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#228587 - 07/26/11 03:09 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: Denis]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Denis
Originally Posted By: clearwater
Strong wind in the face?

You're might just be screwed smile. That said, that first study I mentioned seems to indicate performance is not as bad in the wind as commonly thought and that most encounters occur in areas where wind is less of a factor (e.g., dense woods).

As a side note, this was one scenario from my wilderness first aid field day ... the freaked out wilderness photographer who sprayed himself in the face. This is actually what prompted the whole discussion on bear spray effectiveness with the class.


I appreciate your info. However, I think you may have to punt on the wind issue. I just can't wrap my mind around how, during a head wind, bear spray can be both effective against the bear and NOT hurt the user. If warnings say "DO NOT USE IN HEAVY WIND," then I would actually have MORE confidence that bear spray can make the bear have a bad day.
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#228590 - 07/26/11 03:20 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: Susan]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Denis
I have a problem when people make the accusation that other people or groups are irresponsible for not carrying firearms when firearms have proved not to be the best tool for bear defence in most situations.


Just to be clear, I'm not accusing anybody of being irresponsible. For me, it's about knowing what the heck I'm talking about when recommending a self-defense device to another person. Either I know entirely what I'm saying, or I don't talk at all. The self-defense tool, whether it's a gun or bear spray, should be put through the ringer from all different viewpoints. Every stat should be questioned. All available facts should be known.

By the way, I do like the idea of bear spray, even though I'd be more comfortable with a gun. I practice shooting guns. I don't practice using bear spray at all.
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#228591 - 07/26/11 03:29 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: hikermor]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: hikermor
It is always fascinating how a single bear attack will generate enormous media attention,as well as commentary here on ETS, while the far more common falling and drowning fatalities go by unnoticed.


That is funny. At the same, it seems like those other things are entirely within one's control to prevent. If you don't want to get injured while falling, then look where you're going. If you don't want to drown, then become a better swimmer and respect the water.

Meanwhile, a bear attack has a huge unpredictability factor involved. I'm a bit of a control freak. So, things like bear attacks, snake bites, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc., make me uneasy.
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#228592 - 07/26/11 03:30 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: Denis]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 958
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Would you be comfortable with water purification that killed
90% of pathogens?

Edit- just noticed the claim is 98%. That is quite a bit better.

Since a bear has poor eyesight and good sense of smell, the
likely-hood of surprising a bear (when a grizzly is most likely
to attack) would be when you are facing the wind. Both sound
and smell would be muted by the airflow.

As for storing bear spray in a trunk, I have had soles of shoes
de-laminate from the heat generated by a car trunk. Not a good place to store something in an aerosol can.

Pepperspray works only to 32 F? Alaska doesn't get that cold
does it?

Limit yourself if you want, but the safety of other's children?

The Alaska NPS and USFS web pages I was going to post that suggested bringing more than 1 method of bear deterence have been changed. Both pages now have identical
wording. (They HAD listed air horns and flares as some of the other methods.)

"Protection

Firearms should never be used as an alternative to common-sense approaches to bear encounters. If you are inexperienced with a firearm in emergency situations, you are more likely to be injured by a gun than a bear. It is illegal to carry firearms in some of Alaska's national parks, so check before you go.

A .300-Magnum rifle or a 12-gauge shotgun with rifled slugs are appropriate weapons if you have to shoot a bear. Heavy handguns such as a .44-Magnum may be inadequate in emergency situations, especially in untrained hands.

State law allows a bear to be shot in self-defense if you did not provoke the attack and if there is no alternative, but the hide and skull must be salvaged and turned over to the authorities.

Defensive aerosol sprays which contain capsicum (red pepper extract) have been used with some success for protection against bears. These sprays may be effective at a range of 6-8 yards. If discharged upwind or in a vehicle, they can disable the user. Take appropriate precautions. If you carry a spray can, keep it handy and know how to use it."

http://www.nps.gov/anch/naturescience/bear-safety-in-alaska.htm

Here is the forest service employee manual on the subject

http://bit.ly/pQKwsa




Edited by Doug_Ritter (07/26/11 08:09 PM)
Edit Reason: shorten URL

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#228593 - 07/26/11 03:42 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: ireckon]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: ireckon
Just to be clear, I'm not accusing anybody of being irresponsible. For me, it's about knowing what the heck I'm talking about when recommending a self-defense device to another person.

That's fair, that said there have been statements made (not by you) in this thread accusing the group of negligence for not including firearms in their preps.

Originally Posted By: ireckon
Either I know entirely what I'm saying, or don't talk at all. The self-defense tool, whether it's a gun or bear spray, should be put through the ringer from all different viewpoints. Every stat should be questioned. All available facts should be known.

Information is key. Honestly, I always assumed a firearm was a superior choice to bear spray. However I was not able to find any real information to back this up; everything I've found indicates bear spray is, generally speaking at least, the better choice.

I'm not anti-gun and honestly have no issues with firearms in the wilderness; they seem like a valuable tool. I just haven't found any compelling reason to suggest that firearms should be considered the go-to, or even mandatory, self defence tool against bears.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#228594 - 07/26/11 03:49 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Susan]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: Susan
Why would anyone carry a handgun as protection against bears???
Sue


I would.

