During my recent vacation to Glacier National Park I heard the same thing over and over again: you only have to worry about mother bears protecting their cubs. Only? That’s like saying you only have to worry about armed criminals who want to rob you. Who cares why the damn bear wants me dead? It’s PC BS: the bear doesn’t want to attack you. It feels it has to. It’s not the bear’s fault. It’s yours for entering its territory. Again, this is important because . . . ? You bet I was strapped-up when hiking to Avalanche Lake and elsewhere with my cubs. And now that bear attacks have caught the MSM’s eye, we learn that yes, bears want to eat you . . .

“The common belief that surprising a mother bear with cubs is the most dangerous kind of black bear encounter is inaccurate,” according to a University of Calgary study in The Journal of Wildlife Management. “Instead, lone male black bears hunting people as a potential source of food are a greater cause of deadly maulings and related predatory attempts.”

University of Calgary professor emeritus Dr. Stephen Herrero, U of C graduate Andrew Higgins, and colleagues from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and Brigham Young University conclude that situational awareness is all. Until it isn’t. “With training, people can learn to recognize the behaviour of a bear that is considering them as prey and deter an attack by taking aggressive action such as fighting back.”

So how do you fight a bear that considers you protein? In Glacier National Park the majority of tourists put bear bells (a.k.a., dinner bells) on small children and  . . . that’s it. If that. OK, some folks carry bear spray. As for what gun to carry, I felt majorly under-gunned with 31 rounds of nine. (I need to change residence to buy a new gun or take possession of my RI firearms). Blogger Herschel Smith reckons it’s all about high-cap mags.

But this is one case where caliber counts. As a fellow hiker open carrying a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum 629 explained, you don’t want to annoy the thing. She might have said something about using the Caracal to shoot a nearby tourist whilst running but I don’t rightly recall. Still, you have been warned.

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96 Responses to The Right to Bear Arms Against Bears

  1. I absolutely love that T-Shirt that says, “I support the right to arm bears”

    Also, I feel like anthropomorphized bears are the closest animal to Americans. Big, fat, lazy, but still so good at hunting and foraging that they’re basically eating all the time.

    I like bears.

  2. Old and infirm Bears, of either the male or female persuasion, can be problematic indeed. I’m not sure a .45 ACP is enough firepower or not, but that’s what I carry camping, lacking a .44 Magnum.

    • Remember that guy probably a decade back that spent like 5 years perfecting a bear proof suit of body armor?

      How cool would it be to combine that with the Raytheon Sarcos suit so you could go play with some bears?

      I like bears.

      I would probably go hardcore with the S&W 500 or Deagle because awesome.

    • I just got a .460 Rowland conversion kit for my 1911. It’s basically a .44 magnum equivalent that can push a 230 bullet up to 1350 ft/ sec and have 930 ft/lb of energy at the muzzle. You can also shoot the .45 ACP and the .45 Super cartridge without changing out the barrel.
      They also have conversions for other .45 ACP caliber guns like Glocks, Sig Sauers and S&W.

      I shot the gun over the week end and it worked great! With the compensator it had a sharp but not uncomfortable push, without a lot of muzzle flip.

      I figure it would be a great back country carry gun as well as close as one can get to a one shot stop as a self-defense gun,

  3. With my move back to the Pacific Northwest and a desire to go Huckleberry picking during the summers like I did when I was younger (plus bringing a wife and, as of today, 15-mo-old baby along), I took it as an opportunity (and an excuse) to pick up a Glock 20SF as a bear gun. 6.6″ Lone Wolf barrel and 16 rounds of Underwood Ammo’s 220 hard cast flat nose 10mm doing 1,300 FPS would do the trick if it came to that sort of a thing. Black bears really aren’t much of a concern 99.9% of the time even if you encounter them and even if they growl at you. But… we do have Grizzlies here as well. AND… the only folks who like huckleberries more than residents of the PNW are the resident bears. Hard to do much picking w/out encountering a few.

