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mellymel
09-22-2011, 06:44 PM
Hi :)

Just wondering if anyone could suggest what kind of gun might be taken on a camping trip that would be used solely for protection of a possible bear attack. I'm thinking shotgun, but my research is giving me little support towards this.

also, i know in general that a bear can be scared away by a loud noise, so would it be possible that something other than a gun to shoot the bear could be used as a means to scare them away from one's campsite?

Thanks,

Mel

DeaK
09-22-2011, 07:41 PM
Last time I went camping we yelled and banged on pots to scare the bears away. Best thing, though, is to not have any food or good smelling stuff around the site.

Drachen Jager
09-22-2011, 08:55 PM
Statistically speaking, a proper can of bear spray gives you the highest chance of survival. If you were to choose the firearm approach I'd pick a rifle, a shotgun may not penetrate deeply enough to kill the bear instantly, and if you just piss him off, watch out!

IMO, you'd want something like a Sako Kodiak http://www.sako.fi/sako85models.php?kodiak in .338 Win Mag or higher calibre. That's a purpose-designed bear-defence rifle. The lightest I would go if Grizzlies were about would be a .30 calibre magnum (probably Win Mag).

If your campers are American they'd more likely have a Remmington, Browning, or Winchester (Sako is Finnish and more common in Europe and Canada, although discerning Americans might have one).

mellymel
09-22-2011, 09:00 PM
Awesome advice guys! thanks! Drachen, wow. impressed much? thanks. these are americans, so i'm off to research the specs on the Rem, Brown, and Win guns. I thought shotguns were more powerful for a larger type animal than a rifle, so thanks for the edumacation. :)

Oh, and bear spray? wow. never heard of that. will research that as well and add it in to my novel. thanks!

Canotila
09-22-2011, 09:36 PM
Bears and dogs don't get along, so having a loud obnoxious dog around the campsite is pretty good for the noise and also because they'll alert you to a bear before you see it. Some dogs will fight a bear to the death if they think it's threatening their family, and most bears will give up and run in the face of such insane lack of self preservation instinct. Other dogs are chicken and will hide. My mom's old German shepherd hid in the sleeping bag when a black bear poked its nose in her tent when she was a kid.

Bear spray is supposed to work well. There's a kind now that is a gel, which is awesome because it'll stick to their face instead of wafting in the breeze and accidentally incapacitating you as well.

My mom always put bells on us when we were hiking (dad called them dinner bells). The idea is that the bear will hear you coming and get out of sight. We only had to worry about black bears though. Dad did carry a sidearm. Some kind of .45 revolver but I'm not sure exactly what model. He was a lot more worried about cougar and bad people than bears though.

Steve Collins
09-22-2011, 10:26 PM
A Smith and Wesson 500 .50 cal revolver would be ideal, although it's a lot to hang on to.

Drachen Jager
09-22-2011, 10:27 PM
Dogs increase the risk of a bear attack Canotila, they often will find the bear in the woods, harass it then pull an oh shit, better go back to my pack leader and draw the bear to you in an angry mood. You're better off without them re. bear attacks.

ironmikezero
09-22-2011, 10:42 PM
My bear gun is a Sako Mannlicher carbine in .375H&H Mag. It's short and handles fast. It also has a respectable recoil.

As for the pepper spray and bells...

The National Park Rangers are advising hikers in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.

They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.

Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear's sensitive nose and it will run away.

It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.
Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.

Al Stevens
09-22-2011, 11:05 PM
I suggest this movie for a take on dealing with a bear.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119051/

DeaK
09-22-2011, 11:08 PM
Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.

:roll:

asorum
09-22-2011, 11:36 PM
Here in Alaska, I use a stainless Ruger M77 rebarrelled for .458 Win Magnum. Brutal to shoot, but lightweight and holds up to the maritime weather.

mellymel
09-23-2011, 12:20 AM
thanks guys for all the great responses. I really like the idea of my characters wearing a bell. totally makes sense. I also like the idea of the sprays and might just opt to have my characters carry those rather than have a shotgun. Seems more practical and applicable to my novel which takes place in a future time. Sigh. Will have to sleep on this one, but thanks for the info and discussion!

