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More bear encounters

sst0185

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
120
Location
Va Beach
Coincidental to the OP's hiking location, I offer a resounding yes. There are many offroad trails for 4x4 vehicles in the GWNF. Frequently those who travel in groups will install CBs to communicate with each other while deep in the woods. There may or may not be cell service there and addressing the entire group at once is beneficial in scenarios where help may be needed or advice on an obstacle offered.



Yes we do!
 

skidmark

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
10,449
Location
Valhalla
I had a full grown male RUN out in front of my car on my way home a couple of weeks ago. I was doing about 60 with all four windows down. My first thought was OMG, if I hit him, its going to total my car, piss him off and he's going to attack me through my open windows before I can even get my gun out from under my seat! Lucky for my front bumper he was running flat out and I missed him by INCHES. He was HUGE. Scared the daylights out of me. Think I even tinkled a little...:D Come to find out from a friend who lives about 1/2 a mile from where I missed him at, he's a local bear, been around since he was just knee high to a grass hopper. Goes by the name of Pooh. Now when I ride home with the windows down I keep the gun in the seat beside me, just in case he makes another run for it...

Haven't you learned anything yet?

Carrying your gun under the seat is a great way to break you ankle when it goes flying forward as you are trying to stop in a hurry. Pretty much the same thing goes for keeping the gun on the seat next to you, except your ankle is not the immediate target. Maybe you ought to read up on the Miami FBI shootout (no, I'm not going to give you a link to it) and see what happens when you carry your gun on the seat.

You have hips (We've seen them!! Thank you, Peter.) and that's where you are supposed to carry your gun, in a nice holster (We've seen yours - it's OK.).

stay safe.
 

tcmech

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
368
Location
, ,
Yes Sir, lots of entertaining times every year listening to CB.

Hunt Club President:
Bubba, you drive down the old road and see if any Deer run across. If you see that a$$ wit the BIG GUN, tell him you lookin fo yo dowgs....Over

Bubba:
I ain't goin down there. That man tell me he gonna shoot me the dowgs and burn my house down....Over

I see we are neighbors
 

B. Reddy

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2011
Messages
110
Location
Orange County, Virginia
Bears R Us- Shenandoah Natl Park

Anyways, it seems there are quite a few bears in SNP and GWNF, and while it seems the danger of a bear attack is rather low due to the generally timid nature of the black bears, and because you all have convinced me that 2 legged critters are an even bigger potential danger, I will be open carrying on all my hikes when legal to do so. [/QUOTE]

From the SNPark website-

Did You Know?
Shenandoah National Park has one of the densest populations of black bears documented within the U.S.


Also their website claims there may be as many as one bear per square mile of parkland, so they are talking HUNDREDs of them furry little critters.

My wife and her friend were hiking on Limberlost Trail, stopped to eat lunch, and felt acorn shells dropping on them. A black bear was 40 feet above them having his own lunch. See attached photo. He finished his lunch, climbed down, and ambled off. Totally ignored them.

IMHO, unless you trip carrying a gallon of honey and roll thru some fresh acorns, your chances of a black bear attack have to be mighty slim.
 

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Jonesy

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
416
Location
Alexandria, Virginia, USA
great looking black bears! i used to run into them alot when i lived in northern maine. few of them got really really really close a few times. but there are a few things you should know about blackbear incounters.

they are small. 200-260 max in most places. mostly foragers, not hunters *except for fish* diet of berrys leaves and roots.

not very territorial unless cubs are with them. if that is the case, get away silently and quickly becuase they will have a vicious response if they feel threatened.

they are faster than brown or grizzlies so if one charges, dont run! especially up a tree, they will follow. #2 most blackbear charges are false, they are just trying to see your reaction, if you run, they will chase, catch and maul you. stand your ground, make yourself look bigger and become very loud! odds are they will rear up about 10ft away, sniff, roar, hounch down and retreat if you dont move.

IF THEY DO ATTACK!!!.

black bears are not brown or grizzlies, and they ARE more vicious when fighting. few things to know


DO NOT PLAY DEAD! this only works with brown/grizzlies a blackbear eats carcases, so if you play dead it WILL KILL YOU.

