Animal defense when hiking, need ideas!

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Archer008, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Archer008

    Archer008 Tracker

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    Since its winter and 5 degrees, were all planning our spring/summer hike trips and for the first time in my life I'm ACTUALLY worried about defending myself from animal attacks! I think I have a pretty good skill set for other events in the wild but really have no idea besides my .40cal to defend against a cougar/bear etc...

    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??

    All of mine so far are too heavy or bulky or simply not practical...
    Im looking for light, easy and scary enough to deter a big animal...so give me your best ideas. :) Thanks everyone!
    (P.S. Im in Utah, so this might be more of an area-specific question..no Kodiak here..) :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  2. OutdoorEnvy

    OutdoorEnvy Guide

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    If I was about to be attacked by a large predator like that I would probably crap myself, and hope it didn't like it's food covered in crap

    But I suppose a handgun of ANY kind would be a good option. A lot of people I know carry something in woods. Where legal to do so of course. Other than a gun you're probably not very well off with a handweapon, though something is better than nothing. Let's just hope non of us have to deal with this situation in the first place.
     
  3. JPAZ357

    JPAZ357 Scout

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    .357mag is a good woods round for pistol. As long as you're not expecting to see grizzly or moose it should be enough.

    maybe something like a 4" Ruger SP101

    Edit: just saw you said Utah. .357 should be good to go, unless you have some Sasquatch or something I am unaware of! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  4. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    I think I'ld pop for some good bear spray, if they sell it in Utah. I've camped out there (Utah) months at a time and never felt in danger of animal attacks. The 40 caliber is fine for the 2 legged critters.

    Go out and enjoy yourself. It's amazing...:dblthumb:
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  5. gunner65

    gunner65 Scout

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    A lot of people swear by bear spray and/or bangers. Bangers are kinda like projectile fireworks you can look them up on youtube.

    I carry a 45 acp concealed but in most instances a cat will probably catch you off guard so unless it is a situation like you mention where you knew it was stalking then a weapon would probably be of little use.

    I carry my handgun more for protection from the two-legged beast. There have been a large number of meth labs found around popular hiking areas here. I fear a meth addict far more than any bear or cat plus we do not have a large population of them.
     
  6. VinWild

    VinWild Scout

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    Pack Heat and a knife. Nothing smaller then a 9mm/.357. A .44 mag wouldn't be out of place.
    A knife that you could get to in a hurry, with a large enough blade to do some damage.
    Remember the best gun to have when you need one - is the one that's in your hand !
    We are on the food chain; and winter time is feeding time. Be careful out there.
     
  7. Bush Otter

    Bush Otter Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Poppers sound good but a firearm is a good idea too.
     
  8. Yetee

    Yetee Tracker

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    Honestly im more leery of people than i am the animals. I carry a glock 19, and a medium size fixed blade when hiking. Cougars are not as thick skinned as bears. If you are going to get attacked by a cougar there will not be much warning any ways. I can honestly only think of only one almost attack being reported in the last 7 years with cougars in utah. The guy was hunting and turned around to a cougar about to pounce on him, he shot and killed the cougar. The bear attack that made headlines had to do with a rouge bear that had been raiding camp sites for food. And was a very rare occurance that someone was killed. If its cougars you are worried about keep a watchful eye around you. If you see one set of tracks on the trail its probably a coincidence, if you pass two sets you could be getting stalked.


    If you are car camping and worried about bears take a shotgun with slugs or bear spray.