    I don’t disagree w/ the .44 Mag or .454 Casull choice, but 5 or maybe 6 rounds from a revolver is not the same as 16 rounds from a Glock, and the 10mm can get the job done in this case. You aren’t losing much diameter and a 220 hard cast can go nose to butt through a chubby black bear. It’s also typically lighter weight, easier to carry/conceal (if you care about concealing), and easier to shoot quickly and accurately.

    Or you can go 9mm or something like that. Just make sure to save a bullet for yourself. Or, as suggested, go for the route of not being faster than the bear, but being faster than your best buddy who you apparently just shot in the leg hahaha 🙁

    BTW this is the best bear warning sign ever! http://www.vtgrandpa.com/newsclips/bear_080805.jpg

    • On a side note, those mini fire extinguisher sized pepper spray cans apparently *do* work fairly well in many cases. Bears are not fans of that stuff. Depends how motivated they are, of course.

    • That’s awesome! As I was reading it, I thought it was a legitimate sign and the joke was the idea of using a bell instead of a 500 S&W Magnum…then I got to the last line…now I have to clean the water off of my keyboard and monitor.

    • Unfortunately it’s actually illegal to carry “Pepper Spray” in Canada, so paragraph 3 constitutes illegal advice. Bear spray is perfectly okay, but pepper spray is evil and will lead to baby killing. In the meantime, I’ll just carry a 12.5″ bbl 870 with bear bangers followed by slugs. Which BTW, is perfectly legal… Laws are confusing like that…

      • Wait… Pepper spray is ILlegal, but bear spray, which makes pepper spray look like bell pepper oil, is.

        THE HELL?!

        • Yep, welcome to the world of trying to understand Canadian laws.

          It’s illegal because it’s designed to be used as a weapon and/or marketed for use on people. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms contains the right to “security of the person”, yet our government deems fit to deny us access to the tools necessary to secure that right. This is what happens when the socialists get control. The most frustrating bit is that the conservatives don’t have the 金玉 to tell them where to stuff their policies.

    • The extra rounds are nice, but semi-automatics have one fatal problem in close-in combat. If you light off a contact shot with a semi, there is a good chance that it will fail to cycle and your gun is now a paperweight until you do the tap and rack thing. Bears are fast. Damn fast. If one charges you, chances are pretty slim you are going to get more than two or three shots off before he is on top of you. At that point, I’ll take my six round .44 revolver because even if your gun does not have a FTF, you likely won’t live long enough to empty the 16 round magazine into Yogi.

      • No real argument w/ that. Well… only that it’s not usually a cycling problem. If you push the muzzle into something soft and the slide is pushed back enough for the gun to come out of battery, it will not fire. Pulling the gun off the object would almost certainly fix that issue. So probably not a tap rack. Even if you have the muzzle pushed against something (but not enough to take it out of battery) and the gun fires, it’s going to eject the empty. You’d most likely have to block the back of the slide or press on the sides in order to cause a failure that required clearing a jam.

        Either way, bears can take a very long time to expire, even with many lethal shots from powerful calibers. I saw a 600+ lb black bear travel about 100 yards full of dozens of rifle rounds (most starting with a .3xx) way up North in Alaska. If you expect to survive a dedicated, attacking bear with the help of any sort of handgun, it’s going to have to happen with a good shot that physically incapacitates the bear right away. Would be pretty easy to fatally wound it multiple times and still be mauled for 5 minutes before Yogi goes towards the light.

        I’d carry a bear spray fogger but that wouldn’t have given me an excuse to buy a new gun 😉

        Also worth mentioning, when we used to do a lot of camping in CA, it was an actual concern to stumble across marijuana growing endeavors of various cartel-like sorts, complete with armed baddies. The bears were a lot less of a concern to me there vs. here, but that actually meant the round count and spare mag(s) were even more appealing to me.

  4. I bought a s&w 500 for bear hunting, and as a back-up for when I finally get to realize my dream hunt in Alaska

    • I’ve heard it’s a very tough, gamey meat. Some Alaskans hunt bear for subsistence purposes – mainly because grocery food is expensive there, because it has to be shipped via ship/plane.

      • I’ve had bear before, I wouldn’t call it tough, and it tasted good. I guess if you got an old male it might be tough.