FIGHT IT with everything you have, a rock a stick eye gouge do everything you can, its the fight of your life.

small caliber weapons will only piss it off, 9mm , 380........if thats all you have pick one spot on the animals body and pick away at it to create a very large wound. and prey it deters it.


dont ever believie you will "hear" a bear approaching, they can travel with speed bursts of 30mph silently, and if they are stalking. you WILL NOT hear them..

take note of the following signs

bee-hive looking skat filled with berries, twigs exct, if its arm a bear IS within 1000ft

broken twigs on the sides of bushes's trees, bears get itchy from bugs and rub purposefully against them to scratch,

well cleared paths through brush that the ground is not disturbed on , this is a good sign of a high traffic area for bears, their feet dont mar the ground but you will see a path where shoes have been.


most bears are more affraid of you then them. they will run away in MOST cases. if your going to take photos, turn off any "shutter effect" you have, and turn off the flash, it will startle them. get your photo and move on quickly. dont EVER approach cubs, and stay away in mating season. :)


hope this helps all you nature friendly people, and remember bear spray IS 10x more effective than your sidearm :)

other than that usually they will keep their distance.

Excellent post, thanks. You say that we will not hear them when they are coming, seems though that they make alot of noise when going through the woods. I could see how they would be silent on a trail if tracking prey though.

I understand that many say that bear spray is more effective, but this seems to be coming mostly from very anti-gun rangers and other NPS types who don't want guns in the parks. I have decided that when travelling in Virginia black bear country I will be carrying my .40 SW loaded with the hardest hitting FMJ ammo I can find, and I will not carry bear spray. I mean people say you can carry both but if the spray is not effective and the bear keeps coming are you going to have time to draw and get off a few rounds? I don't think so. Obviously if I were in grizzly country I would want something alot bigger, .454 or shotgun with slugs.

Also, my research has indicated that very occasionaly black bears become predatory towards humans. If I find myself in a situation where I am attacked, I want to at least have a chance. So, would this double tap ammo (1100fps 538 ft/lbs from a 4.5"bbl) be a good choice? http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_26&products_id=210
or this flat point?
http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_26&products_id=153

Thanks in advance for advice on rounds.
 

t33j

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2009
Messages
1,384
Location
King George, VA
Who knows? If you're very serious about having the ability to kill a bear with a handgun, 44 magnum and SW 500 seem to be the only reasonable calibers.
There was an incident in Alaska a year or two ago where a man shot a grizzly 9 times with a .45 and the bear walked off and died a bit further down the trail. I don't know of any stories of bears killed with other handgun calibers. Having said that, I carry this in the woods: http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=225 with the hope that it might should I need it... but I'm not very concerned about bears; it's meant for humans. I don't know why the bullets are flat point, but I've considered writing buffalobore to ask why they chose that bullet design.

Whenever I decide to shoot off those because of concerns about age or fitness they'll probably be replaced by some reload I cook up.
 
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Marco

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2007
Messages
3,905
Location
Greene County
OP, whatever gun/caliber you are already carrying is probably good enough. Rather than investing in exotic ammo might I suggest a can of bear spray instead, it works well on two legged and four legged creatures.


There are documented incidents of Brown Bears being killed with .357, 40, 45acp, 44spl/mag.
There was a report not long ago from AK of a large brown/grizzley being killed while it was in the process of breaking into a home.
The bear was heading up the stairs when homeowner heard the noise and met the bear at the top of the stairs so he emptied his G23 loaded w/180GD's into the Bruin stopping him cold.


I personally know of two Black Bears killed in VA with 10mm handguns.
The first one was shot with a Kimber 1911/5" bbl loaded w/ silvertips (2 shots required iirc), weighted <300lbs IIRC.
The second was taken w/ a 6" bbl G20 loaded with 190gr JSP, no chase or follow up shots needed.
 

Jonesy

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
416
Location
Alexandria, Virginia, USA
OP, whatever gun/caliber you are already carrying is probably good enough. Rather than investing in exotic ammo might I suggest a can of bear spray instead, it works well on two legged and four legged creatures.