    Edit to add:

    I know a lot of people that think the judge is a great gun for cougars. My personal opinion on the judge is it is designed for very close encounters and with no one else around. the pattern that comes out of them is very large; meaning you may hit your target, but you may also hit someone/something else that you did not intend to hit. Personally I would say your .40 is plenty for a cougar, although others may disagree.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  9. mbiraman

    mbiraman Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    As much as people like to scare themselves , tell tall tales and be over prepared the fact is its very rare for folks to have a serious encounter with wild animals . For the most part animals want nothing to do with us and for good reason. Bear spray and or bangers or small air horns work real well. There are a few exceptions. If your going into know grizzly habitat you should probably ask yourself why, and after that plan a bit more for an encounter as the odds go up . I've lived, worked and played in the mountains of BC , bear and cougar country, for 40 yrs and have rarely had a serious encounter. I've had more encounters with dogs.
    The other exception is/are parks that have a known bear problem.
    But to give yourself peace of mind you should do whatever you need to do,,,,,within reason.

    bill
     
  10. cashcow1976

    cashcow1976 Scout

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    I carry my S&W 99 its a 45 auto
     
  11. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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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.
     
  12. altovintner

    altovintner Tracker

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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.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
     
  13. East End Horror

    East End Horror Tracker

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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.
     
  14. EdD270

    EdD270 Guide Bushclass I

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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.
     
  15. JPAZ357

    JPAZ357 Scout

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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. :3: :dblthumb:
     
  16. Fiddlehead

    Fiddlehead Scout

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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.
     
  17. Long John Tinfoil

    Long John Tinfoil Guide

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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
     
  18. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Supporter Supporter

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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...:2:

    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.
     
  19. CodyKenobi

    CodyKenobi Scout Bushclass I

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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: Jan 4, 2013
  20. Whisper Creek

    Whisper Creek Tracker

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

    This:

    mossberg-chainsaw-review.jpg

    +

    85625_ts.jpg
     
  21. JRW87

    JRW87 Tracker

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    Id take a mate hiking with you that you owe money to and is a slower runner.

    Sent from my GT-S5570 using Tapatalk 2
     
  22. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Educate yourself on cougar and bear behavior (black, brown, and grizz).

    Arm yourself (.44, .357, shotgun, take your pick.)
    edit: forgot to add bearspray.


    Bring a dog. My uncle (also my scoutmaster) spent a couple weekends a month in the Adirondacks, year round, and swore by his Labs as bear-repellent. Said he had NEVER, in 50+years of outings, had a bear incident with the dogs around (had met plenty, but the dogs scared them off.)
     
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  23. woodsghost

    woodsghost Guide

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    Depends on how much money. If it is a lot, I would want my friend to stay alive .... long enough to pay me back! ;)
     
  24. clanmaki

    clanmaki Guide

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    I also have a lot of cougar and black bear in our area and I hike a lot with my Family. I always keep the kids near by and carry bear spray. I am always cautious but not freaked out or scared cause I was raised to be that way when in the woods. The reason I bring bear spray is because of the fact that if a mountain lion were to attack or a bear charge the spray is easy and fast and aim doesn't have to be extremely accurate. With a gun your aim for a kill shot has got to be accurate or (especially in the case of a bear) a wounded animal isn't going to stop the danger. Things happen really, really fast and drawing, aiming accurately and firing (and being calm enough doing it) isn't too reasonable.
    I agree with the others that said a good stout walking stick also.

    Now after saying all that I have to tell you in the 40+ years that I have been in and around the wilderness I have only come across one Mountain Lion and two bears and each time they were gone in a hurry. I have run across a whole lot of sign of each (fresh sign) which tells me that they knew about me long before I knew about them and took off. So those times I ran across them in person I actually feel blessed to have seen them.

    Most of the people I have run across have been good people. Only a couple of times have I been Leary of an individual. Don't act scared but confident even if you aren't carrying a gun. They don't know that and how you act can make the difference between being left alone or a being a victim. But again most if not all your experiences being out in the wilderness will be good ones.
     
  25. dragon383

    dragon383 Banned Member Banned

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    well, my advice would be.. always go hiking or camping with someone, and make sure that you can outrun your friend :3: but on a serious side... try carrying a can of bear spray, it'll work for big cats too as they dont like getting squirted with any liquid!
     
  26. Meathunter

    Meathunter Scout

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    Not exactly lightweight but I carry a Ruger Super BlackHawk in 44 mag, in a gunslinger rig from Triple K leather, but I am not scared to walk anywhere in the woods either. So it's a fair trade.
     