      • I have eaten bear (black bear harvested in northern Wisconsin) a number of times. As with any animal, much depends on the age of the bear, the care that was taken during field dressing and butchering, and the way it was cooked.

        The bear that I had was prepared as a roast, and I would rate it right up there with good roast beef. I recall about 3-4 experiences of eating bear.

    • And you need to cook it for a good long time – kind of like brisket, but for a different reason. Black Bears are omnivores and they are generally full of various nasty parasites and worms that you want to make sure are good and dead before you put it in your mouth.

      • Bears can carry the parasite that causes trichinosis, so to be on the safe side, most people recommend to heat the meat to an internal temp of 160F. The USDA says that 145 is enough to kill trichinella instantly, but you want to make sure that your thermometer is properly calibrated, that there isn’t a bone throwing off your measurements, etc.

        • Yes, I recently read Steve Rinella’s “Meat Eater” about his hunting and game cooking experiences. He flatly states that almost ALL U.S. cases of trichinosis in humans are from bear meat. You have to assume it is infected and cook it well.

    • in Alaska, if you kill a bear DLP [in defense of life or property] you are required to skin and dress out the bear and turn it oer to the state. this is logical, since otherwise people would be tempted to kill bears frivolously for the hides.
      When I lived in AK, I always carried an HK-91, 20 rounds of 7,62 NATO,

    • in Alaska, if you kill a bear DLP [in defense of life or property] you are required to skin and dress out the bear and turn it over to the state. this is logical, since otherwise people would be tempted to kill bears frivolously for the hides.
      When I lived in AK, I always carried an HK-91, 20 rounds of 7,62 NATO,

  5. How many times do people have to point it out? Force-on-force training!

    On the other hand, there are many handguns/cartridges available that are more appropriate for field defense than a 9mm. 10mm comes to mind, with hard cast lead or Noslers.

    This Caracal thing, is it some stylistic holdover from Ferrari days? The grip? Speed sights? You’d drive an SUV in the back country, no?

  6. I like bears. I’ve seen black bears while hiking and the only interest they had in me was getting as far away from me as they could, like immediately. Because we’re the apex predator, most days we eat the bear. But some days the bear eats you.

  7. I have heard that if a grizzly attacks you and you’re unarmed to play dead. Most time a grizz is attacking because you’ve violated their space and once they percieve you to be a non threat they’ll move off.

    But with a black bear the advice is to fight back. Apparently the black bear is going to finish you and eat you if they get you down.

    Jeff Cooper once wrote that for a situation where you might wind up on the ground under a large predator he thought a short barreled .357 mag revolver would be the best gun. Put the muzzle in the animals body and start firing.

      • I’m of the opinion that if a grizzly attacks me, and my .45-70 and Buffalo Bore +P ammo are securely in my safe, than I’m damn well buggered at that point.

        As for black bear, I believe that my Glock 35 or 23 with Buffalo Bore 200 grain hardcast loads at 1000 FPS wouldn’t be bad. My shoulder rig .460 or 6.8 SPC AR would be dandy as well.

        • Whatever type of bear, grizly, black, teddy attacks me for a meal will have to drag my dead fat a@s to the nearest water source to wash me off before they eat me. i intend to be covered in sh!t if it comes to that.

      • That was of course the gist of the article. I’ve been reading for decades that “playing dead” is the worst thing you can do if the bear is attacking you with the intention of killing and eating you.

        The article is stating that this may be the motive behind the MAJORITY of bear attacks and not because you’ve spooked a mom with cubs.

  8. I thought you moved to Texas, RF? What’s this changing residence thing? Doesn’t it rain belt feds and bazookas in Texas?

  9. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, recently issued this bulletin:

    In light of the rising of human/grizzly bear conflicts, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters, and fishermen to take extra precautions and keep alert of bears while in the field.
    “We advise outdoorsmen to wear noisy little bells on their clothing so as not to startle bears that aren’t expecting them. We also advise outdoorsmen to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter with a bear.
    It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat:

    Black bear scat is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear scat has little bells in it and smells like pepper.”

