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More bear encounters

6L6GC

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Messages
492
Location
Newport News, Virginia, USA
I have both a base and mobile CB radios

still use 'em all the time. I'm not much on the "lingo" (as portrayed in the movies). Getting ready to get my ham radio license. radios can be a good secondary means of communication, especially in/during emergencies
roN
 

ccwinstructor

Centurion
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Messages
919
Location
Yuma, Arizona, USA
Sometimes those "bears" hunt in packs!

I still like to follow a couple hundred yards behind some bear bait on the interstate, if you know what I mean :^).

It is a good strategy. I have used it often. As I have gotten older and wiser, and seen a great many times that the "bears" were out in packs, I just keep below the speed limit.
 

The Wolfhound

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
728
Location
Henrico, Virginia, USA
There is an advantage to bear spray...

Spray will likely deter the bear and enforce its desire to leave people alone in the future. Shoot a bear, and you have no options but a dead bear. If it worries you, practice presenting the spray with your non dominant hand, leaving your gun hand free. We carry to preserve options in our own defense. Nothing different in the woods with that theory. Spray just adds an option.
 

peter nap

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
13,551
Location
Valhalla
Spray will likely deter the bear and enforce its desire to leave people alone in the future. Shoot a bear, and you have no options but a dead bear. If it worries you, practice presenting the spray with your non dominant hand, leaving your gun hand free. We carry to preserve options in our own defense. Nothing different in the woods with that theory. Spray just adds an option.

It probably won't work in a charge Wolfhound.
There's been a lot of information posted here. Some good, some bad and some just experience.

I have a lot of experience with Black Bears and none with Grizzlies, never seen one, just pictures.

From what I've read, Grizzlies often bluff charge.
From my experience, Blacks almost never do. The one's I've seen charge, mean it.
It's unbelievably fast, much faster than any dog I've ever seen.

Assuming no wind, the maximum practical range of bear spray is about 12 feet.
Hitting a charging bear at 12 feet with spray is useless. Just his momentum will make him run you over.
In a charge, shoot him, aim for the nose which will hit the heart if you aim right but generally people shoot a tad high when stressed so a high shot will catch the brain.

About the only time bear spray is useful on bears (I like it for people, it's hotter) is when one is nosing around camp or the picnic basket.

My point is, if you're close enough to use spray on an angry bear....better shoot him because you won't get a chance to do both.

I also want to restate that being in that situation is extremely rare. It's like being bitten by a snake, On a normal hike, you walk by dozens and never know it. They just want to hide or get away.

This one would have been a candidate for spraying if I hadn't been aking pictures, but way too close if he was mad.
_MG_1198.jpg
 
Last edited:

Jonesy

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
416
Location
Alexandria, Virginia, USA
From my experience, Blacks almost never do. The one's I've seen charge, mean it.
It's unbelievably fast, much faster than any dog I've ever seen.

My point is, if you're close enough to use spray on an angry bear....better shoot him because you won't get a chance to do both.

I made this point earlier, using bear spray will likely give me no time to deploy my gun. I cannot see myself with spray in one hand and gun in the other. Thus, I have decided to carry the gun and not spray. Your comments (and much greater bear experience) just reinforce my conclusion, despite that the rangers tell us spray is more effective than a gun on bears.

In my limited experience I have only seen blacks trying to flee as you suggest, so I hope you are correct that the charge will be a rare experience, and one I will hopefully never get.
 

carry for myself

Regular Member
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
546
Location
Maine
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.


bears being loud is as large of a misconception as the old saying "a bull in a china shop" actually in reality a bull is very graceful as tested on "mythbusters" and can navigate a china shop without knocking over a single item. with that said bears are actually extremely graceful. the only time they rub against foliage is when they intend to , like while scratching an itch, removing bugs or flys or rubbing scent on a tree. otherwise they are always in "stalking" mode. it is how they avoid detection from predators , also known as us.

they are very smart intelligent creatures and you usually dont know they are there untill you see them. hence why 95% of bear attacks the injured party states "we never saw him coming" or "we were surprised by the animal". also why any bear guide will tell you not to sneak through the woods. a bear can smell you and your food from up to a mile away. and when they get that scent. they will stalk. best bet is to be noisy when traveling. i have seen people attatch bells to their ruck sacks to make noise, or purposely grab large branchs and crack them as they move through the woods.

odds are a bear will avoid you as much as you try to avoid them. but getting close is the worst thing you can do. distance equals safety :)
 

carry for myself

Regular Member
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
546
Location
Maine
It probably won't work in a charge Wolfhound.
There's been a lot of information posted here. Some good, some bad and some just experience.

I have a lot of experience with Black Bears and none with Grizzlies, never seen one, just pictures.

From what I've read, Grizzlies often bluff charge.
From my experience, Blacks almost never do. The one's I've seen charge, mean it.
It's unbelievably fast, much faster than any dog I've ever seen.

Assuming no wind, the maximum practical range of bear spray is about 12 feet.
Hitting a charging bear at 12 feet with spray is useless. Just his momentum will make him run you over.
In a charge, shoot him, aim for the nose which will hit the heart if you aim right but generally people shoot a tad high when stressed so a high shot will catch the brain.

About the only time bear spray is useful on bears (I like it for people, it's hotter) is when one is nosing around camp or the picnic basket.

My point is, if you're close enough to use spray on an angry bear....better shoot him because you won't get a chance to do both.

I also want to restate that being in that situation is extremely rare. It's like being bitten by a snake, On a normal hike, you walk by dozens and never know it. They just want to hide or get away.

This one would have been a candidate for spraying if I hadn't been aking pictures, but way too close if he was mad.
_MG_1198.jpg


exactly! nose shots will usually hit the heart. their skulls are thick, so a brain shot is tough. NEVER aim shoulder as you would a deer. there is too much fat and muscle storage and you will just piss him off. if you cant get a heart shot. as i stated before pick a spot and pick away at it. 10-13 rounds if you can muster it. may not kill him but will deter him a bit. or slow him down.

best bet is to get away. before! he charges.

grizzlies WILL bluff charge to a distance of about 10 feet then rear up. that is your exit point. back away slowly and keep your front sight on him. dont even turn your back!

black bears ARE more vicious in attack then grizzlies but the odds of one attacking are alot less because of their non-aggressive nature.


have fun and stay safe! :D
 

The Wolfhound

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
728
Location
Henrico, Virginia, USA
Thinking my minor point got missed.......

The main thought was "once you shoot a bear, kill it". You do not for a number of reasons want a wounded bear on the loose. I bow to greater knowledge on the efficacy of bear spray.
 

peter nap

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
13,551
Location
Valhalla
The main thought was "once you shoot a bear, kill it". You do not for a number of reasons want a wounded bear on the loose. I bow to greater knowledge on the efficacy of bear spray.

Point taken Wolfhound!

FWIW, Black Bears are easy to knock down but they always seem to get back up. They take a good amount of killing and their coats soak up blood like a sponge so there isn't much to follow.
 

Jonesy

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
416
Location
Alexandria, Virginia, USA
I think you are missing the point.
The spray is more for non wildlife and for when the wildlife gets too curious.

Point taken and understood. The spray gives you another defensive option.

I personally do not want pepper spray for use on humans, my gun will be my defensive weapon, although sometimes I venture into VW, where oc seems prohibited "in the woods" and spray may then be an less desirable alternative for me.
 
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