  27. Whisper Creek

    Whisper Creek Tracker

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    Glock 10mm, S&W .44 Mag... Can't go wrong with buckshot, and a good shotgun. Mosin Nagant, 7.62x54 carbine, with collapsible bayonet.
     
  28. Ahnkochee

    Ahnkochee Bushmaster

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    No guns allowed in our forests except in hunting areas while actually hunting. I always carry a walking staff, at least one knife (as a tool not a weapon), and pepper spray. No big cats or bear here but we do have wild pigs which can get ornery as well as feral dogs which usually don't have fear of man especially when running in a pack. I recently made a special staff which I can to fit my CS Bushman onto in a matter of seconds if need be wearing the Bushman on my hip except when needed. Haven't had a chance to carry it on the trail yet though.
    [​IMG]
     
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  29. Crazysanman

    Crazysanman Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    I don't carry a firearm in bear country. No need for it.

    If you are being stalked by a mountain lion you will never know it. Those things are such efficient stalkers and hunters you'll be dead before you have a chance to know what is happening.

    Carry bear spray. It will work for anything out there, from grizzlies to mountain lions to people.

    Make noise when you hike, especially non-natural noises, like metal clanking. If you use treking poles, hit the tip of the pole on a rock whenever you can to make noise. Talk if you are in a group, and if solo shout out every now and then or sing out loud as you walk. Let the animal know you are there and give it the option to leave before you get too close to it and you'll be safe.

    Read the book "Bear Attacks - Their Causes and Avoidances" by Steve Herrero. It's an awesome book that will teach you all you need to know about bear behavior so you can avoid being attacked by a bear.

    I've never seen a grizzly, but if you are in Utah you won't either. I've seen lots and lots of black bears in the wild and never been afraid. In fact, out of the maybe 20-25 encounters that I've had with bears, only once did I have to become aggressive to scare away the bear. All the other times they've ran from me.

    Here are two videos of a bear encounter me and my wife had while hiking the Appalachian Trail along the northern Virginia / West Virginia border just south of Harper's Ferry. These are big for Virginia black bears, and there are two of them, and they don't act aggressively toward us. This is a typical bear encounter. They will either turn and run or stop and watch you go by.

    [video=youtube_share;ibOFps3DLec]http://youtu.be/ibOFps3DLec[/video]


    [video=youtube_share;l4ynZaus_6c]http://youtu.be/l4ynZaus_6c[/video]
     
  30. tree-ratsniper

    tree-ratsniper Guide

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    I don't go into any piece of timber unarmed, I always carry a knife & a handgun (everywhere I go actually). One thing about having a firearm, its better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it... :3:
     
  31. MiddleWolf

    MiddleWolf Guide

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    If you're feeling nervous or suspect trouble, watch for tracks as posted above and take time periodically to stop, rotate slowly, and watch your back trail and outcroppings or high places around you to see if something's there. Cougars don't necessarily duck their heads playing hide and seek like humans.
     
  32. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh Dirt Merchant Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    I'll bet all the people who were chewed, clawed, and/or killed by bears/cougars/wolves etc. would argue with the folks in this thread who are saying these animals will all just run the other way.

    Dont be scared, Just be prepared!
     
  33. Archer008

    Archer008 Tracker

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    Thanks codykenobi....your thoughts were right on...ive been thinking about taking the jack russell with me as well but the whole little bunny effect turned me off. :)

    Now I KNOW that carrying my concealed is a little crazy to most but i have met a few of those two- legged weirdoes on the trail in the past and I am definitely more worried about them as well.

    The whole point of this post was to hopefully get some alternative ideas instead of the normal ones...gun, knife, stick... Gun is big and heavy, Knife is WAY to close hand to hand with a big scary critter, and a stick is...well, LAME. Unless its some magic wizard staff a walking/trekking pole seems like more of a pathetic last ditch effort to feel better about the fact that you didnt bring something better.