    • Legally, the bear may well have the same duty to retreat as you. However, the bear can’t speak English, and I haven’t been able to find a translation of Miranda that the courts will accept. The case would probably be thrown out due to the difficulty of providing the bear an attorney.

      On a serious note, I don’t want to buy a gun just for bears. Hardcast 180gr .357 sound like it’s enough? Loaded pretty stout, but no chronograph.

      • When I was in Montana I got sage advice from the locals regarding bears: If you can, carry a .44 Mag (no .454 or .50’s back then), and if you can’t do that a .357 with 180 grain jacketed soft points. Whatever you carry be sure to load it with hard cast lead or jacketed soft points because a hollow point will likely not penetrate their thick coat and skin and the only thing worse than a bear that wants to eat you is a pissed off bear that wants to hurt you and then eat you. A 10mm with hard cast lead MIGHT do the trick, I do not know enough about those ballistics, but I would surely not carry .38 or a 9mm with any quantity of ammo and expect a positive outcome.

        Luckily I never encountered a bear in the back country, but a friend did and dropped a charging black bear (male), wounded in the forepaw by another hunter, with a single shot from his .44 mag. Maybe luck, he was scared silly and firing on instinct, but it definately got the job done.

  10. I cannot believe I’m the first one to point this out…

    As a fellow hiker open carrying a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum 629 explained, you don’t want to annoy the thing. She might have said something

    A “she” open carrying a .44 Mag.

    (FWIW… I have no problem with bears, as long as they stay outside my house and don’t eff with my dog. Had a little black bear digging in my garbage for 3 nights straight a few weeks ago.)

      • I didn’t mean to suggest that I had any problem with it. I just thought it was surprising. I’m 6’2″ and weigh 200 pounds, and I don’t find a .44 Mag at all comfortable.

    • When my cousin was 16 she was a goodshot with a .44 mag. When she went off to college she took a model 19 .357 mag as her gun of choice. She’ll never see 50 again and that model 19 is still her go to gun.

    • The “studies” that claim that bear spray is more reliable are designed to do so. They are not honest. They only compare cases where bears actually mauled people with guns against *any* so-called use of the bear spray.

      They biased the results just in their selection of data.

  11. A black bear will drop from a properly loaded 357 or 10mm, maybe a 40 if you’re quick and lucky.

    If its a grizzly and you’re packing anything less than a 454 (or a 44 mag and a good eye) you might as well just curl up into a ball and crap yourself and hope the bear loses its appetite.

    • Once again advice from Montana – if you are under attack and under gunned and you can keep your wits long enough a bear will almost always ROAR at the moment of attack. A well-placed shot of almost any caliber will tend to reach the brain if you get the bear right though that open mouth. Oh, and Good Luck.

  12. Well, looks like the “caliber wars” are starting again. I’m waiting for the person to chime in that the extra rounds in a 9mm beat the power of the .44, .45, or 10mm.

    Anyone?

    Seriously though, I imagine that it could be argued that carrying an insufficient caliber might actually be worse than nothing. You are unlikely to penetrate the layers of fat that the average bear has with a 9mm, so unless you manage a precision shot in a vital area on a fast moving target that wants to rip your face off, shooting it might just piss it off.

    That is the sole reason I got my .44 Mag revolver. A rifle is certainly better, but when i go on a day hike with the kiddies, a pistol on my belt is a whole lot less hassle than lugging a rifle. Plus, I am much less likely to be hassled by game wardens and other officialdom with a pistol than I would be with a hunting rifle out of season.

    On a related topic, what are thoughts on a 12 gauge with slugs? Gotta believe that those would do a mean job on Boo Boo and those pistol grip, non-stock models would be easier to carry than a full size one.

    • Jim Barrett, years ago I watched a program on Nat Geo channel about a research station in the Canadian wilderness. Large bears were so prevelent in the area that the buildings the researchers where housed in had stout fencing around them. All the people working there had to be checked out on the bear defense guns and anyone leaving the compound to do field work was required to carry a gun.

      The guns were pump action 12 ga. shotguns. I don’t know what loads they used. But for bear I’d take slugs.

    • 12 gauge slugs are the way to go especially for black bear. It will put them down. And for those who are carrying a pistol you better be using ball because jhp won’t penetrate to the vitals.

