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Thread: Who needs a gun in a National Park

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    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
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    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hamb3yqT7r76OnJPNbn2p9v0MSJAD9FJTIMO0

    New law pits guns vs. grizzlies in national parks

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The grizzly took Jerry Ruth by surprise, bursting from thick brush and biting his jaw almost completely off.

    On the ground and barely able to see, Ruth grabbed his .41 Magnum-caliber revolver and started shooting. The third bullet pierced the bear's heart and spinal cord, killing it from 25 feet.

    "I'm glad I was armed with a firearm and I'm glad I was able to shoot straight," said Ruth, attacked last July 19 a couple miles from his home not far from Yellowstone National Park.

    Ruth's gun quite possibly saved his life. It also provided fodder for a long-standing debate about whether a gun or bear spray is better in fending off a grizzly attack.

    And if that sounds like an esoteric discussion, it has intensified with a new federal law allowing people to carry guns in national parks.

    The advent of the new law focused not on bears but on Second Amendment rights. Even so, three national parks — Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton — are waiting to see what will happen once hikers and campers begin venturing into the backcountry in the weeks ahead.

    "Experience shows that putting firearms and grizzly bears in the same place ends up with dead grizzly bears," said Steve Cain, senior biologist for Grand Teton National Park.

    "Time will tell. Of course there is the potential for unintended consequences — injury to bears, injury to people," said Glacier spokeswoman Amy Vanderbilt.

    Grizzlies are the undisputed bosses of the backcountry in the three parks. They've killed 10 people in Glacier and five in Yellowstone in the past century. Those parks average one grizzly attack with injuries a year. Grand Teton has had only a handful of attacks, and no deaths, but it's only had substantial numbers of grizzlies for the past decade or so.

    Wyoming, Idaho and Montana are home to roughly 1,300 grizzlies. Their numbers have rebounded since the 1970s and, although grizzlies still are listed as a threatened species, it's no longer rare for one lolling roadside to jam up tourist traffic in Grand Teton, Yellowstone or Glacier.

    Ruth was attacked not long after he and his wife moved to Clark in remote northwestern Wyoming. He said the 275-pound female grizzly, which had three cubs, attacked while he was hiking with a friend.

    "It was like walking down a hallway and somebody jumping out of a doorway," said Ruth, who'd just retired after 28 years as a Baltimore-area police officer.

    Ruth counted on his experience and training with guns to ensure that the bear, after its initial attack, wouldn't come back and finish him off, said Mark Bruscino, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department chief bear biologist who investigated the mauling.

    "Using a firearm in that situation was completely justifiable," Bruscino said. "He probably could not have lived through another thrashing like the first go-around."

    Yet park rangers in Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier are still telling visitors that a pressurized can of hot-pepper oil — bear spray — is their best defense.

    Their reasoning? Studies show that in most cases, putting a cloud of bear spray in a grizzly's face works better than trying to stop a moving 400-pound animal with a perfectly placed bullet.

    "You've got to be a really good shot with a gun," said Yellowstone bear biologist Kerry Gunther. "That's the beauty of bear spray. You don't really have to aim it. All you have to do is pull it and pull the trigger."

    Bear spray, of course, also happens to be better for bears.

    Park visitors used to have to keep their guns unloaded and well out of reach, such as in the trunk. The new law allows visitors to take loaded guns anywhere they're not prohibited by state or federal law.

    Bear biologist Tom Smith said he's "absolutely concerned" about grizzlies dying unnecessarily.

    An assistant professor at Brigham Young University, Smith used to work at Alaska's Katmai National Park and Preserve, a place famous for drawing large numbers of grizzlies that feed on spawning salmon.

    Smith said tourists at Katmai often would tell him they'd been charged — but that after reviewing video footage they provided as evidence, he never saw a grizzly charging, just bears walking about and minding their own business.

    "The point is, people can't read these animals at all," Smith said.