A long arm is heavy and cumbersome. Therefore, it's more likely to be leaning up against a tree a few feet away when you need it most. It's also slow to the draw if it's slung over your shoulder, or, worse yet, strapped to a pack.

A handgun is much easier to carry, so it's more likely to be with you when you need it most. It also tends to be faster to the draw.

A .454 Casull (like Ruger's Alaskan) or one of Smith and Wesson's X-frames is plenty for bear, if you can hit what you're aiming at. S&W's .500 magnum actually replicates the ballistics of a 2 3/4" shotgun slug pretty closely. Both will throw a 300gr projectile at right around 2,000 feet-per-second.

Here's an article about a guy who killed a ~900lb brown that charged him while he was out walking his dog. The gun used was a Ruger Alaskan .454:

http://www.adn.com/2009/08/13/897940/twig-snap-alerts-dog-walker-to.html

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#228598 - 07/26/11 04:31 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: clearwater]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: clearwater
Would you be comfortable with water purification that killed 90% of pathogens?

I am more comfortable with a self defence tool that allows me to escape injury over 90% of the time compared to the one that only allows me to escape injury 50% of the time (according to the USFWS study).

Originally Posted By: clearwater
Since a bear has poor eyesight and good sense of smell, the likely-hood of surprising a bear (when a grizzly is most likely to attack) would be when you are facing the wind. Both sound and smell would be muted by the airflow.

This was answered by Tom Smith's research.

"Wind was reported to have interfered with spray accuracy in five of the 71 incidents studied, although the spray reached the bear in all cases. Smith used a wind meter to test the speed of the spray as it streams out of the canister. Repeated tests showed an average of 70 miles per hour. Smith also noted that bears and humans can easily see each other in open, windy spaces. The surprise encounters tend to occur in wooded areas in which vegetation blocks wind."

Originally Posted By: clearwater
As for storing bear spray in a trunk, I have had soles of shoes de-laminate from the heat generated by a car trunk. Not a good place to store something in an aerosol can.

Part of safe operation & maintenace is storing and transporting it where it is under 50 degrees C (~120 F). This is a part of being the responsible owner of a dangerous item.

Originally Posted By: clearwater
Pepperspray works only to 32 F? Alaska doesn't get that cold does it?

If you are dealing with these temperatures, the brown/black bears are likely hibernating and yes, a firearm would become the go-to option. That said, in Smith's study of incidents of bear spray use in Alaska there were no reports of spray malfunction.

Originally Posted By: clearwater
Limit yourself if you want, but the safety of other's children?

You have not demonstrated that choosing bear spray as one's defence tool puts anyone at risk.

All the data I've been able to find suggests that choosing bear spray over firearms increases ones chances of survival and avoiding injury in the case of a bear attack. If this is not the case please provide information which shows the results of these studies are incorrect.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#228603 - 07/26/11 06:03 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: Denis]
GoatMan Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 98
Here is a cut/paste from a post I did some time back:
------------------------------------------------------
Article worth reading: http://fwp.mt.gov/mtoutdoors/downloads/BearAttack.pdf

Another article worth reading: http://www.nps.gov/glac/parknews/news10-05.htm

Best information I've read on Bear Spray vs. Firearms on bears:

"Between 2005 and 2009, park visitation totaled 9,835,188. During that timeframe, three visitors were injured by grizzly bears in Glacier. Bear spray was not used by any of those three individuals. Glacier managers agree with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks’ statement: "If you are armed, use a firearm only as a last resort. Wounding a bear, even with a large caliber gun, can put you in far greater danger."

"According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) investigations of human-bear encounters since 1992, persons encountering grizzlies and defending themselves with firearms suffered injury about 50% of the time. During the same period, persons defending themselves with pepper spray escaped injury most of the time and those that were injured experienced shorter duration attacks and less severe injuries.

"Other researchers have come to the same conclusions. According to the USFWS, Canadian bear biologist / bear conflict expert Dr. Stephen Herrero, a person’s chance of incurring serious injury from a charging grizzly doubles when bullets are fired versus when bear spray is used. Also, in a study published in the April 2008 Journal of Wildlife Management, Tom Smith examined "The Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska." The study showed that in 72 cases where people used bear pepper spray to defend themselves from bears, the spray stopped bears 92 percent of the time and 98 percent of the people involved were uninjured."

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#228606 - 07/26/11 06:58 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: GoatMan]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
The only problem with bear spray is that, in the off chance it isn't an effective deterrent, it needs to be backed up by something that doesn't just deter the threat, but can stop it completely. This is where a firearm comes in. I don't believe that one excludes the other....if I'm in big bear country, I truly want both available to me. I'm emptying that can and then transitioning to my firearm as fast as possible.

With a group, this is easier. Everyone in the group gets a can of bear spray, while a few select members of the group also get firearms. Then all bases are covered.


With that in mind, if I can only carry one of the two, I'm going to carry a firearm. That's simply because, when it comes down to it, the chance of me having a dangerous encounter with a bear is relatively low and I find a firearm to be more versatile overall (like if I get lost and need to take game to survive) or if I need to defend myself from some of the two-legged animals out there.

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#228610 - 07/26/11 07:53 PM Re: Not a firearm OR pepperspray choice [Re: clearwater]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1308
Clearwater, can you or a MOD fix that extremely long web link you posted as trying to read this thread on a smart phone makes for a lot of scrolling...

Fixed Link that Clearwater posted.

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Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

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