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Has anyone had encounters with bears ever? What did you do? I am going into deep woods in a few weeks and would like your advice.

Any advice? Bear spray, big gun, yell at them?
 

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Umm, no personal bear experience. But my advice would be to use it as a great excuse for the SO to buy a nice new Casull 454... :D
 

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If you're worried about it: large rifle, .500, or .454

Put your food in locking containers (those big plastic storage containers). If I think of more I'll post later.

BTW, what are you gonna do for food?? take it or hunt it?
 

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I have seen too many bears to not carry something. Unfortunately, I haven't had the money for my .500 S&W Revolver.

Do like the above have said, and carry the biggest gun you can.
 

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I don't have any experience, but here's some advice I came across:

Bear Warning

Ontario Parks is advising hikers, hunters, fishermen, and golfers to take extra precautions and be on the alert for bears while in the Algonquin Park areas.

They advise people to wear noise-producing devices such as little bells on their clothing to alert but not startle the bears unexpectedly. They also advise you to carry pepper spray in case of an encounter with a bear.

It is also a good idea to watch for signs of bear activity. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings.

Black bear droppings are smaller and contain berries and possibly squirrel fur. Grizzly bear droppings have little bells in them and smell like pepper.
 

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I actually stumbled upon this little article today while looking for some other info, thought it might be of interest:

Source: http://individ.blogspot.com/2004/09/bea ... ction.html

Most people seem to prefer a high caliber rifle, or a 12 gauge shotgun. I can understand this, but most of these people have never actually worked in the wild. As someone who has, and who has had to backpack into remote areas and roam around in those areas for 12 hours a day for days on end, working out of a base camp, and carrying various types of gear, etc., I assure you that any rifle or shotgun would be left behind at base camp after the first day, if not sooner. That pretty much leaves handguns, and usually, this means large caliber handguns. I would recommend a .44 magnum at a minimum, or a .454 Casull loaded with the hottest, heaviest loads available. The newer .480's or .50's would also be a good choice. Of course, the probelm with these large bore revolvers is getting use to the recoil, and learning to hit accurately with both the first and follow-up shots. Remember that if you are not good with it on the range, there is little chance you can handle it well in time of stress, with sweaty palms, adrenaline pumping through your veins and abject fear pumping through your brain. There are many advocates of the point shooting method, but I would raise the firearm up to my eye level, and remember "front sight, and good trigger". Then fire for effect (i.e., until a "stop" is achieved). Why all this? well see this article about a successful handgun (.44 Magnum) defense against a grizzly in Alaska:

"A massive male brown bear erupted from the forest less than 20 feet away, claws tearing up hard-packed earth as it charged toward the 57-year-old .
The bear, later estimated at 750 pounds, had apparently been guarding the remains of a moose taken in a Fort Richardson bow hunt in the woods about 75 feet off the gravel track used by hikers, bikers and dog walkers.

"I fired the first shot, and I aimed at its shoulders," Boyd said. "When the first shot didn't faze it, I fired the second time, and it turned into the ditch, and I shot three more times, and it went down."

In Alaska, you cannot have the "normal" suburban "common (non)sense". And the officials in Alaska cannot bring themsleves to act like the imbeciles who rule our surburban and urban landscapes:

"The Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement trooper said she believed Boyd acted appropriately in defense of his life and was glad he had been armed and had the skill to hit the animal with so little time at such close range."

And for those who still think that cute and cuddly Black bears are not dangerous, even after reading the first link in this article (v.s.) this articles further states: "Four black bears had also been killed in defense of life and property..."

Probably safer in Alaska.
 

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scuba_steve said:
Has anyone had encounters with bears ever? What did you do? I am going into deep woods in a few weeks and would like your advice.

Any advice? Bear spray, big gun, yell at them?
Not long ago I spent some time in Alaska, on the coast about 40 miles Southeast of Nome.

I have a friend that lived in Alaska for many years and this is what he told me and what we did, when you are going somewhere that you are likely to encounter large bears and especially grizzlies.

Never make eye contact. If you see a bear..... stand big and tall and walk away in an oblique direction....Do Not Run. Normally you will have a problem with a bear only if you surprise them or come between a mother and a cub.

As for defense.....No handgun is really adequate. If you are going to spend time where you need protection take a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 Buck and slugs, alternating.

I have personally spent time examining the cranium of a grizzly. From the front it is very narrow only about 4 inches wide, and very long from front to back about 10 inches. The front of the cranium is thick bone and slopes to the rear. In a front on head shot, most bullets will miss the cranium or bounce off. 00 Buck will crush the skull and slugs will penetrate the skull or the center of mass.

This is a defensive weapon only as the effective range is under 40 yards.

There is one last thing you might want to carry...Colonel Jeff Cooper gave the following opinion on the last ditch effort if the bear was on you before you got the chance to defend yourself with the shotgun.......

"A "bear defense" course was recently run at Gunsite and turned up a couple of interesting points. One is that sheer power will not do for a bear. If you are in real danger from a bear, he will be on top of you, and what you need is penetration. Once a bear has got you down, or a lion for that matter, you have to brain him, and you must do that at contact distance. A 357 snubby, using a very hard, sharp-pointed bullet, would seem to be the answer. I have a friend who went this route while attempting to photograph a lion. He used a Super 38 auto, and while he survived, he will never again have full use of his left hand."

http://www.molonlabe.net/Commentaries/jeff10_6.html

If I knew I was going to have a bear encounter....I would not go.

If I have to go and there is a great possibility...I would carry a 12 gauge loaded with 00 Buck and slugs, with as a BUG a .357 Snubby.

Tarzan
 

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Wouldn't the necessary preparations, as far as a firearm is concerned, depend on the size of the bears in your area? I would think you'd have to prepare differently for a 800 lb grizzly vs the little 350 lb black bears here in Utah. Any thoughts?
 

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Retire Early said:
Wouldn't the necessary preparations, as far as a firearm is concerned, depend on the size of the bears in your area? I would think you'd have to prepare differently for a 800 lb grizzly vs the little 350 lb black bears here in Utah. Any thoughts?
I would think that it would be hard to be over prepared for any bear, even a 300 pound black bear in Utah.

Just don't try a full frontal shot with anything but a 12 gauge with slugs or 00 Buck, as even a HP rifle will bounce off of the skull of a bear. the cranium is so narrow, thick and slopped that it would take the massive power of the shotgun or a side shot to stop them.

See Picture below of the skulls of a Brown, Polar and Grizzly bears.

Tarzan
 

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