    Smith has evaluated the efficacy of bear spray in reported aggressive and nonagressive encounters in Alaska between 1985 and 2006. He found that bear spray stopped grizzlies in 46 of 50 cases, or 92 percent of the time.

    Bear spray stopped charging grizzlies 12 out of 14 times, a success rate of 85 percent. The other two times a grizzly charged, one person was deeply scratched and the other was spared when the grizzly moved off after stopping just a few feet away.

    "Simply put, if you're just a hiker, you're far better off with the nonlethal deterrent like bear spray. The numbers just speak for themselves," Smith said.

    It's also more practical, Smith said: In thick trees and brush where a grizzly could surprise you, hiking with a lightweight can in your hand with the safety off is much easier than holding an unholstered large-caliber handgun.

    Shooting a grizzly in a national park will not go without inquiry, unless it is an obvious case of saving your life or someone else's. For one thing, shooting a gun in a national park is still against the law. For another, killing a grizzly, except to defend yourself or someone else, is a federal crime punishable by up to six months in prison and a $25,000 fine.

    On top of that, killing wildlife in a national park is a separate crime altogether.

    "It gets fairly complex, but it's safe to say these things will be investigated," said Tim Reed, chief ranger for Yellowstone.

    In the vast national forests surrounding the three parks, elk and deer hunters encounter and kill grizzlies frequently. In 2008, hunters killed eight grizzlies in self-defense near Yellowstone.

    But hunters move stealthily off-trail, more or less ready to shoot — something hikers typically don't do.

    Ruth had no time to use his gun when he was attacked. He shot the grizzly after it went back into the brush to check on its cubs. Even if he had bear spray, twigs and branches could have blocked the spray and made it less effective, he said.

    "My situation was pretty dire at the time and I'm not sure pepper spray would have worked at that point," Ruth said.

    The three orphaned cubs were taken to the Memphis Zoo.

    Ruth spent 12 days in a hospital and is still recovering. He said he and his wife, Cindy, still enjoy backcountry hiking and camping. He still takes his gun.

    "You never think that you're going to use it for anything. You just bring it along because you think it would be a good idea," Ruth said.

    His wife, who dislikes handling guns, takes bear spray.


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    Regular Member vt800c's Avatar
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    buster81 wrote:
    Yet park rangers in Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier are still telling visitors that a pressurized can of hot-pepper oil — bear spray — is their best defense.

    Bear spray, of course, also happens to be better for bears.
    Bear Spray is an aresol form of Frank's Redhot!! I put that s*** on everything!

    it's a CONDIMENT people! It's like catsup on a hamburger!

    When using this stuff the bear has to be within 10 FEET of you! (By that time the smell of you filling your drawers should be almost as bad as the pepper spray!)

    You need to spray it in it's eyes and mouth. It'll last about 20 minutes, as the the bear is licking it off and starting to figure out "Hey, you know what would really be good with this? some fresh hiker-meat. I know where to get some!" Thats right..after you spray you are to abandon your gear and leave the area, as the bear WILL be coming back.

    One thing about a dead animal..they tend to NOT come back looking for you.
    I sell ObamaBlades: Single-edged razors you can use to either remove the bumper sticker off your car, or slash your wrists..whichever works best for you.

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    vt800c wrote:
    buster81 wrote:
    Yet park rangers in Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier are still telling visitors that a pressurized can of hot-pepper oil — bear spray — is their best defense.

    Bear spray, of course, also happens to be better for bears.
    Bear Spray is an aresol form of Frank's Redhot!! I put that s*** on everything!

    it's a CONDIMENT people! It's like catsup on a hamburger!

    When using this stuff the bear has to be within 10 FEET of you! (By that time the smell of you filling your drawers should be almost as bad as the pepper spray!)

    You need to spray it in it's eyes and mouth. It'll last about 20 minutes, as the the bear is licking it off and starting to figure out "Hey, you know what would really be good with this? some fresh hiker-meat. I know where to get some!" Thats right..after you spray you are to abandon your gear and leave the area, as the bear WILL be coming back.

