It Should Have Been a Defensive Gun Use: Mom’s at the Maul Edition

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“Susan Chalfant, 54, was injured in [a bear] attack, classified by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as the first of its kind by a Florida black bear,” clickorlando.com reports. “According to the FWC, the neighbor said Chalfant was walking two small dogs, which became agitated and began to bark. The bear then attacked the woman. ‘We believe she was bitten,’ said FWC spokeswoman Karen Parker, who added that they only have preliminary information about the incident. The dogs were not harmed, officials said.” So the SWAT team wasn’t called. Even if they had been, even if they somehow miraculously arrived in time to waylay the bruin, it’s hard to know if their .223-caliber AR’s would have offered sufficient stopping power. Which doesn’t change the basic takeaway: carry a gun. Because bears? Yup, that too. [h/t “Oneifbyland]

comments

  1. avatar Paul W says:

    Somehow, I wouldn’t trust my EDC to stop a bear, at least not soon enough to prevent me getting hurt. .45 is great but it ain’t magic.

    1. avatar BillC says:

      But I heard that .45 will not only kill you, it kills your soul too.

      1. avatar Paul W. says:

        Bears don’t have souls 😀

  2. avatar gs650g says:

    My 44 Super Redhawk might work but after 6 shots it’s over

  3. avatar dook says:

    I’d do better to throw my P238 at the bear. Maybe it being shiny might distract it long enough for me to scream for a more moments before it ‘et me. 😉

  4. avatar ThayneT says:

    “The dogs were not harmed”
    Thank God!

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Or maybe because SWAT wasn’t called?

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    What the difference between this Florida black bear attack and a SWAT raid?

    The bear didn’t kill the dogs.

    1. avatar peirsonb says:

      And apparently solid foods can be shot through the nose if one laughs hard enough….thanks Ralph.

  6. avatar Michael B. says:

    Florida black bears are some of the smallest bears in the nation. I’m no expert on killing bears but I don’t think you’d need a huge handgun to dissuade one from attacking.

  7. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    Black bear attack in the woods? Unlikely but best to be prepared. Black bear attack in the burbs? Would never have seen that one coming.

  8. avatar Gunracer1958 says:

    Where the hell is the Ghillie-suited FWC mall-ninja from the story yesterday when you need him? Just goes to show, that LEO AREN’T the first responders………

    1. avatar Adub says:

      I was just thinking that! They need to get out there and stalk that bear. One shot, one kill!

      1. avatar B says:

        They were probably on their way, just needed to put their camo makeup on first, their load bear-ing equipment, and their $100 Oakley Operator glasses.

  9. avatar Martin says:

    It is a good thing for the dogs the SWAT team was not involved.

  10. avatar Hannibal says:

    Bear spray works pretty well, probably better than most edc handguns, but we can’t always be prepared for anything. Sometimes shit just happens.

    Shouldda thrown a dog at the bear and ran.

  11. avatar Gregolas says:

    EDC b/c: Bears (remote), but yes. Coyotes, more likely, especially since many mate with feral dogs and have no fear of man. Wild pigs, yes. Momma w/ young seen just this past Sunday at noon on a major road in an AL town of 20,000 plus.
    Obnoxious dogs that cannot be deterred by pepper spray? Highly likely. Dangerous humans? Of course.
    Bottom line? Like Robert says, “Carry all the time”.

  12. avatar jwm says:

    Gators, pythons and bears. Florida is a dangerous place. Add in hurricanes and you’re lucky to live past puberty.

    Seriously, though. I’ve heard of large black bears, but have never seen one. All that I’ve encountered have been, at most, 250 pounds. I would use any gun I was carrying against an attacking bear. Beats a pointy stick.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      The one hanging on my wall was about a 300 pounder. Taken with two rounds out a of .44 mag blackhawk.
      The semi-jacketed soft point thru the heart was the money shot. The hollow point in the knee? Not so much. It changed my mind on what I carry in the woods.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        That knee shot was to slow him down enough for the money shot, you planned it that way, right?

        People I know to be reliable, now including you, have told me about bigger bears. I just haven’t seen one myself. The first time I saw one in the wilds I had a .22 rifle. The bear made no aggressive moves and left when he realised I was there. If he had of attacked, I would have shot him with the .22. It was all I had.

