From the Bear Pepper Spray website. This is what to do when encountering a bear in the wild:
Granted this is the bear spray side of what to do when encountering a bear. Other sites such as this British Columbia Website are extremely informative. They say yelling is the last thing you should do and manytimes a yell will provoke an attack.
My question is about courage. What do you think you would actually do if confronted suddenly by a large bear? Climb the nearest tree? Curl up and put your hands behind your neck? Run like hell? What do you actually think you’d do?
Personally, I own a large pepper spray bottle with holster, and I carry my Glok 40 at all times when hiking. I know it sounds like overkill, but I know I’d be your best friend if we were hiking and ran into a bear or mountain lion or the like.
A guide in Alaska told me that bear pepper spray will slow a grizzly down for a minute, after which the bear’s curiousity leads to the bear wanting to check out the spray and the sprayer. He told me that he and his coworkers thought bear mace was a joke.
Yeah, I know, but it keeps my wife and I a little at ease when camping in the north woods. Both of us carry the same side arm, and if the spray didn’t work we’d probably get mauled whilst unloading 30 rounds into the beast.
I’ve actually heard some very promising info on the bear pepper spray. Mainly the info centers around wild bears being more sensitive to the spray than the habituated bear sitting on your porch.
Bear spray sounds pretty last resort to me (I would much rather have the glock.) If it’s close enough for the spray to actually come into contact with it’s eyes and flesh, you’re already in swiping distance. And even if the bear immediately puts on the brakes, you’re still going to have a half a ton of pissed off mammal crashing into you.
The sound, pain, and the “non-budgingness” of the shooter may very well be enough to get the bear to do a turn about before he gets to you. (But keep firing.)
Personally, I would stand up to the bear. But I grew up in the woods and so believe that facing up to the animal is the only way to survive to a sufficient extent that it would indeed be my emergency response.
Well, having encountered a few bears, sadly I can report that every time I turned and ran away screaming like a scared little girl. Good for me they were brown bears, which are considerably more docile.
The only grizzly I’ve been within spitting distance of was on a lower switch back of a hiking trail I was on - we just waited until we saw which way she was headed, and headed in the opposite direction, which worked fine. While waiting, we were as quiet as church mice.
I think if I walked around a corner and there was a grizzly standing right there, I would probably pee my pants, to be totally honest. And then perhaps climb a tree if that was an option. Standing and freezing probably wouldn’t happen tho…
That was my thought too, Bricker. Heck, even my .44 mag isn’t going to do much to stop an angry bear.
[Hijack-angry bear story] A friend of mine was out hunting in upstate PA one day and spotted some cubs rolling and playing. Bud stopped and watched them with amusement until he heard the sow start growling and making racket. He had the unfortunate luck of being in between her and the cubs. :eek: Adrenaline convinced his 60+ year old body that he was back in high school on the track team, and he ran. Past the cabin. Down the road. Halfway to town. Thankfully for him, Ma Bear gave up the pursuit, and he was able to relate the event at the firehouse. [/hijack-abs]
It’s just that I have done a fair bit of hiking in areas where grizzlies are known to live. The closest I have ever come to a bear, and I don’t know if it was a grizz or not, was paw prints in fresh snow. I could live happily live without coming across one in the wild.
Bears are big, mean, big, fast, big and smelly. The average Joe with a handgun isn’t going to be able to 1) place his shots where they will do the most good, 2) penetrate the bears carcass to hit something that will shut it down immediately, and 3) get 1 & 2 done before said bear mauls him. Grizzlies are freaking huge! I’ve lived in Alaska. I always wore bells when hiking, and ate kimchee. My bear-gun was a Marlin .45-70 rifle.
A Casull with a scope can be used when hunting bear. But what do you use when the bear is hunting you?
All the times I’ve encountered bears except once I’ve done the right thing. The exception was when a yearling grizz appeared around the corner of a tent 10’ away from me. I know this because the tent was 10’ long, and I was at one corner and the bear was at the other. Apparently that’s inside my “fight or flight” radius, because when I next had a coherent thought I was 100’ away on top of a trailer. Wrong response, though fortunately the bear didn’t take after me. Pure instinctual hard-wired response, it was.
Well, I know for sure I couldn’t outrun him. Not even if he’s just playing. Backing away slowly and not being confrontational seems like a sensible thing to do. Using a gun, pepper spray a pointy stick… anything really in a pinch is better than nothing. Having a friend with you who’s a slower runner is probably the best defense strategy. As the joke goes, you’d only have to outrun him, not the bear.
Why won’t a handgun stop a bear? Too small a caliber? Not enough power to penetrate the skin? Takes too long for a bear to bleed to death?QUOTE]
It isn’t going to just drop when you shoot it. You have to penetrate the skull or the spinal cord if you want it to just drop dead, or major organs if you want it to bleed to death in a reasonable time, or maybe a shot to a shoulder or leg to slow it down (I am not a hunter, just guessing on that one). A pistol will have less penetration than a rifle, and it takes more skill to properly place a shot with a pistol.
I might be the only fool in this thread contemplating going bear hunting this year. With my brand new .45-70 rifle and a .50 cal. Ruger sidearm. And someone to watch my back/identify my remains. Don’t think I’ll be taking pepper spray though. Unless it’s for the chili.