    One thing about a dead animal..they tend to NOT come back looking for you.
    No. No. No. You don't understand.

    First, you kill the bear. Then you butcher it. Then you put some juicy bear-steaks on the grill. Then, and only then, do you use bear spray--to add spice to an already flavorful meal.

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    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that it is helpful to be able to identify bear scat. Grizzly bear scat is brown, containsbells, whistles, and smells like pepper spray. That amused me.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    Y'know whatI get from all this? Those biologists with guns would rather have the bearkill/maim a human than the human kill the bear. I have yet to see a Ranger with a holstered can of pepper spray.

    "Studies show..." I love that line. It's the official-speak anecdotal equivalent of "They say"

    Here's the deal...once you go off the pavement you're in somethin's food chain. Some days you get the bear... Some days the bear gets you.

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    vt800c wrote:
    buster81 wrote:
    Yet park rangers in Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier are still telling visitors that a pressurized can of hot-pepper oil — bear spray — is their best defense.

    Bear spray, of course, also happens to be better for bears.
    Bear Spray is an aresol form of Frank's Redhot!! I put that s*** on everything!

    it's a CONDIMENT people! It's like catsup on a hamburger!

    When using this stuff the bear has to be within 10 FEET of you! (By that time the smell of you filling your drawers should be almost as bad as the pepper spray!)

    You need to spray it in it's eyes and mouth. It'll last about 20 minutes, as the the bear is licking it off and starting to figure out "Hey, you know what would really be good with this? some fresh hiker-meat. I know where to get some!" Thats right..after you spray you are to abandon your gear and leave the area, as the bear WILL be coming back.

    One thing about a dead animal..they tend to NOT come back looking for you.
    I would give you $100.00 if you stood in front of me and let me spray you directly in the face with my canister of Vexor Spray, and proceeded to tell me it didn't bother you.

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    Oh I forgot. We're talking bears, not people.

    But even so, a bear's sense of smell is much much greater than that of a human, and even though they may have a higher pain tolerance, it's sense of smell is 2,100 times better than a human's, which means it will hit them with the "BANG" even more than it would a human. In the end, it all depends on how determined the big lug is!

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    Sonora Rebel wrote:
    Here's the deal...once you go off the pavement you're in somethin's food chain. Some days you get the bear... Some days the bear gets you.
    Amen! That is also why I don't go in the ocean ... humans are NOT the top of the food chain out there
    cheers - okboomer
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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Why not carry BOTH bear spray and a firearm.

    Heck, I often carry both, and the majority of my "hiking" is decidedly "on the pavement"...
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    cabbitone wrote:
    You know, I've got to ask. How many people either have or know some one who has a .41 magnum?
    calibers were mentioned in another post somewhere???

    45 magnum,, still doesnt sound like a right thing to me!
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    cabbitone wrote:
    You know, I've got to ask. How many people either have or know some one who has a .41 magnum?
    I Do!!
    But it is not a revolver, it is a full size Desert Eagle and I have the 6" and 10" barrels for it, and a holographic sight mounted on it. A real sweet piece, but it is like having a Harley Davidson Roadkingin a holsterhanging offyour side.

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    Regular Member Haz.'s Avatar
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    I have a 10 shot 44 magnum lever action rifle. Over the years, I have shot many huge ferel pigs, wild dogs, a wild scrub bull or two, on private property on invitation andI would nothesitate in shooting an attacking bear, cubs or no cubs,if there were any down under. One can see that I am not a member of the bamby brigade.
    The .44 Magnum is well-suited for game up to brown bear size. With precise shot placement and deep penetrating cartridges it has even been used to take the largest of game, includingcape buffalo. Publisher Robert E. Petersen took a record setting polar bear with a .44 Magnum. It has even been used against elephants with success.