Mel

Tsu Dho Nimh
09-23-2011, 12:54 AM
If you are using something set 50+ years in the future, make up something like a bear-repelling sound device unless you want the drama.

"Bear Spray", as opposed to ordinary self-defense "pepper spray" will spray a lot farther and delivers a larger quantity of capsacin. Ideally you will be able to hit the bear with the stream, or leave a large cloud of spray, when it is farther off than the average city mugger. Then back up slowly, don't run.

The "Booga-booga" method (the chimpanzee mob effect) of making a lot of noise and waving your arms, waving and pounding sticks, throwing rocks and looking dangerous is usually effective ... we regularly routed bears from a campsite by banging pots and pans and honking horns and squirtguns. Bears can't afford to get hurt in a macho showdown - they will defend their cubs, and defend a large kill (like the recent Alaska incident), but they don't usually thinnk a bag of chips is worth it.

Dogs ... need to be trained, and in large numbers. One swat from the bear and a dog is badly damaged, sometimes bear food.


FYI, my dad shot and killed a grizzly with a 22-caliber rifle ... but he had a very good angle on the shot. He was shooting up into the bear's head where the skull is weakest and from a very short distance. His preferred weapon to carry was a 45 caliber pistol. He killed a large black bear with it, one shot, but again he was shooting from an excellent angle and knew where to hit.

Summonere
09-23-2011, 08:13 PM
I'm thinking shotgun, but my research is giving me little support towards this.*


I should think a 12-gauge with slugs would do just fine for bear. But 50 years in the future, who knows what may be available...

Maybe a shrink ray that reduces bears to something the size of fleas...

:)

mellymel
09-23-2011, 09:27 PM
Thanks again, guys. Geeze, you are all so full of bear info! :D

Since this does take place in the future (160 years, but really only about 80 plus years of possible advancement), i'm going to probably go with the bear spray, which for the overall story just makes more sense since weapons are so much harder to come by (unless you are one of those in an Authority position). I do need the drama and something that can be used on humans as well for the scene, so it's either the gun or the spray. And thinking about it all and what works best for the scene, the spray makes no noise! Yay! Well except for maybe some screams (from the human victim).

:)

Drachen Jager
09-23-2011, 10:14 PM
If you want to know the effects of pepper spray have a look at this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHqK-hGuSMc

mellymel
09-24-2011, 03:39 AM
If you want to know the effects of pepper spray have a look at this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHqK-hGuSMc

Yeah, that was intense. Yowzer. I really hope to never experience that. Though it could be interesting research for future projects...hmmm....

NOPE. No thank you. I'll just use my imagination. :)

GeorgeK
09-24-2011, 08:13 PM
The best way to win a fight with a bear is to not be there. Failing that, the sprays and noises are your next best. If you are going to shoot, you've probably already lost unless you have an instant kill shot or an instant disable shot (Brain, spinal cord or double lung). Once it's down, don't approach it for at least 15 minutes. What would be normal kill shots such as heart, liver, single lung, even though they will kill bears like any other creature, will take too long to result in death. When you think of people dieing in two minutes from such wounds, that has to do with how long it takes the brain to succomb to anoxia. That is a byproduct of heart rate, oxygen carrying capacity and 02 requirements to name a few. It's really better to think of that two minutes as 120 heart beats. That's a better cross species translation from a funcional standpoint. Except for bursts of exertion and hibernation, many bears' heart rates are 10-15 beats per minute. For a 120 heart beats until death scenario, that means the bear could easily have 10 minutes to exact its revenge if you mortally wound it without an instant kill/disable shot.

Canotila
09-25-2011, 06:18 AM
Dogs increase the risk of a bear attack Canotila, they often will find the bear in the woods, harass it then pull an oh shit, better go back to my pack leader and draw the bear to you in an angry mood. You're better off without them re. bear attacks.