    • I was about to post something to that effect, about the 12 gauge slugs.
      If slugs can bore through engine blocks, wouldn’t they be good enough
      to kill a hostile bear, provided of course, that you are the proper distance
      for such a shot(s). Wouldn’t that put it at around the 30 yard mark, max?
      Also, I’ve heard it told that warning shots are a bad idea. It may only further
      anger the bear, and now you have a few wess buwwets. (E. Fudd lingo)
      This next part, I will try to be as delicate as I can. I’ve heard that bears,
      and other apex predators, can smell the undetectable pheromones of a
      women who is menstruating, and that can draw the unwanted attention
      of amorous male bears, or female bears overly protective of their cubs.
      Either way, you’re going to attract a bear, both of which will be amped-up
      and ready to rumble. And there’s you, unarmed, in your pink skin suit.
      Either or, an ursine ass-kicking is headed your way. So be prepared.

      The bells and pepper spray bit was taken from an old Park Ranger joke.

    • Ok Jim, I went and got my calculator out. Buffalo Bore makes a 9mm round they call the “penetrator” (+p+) rated at 465 lb/ft. which is supposed to be strong enough to penetrate a large bear’s skull. A .44mag has about 46% more frontal area than a 9mm, so the pressure created per square inch would be comparable to a .44 with a 2 inch barrel. In fairness Buffalo Bore also makes a +p+ .44mag load they claim to get 1649 lb/ft out of a 7.5″ Ruger Redhawk. That’s far more than 46% more than the 9mm load, but then you might as well carry a long gun if the alternative is a 5 pound revolver. Even so, 6 rounds of this load totals up to 9894 lb/ft whereas 18 rounds of the 9mm “penetrator” ammo adds up to 8370. The .44 still wins out, but if you consider how shaky your aim might be when being charged by a grizzly bear the extra rounds might come in handy. Shooting his ears off won’t count for much.

      If I were to purchase an anti-bear weapon I’d probably go with a 20″ .44mag lever action rifle with a 10 round magazine. Most are lighter than a 45/70 or 12 gauge and if the revolver will do the job the long gun will only better. But then if I knew I was going to be at risk I might just strap on my Beretta 92 loaded with “penetrators” just for backup.

      • A bear’s brain case is quite small. If that’s what you have to hit then good luck on moving target. None of the standard automatic calibers are really adequate for the job against even a black bear.

        • Black bears rarely have the will to fight that a grizzly has. As far as head shots, what makes a bullet penetrate skull will also make it penetrate flesh. I’d consider such a round in 9mm on bear kind of like taking on a human foe with a .22 handgun – not the best but a whole lot better than nothing.

        • Some us choose other options. Me, I choose to go with my 12 gauge backed up by my 1911. Hopefully I am a good enough shot to land the slug before I need to go to a handgun.

  13. TO: All
    RE: Heh

    We’ve got bears on our mountain property. Saw one in the meadow outside the cabin just last trip.

    Had an encounter with a youngun the year before. Came around the corner of the cabin to see this one knawing on the rubber tire of an overturned wheel-barrel. When it saw me, it started coming towards me.

    I got back into the cabin and grabbed the Tarus .45 cal Judge, loaded with alternate .45 long HP and 410 birdshot. [NOTE: The thought is to hit in the head or blind it.]

    As the cellar door was opened, I went back outside to keep it from going in there. [NOTE: It would be a heck of a thing to get animal control to come up to our place to get the fool thing out.]

    The bear was only 10 feet away from the cellar door when I confronted it.

    One shot into the ground as a warning, sent it scurring away towards the outhouse. There it paused, considered and started coming back. A second round fired into the ground half way between me and it sent it out of sight.

    I was sitting on the picnic table drinking a scotch and smoking a cigar, contemplating the encounter when I heard voices coming up the trail to our cabin. The neighoring clan—there place is a mile or two down the trail from ours—had two of the women folk, a passle of kids and a dog out for a stroll.

    I warned them about the bear and they replied, “Oh. THAT’S what the dog got all excited about back there.” And, “Not to worry. We’ve got bear spray.”