    In addition to beating the ballistics of the old .44-40 rifle loads, long considered a top deer cartridge, the heavy, flat point bullets typically used in the .44 Magnum have an additional advantage. Tests performed where bullets are shot through light cover, intended to represent twigs and brush, have shown that the high velocity, light weight, thin jacketed, pointed bullets used by most hunting cartridges today are easily deflected by contact with the brush. The ideal bullets for penetrating brush with minimal deflection are heavy, flat point bullets at moderate velocities.

    Haz.

    When a criminal invades your home and has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.

    My Definition of Gun Control: The idea that dozens of people found dead in the Broadway Caf, Tasmania, and many also seriously wounded, all while waiting for police, who were called to show up and protect them, is somehow morally superior to having several armed and therefore alive civilian's explaining to police how the attacker got that fatal bullet wound.

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    cabbitone wrote:
    You know, I've got to ask. How many people either have or know some one who has a .41 magnum?
    I know what a 41 mag is and im a young pup
    Ill take my single action 44mag any day of the week though Im damn accurate with that beast

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    I'll be at Teton and Yellowstone this weekend with both a can of spray AND my .40.

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    eye95 wrote:
    vt800c wrote:
    buster81 wrote:
    Yet park rangers in Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier are still telling visitors that a pressurized can of hot-pepper oil — bear spray — is their best defense.

    Bear spray, of course, also happens to be better for bears.
    Bear Spray is an aresol form of Frank's Redhot!! I put that s*** on everything!

    it's a CONDIMENT people! It's like catsup on a hamburger!

    When using this stuff the bear has to be within 10 FEET of you! (By that time the smell of you filling your drawers should be almost as bad as the pepper spray!)

    You need to spray it in it's eyes and mouth. It'll last about 20 minutes, as the the bear is licking it off and starting to figure out "Hey, you know what would really be good with this? some fresh hiker-meat. I know where to get some!" Thats right..after you spray you are to abandon your gear and leave the area, as the bear WILL be coming back.

    One thing about a dead animal..they tend to NOT come back looking for you.
    No. No. No. You don't understand.

    First, you kill the bear. Then you butcher it. Then you put some juicy bear-steaks on the grill. Then, and only then, do you use bear spray--to add spice to an already flavorful meal.
    Don't forget the garlic powder and some salt. Plus you gotta have some gravy to go with the spuds and carrots and onions.


    Whats it been now a whole couple weeks or a month since it was ok to carry in the wilderness??
    I NEVER NOT CARRY when in any kind of woodsy place. It is an individuals responsibility to keep himself out of harms way. For me that includes having a gun on me. End of story.

  16. #16
    scubabeme
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    All this discussion of pepper spray--I just had a thought. I wonder how a Taser would work. I realize the the beast would have to be TOO DAMN close to try it, but wonder if it would be more effective than the spray. (I do have relatives that are anti's, so this might be more acceptable to them--me, I'd rather have a .454 casull!! Heck, give me the gun anyway!!!)

    Hmmm. Need to research that!

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    IF the prongs never made or can't maintain skin contact then the taser will have ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT! And you will be within just a few feet of a wild animal who is Stronger, faster, and more natural ability to inflict serious, severe, or fatal injuries upon a mere human!

    I'd go with the 454 Casual OR .500 S&W Magnum INSTEAD on the taser!
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    JoeSparky wrote:
    IF the prongs never made or can't maintain skin contact then the taser will have ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT! And you will be within just a few feet of a wild animal who is Stronger, faster, and more natural ability to inflict serious, severe, or fatal injuries upon a mere human!

    I'd go with the 454 Casual OR .500 S&W Magnum INSTEAD on the taser!
    Can either of those effectively stop Manbearpig?


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    scubabeme wrote:
    All this discussion of pepper spray--I just had a thought. I wonder how a Taser would work. I realize the the beast would have to be TOO DAMN close to try it, but wonder if it would be more effective than the spray. (I do have relatives that are anti's, so this might be more acceptable to them--me, I'd rather have a .454 casull!! Heck, give me the gun anyway!!!)

