Headed into "Bear Country". What should I carry with me? - Page 4

Headed into "Bear Country". What should I carry with me?

This is a discussion on Headed into "Bear Country". What should I carry with me? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Bear-grade pepper spray. The CO DNR lady I talked with at an educational bear seminar a few years said that in her and her crew's ...

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Thread: Headed into "Bear Country". What should I carry with me?

  1. #46
    Senior Member Array marcclarke's Avatar
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    Bear-grade pepper spray. The CO DNR lady I talked with at an educational bear seminar a few years said that in her and her crew's experience pepper spray (specifically Counter Assault brand) is more effective on bears than rifles. She was in charge of the crew that had the unhappy duty of putting down (killing) "problem bears", so she and her crew had a lot of experience. As I don't want to get anyone in trouble, she did not recommend Counter Assault Bear spray. Instead, I asked her what she and her crew and her family carry while hiking in Colorado bear country. She promptly replied, "Counter Assault".

    As to 2-legged varmints (please note the euphemism here) I suggest carry your everyday CCW handgun loaded for 2-legged varmints.

    I also suggest Michael Bane's book "Trail Safe".
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  2. #47
    Distinguished Member Array GunGeezer's Avatar
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    Seriously, this exact scenario came up 30 yrs. ago when I was taking my family out to west Yellowstone. I ended up buying a stainless Ruger Redhawk in .44 mag. with a 5-1/2" barrel which I carried in a back pack. I shot half a box of ammo to get the feel of the gun and to see if I could hit anything with it. We had a great trip, never saw a bear but did remove the gun from the backpack once when we were hiking in a pretty out of the way place and came upon some foot prints that looked like mountain lion or some other big cat. I still have the gun and the other half of the ammo in my gun safe. I take it out once a year to clean and oil it.
    My friend drove his motorhome to Alaska and did some salmon fishing in some remote areas with a fellow he met camping along the road. They did encounter some grizzlies which the other fellow successfully scared off by firing the 12 ga. in the air that he carried slung across his back. I'd recommend the Mossberg Mariner. It's a stainless 12 ga. tactical w/18" barrel. It comes in a nifty water-resistant container. It also makes a great boat gun.

  3. #48
    Senior Member Array BkCo1's Avatar
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    Bear attacks in CO are few and far between. I usually carry a S&W Mountian Gun in .44 mag. For me it is easy to carry and darn near indestructable. It will cover most situations. Other gun carried at times is a Ruger in .45 Colt. If you are hiking go light. You are not used to the altitude. Drink PLENTY OF WATER. Watch the alcohol. You could even get by with a .357. Don't go less than a four inch barrel. If you carry a long gun,DON'T HAVE A ROUND IN THE CHAMBER. The magazine can be loaded. Have fun and enjoy the wildlife. Also most of the counties have a fire ban. No open fires. We do not need any more wildfires.
    Semper Fi
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  4. #49
    VIP Member Array multistage's Avatar
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    Speaking from 10 years spent guiding in western Montana, shotgun is it. Period. Pack some monster wheelgun if you wish, but all it will do is make you feel better. I defy just about anybody whose last name is something other than Miculek to hit an inbound bear at speed. If you plan to stop one with a handgun, you will need all the luck your family's name can muster. And since you got charged in the first place, friend, you are not having a lucky day.

  5. #50
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Agreed! If the consensus of most personal defense schools (against 2 legged varmints) is that a handgun's primary use is to fight your way to a long gun, then why even bother with a handgun if your potential 4 legged attacker weights 5-10 times more & runs as fast as a Quarter Horse? Where's my 870?
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

  6. #51
    Member Array indykid's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. My three choices were a Glock 20SF, Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan .454, and a Taurus Raging Bull .454. Seems like I have some reading to do and some bear spray to buy first and foremost. I've got a Mossberg 500 Persuader with some Breneke slugs in the sidesaddle under my bed this very second. Maybe I can save myself a few hundred bucks and bring that along instead. As for Grizzlies, I've heard they are really rare in central CO but if there was ever a time to run into them it's now because the forest fires have pushed a lot of bears down the mountains. And mountain lions scare the piss out of me. Those guys actually hunt you if they haven't eaten recently. I'll count on my prayers and common sense to save me from them. I can't imagine I'd have much time to react if one decided to make me breakfast, lunch or dinner. Please keep the suggestions coming!


    God Bless

  7. #52
    Member Array msc8127's Avatar
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    44 mag with 300 + grain hardcast bullet and a full dose of h110....mag primer of course. I carry an old taurus 44 mag (early raging bull, before all the "bling") in a chest type holster that my cousin made for me. That's the same load a friend of mine that lives in the backwoods of Alaska carries around with him in his super redhawk. If it's good for Alaskan grizzlies and black bears, it should handle anything the mainland can put in your way.

  8. #53
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    Last time I checked the OP was asking a serious question and looking for answers.

    The "Yuk Yuks" are great but, try to offer up some serious advice with regard to a workable firearm/holster combination.
    Preferably a combination that you have tried and tested in bear country.
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  9. #54
    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indykid View Post
    Thanks everyone. My three choices were a Glock 20SF, Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan .454, and a Taurus Raging Bull .454. Seems like I have some reading to do and some bear spray to buy first and foremost. I've got a Mossberg 500 Persuader with some Breneke slugs in the sidesaddle under my bed this very second. Maybe I can save myself a few hundred bucks and bring that along instead. As for Grizzlies, I've heard they are really rare in central CO but if there was ever a time to run into them it's now because the forest fires have pushed a lot of bears down the mountains. And mountain lions scare the piss out of me. Those guys actually hunt you if they haven't eaten recently. I'll count on my prayers and common sense to save me from them. I can't imagine I'd have much time to react if one decided to make me breakfast, lunch or dinner. Please keep the suggestions coming!


    God Bless
    Given those choices, I would no doubt go with the Ruger. Depending on your hiking and backpacking distances I would much rather have a large cal. handgun than packing around a rifle unless I was hunting.
    Vietnam Vets, WELCOME HOME

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  10. #55
    Senior Member Array marcclarke's Avatar
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    No worries about grizzly bears in Colorado.

    Grizzly Bear*

    "The grizzly bear is classified as an endangered species in Colorado, but it probably is gone from the state."

  11. #56
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    I always enjoy reading the bear threads. If I'm not mistaken, I stumbled along this forum from my reading of various bear threads in different forums. I think if you really want to take down a big bear then you should have a large caliber rifle on you at all times. The down side is that rifles aren't always convenient to get to if you are surprised and have to react in an instant. In this case, it will no doubt be helpful to have a hand gun on your person as well. If I had to use a hand gun, I would want something like a 10mm, .44Mag or even a .454 Casull (assuming I could handle it since I've never shot one).

    I do believe shot placement is key even though we've been joking about it. If I had to shoot the bear with a hand gun, I would try to shoot him in the face; most notably, the eyes or the nose. Even a big strong powerful bear has vulnerable areas and this is what I would try to exploit. I believe even a measly .22LR has the potential to incapacitate a bear long enough for you to escape if you were to empty a magazine into his eyes. I'm sure getting correct shot placement into the eyes and nose of a charging bear would be difficult but this would be a last ditch effort to begin with since ultimately you would want to avoid the encounter all together and if you had to shoot him in an ideal situation, you'd be using your rifle. If you were to miss the aforementioned vulnerable areas, you could possibly try to shoot his mouth. I doubt he's going to eat you with a broken/mis-located jaw but that wouldn't prevent him from mauling you to death.

    Sorry if the post is too graphic. Its not my intent to be foul but to be helpful. I'm by no means an expert in this area so please take it with a grain of salt. If others have better suggestions then I will not be offended.

    The best of hope goes out to you - have a fun and safe trip. ;-)

  12. #57
    Senior Member Array Caertaker's Avatar
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    I am not an expert of bears, or firearms either for that matter, but I can claim a wild bear encounter on my resume. Back in the days before most of us were allowed to carry SD firearms into State/Federal Parks three bears raided my camp one night and stole my food. I followed proper protocol: didnít cook in camp, hung my food on a rope between two trees but the bears refused to follow suit.

    I donít like bears but I do respect them, especially when on their turf. Bears are smart, amazingly quiet and I wouldnít assume that they donít hunt. If you have something they want they can be quite tenacious. I frequently see mentioned that it takes two seconds for a man to travel 21 feet. I wonder how long it would take a creature that can run 25 miles per hour. I imagine that momentum would carry a several hundred pound bear into you in that time, if they were even that far away.

    I didnít appreciate walking out of the bush on an empty stomach. I imagine Iíd be even more upset if I had been bleeding. The odds are you wonít need a firearm, or a first aid kit and you may even regret lugging them along at the end of your trip but if you need them...

    Predatory North American black bears eat humans, study finds | Alaska Dispatch

  13. #58
    Ex Member Array oldrwizr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    Use a .22 cal. From what I have read before it is not the caliber but shot placement.......
    We'll put "Missed by an Inch" on your tombstone.

  14. #59
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    I'd reread the post from multistage. I've known of an Alaskan guide and he was a short shotgun advocate with punkin balls. Read a little book called Bear Aware and you won't even go into bear country. Kitchen well away from sleeping quarters, leave you cooking clothes by the stove. Research bear box construction for food containment if camping. If you go wheel gun....I wouldn't bet on the Taurus. That's a big bet. 3 1/2 12 gauge has pretty well eclipsed the 10. But I guess you'd better determine what a Game Warden would say...a long gun might imply hunting? Just a thought.
    Savage Heartland

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  15. #60
    VIP Member Array Spirit51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Pepper spray and little bells on your shoes
    What's those? Seasoning and a dinner bell?
    Rock and Glock likes this.
    A woman must not depend on protection by men. A woman must learn to protect herself.
    Susan B. Anthony
    A armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one has to back it up with his life.
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