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Survival

bear spray or firearm

So you're elk hunting in the Yellowstone region and a grizzly comes charging out of the brush at you: bear spray or firearm?

A hunter using the two-hand ready carry for his rifle would have to let go of his rifle with one hand and try to use bear spray with his free hand. Is that a safe maneuver? Some one-handed rifle carries would require a right-handed hunter facing a charging grizzly to use his bear spray left-handed.

An October 2, 2009 press release from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP urges hunters to use bear spray) claims that research shows "in 76 close encounters with black, brown, and polar bears in Alaska, bear spray was 92 percent effective in deterring them . . . in a separate study of 278 incidents, firearms were only 67 percent effective."

Is anyone familiar with the reasearch and studies on bear spray and firearms? Something doesn't add up here.

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from Smitty18 wrote 3 years 13 weeks ago

I would have to say that i would rather have a rifle i am very comfortable with over a pistol or bear angering spray (mace).

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from land_cruiser_73 wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

I agree with Millcrickman. A pistol is your last ditch effort. In the words of G. Gordan Liddy "When you need a pistol, you needed it ten seconds ago." Reports say law enforcement officers miss quite often at 10 feet in high stress situations. Fine motor skill like safety manipulation dissappear as blood pressure and heartrate increase. I pack a pistol, but I rely on my rifle.

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from Smitty18 wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

My dad shot a bear twice with a .300 and they were both lethal shots. the bear laid motionless for a few minutes so him and my uncle walked up to it. as they went to lay their guns down the thing got up. luckily it was "Back in the day" and my dad carried a .44 Mag in a chest holster. One to the thinker at 4 yards stopped her in her tracks.

by the way, rifle shot 1 hit the liver and shot 2 went through a lung.

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from Unseenkiller wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

firearm, it would be the best way of security. You can get a few rounds off instead of a spray that could or couldnt work against the bear. You know the bullet is going to put down the animal or deter the animal. The spary could just piss the bear off and intrigue it to continue to attack. Large handgun, rifle, or shotgun is the best option in my opinon.

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from Millcrickman wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

personally id go with my rifle which im proficient at.
i live in Montana and see griz and blacks all the time never once have i had to shoot though.

once saw a griz and a black bear fight over a thick grove of wild rose.
black bear amazingly held of the griz

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from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I got chased once by mama bear. Had no gun our pepper spray wasent the best time of my life but I did learn a few things. Like running is good for a mans heath if I couldnt run like a deer back then I probly would of been just a bear attack headline . Another thing I learned is never go out in the woods without a gun why not say pepper spray well if you seen the rage in her eyes you would under stand that nothing would of stoped her from protecting her young accept a quick visit to the after life. Another thing I want to say is it happens so fast you have no time to think just react make sure its the right reaction because it could be your last reaction. Good luck to all and pack some heat it might be good 4 your heath did u hear that obama guns can be good for a humans heath.

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from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I just gota add treestand hunting and store baught jerky dont mix. Why you ask I took my nephew out for his first hunt braught some snacks and sweet so the young boy would stay longer in the stand. Anyways sitting there I hear something moving close to the tree I move a little to look under the stand the it makes a weird huff like growel then it was gone in a blink of the eye. I asked the young man did you see that he says no but I herd it . I was amazed I used this same stand for 13 years never had any problems with bears but when we climbed down I see a big chunk of jerky that the boy droped.

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from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I just gota add treestand hunting and store baught jerky dont mix. Why you ask I took my nephew out for his first hunt braught some snacks and sweet so the young boy would stay longer in the stand. Anyways sitting there I hear something moving close to the tree I move a little to look under the stand the it makes a weird huff like growel then it was gone in a blink of the eye. I asked the young man did you see that he says no but I herd it . I was amazed I used this same stand for 13 years never had any problems with bears but when we climbed down I see a big chunk of jerky that the boy droped.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I got chased once by mama bear. Had no gun our pepper spray wasent the best time of my life but I did learn a few things. Like running is good for a mans heath if I couldnt run like a deer back then I probly would of been just a bear attack headline . Another thing I learned is never go out in the woods without a gun why not say pepper spray well if you seen the rage in her eyes you would under stand that nothing would of stoped her from protecting her young accept a quick visit to the after life. Another thing I want to say is it happens so fast you have no time to think just react make sure its the right reaction because it could be your last reaction. Good luck to all and pack some heat it might be good 4 your heath did u hear that obama guns can be good for a humans heath.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

278 firearm defense compared to 76 pepper spray.....
So what happen in the 202 pepper spray cases they didn't count?
Perhaps Bo is right about grizzly scat smelling like pepper spray.
While in Alaska I heard of several case as bigjake describes...
Plus you can not pack pepper spray in your luggage and fly even bush pilots will not allow it in their planes.
Pass the gun please and hold the pepper

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from bigjake wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I wish I could post a certain episode of "Canada In The Rough", a weekly tv show about hunting in Canada.On this particular episode Mr Thomas Pidgeon(host) was instructing new Bear hunters what to do if charged on their way to their treestands.A bear archery target was the threating animal, and the host pointed the bear spray and let it fly, unfortunately the wind suddenly swirled and it instantly dropped Mr.Pidgeon like a rock, gasping and wheezing for breath and pulling at his eyes.He was completely blind and unable to stand.....if the target had been a real bear it could of had its way with the blinded man.Experts say the bear spray will stop a charge more readily BUT you must be 100% upwind or your target or you may suffer the effects of the spray, which could make a bad situation so much worse.I have spent considerable time in both black and grizzly bear country and have never carried bear spray instead opting for a large cailber firearm.