Depending on the dog, this could very well be true (like my mom's shepherd). I was thinking of more a camp scenario like in the OP, where any dog tethered in camp, even a chihuahua, would warn the people a bear was in the vicinity before it started raiding their food.

Karelian bear dogs are psychos when it comes to bear. They are not big at all. 45-55 lbs. But they go all Kujo on bears, chase them, and bite them like maniacs. There are a lot of pretty well documented cases of singles and pairs driving off bears. Ranchers utilize them in Montana to run off grizzlies that are preying on livestock.

Almost any kind of hound will take on much larger game without blinking an eye and not have an "ohcrap run!" moment. One of the obedience trainers we work with has a sister in Alaska. They had an Irish wolfhound. Their 5 year old son was playing in the yard, and a brown bear came streaking into the yard straight for the kid. The wolfhound intercepted the bear and fought it for several minutes, which gave the father enough time to run inside, get his gun, and fire several shots in the air to frighten the bear away. The dog would have died without a doubt if the fight had gone much longer, but he wasn't ready to give up at any point. Saved the kid's life. And it's not a bear, but a friend of mine's favorite dogs to hunt European boar with are saluki and greyhound. My borzoi's sire ran down a pack of coyotes and they thought he'd be a goner by the time they reached him. He killed three coyotes solo, and needed a few stitches but was otherwise fine. Hounds are crazy, and that's really off putting to wild animals who recognize that while they could probably kill the crazy animal, they also can't afford to get injured in the process.

Usually it's the more handler oriented types such as herders, working breeds (like rottweilers), and some bird dogs that will realize they're in over their head and run back to the humans for safety.

Anyway, what it boils down to is breeding and training. A well trained dog won't randomly follow game trails and harass them when you're hiking unless you let it. Or it could be kept leashed and just function as an early alert system.

MJM
10-12-2011, 08:51 PM
Hi :)

Just wondering if anyone could suggest what kind of gun might be taken on a camping trip that would be used solely for protection of a possible bear attack. I'm thinking shotgun, but my research is giving me little support towards this.



I know you've had several comments on this already, but here is a QUOTE from the Dept of Natural Resources in Alaska -- that's pronounced "BIG BEARS!!" http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/safety/bears.htm : "Select a gun that will stop a bear (12-gauge shotgun or .300 mag rifle)"

Hope that's helpful.

Tsu Dho Nimh
10-15-2011, 06:29 AM
Hounds are crazy, and that's really off putting to wild animals who recognize that while they could probably kill the crazy animal, they also can't afford to get injured in the process.

Exactly, which is why the "booga booga" method works. They can't afford to get injured.

crunchyblanket
10-15-2011, 10:01 AM
I'm so disappointed this isn't a thread about bears with guns.

MJM
10-15-2011, 03:48 PM
Except for bursts of exertion and hibernation, many bears' heart rates are 10-15 beats per minute.

Brown Bear/Grizzly (http://www.bearinfosite.com/brown_grizzly_bear.htm)
"While hibernating a bear’s heart rate drops from between forty to seventy beats per minute to only eight to twelve beats per minute"


American Black Bear (http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/s/0MCarnivor/ursidae/ursus/ursus_americanus/10Ursus_americanusDetPhy.htm)
"The normal heart rate of bears is 60 - 90 beats per minute (the higher rates are found in cubs)"

GeorgeK
10-16-2011, 07:58 AM
Interesting MJM. Now, I'll have to throw out the handout from that visiting professor.

MJM
10-17-2011, 07:18 AM
Interesting MJM. Now, I'll have to throw out the handout from that visiting professor.

I eat professors for lunch. Well, maybe for light snacks. Anyway... ;)

GeorgeK
10-17-2011, 08:08 AM
I eat professors for lunch. Well, maybe for light snacks. Anyway... ;)

Wendigo graduate student are you?