There are documented incidents of Brown Bears being killed with .357, 40, 45acp, 44spl/mag.
There was a report not long ago from AK of a large brown/grizzley being killed while it was in the process of breaking into a home.
The bear was heading up the stairs when homeowner heard the noise and met the bear at the top of the stairs so he emptied his G23 loaded w/180GD's into the Bruin stopping him cold.


I personally know of two Black Bears killed in VA with 10mm handguns.
The first one was shot with a Kimber 1911/5" bbl loaded w/ silvertips (2 shots required iirc), weighted <300lbs IIRC.
The second was taken w/ a 6" bbl G20 loaded with 190gr JSP, no chase or follow up shots needed.

Thanks for your response, excellent info. Having considered this quite a bit and after several bear encounters, I have decided to go with the sidearm and not bear spray. If I was or go into griz country, I will have spray and a much bigger gun (.454 Alaskan 2 inch barrel seems a good choice or .500 S&W short barrel for stopping power and ease of handling). I want the sidearm around here more for 2 legged varmits, but I will probably still get a box of that double tap ammo for added punch in the odd event a bear gets very unfriendly. This is important to me because I am spending alot of time on the trails which I very much enjoy. SNP has ALOT of black bears. I encountered another momma and cub Sunday on Piney Branch trail, but this time they were at distance on other side of stream, I think my noise alerted them and off they ran.

Further research has led me to conclude that a wounded black bear is very nasty and will really attack anything nearby once wounded, So I will not shoot one unless I have no other choice. I have had several encounters, one at close range of about 30 feet, so I am becoming more comfortable in dealing with black bears in a non-confrontational manner. I make noise on the trails to alert them to my presence, and give them their space and a chance to leave the area and/or I leave the area, never turning my back or moving quickly, while avoiding direct eye contact. Once out of sight I leave the area but watch my six when doing so.

I see from your Avatar you are 6 miles from SNP. Do you hike there and if so what do you carry when on the trails? Thanks.
 

Marco

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2007
Messages
3,905
Location
Greene County
I see from your Avatar you are 6 miles from SNP. Do you hike there and if so what do you carry when on the trails? Thanks.

You should have also noticed the .357mag semi-auto.


My neighborhood is much like the park minus the tourist, drug trafficikers and the rangers. :)
As for what I carry, my usual carry firearm is either a 10mm or 357mag regardless of location but when out and about becoming one with nature I always have bear spray.

Don't want to find myself in a Harold Fish situation.
 

Jonesy

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
416
Location
Alexandria, Virginia, USA
You should have also noticed the .357mag semi-auto.


My neighborhood is much like the park minus the tourist, drug trafficikers and the rangers. :)
As for what I carry, my usual carry firearm is either a 10mm or 357mag regardless of location but when out and about becoming one with nature I always have bear spray.

Don't want to find myself in a Harold Fish situation.

Drug traffickers? Is this a real problem in SNP, please tell me more.
 

ClumsyCandy

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
314
Location
Richmond, Virginia, USA
Well I would except I'm not allowed to have it at work...so I "don't"...

Catch my drift?



Haven't you learned anything yet?

Carrying your gun under the seat is a great way to break you ankle when it goes flying forward as you are trying to stop in a hurry. Pretty much the same thing goes for keeping the gun on the seat next to you, except your ankle is not the immediate target. Maybe you ought to read up on the Miami FBI shootout (no, I'm not going to give you a link to it) and see what happens when you carry your gun on the seat.

You have hips (We've seen them!! Thank you, Peter.) and that's where you are supposed to carry your gun, in a nice holster (We've seen yours - it's OK.).

stay safe.
 

Neplusultra

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
2,224
Location
Christiansburg, Virginia, USA
BTW: A doe can and will attack and can beat you up with their hooves if "defending" young. Actually, the deer will be more concerned with your dog, so be carefull if you hike with a dog where there are a lot of deer and it is that time of year for them to give birth to their young. If a doe attacks, let the dog loose, she will go after the dog.

A pretty vicious deer attack on a dog that I'm sure meant no harm.

http://youtu.be/l0DkEcZ_k8Q
 
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