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from Bo wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I am sorry, If there is a chance that I would be in that 8 %, I will go with a gun. I would probably carry a side arm in a holster with me. My favorite for right now is a Smith 629 Classic Hunter in .44 mag. If I was in bear country, I would probably have it loaded with something big and heavy, alternating with something light and fast. I can shoot that gun fairly fast and with reasonable accuracy.
Like the old joke says you can recognize grizzly bear scat because it smells like pepper spray. I don't want to be the meal for the bear that doesn't know he is supposed to leave when the pepper spray hits.

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from bigjake wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I wish I could post a certain episode of "Canada In The Rough", a weekly tv show about hunting in Canada.On this particular episode Mr Thomas Pidgeon(host) was instructing new Bear hunters what to do if charged on their way to their treestands.A bear archery target was the threating animal, and the host pointed the bear spray and let it fly, unfortunately the wind suddenly swirled and it instantly dropped Mr.Pidgeon like a rock, gasping and wheezing for breath and pulling at his eyes.He was completely blind and unable to stand.....if the target had been a real bear it could of had its way with the blinded man.Experts say the bear spray will stop a charge more readily BUT you must be 100% upwind or your target or you may suffer the effects of the spray, which could make a bad situation so much worse.I have spent considerable time in both black and grizzly bear country and have never carried bear spray instead opting for a large cailber firearm.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

278 firearm defense compared to 76 pepper spray.....
So what happen in the 202 pepper spray cases they didn't count?
Perhaps Bo is right about grizzly scat smelling like pepper spray.
While in Alaska I heard of several case as bigjake describes...
Plus you can not pack pepper spray in your luggage and fly even bush pilots will not allow it in their planes.
Pass the gun please and hold the pepper

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Smitty18 wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

My dad shot a bear twice with a .300 and they were both lethal shots. the bear laid motionless for a few minutes so him and my uncle walked up to it. as they went to lay their guns down the thing got up. luckily it was "Back in the day" and my dad carried a .44 Mag in a chest holster. One to the thinker at 4 yards stopped her in her tracks.

by the way, rifle shot 1 hit the liver and shot 2 went through a lung.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Smitty18 wrote 3 years 13 weeks ago

I would have to say that i would rather have a rifle i am very comfortable with over a pistol or bear angering spray (mace).

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I just gota add treestand hunting and store baught jerky dont mix. Why you ask I took my nephew out for his first hunt braught some snacks and sweet so the young boy would stay longer in the stand. Anyways sitting there I hear something moving close to the tree I move a little to look under the stand the it makes a weird huff like growel then it was gone in a blink of the eye. I asked the young man did you see that he says no but I herd it . I was amazed I used this same stand for 13 years never had any problems with bears but when we climbed down I see a big chunk of jerky that the boy droped.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I got chased once by mama bear. Had no gun our pepper spray wasent the best time of my life but I did learn a few things. Like running is good for a mans heath if I couldnt run like a deer back then I probly would of been just a bear attack headline . Another thing I learned is never go out in the woods without a gun why not say pepper spray well if you seen the rage in her eyes you would under stand that nothing would of stoped her from protecting her young accept a quick visit to the after life. Another thing I want to say is it happens so fast you have no time to think just react make sure its the right reaction because it could be your last reaction. Good luck to all and pack some heat it might be good 4 your heath did u hear that obama guns can be good for a humans heath.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Millcrickman wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

personally id go with my rifle which im proficient at.
i live in Montana and see griz and blacks all the time never once have i had to shoot though.

once saw a griz and a black bear fight over a thick grove of wild rose.
black bear amazingly held of the griz

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Unseenkiller wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

firearm, it would be the best way of security. You can get a few rounds off instead of a spray that could or couldnt work against the bear. You know the bullet is going to put down the animal or deter the animal. The spary could just piss the bear off and intrigue it to continue to attack. Large handgun, rifle, or shotgun is the best option in my opinon.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I am sorry, If there is a chance that I would be in that 8 %, I will go with a gun. I would probably carry a side arm in a holster with me. My favorite for right now is a Smith 629 Classic Hunter in .44 mag. If I was in bear country, I would probably have it loaded with something big and heavy, alternating with something light and fast. I can shoot that gun fairly fast and with reasonable accuracy.
Like the old joke says you can recognize grizzly bear scat because it smells like pepper spray. I don't want to be the meal for the bear that doesn't know he is supposed to leave when the pepper spray hits.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I got chased once by mama bear. Had no gun our pepper spray wasent the best time of my life but I did learn a few things. Like running is good for a mans heath if I couldnt run like a deer back then I probly would of been just a bear attack headline . Another thing I learned is never go out in the woods without a gun why not say pepper spray well if you seen the rage in her eyes you would under stand that nothing would of stoped her from protecting her young accept a quick visit to the after life. Another thing I want to say is it happens so fast you have no time to think just react make sure its the right reaction because it could be your last reaction. Good luck to all and pack some heat it might be good 4 your heath did u hear that obama guns can be good for a humans heath.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I just gota add treestand hunting and store baught jerky dont mix. Why you ask I took my nephew out for his first hunt braught some snacks and sweet so the young boy would stay longer in the stand. Anyways sitting there I hear something moving close to the tree I move a little to look under the stand the it makes a weird huff like growel then it was gone in a blink of the eye. I asked the young man did you see that he says no but I herd it . I was amazed I used this same stand for 13 years never had any problems with bears but when we climbed down I see a big chunk of jerky that the boy droped.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from land_cruiser_73 wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

I agree with Millcrickman. A pistol is your last ditch effort. In the words of G. Gordan Liddy "When you need a pistol, you needed it ten seconds ago." Reports say law enforcement officers miss quite often at 10 feet in high stress situations. Fine motor skill like safety manipulation dissappear as blood pressure and heartrate increase. I pack a pistol, but I rely on my rifle.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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