    Im thinking the reach is good with the stick but the lethality is way to low for me to feel safe at all. So barring having a sword on a stick I think the goofy pepper spray idea might have some merit. (But then a thought comes to me that all it will do is make the bear poop smell pretty after he eats me. :) )

    What are these POP thingys everyone is talking about? Maybe sound is a good way to go...
    Thanks everyone for your posts, some pretty good ones so far, keep em up!

    Sent from an Undisclosed Location using Tapatalk....
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  34. VT-Rogue

    VT-Rogue Tracker

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    Trail Carry

    I prefer to stay discreet. I carry a Ruger LCR in .357 Magnum. This gives me many ammunition choices & its very light and conceals easily. The revolver is accurate & packs a punch! I also carry either my Tops Smokejumper or my Tops Tracker #1. A bear might get me in the end but it will be a glorious battle! :46:
     
  35. cobra

    cobra Scout

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    This reminds me of the closing scene of Legends of the Fall.
     
  36. WesinND

    WesinND Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I'm in the revolver camp and would recommend a .357 mag. You can shoot .38s through it to practice and carry full power .357s if you want. I've only had a couple of bear encounters and believe that most black bears are curious, but would prefer to avoid you once they know what are. People are a bigger threat than wildlife. What ever you do, find a gun that you will carry and a comfortable holster to carry it in. Not something too heavy that you'll leave at home on the nightstand. Oh, and I almost forgot, practice and have fun doing it!

    Wes
     
  37. dark11crusader

    dark11crusader Scout

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    Ditto on a few points:
    -Statistically, bear spray is more effective than a firearm...That being said, I carry both where legal (2 is 1 and 1 is none...)
    -Be aware of your surroundings, but do so calmly and rationally. Prepare to the best of your ability, hope for the best, but don't let your fear paralyze you or keep you from enjoying the woods!
     
  38. MedicineMan68

    MedicineMan68 Scout

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    I carry my .40 loaded with solids as a last resort...I had a hard time killing hogs with headshots with hollow points last time...solids did great on some 100 lbs or less. I also carry mace and road flares. mace works great on dogs -i use it at work. And critters normally don't dig on fire. just my preference.
     
  39. Meat Hunter

    Meat Hunter Scout

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    The chances of having a run in where ones life is threatened is extremely rare compared to how many people venture out into the wild, but if one must have something, a small compact pistol would be a good bet. Bear spray probably just as good AND lighter to carry. If weight isn't an issue, then a nice mossberg cruiser in .410 or 20ga.
    mossberg46401.jpg
    But if your going with a buddy, then all ya really need is............................the ability to outrun him :4:
     
  40. driggs5454

    driggs5454 Tracker

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    Honestly, any gun should be fine if you come across an animal and it's not actively hunting you. One round in the air as a warning shot and the next is to kill because if a gun going off won't scare them off, then nothing will. Also, you should get good at shooting well under extreme pressure because I can't think of anything that would get the adrenaline pumping like something trying to eat you. I've come across a few bears up in Alaska but have found that they're not really after you and are easily scared off. I stood my ground against a 400 lb Brown this year and clapping and yelling scared it off (I did have to check my waders for a present from myself though haha). But whatever you decide, make sure you feel comfortable with it, whether it be a gun that you can shoot well or something else. There's no good in going out there with something that you don't feel like will protect you
     
  41. CodyKenobi

    CodyKenobi Scout Bushclass I

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    There are statistics available showing that bear spray is actually the best method over all, including guns. It results in less attacks. (pausing to find a link or info) :

    Guns were effective only 67 per cent of the time because shooting accurately during a grizzly charge is difficult, and it takes an average of four hits to kill a charging grizzly bear. (probably less with a black bear).

    It typically takes at least 4 accurate shots to stop a bear.

    21% people couldn't get to gun fast enough, another 20% hesitate to long then the bears to close.

    There's more, just paraphrasing from google searches.

    Bear spray can be used 30feet all the way up to a couple feet away if it doesn't bowl you over first.

    a P.S. ONLY with a grizzly do you play dead, anything else you fight for your life.
     