      2. avatar gs650g says:

        Nice to see my Redhawk might work

    2. avatar B says:

      Largest confirmed black bear ever killed was over 880 pounds, and one got killed in Pennsylvania recently weighing 772 pounds. Took 2 shots of 30-06 to kill it.

    3. avatar Paul W says:

      I saw a couple in the 300-400 lb range when I lived in CO. Not exactly behemoths but big enough to tear me up.

  13. avatar Alpo says:

    Wiki says male Florida black bear avg 300lb, a few can weigh as much as 500lb.
    That’s big bore wheel gun territory*. At the very least, hard cast 180gr .357 mag.

    *Or you could just shoo them away (b/c they’re black bear folks, not kodiak):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bkwy0scRXBU

  14. avatar Alpo says:

    Update: http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/longwood-woman-attacked-bear-seminole-fire-says/nb9FK/

    On Wednesday, Florida Fish and Wildlife officers said they captured a female yearling bear Tuesday night near where a bear attack on a woman happened on Monday. The trapped bear is between 75 to 100 pounds.

    Officers said they are monitoring the trap to see if any other bears are associated with the yearling. It has not been confirmed whether the bear is the one from Monday’s incident.

  15. avatar Jeff says:

    .223 will bring down a black bear just fine, maybe even in one shot. Black bear are small, don’t have a real large amount of fat or muscle compared to other species. In the past (and present, for some old timers) a 30-30 was a pretty popular black bear hunting cartridge. I’m sure many black bear have also met their end with a single .22LR to the head.

    Keep in mind that earlier in the year, a guy in Alaska took down a grizzly with several shots from a 5.45×39 AK-74 – which more or less is identical to the behavior of .223 FMJ.

    1. avatar Pat says:

      Indeed. A .223 has the energy of a 44 magnum. A black bear would be toast.

  16. avatar Alpo says:

    A perfect opportunity to post this great tale of ‘always carry’
    http://www.adn.com/2009/08/13/897940/twig-snap-alerts-dog-walker-to.html

  17. They really should put up a “Bear Free Zone” sign.

  18. avatar Steve says:

    This is why my EDC is a 45-70.

  19. avatar Rick says:

    I read that a Beretta Jetfire is the best bear gun. (Provided your brother in law is present ) Just shoot brother in law in the knee and walk away.

  20. avatar scoolbubba says:

    Started carrying my LC9 on my runs and dog walks after seeing a large (to me) black bear cross the road less than 30 yards away in my neighborhood. It looked at me, saw my dogs going nuts, and kept right on going like nothing was the matter. They’re fairly accustomed to humans in the panhandle, which is never a good thing when it comes to predatory wildlife.

    I know the 9 isn’t much against a bear, but it’s better than nothing and there’s plenty of other critters, both 2, 4 and 0 legged running around florida that occupy my mind when I’m out running around.

  21. avatar Ozzallos says:

    I also have my doubts as to wether a .223 would suffice.
    Now 30 rounds of 223 with reloads on hand, however…

    1. avatar Pat says:

      As said before, the .223 has the energy of a 44 magnum. The black bear is toast.

  22. avatar William Burke says:

    I’ve research black bear attacks, and this is the only such attack I know of. WITH TWO DOGS? Very odd, very atypical. Black bears are famous for not continuing attacks is the attackee plays dead.

    Brown bears? Another story altogether. This story is a real head-scratcher.

  23. avatar Cransden210 says:

    Perhaps the 30 year ban on black bear hunting in Florida is about to end. I’m no expert but have lived here over 25 years. The bears are multiplying because of ample food and zero predators. I like bears but this attack was in Orlando folks, not the wilderness of North Florida or the Everglades. In Oregon the cougars were nearly extinct 30 years ago. Now they’re everywhere! People are finding them under their cars in the morning. The solution was to allow hunting of the big cats again for the first time in fifty years and the problem seems to be balancing out.

  24. avatar GruntDoc says:

    I don’t think most people realize how many bears we have in central Florida. I live about 6 1/2 miles from where this took place and have bears in my yard everyday. The linked pic is one that was here a month or 2 ago that just happened to give a dramatic look at his dangerous bits.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/i1xef3od0y84tgr/bear.jpg

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