    Hmmm. Need to research that!
    Someone posted a video of a bull being tased in another thread. It went down. However, it got back up scary quick afterward. I'd want a long enough extension cord, so I could keep zapping it until I was a good mile away.

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    Beerme wrote:
    JoeSparky wrote:
    IF the prongs never made or can't maintain skin contact then the taser will have ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT! And you will be within just a few feet of a wild animal who is Stronger, faster, and more natural ability to inflict serious, severe, or fatal injuries upon a mere human!

    I'd go with the 454 Casual OR .500 S&W Magnum INSTEAD on the taser!
    Can either of those effectively stop Manbearpig?
    As is taught at Front Sight...

    Any gun will do, IF YOU WILL!



    BTW if the "Manbearpig" comment was intended as ANTI LAWFUL LAW ENFORCEMENT... I take offence!
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

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    cabbitone wrote:
    Slightly off topic but still pertaining to animal attacks.
    Anyone have any idea what the minimum would be to use against an alligator? (handgun caliber/load)
    Like would a high pressure 10mm(not a lethargic FBI Light) work?

    *clarification - Referring to self defense not hunting, i.e. one is charging you or has clamped down on you/object
    A .22 through the top of the head works nicely.

    As for polar bear, Eskimos used to take them with a long pointed stick. Turns out if you run away, they give chase, but if you walk up to them they almost always rear up, exposing their fronts. A couple of quick stabs through their hearts startles them into doing nothing for the few seconds it takes them to become unconscious.

    Of course they don't always rear up, which is why the eldest man in the village always pulled that duty.

    I'm wondering how my 9 mm would work against a grizzly. I carried a .44 magnum while backpacking in the Inland Northwest, but I had to give that back to my father. I know it's only a 9 mm, but I can put 17 shots on target in less than five seconds, and another 16 in less than ten more seconds. It's packs a third the punch of my .44 mag, but with three times number of initial rounds, so I figure it works more like a shotgun.
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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    My Uncle was attacked by a wounded and angry bear once. It was charging him through the woods on it's hind legs with front legs outstretched. He was sitting against a tree, deer hunting.

    He put 5 12 gauge shells into it pretty quick (yes he was illegally loaded) followed by 4 more single loaded, before it dropped 10 feet away from him. I've been told it was the largest bear taken in NC at the time and was eventually stuffed and placed somewhere in the Capitol.

    I will not trust any dangerous wild animal with less than the best gun/ammo combination available.
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    paramedic70002 wrote:
    My Uncle was attacked by a wounded and angry bear once. It was charging him through the woods on it's hind legs with front legs outstretched. He was sitting against a tree, deer hunting.

    He put 5 12 gauge shells into it pretty quick (yes he was illegally loaded) followed by 4 more single loaded, before it dropped 10 feet away from him. I've been told it was the largest bear taken in NC at the time and was eventually stuffed and placed somewhere in the Capitol.

    I will not trust any dangerous wild animal with less than the best gun/ammo combination available.
    NC has less than a 5 round capacity limit for deer??

    i know many states it is 6,or none.
    not a lawyer, dont take anything i say as legal advice.


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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    In VA you're supposed to have a 2 magazine capacity limit. Something to do with federal migratory bird laws. Not sure why it applies to all hunting but that's the way I've always known it to be done. And he told me himself that he was illegally loaded. This happened in the 80's.

    EDIT: It's been years since I hunted. I did find this in VA's 09-10 regs:

    Unplugged shotguns are legal for hunting non-migratory game and crows
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    In SC there is a 3 shell limit on migratory birds due to Federal regulations but I don't think there isa limit for other game. As for Alligators the SC DNR recommends a .357 for killing or may require it, I can't remember which as one of the allowed methods of killing once you have them at the boat.

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