    With the wind that was blowing, they’d have to cram the can of spray down the bear’s gullet to be effective.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Be Prepared…..]

    P.S. We’ve seen signs of mountain lion on the property too…..

    Whenever we’re strolling about, we’re always packing…..

  14. I lived in the rural rockies where we had bear and cougar as a kid. They’re a managable risk, and I felt a hell of a lot safer up there than my occasional forays into the crappier parts of Denver. I can’t stomach folks that want to exterminate them, but I’ll be damned if I let one become a nuisance and a threat either.

  15. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I use a TT-33 for just about everyhing — even when hiking or camping in bear country.

    90 grain, drilled out and stuffed (gently) with lead azide.

    Not quite legal, of course, but very, very effective.

      • A masterpiece of soviet engineering. A single action semi automatic pistol with an external hammer and no safety. As in none, zilch, nada. Not even an internal safety. Some nonsense about a half cock notch, but that’s it. The only safe way to carry this gun is with the hammer down on an empty chamber. Tokarev TT-33.

        I had one back in the iron curtain days and it was next to impossible to find ammo for then. Traded it for a colt .38. .38s were 3.50 a box then.

  16. Remember all the antis who said firearms have no place in our national parks? This is exactly why they’re needed. Also, sometimes 2-legged predators lurk in the bushes.

  17. Two weeks ago I took a trek two hours north and east to Pine AZ which in the last couple years has had two or three black bear attacks. It was a family reunion and I took three Wrangler-loads (i.e. three trips) of family out to enjoy the trails and a bit of hiking. My G-20 was loaded with Underwood 180gr. XTP’s just in case! It’s been dry here and nothing brings the bears closer than that.

  18. 1. Bear spray, real bear spray, is preferable to firearms in many instances. Real bear spray is awesome powerful stuff. Don’t play with it. When a bear is charging you, the real stuff can stop a bear that’s on the charge.

    2. All handgun calibers against grizzlies aren’t something on which you want to bet your life. To quote Alaskan guides I’ve met: “Carrying a .44 Mag? File off the front sight so it doesn’t hurt so bad when that bear shoves it up your ass.”

    If you want to go up against a griz with some confidence, then learn to carry a 12ga loaded with Brennke slugs, or pack around a minimum of a .338 WinMag, 9.3×62 or a .35 Whelen. You need big, heavy bullets, 225 grains or heavier.

    3. Learn bear behavior and habits. They’re an apex predator, and you’re on the menu if you screw up.

    • Agreed on no handgun calibers for Grizzlies. Fortunately in much of the US, Black Bears are the problem, not Grizzlies. A .44 will do just fine against one of those.

      • Extremely important point.

        I strongly recommend that everyone carry both. If the pepper spray doesn’t work or cannot work because it is windy, then a .357 Magnum or even better 10mm, .41 Magnum, or .44 Magnum with hardcast lead bullets are the way to go. For people who are not familiar with hardcast lead bullets, they do not deform on impact with anything in an animal. That means they penetrate on the order of three feet of animal. Furthermore, the hardcast lead bullets make a huge diameter hole — much larger than the bullet. For example a hot hardcast lead load in .357 Magnum from a 6 inch barrel revolver will make about a 1 inch diameter hole through the entire animal. Very few animals continue to function after a 1 inch diameter hole suddenly appears from stem to stern or shoulder to shoulder.

  19. Highly recommend this book
    http://www.amazon.com/Bear-Attacks-Causes-Avoidance-revised/dp/158574557X

    From what I recall, there more black bear attacks, largely a function of their numbers. They are often motivated by hunger rather than territoriality so fighting back is recommended. However, the number of fatalities is lower than that caused by brown bears. Black bear attacks are more common in national parks, particularly in areas where they have been habituated to humans, either due to garbage or handouts.

    Brown bears are more likely to attack when threatened or surprised, hence the bear bell. Experts advise standing your ground rather than running and playing dead vs fighting back. The one big exception is if you’re in your tent at night. If the bear comes for you at night, that’s predatory behavior and it’s do or die.

