to be able to acquire your target and fire repeatedly at the center mass kill area to be effective. No one can argue this statement effectively.

j

subzali
04-23-2009, 09:11 AM
yep. Seems like people get a false sense of security having a gun on them. If it's in your backpack and a bear charges, well it just won't do you any good. You're down to your fists.

Rezarf
04-23-2009, 12:42 PM
Here's a man defending his life from a grizly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVS1UfCfxlU

Thats one of my all time favorites! :thumb:

jacdaw
04-23-2009, 02:33 PM
.41 mag, eh? Do you reload? Where are you getting rounds? I think I have a line on a Super Blackhawk for $375 -- would be a nice companion for the single six if it's an old blue polish. Until I'm healthy again, I may want to stick to plinker reloads for it tho. No 300 gr. jackets for my skinny arms.

ya need a 10mm (.40) or bigger or your just gonna make 'em really mad! I often have my .41 mag S&W limited police model 58 nearby when in the hills. Anything short of African big game will not survive! Quick Google search.... http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_4_51/ai_n11840297/

jacdaw
04-23-2009, 02:37 PM
My latest "can't get enough" destination is the Red Desert. No bear there that I've seen evidence of. But I want to be prepared for anything.

I would be a little more worried about lions than bears around here...but just the same UB's choice would seem like a pretty good option.

FWIW Grizzly's have been extinct in Colorado for quite a few years, though I have heard a couple reports of some sightings in the last couple years, but either way you're much more likely to encounter a black bear around these parts. Wyoming it's a different story, and for that a .44 mag might be a little better choice, leastways that's what I've been thinking about getting for when I head back up that direction some day.

jacdaw
04-23-2009, 02:39 PM
Thanks, and sorry for the hijack....

T

That's why I started the thread, no hijack interpreted. :)

jacdaw
04-23-2009, 02:47 PM
As for the original question, if I was going to have a dedicated backcountry gub, which I don't, I would spring for a S&W 629 4" stainless.

;)

jacdaw
04-23-2009, 02:53 PM
I watched a cat carry a golden retriever away on Flagsatff in 2006. I had lived here 2 months. The pooch was recovered in short order, and it was defending it's humans. But that event set the tone for my CO backcountry experience. This is not what I call backcountry either, just the trail behind Artist's Point overlooking Boulder Canyon.

yes, it's an outside chance that something might happen in the wilderness with a bear or a lion (I've heard a story or two that describes a bear that WASN'T going to be scared away by barking dogs, yelling, clanging, etc. and I've seen a video of a lion coming out of nowhere to land on a guy who was minding his own business cross-country skiing. It happens.). But it's also an outside chance that you'll get a flat tire when you go driving somewhere, so that's why we take spare tires. The question wasn't whether or not he would take a gun, and it wasn't whether or not he'd use the gun as his first defense; it was WHAT gun would be suitable for animals that size on the outside chance that one would attack?

Rezarf
04-23-2009, 03:35 PM
I watched a cat carry a golden retriever away on Flagsatff in 2006. I had lived here 2 months. The pooch was recovered in short order, and it was defending it's humans. But that event set the tone for my CO backcountry experience. This is not what I call backcountry either, just the trail behind Artist's Point overlooking Boulder Canyon.

Zoiks!

Sorry to hear about the retriever. Glad everyone else was okay, that was a good dog for sure.

Drew

jacdaw
04-23-2009, 05:00 PM
Sorry I wasn't clear. Happy ending, as the golden survived! Mangled but bravely fought until the cat let go. Big vet bill, I'm sure. But it put a fear into me that I'd not experienced before nor since. Not like a big side arm will kill the fear. My Ruger single six is just too long to carry while hiking. It's a gorgeous blued western long barrel chambered for mags and slower than molasses. The P38 is a relic, and tho it's 9mm and a great boot gun, it needs some resto work.

The Super Blackhawk (http://www.gunblast.com/Super_Blackhawk.htm) I'm considering is also a Ruger single action revolver, so not a good choice for firing at a charging bear I suppose. But the price is right. Would love to hear more experiences with smaller frame, big bore pistolas. Semiauto is okay.

Uncle Ben
04-23-2009, 05:18 PM
.41 mag, eh? Do you reload? Where are you getting rounds? I think I have a line on a Super Blackhawk for $375 -- would be a nice companion for the single six if it's an old blue polish. Until I'm healthy again, I may want to stick to plinker reloads for it tho. No 300 gr. jackets for my skinny arms.

.41's are not as popular so ammo is still on the shelves. .41 has nearly the same energy as a .44 with less recoil and it is a flatter shooting round. If you start reading up on it it was a round that should have really taken off but because the girly police that had a say at the time went with the .357. I've never been a .357 fan as the recoil is tiring as it has torque to it whereas the .4x rounds kick but very little twist. My S&W has a short 4" barrel and I had trigger work and magna porting done to it also. It is an awesome belt/pack gun but way too heavy for a boot.

Uncle Ben
04-23-2009, 05:20 PM
Sorry I wasn't clear. Happy ending, as the golden survived! Mangled but bravely fought until the cat let go. Big vet bill, I'm sure. But it put a fear into me that I'd not experienced before nor since. Not like a big side arm will kill the fear. My Ruger single six is just too long to carry while hiking. It's a gorgeous blued western long barrel chambered for mags and slower than molasses. The P38 is a relic, and tho it's 9mm and a great boot gun, it needs some resto work.

The Super Blackhawk (http://www.gunblast.com/Super_Blackhawk.htm) I'm considering is also a Ruger single action revolver, so not a good choice for firing at a charging bear I suppose. But the price is right. Would love to hear more experiences with smaller frame, big bore pistolas. Semiauto is okay.

I'm hearing some safe mountain plinking is in order! I have a few hand canons you might enjoy!

treerootCO
04-23-2009, 05:29 PM
This one is for you Subzali:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/19263005/detail.html :D

Sometimes it is just in the cards...

Uncle Ben
04-23-2009, 05:32 PM
This one is for you Subzali:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/19263005/detail.html :D

Sounds like if Matt is pregnant he should be worried! ;) :lmao::lmao:

jacdaw
04-23-2009, 05:32 PM
I'm hearing some safe mountain plinking is in order! I have a few hand canons you might enjoy!

Sounds like good fun. Maybe we can do it before and after my cataract surgery and see how I improve?:lmao: