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; Originally Posted by Thunder71 Just carry someone slower than you. Made my day, Thanks for that!...
I had lots of experience with bears while living in Idaho. You are getting great suggestions on what to carry but I'd like to offer a suggestion on what not to carry: Oreo cookies! :-)
[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. ---Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
Do not carry rancid meat or stale donuts either. That's what DOW baits bear traps with here. Just like Ambrosia to a bear's nose.
All humor aside, come out and enjoy the state. It's wonderful, beautiful, and amazing! You'll have a great time, and if you read this thread and the attachments you'll be fine!
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Ah, the bear threads. Those are always fun. How about a nice plasma rifle in a 40 watt range?
I've spent a lot of time in the back woods of the Colorado Rockies (the mountains, not the baseball team). I used to carry a Super Redhawk .454 Casull. It was ridiculous overkill and the brown bears in Colorado can probably be counted on one hand, if you could find any. Generally you'll be told there are none, but I saw pictures of a brown bear on Guanella Pass years ago. He was solitary and probably dead by now.
Mostly what we have in Colorado is black bears that are very skittish. After you take your picture, waving your arms and yelling will send them packing in a hurry. We also have coyotes, wolves (particularly near Rocky Mountain National Park), and mountain lions.
For the last several years, I've carried a 4 inch S&W 629. I feed it Winchester Supreme Partition Gold for its modest expansion, good penetration and always remaining intact. The stainless steel resists rust from afternoon rain and it has plenty of oomph for anything up here. I'd also feel comfortable with a GP100 and a stout 158 grain load. Sometimes, when I'm just up there on a day trip, I just wear my 1911 with Buffalo Bore FMJ-FP in it.
I carry the 629 in a Bianchi 111 Cyclone because it can be worn strong side or cross draw. I used the same model holster for my SRH. I wore the SRH cross draw because of the long barrel. I wear the 629 strong side.
Dedicate a separate area of your campsite to food preparation twenty feet from your tent and don't pee right outside your tent door. No food in or near the tent. Put your garbage and food back in the car with the windows up or hang it high, away from your camp site for sleeping. You don't want your tent to be an attraction.
IF you are ever attacked by a black bear, fight it. They are carrion feeders and playing dead rings the dinner bell. You won't be attacked.
BTW the fires are a bit better now due to recent rains, but that effect wears off in a couple days of dry weather. Take a radio and watch for smoke. Fire is the bigger risk to your personal safety.
Living in Colorado in an area where I've had to stop for bears to cross the street in front of me, or pulled over and rolled down the window to let passengers take pictures of bears walking up the sidewalk, I typically carry a 9mm, and bear spray is on my wish list as it's far more effective at educating the bears to leave people alone. No, I don't expect it to kill a bear, but these guys are typically very skittish and are scared off easily. Of the local incidents where there was actual contact or a threat:
2 were cases where the bear wandered into homeless camps. One was scared away without harm, and one where the bear nibbled the guy's arm (I would guess he had food on him and likely smelled heavily of alcohol). In both cases, the people were asleep when approached and likely had not taken proper food precautions (i.e. hanging a bear bag or using a bear canister, either one a little ways away from camp).
1 case where a woman, walking her dogs, stumbled across two cubs. Mama wasn't happy about the dogs sniffing the cubs and charged the slowest target (as the dogs had run away). A neighbor heard the scream for help, stepped outside, and fired a shotgun in the air. Mama ran off and the cubs followed. No injuries to human, bear, or dogs.
It's always possible that you might be one of the 2 or 3 incidents involving contact every year, but just do a search for bear and lion attacks, and there are few enough that they're well recorded and tracked. You're MUCH more likely to have an issue with humans...and both 9mm and bear spray would probably have a decent effect on them as well :)
And what bear thread would be complete without a picture of a bear local to the area of interest?
Take the biggest handgun that you have.
“I have a very strict gun control policy: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it,”-Clint Eastwood
Better to have a 380 in your pocket than a 45 at HOME.
When seconds count, police are minutes away.
Stick to using your head first. Carry bear spray and use it if wind gusts are below 15. Fire disrupts their normal eating habits, and this can lead to more aggressive Blackies. I'm a proponent that if you insist on a handgun, get a spray and pray pistol. 9mm is best with HP's up front and hardcast as a followup. Multiple HP's in the face will take the fight out of any aggressive bear in the lower 48. Big calibers are a waste, and all you will end up doing is flinching and getting off one shot. If you miss, then you have a fight on your hands. If you just want to discourage an aggressive blackie that is following you just hit him with glaser's. They make a nice cratering effect on the arz and should send him on his way.
MP said it all. Follow his directions on the food and smoke and such and you will be fine.
Bears are scared more of you.
They only want the food.
Carry what you would for 2 leg creatures.
You will be fine.
There are no Griz in Colorado? Most of the Black bears I have run into here are pretty small and never aggressive. Lots of Lions though! Carry something you can shoot well. I carry my S&W 620 with Double Tap 200 grain hardcast. I feel I can handle anything with 2 or 4 legs here in Colorado with that. Shotgun would really be a good idea for camp. Like some of the others said, keep a clean camp!!!
You have a better chance of being hit by debris from the space shuttle, than seeing a grizzly in Colorado, LOL.
Sounds like you should be able to handle the Brownies from all the great suggestions. For me, IF I'm ever in Brown country, I think a Thompson and a few grenades would do nicely! Now, where do I find some grenades???
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Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition
How about a .22. Just shoot your buddy in the knee.
ruger alaskan .44 mag
Glock 23 Gen3-- Mepro Light Tru Glo night sights-Polished Internals-3.5 lb connector-6 lb trigger return spring Extended slide release lever-Stainless steel guide rod-Pierce grip plug
Glock 26 gen3--
Pierce +2 mag extension w/ finger groove