Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 8 of 12 < 1 2 ... 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 >
Topic Options
#228616 - 07/26/11 09:44 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Susan]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
An article in the Alaska Dispatch has some new details.

Apparently the group was hiking down the winding creek, not crossing it, when the attack occurred. It was also raining heavily which it's thought, along with the creek itself, could have masked the group's noise.

Based on this and the geography, it's thought the bear didn't realise there was a large group:

"As the students, Stuemke and Ford have described the creek bed in which everyone met, it is quite probable the bear at first thought it was confronting only Berg.
...
"She (the bear) probably didn't realize the others were there," Stuemke said. Had she known the size of the pack she was confronting, bear biologists believe, she likely would have smacked her cub to get it moving and chased after it away from the area. Instead, however, she attacked Berg, cracking his skull in the process, to neutralize what she apparently perceived to be a solitary threat."


Also, it looks like no one in the group was able to deploy their bear spray in time:

"[Berg] was attacked and knocked to the ground before he could grab the bear spray he and others were carrying with which to defend themselves.
...
Some of them were trying to get to their bear spray. They never did. There wasn't enough time."


The big takeaway I see from this is to ensure you can always get your bear spray (or firearm) out and ready to fire in seconds (or less if possible). You don't have much time to react.

This article also has more details about the first aid administered by the group following the attack; it sounds like they did an amazing job.
_________________________
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

Top
#228624 - 07/27/11 03:19 AM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Denis]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Originally Posted By: Denis
The big takeaway I see from this is to ensure you can always get your bear spray (or firearm) out and ready to fire in seconds (or less if possible). You don't have much time to react.


Mike Clelland is an ultralight hiker and author. He counts fractions of a gram with the best of them, but he insists on carrying his bear spray in a holster at his side for immediate access, regardless of the weight penalty.

Top
#228637 - 07/27/11 01:17 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Susan]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Susan
Why would anyone carry a handgun as protection against bears???

The phrase "armed for bear" has a meaning to it, you know.

If you're just carrying a handgun, you may be "armed for squirrels or a raccoon", but not a large predator.

Sue


Weight and because it is better than nothing.

Typically while hiking in Alaska I carried a Remington 870 12ga with slugs.

I can attest it gets very heavy. :-)

If going somewhere where I'm less likely to run into a bear I admit I would often just carry the .357.

And yes, I understand the relative effectiveness of each option.

FWIW, if you are in the brush and startle a bear, deploying a long arm is iffy at best. Actually, deploying anything is iffy, but a long arm even more so.

-john

Top
#228640 - 07/27/11 01:40 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Denis]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Denis

As I mentioned a bit earlier on in this thread, the only study I've heard about found that bear spray was effective at stopping aggressive bear behaviour in 92 percent of cases while firearms were effective in 67 percent of cases.


I suspect this is a misleading statistic.

While on the surface it sounds like apples to apples, it really isn't.

Basically, if a bear shows up, there is little reason NOT to deploy the bear spray. If the bear goes away, the spray worked, right?

Consider that in many situations the bear is checking you out. It isn't really committed to an attack. It may bluff charge you, see you aren't a threat, and wander off.

So... It many of these cases option 3: doing nothing probably has similar results to deploying the bear spray.

That said, the bear spray is clearly a deterrent. Basically it puts the human on similar ground as a skunk. Bear approaches, fog of unpleasantness appears. Yuk.

The gotcha is if the bear is committed to the attack (has cubs for example), I suspect the effectiveness of bear spray is near zero.

So as a deterrent, I suspect bear spray is good. Better than doing nothing, and better than a firearm.

But, if the bear is committed, the effectiveness of the firearm is probably going to be by far your most effective option.

Of course, "by far most effective" isn't going to be "highly effective".

These are two things that should be used together, not compared. One is a deterrent, one is your last ditch defense. These should be layered with the forethought to try to avoid startling the bear in the first place.

-john

Top
#228648 - 07/27/11 03:25 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: JohnN]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: JohnN
I suspect this is a misleading statistic.
...
The gotcha is if the bear is committed to the attack (has cubs for example), I suspect the effectiveness of bear spray is near zero.

With all due respect, do you really think its fair to discount the results of those studies based on your suppositions?

I'm not saying those studies are perfect or that there is no chance the experts who have found bear spray to be effective cannot be wrong, but all that I've seen here and elsewhere are suppositions and gut-feelings on why firearms must be a part of bear defence. I'm not going to say firearms can't be a viable defence against bear attacks because I think they can be, but I can't accept that they should be a mandatory part of ones bear defence strategy without something more substantial than someone's feelings to back up the argument.

I'd love to see some detailed critical analysis of these studies or alternate studies that have come to different conclusions. However, I've found none.

I haven't started advocating bear spray here because its my personal preference, but because all the information I can find indicates it will give someone the best chance at walking away from a bear attack. I haven't found anything similar that suggests the addition of a firearm to the equation adds to ones chance of survival.

I wouldn't tell someone who feels safer with a firearm and can legally carry it to leave it at home; but I would recommend to them that they carry bear spay on their belt and plan on that to be their first line of defence. In the same respect I am not going to say one ought to have a firearm in bear country given what I know at this time.
_________________________
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

Top
#228651 - 07/27/11 03:50 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Susan]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
"With all due respect, do you really think its fair to discount the results of those studies based on your suppositions?"

With all due respect, I didn't discount the results of the study. I simply suggested that people may draw the wrong conclusions from them.

Further, I clearly indicated that I felt bear spray was useful and an effective *deterrent*.

But I also stand by my suggestion that bear spray isn't going to stop a bear fully committed to an attack. It won't even stop all humans fully committed to an attack.

Bear attacks are fairly rare. A fair portion can be deterred by bear spray making the remaining number even more rare.

