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Thread: Animal defense when hiking, need ideas!

  1. #11
    Elder Super Moderator GreyOne's Avatar
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    Realistic odds are that you will face more chance of danger getting to the trailhead for your trip from home than you will on the actual trip.

    A good walking stick is always of use- I have diverted a number of snakes from my path over the years with one. If you carry a bear spray canister, you will be about as well protected as possible against 4 legged predators.

    The 357 mag revolver is another very good recommendation, IF it is legal to carry and IF you are proficient with it.
    (Mostly for 2 legged predators.)

    I think though that you have let a few incidents stir your imagination into overdrive. I would rather walk 20 miles unarmed in the woods than I would 2 blocks in the inner city.

    As others have pointed out in another recent thread, your best defense is your situational awareness. Don't be oblivious of possible danger signs, remain alert at all times, and you can avoid 99.99% of all problems.
    Nemo me impune lacessit ! Wisdom is knowing what to do; Skill is knowing how to do it ; Character is what lets you actually do the job.
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  2. #12
    Tracker altovintner's Avatar
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    Most of the time I carry a Kahr CW9 in 9mm. This is a minimum, IMHO. Relatively light weight. But, if the situation calls for it, I have several 10mm pistols to choose from. Usually use Double tap 180gr. These rounds are at upper end of 357 mag area.

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  4. #13
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    This may border on the ridiculous, but I have seen that there are some tribes that would use the image of a face, either on the back of a hat a a backwards worn mask. The big cats would be confused as to what direction to to attack from and either give up or expose themselves in their confusion, giving the tribesman time to prepare. As for the meth-heads, this may look totally normal to them.

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  6. #14
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    Your .40 pistol will be more than adequate for mountain lions or wolves, coyotes, etc. and do well for bears. A .357 mag would be better. Either way, load them with the heaviest, soft nose, not hollow point, bullets you can get to ensure adequate penetration through heavy bone and muscle, on bears, lions are built pretty light.
    A canister of bear spray would be great defense from anything you're likely to encounter, and be non-lethal to the animal, if that matters to you. Get real bear spray, not the OC spray intended for use against other people.
    I always carry a firearm of some sort when in the woods. But I've never had a run in with any predators, except being stalked by two bobcats when I was turkey calling. I've seen bears and lions, but never been bothered by them. A much bigger problem is skunks and raccoons around camp, and rattlesnakes in the desert.
    I worry more about encounters of the bad kind with other people than with animals.

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    Scout JPAZ357's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I'll save the pepper spray for seasoning the bear meat, after I've dealt with the bear properly.

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    I carry a Charter Arms Stainless Steel Bulldog in .44 Special with some nasty looking bullets. Five shots weighs 19 oz empty.

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    Guide Supporter Long John Tinfoil's Avatar
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    Walking stick/staff or bear spray where you can get it in hand and use it fast. I see no need for a gun unless you're in Grizzly country.

    If a bad guy ambushes you he'll use a long gun to pot you and then loot your body or he'll pop out with his gun on you and, realistically, very few people will actually be able to draw and fire effectively quick enough to make a difference. The bear spray or staff will be plenty effective on someone physically assaulting you and you'll have a lot less stress and paperwork to deal with than you will if you shoot someone or chop them with a machete, axe or tomahawk, or cut them up with your skinning knife - presuming you can get any of those options into action at all.

    The alternative is to walk gun-in-hand, all pumped-up and looking for anything that moves. There's already too many hunting accidents caused by just that. In over 40 years of hiking, camping and canoeing, I've never had an encounter with an animal where I felt threatened, and the junkies and weirdos either aren't out there or make so much noise and visual distraction that you have lots of time to go elsewhere. As for meth-labs and grow-ops, they're more likely to set trap guns or booby-traps, and being armed won't really matter then either.

    LJT

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  14. #18
    Overkill is underrated Supporter Fat Old Man's Avatar
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    Over christmas a cousin of mine was telling me about a cougar stalking him last summer and how he had to scare it off from fifteen feet away...so im kinda shaking in my boots already. Its probably been discussed before but i couldnt find it so sorry if this has been brought up recently. Any ideas??

    15 feet is less that 1/2 a cougar's recorded pounce distance! Just sayin...

    Check out Cold Steel's Inferno pepper spray. Its a clingy foaming agent with good directional spray, rather than a fog spray. I'd hate to try & out-run or out-climb any critter after gassing myself while trying to gas them!

    The trusty 12ga w/00 buckshot is what I've heard is popular amongst guides in Africa for dealing with leopards.

  15. #19
    Scout Bush Class Basic Certified CodyKenobi's Avatar
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    I have read lots about cougar encounters, as where I am from is overcrowded with them. The most i have seen in one year is 4, that was one summer, just this last week alone two had to be tracked by Fish & Wild life and one put down for being crazy the other relocated as it entered someones house while they where home and ruined their big screen tv both here less than 1/4mile from my front door.

    From what I have gathered, a gun wont really do sh*t for you except maybe help shoot yourself in the face if the cat is actually hunting you. You will never know its even there until its on your back. At this point a good knife would be my pick. If it is just a face to face encounter, you are more likely able to avoid an attack if you use a bear spray, or try to scare it off first (which will likely be the scenario 95% or more of the time). If your shot isn't placed right or caliber not large enough your in for a wicked battle.

    Cats go straight for the back of the neck, if you are in cat country, where a backpack and be aware. Stop to look behind you often if you start to feel the heebeegeebees, which are real signs, not just bush hippie philosophy.

    I think Gray, mentioned a stick. Definitely a top choice as well. When I am in deep cougar country I always carve a spear/hiking stick. Make sure it is taller than your eyes, you don't want to be the one inflicting injury on yourself. But keeping distance from any predator is key, and animals can tell you are armed, even if that sounds funny, and just carrying the stick could ward off predators.

    I hike with two jack russells, which is both an advantage and disadvantage. They would definitly know if something was there WAAAYYY before I would notice, and they are evil little monsters that are fearless, but at the same time they look like to little bunny rabbits hopping through the forest and could be more of a draw to a starving critter than a deterrent. Last summer a man right up the road from me got chomped on by a big cat and his jack russell attacked the cougar chasing it off. That story makes me feel safer with my two little demons.

    Edit: I am still TERRIFIED of a what seems to be guaranteed encounter in my future. Although the 4 that I have had where peaceful. Also, I really have no fear at all of bears, as we see them ALL THE TIME and generally they just look at you and continue on, or run. Top two fears, rattle snakes and cats.
    Last edited by CodyKenobi; 01-04-2013 at 05:35 PM.

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    Ill mark up an equation for ya, Brother...

    This:

    mossberg-chainsaw-review.jpg

    +

    85625_ts.jpg

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