    And overall, dog attacks cause ten times as many fatalities as bear attacks, though that is likely a function of many more dogs living in close proximity to humans particularly children.

    Personally, I think the bear has far more right to his home range than we do. Between habitat destruction (secondary to development and global warming), poor garbage disposal and misbehavior (feeding bears) we are more at fault.

    That said, human life is paramount and problem bears should be relocated, habituated aggressive bears should be destroyed.

    • You had me up to the point where you said “global warning.” Warming stopped 15-17 years ago and we may be heading back to little ice age conditions.

      • TO: tdiinva
        RE: Global Warming Was Your Clue?

        I knew it smelled funny at the ‘link’.

        I don’t avoid bears. Bears avoid ME!

        Indeed. One of the stories from the Okies and Texicans that come up to hunt on our property is about how bears are attracted to funny sounds, e.g., ‘Dinner Bells’.

        So one of the two guys in this team is tramping through the woods, bugling.

        The other is at the junction of a draw waiting for his budddy to come out of the brush so they can go back to the cabin. [NOTE: This wasn’t a planned ambush for game.]

        The lower guy is on a finger of a ridge, overlooking the junction of draws where the bugling guy is expected to come out. His rifle is legally parked on his ATV. He has no sidearm.

        He’s been hearing the bugling guy come through the brush. Suddenly he hears another sound, something big is crashing through the brush, coming down another draw to the junction. He suspects it’s an elk coming to meet the challenging bugles.

        He’s very wrong. It’s a huge brown bear…that seems to think it’s going to have a good meal from the bugling elk.

        So the bear rushes past the guy standing on the finger of the ridge. And when it comes to the junction, it sniffs at a bush….where the guy on the finger had taken a leak.

        It suddenly ‘woofs’, turns around and starts running back the way it came….only to see the guy standing on the finger above it. It gives a surpised ‘woof’ again and scurries off up the opposite ridge.

        The guy on the finger is thanking God that it didn’t charge him…..as he was unarmed at the time.

        Regards,

        Chuck(le)
        [ALWAYS Be Prepared…..]

        P.S. The guy now packs a sidearm on his person while hunting.

  20. I was just in Glacier National park from July 22-26!
    Might have seen you on the trail a time or two. I really enjoyed those trails and we hiked some 55 miles total. Although we looked we didn’t see a single bear the entire time!
    I was packing my .357 Sig p226 only because it is the stiffest caliber I own. We also had two cans of REAL Bear spray. I don’t like the idea of bells because I was in the park to SEE wildlife not get it to run away.
    I would have loved to have a .44 Mag or even a heavy loaded .45 Colt. I think a M29 or M25 are in my near future!

  21. “With training, people can learn to recognize the behaviour of a bear that is considering them as prey and deter an attack by taking aggressive action such as fighting back.”

    I read an article in Outdoor Life many years ago that described the behavior of a black bear that has decided to eat you. If the bear is walking on all fours while he looks directly at you, and is spiraling in towards you or walking directly towards you, you will be his/her dinner unless you “take aggressive action”. I would suggest a very strong bear spray followed up by several large-caliber rounds.

    This behavior is very deliberate, and is not a “false charge”. The black bear acting like this sees you as food.

  22. Lot’s of good info in all these posts,I live in CT. where black bears have made a big comeback!! Being a small state that still has a lot of construction going on the bears are becoming a real problem,I live in a residential area next to a major city route and I had a black bear in my backyard a couple of months ago,unbelievable!!! There have been a number of unfortunate episodes where people in this state have encountered them in there garages,bird feeders,garbage etc and have shot them only to be arrested by the DEP!! I have always heard that you should fight to the death against a black bear if you cant scare it away because it will eat you!!!! I also read you have a better chance of surviving an attack by a brown(grizzly) bear if you play dead,I am not sure but I don’t want to find out!!!! When I go whitetail hunting I always pack my Ruger Black Hawk in .41 mag cuz it is the biggest caliber handgun I own,this is actually illegal in CT. because our laws say you can’t pack a sidearm while hunting to which I say BS!!!! My next step is to get some real bear spray or move to Montana which is what I have always wanted to do anyway!!!!! Thanks for all the good info!!

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