So, statistically, you are probably safe without a firearm. But if you fall into that last unlucky bunch, I do suggest a firearm improves your chances. Hence, the layered approach.

I fully support your decision to take whatever chances you like as long as you are willing to live with any potential consequences.

In the end, we all must make our *own* decision what to do. I feel the best way to do this is to have a robust discussion, consider the arguments, and then make that personal decision.

-john

Top
#228652 - 07/27/11 03:59 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: NightHiker]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Channeled Scablands
It will continue to be interesting as more facts and thoughts
of the attack come out.
How many students were attacked?

What if anything, did the students do that helped or made worse the situation?

What finally caused the bear to break off the attack?

Did one of the other students had time or ability to deploy pepper spray?

If a firearm was present, could someone have deployed it and would it have prevented some of the
attacks by scaring off or disabling the bear after the initial
contact?

and perhaps some changes in practice and protocol for NOLS in
bear country-

Do they let students on their own in brushy griz terrain?
Do they let students hike in the rain, or near streams in
heavy covers with bears about?
Do they let students walk single file and spread out?
Do they let groups with instructors go into brushy places?
Does the point hiker carry spray in their hand when in thick
places?
A shotgun?
Will other students be taught to come to the aid of someone
being attacked?

Top
#228653 - 07/27/11 04:01 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: JohnN]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: JohnN

These are two things that should be used together, not compared. One is a deterrent, one is your last ditch defense. These should be layered with the forethought to try to avoid startling the bear in the first place.
-john


I am firmly on the fence about this. I hope never to be in that situation but it's my understanding that these attacks happen very quickly. I wonder if a layed, 2 step approach (spray and then gun if the bear keeps coming) is realistic? I'd probably want a gun if I was up there, but I'd definitely have bear spray on my belt.
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9fpZEy5XSWkYy7sgz-mSA

Top
#228654 - 07/27/11 04:17 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: bacpacjac]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Here is one persons take on bear fighting-


http://www.findingwilderness.com/?page_id=112

lots there, mostly theorys.

"Don’t play dead, even with non-predatory surprise encounters."

"Dr. Steven Herrero, admits that his recommendation for remaining passive or motionless (playing dead) in the case of non-predatory grizzly bear attacks is based more on “impressions from examining similar incidents and [his] understanding of bear behavior” rather than quantifiable statistical analysis. (See page 18 of the Revised Edition of his book“Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance,” Revised Edition 2002)"

Top
#228657 - 07/27/11 04:40 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: JohnN]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: JohnN
With all due respect, I didn't discount the results of the study. I simply suggested that people may draw the wrong conclusions from them.

This is the conclusion one of the studies we are talking about draws:

"Persons working and recreating in bear habitat should feel confident that they are safe if carrying bear spray. Although bear spray was 92% effective by our definition of success, it is important to note that 98% of persons carrying it were uninjured after a close encounter with bears."

I don't think I'm misreading your last response, but it sounded like you were saying bear spray might work against non-aggressive bears, but wouldn't be effective against aggressive ones; for those scenarios you'd need a firearm to have even a chance. This is something the study contradicts.

For example, you reiterated:

Originally Posted By: JohnN
But I also stand by my suggestion that bear spray isn't going to stop a bear fully committed to an attack. It won't even stop all humans fully committed to an attack.

Yet the evidence suggests otherwise:

"In 64% (9 of 14) of these close encounters, brown bears charged the person(s) before being sprayed. In 85% (12 of 14; G1 = 7.9, P = 0.019) of aggressive encounters with brown bears, bear spray stopped the bear’s aggressive behavior; in 12% (1 of 14) the person spraying the bear was not injured, but the bear charged through the fog, halting 1 m from the person before moving off. In 12% (1 of 14) of aggressive encounters the bear contacted and slightly injured the person in the interaction (i.e., deep scratches requiring stitches)."

So in 20 years of known encounters in Alaska there has not been a single fatality, or even significant injury, among those who have used bear spray as a defence against bears, even aggressive ones.

Approach the situation as you will, but in a forum such as this I think it does a disservice to anyone reading this to suggest that they would be at risk by relying on bear spray as their defence against bear attacks. The information available simply does not warrant suggesting that bear spray cannot be relied upon as ones primary, and even sole, tool for defence.

Originally Posted By: JohnN
I fully support your decision to take whatever chances you like as long as you are willing to live with any potential consequences.

To this, my response is the same as the one I made to clearwater when he made a similar suggestion (that I am somehow risking my life or the life of others by not recommending a firearm). I'll simply quote that exchange:

Originally Posted By: Denis
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.

Originally Posted By: JohnN
In the end, we all must make our *own* decision what to do. I feel the best way to do this is to have a robust discussion, consider the arguments, and then make that personal decision.

Absolutely. My point is we need to make this decision using the best and most accurate information we have available to us.
_________________________
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

Top
Page 8 of 12 < 1 2 ... 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
October
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Who's Online
1 registered (Phaedrus), 306 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
KennethCopeland, manimal, tsfirstaid, Sherette, ohmysan
5327 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Another missing hiker in a National Park
by Phaedrus
Today at 04:21 AM
What did you do today to prepare?
by haertig
Yesterday at 08:30 PM
Any shortages where you are?
by TeacherRO
Yesterday at 06:56 PM
Doug's pocket survival pak availability
by Ren
Yesterday at 12:32 AM
Tinder in the psk?
by Roarmeister
10/26/20 11:45 PM
Hiker missing for two weeks in Zion found alive!
by nursemike
10/25/20 04:36 PM
Musical Instruments and Survival Situations?
by dougwalkabout
10/24/20 01:20 AM
Election plans
by Chisel
10/23/20 05:38 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.