  42. Yetee

    Yetee Tracker

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    Dont discount the use of a good hiking stick because you may think its lame.... i cant find the original video but this guy is alive because of someone with a stick.
    [video=youtube;cOA_OfvlwtM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOA_OfvlwtM&feature=youtube_gdata_player[/video]

    The best thing for you is situational awareness, 90 % of the time being aware of your suroundings will be what keeps you out of trouble.
     
  43. CodyKenobi

    CodyKenobi Scout Bushclass I

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    Yup, I believe in cali just this year a cougar pounced on a big guy and his buddy beat him off with a stick. I make one mean arse stick though, no beating with mine, it'd slide right through on its own weight, (i hope anyway).
     
  44. Pappy Frank

    Pappy Frank Supporter Supporter

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    All seem to agree that firearm and bear spray is best. I will not disagree with them. However there are a couple of things I think should be mentioned. First, if you are not extremely cool you will not hit the bear with most of your shots, excitement will make you miss. Well trained Police Officers miss a lot when the real thing comes down in spite of being highly trained.

    Second, for those of you who says you will never know when a cat is stalking you, that is only true most of the time. As far as I know I have never been stalked by a cat. My son was stalked by one just last summer and was well aware of it. I think the only thing that saved him was the fact he was able to watch the cat.

    Whatever you carry, you should have alternatives to be used in a layered manor. Firearm, Spray, Knife, Stick and finally your bear teeth if needed. You should be quite proficient with what you are using and finally be prepared to take the varmint (whatever it is) on in hand to hand. I hope it never comes down to that, but be ready any way.

    The best way to attempt to scare an animal off is to stomp toward it yelling and waving your arms.

    One other thing to consider. Bears see us as standing on our hing legs, that is what they often do to show aggression toward other animals. You might consider getting down on all fours and crawling, he may think the danger is over and go away. I hope.

    I think the best thing to do is make a lot of noise while walking through the woods and most animals will go away long before you see them. However is you are out there to watch the animal life and are being quiet, be prepared.
     
  45. CodyKenobi

    CodyKenobi Scout Bushclass I

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    hehe
     
  46. BradA1878

    BradA1878 Tracker

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    If (animal) predators are the concern, there is no better protection than a good Laika and a revolver. Laika are very predator aggressive and have been protecting indigenous tribesmen, trappers, and hunters in the Russian Taiga for well over 4000 years. Mine has run off and treed big cat and black bear for me many times. With large predators like grizzly the Laika will "bay" the bear (running interference) giving you time to actually use your weapon.
     
  47. CodyKenobi

    CodyKenobi Scout Bushclass I

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    Brad is that the same as a Karnelian Bear dog? A guy here tracks cougar for Fish&wild life with one of those.

    same reputation, it is specifically what they are bread for is protecting owner and hunting bear/cougar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  48. Pappy Frank

    Pappy Frank Supporter Supporter

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    did you spell that right??
     
  49. CodyKenobi

    CodyKenobi Scout Bushclass I

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    yes, just giggling at the comment. Not so funny that it was a full haha, just a little hehe. :)
     
  50. gila_dog

    gila_dog Guide

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    I recently read an article in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Bugle magazine about the relative effectiveness of bear spray and firearms in dealing with threatening bears. The conclusion was that bear spray is much more effective.

    But I still carry a .38 pistol when I'm out camping, hiking and exploring. And a good walking stick. Why? Because I'm more concerned about human predators and other peoples' dogs than I am about wild animals. I have had several close calls with other peoples' dogs, all of which were quickly discouraged with my yucca hiking stick or a couple of rocks. I have also had a couple of close calls with human predators. When they found out that I was armed, they lost interest in me and my wife immediately. I have never been threatened by a wild animal, and I've spent many years in the back country. Rabid animals are another concern especially where I live, but I've not had to deal with one yet. If I do meet one I will probably shoot it just to put it out of its misery.

    Oh, and a walking stick is not "lame". You get smacked across the nose or bayoneted in the ribs with one (like the dogs I had trouble with) and you'll change your mind quickly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013

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