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#228790 - 07/29/11 07:38 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: Jesselp]
hikermor Online   content
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Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6532
Loc: southern Cal
What this incident says to me is that you don't acquire true competence simply by taking a "course." You need instruction, followed by experience, backed up with more "book learning," and yet more field time... Competence eventually emerges.
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#228809 - 07/30/11 03:41 AM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills course [Re: bacpacjac]
Denis Offline
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Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
It's funny, because of this incident, I keep thinking about this issue in terms of Alaska and the US but it's an issue in Canada too, in Alberta and BC in particular. Our gun laws are very different so the debate certainly changes focus when we're talking North of the border.

Very true. These are the 2 provinces I've lived in and the only places I've really pursued the outdoors. It's just a simple fact that if I'm hiking or camping that I am doing so in bear country (brown & black). I had to hit a couple outdoor stores today and there was noticeable activity around the bear spray & deterrents due to that Parks Canada bulletin.

And yes, the gun debate is much different up here due to both the laws and culture (which I guess are somewhat tied together).
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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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#228811 - 07/30/11 04:34 AM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills cou [Re: sheldon]
Denis Offline
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Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: sheldon
Most people who use firearms are poorly trained and don't have appropriate firearms for killing bears. So they injure and aggravate the bear and it now feels it has to kill the human. Whether this hypothesis is true can be tested by comparing the number of injuries among general people with guns and among people who are well trained and use appropriate guns.

You and JohnN both raise a good point; injuring a bear that was bluffing can definitely cause an attack / mauling that might not have occurred otherwise.

I can also see inexperience being a factor as you suggest, but good shots don't appear to guarantee an immediate end to an attack. For example, Scott Oberlitner and a buddy defended themselves against a bear attack, him with a .375 H&H Magnum rifle. Each man fired at the bear before it came into contact with Oberlitner, but with less than ideal results even though both shots were good:

"... both of the bullets fired at the start of the attack mortally wounded the bear, but because those bullets failed to hit any bone, they did nothing to slow the bear's attack. The force of the last shot rolled the bear off Oberlitner."

Based on my limited reading, I think there are things that can be done to increase the effectiveness of a firearm as a defence tool against bear attacks, including:
  • Having your firearm in hand
  • Having your firearm loaded with a round chambered
  • Being able to disengage the safety smoothly and intuitively under pressure
  • Don't try to scope the bear

However, I'm not convinced firearms can be brought up to the effectiveness of bear spray.
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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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#228819 - 07/30/11 02:25 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills cou [Re: Denis]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4897
Loc: SOCAL
In the time allowed, shot placement rules. This is similar to discussions on some gun forums about stopping an attack vs killing an attacker. A .22LR can kill an attacker, but maybe not fast enough.

A bear's physiology allows it to keep moving quite a bit longer than it takes to attack and kill a mere human. Then the bear moves off and the blood pressure drops off and it dies. We're back to putting rounds in the brain for an effective stop and that is much easier said than done against a fast moving bear.

I'd go with bear spray too.

YMMV <$.02

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#239902 - 01/22/12 11:08 PM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills cou [Re: Russ]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 890
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
I know I know, reviving an old thread is generally throwing akin to throwing gas on a old fire but I just thought I would post an article that I found recently.

It is a 5-part breakdown of the discussions that following the incident and doesn't really shed light on the incident itself. The author discussed the use of guns vs bear spray in a bear attack and comes back with some surprising conclusions and makes a good logical case for not giving firearms to the teens. Never the less, it was a good read written a few weeks afer. The second article provides more clarity on what happened on the day of the attack and of the nature of the attack. It was raining and the sounds of the creek disquised the approach of the group. The attack was maybe 10 seconds long. Since the kids crossed the creek indiviually the bear didn't know it was confronting a group if she had known would have preferred flight to fight. Only the first student said he saw a cub. This is one encounter that was not likely to have been avoided and the writer congratulates the teens on their post-attack response. There are several related links from the first and following articles. Some are also interesting reading.

Where I hike, my preference would be to carry bear bangers and bear spray and position a tree/obstacle between me and advancing bear. Firearms are illegal in Canadian parks. Bear bells are basically annoying dinner bells and are worthless decorations. Knowledge of bear habits and being attentive to the surroundings is paramount above all else.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/ar...attack?page=0,0
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/alaska-bear-attack-nols-kids-did-phenomenal-job?page=0,0

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#239919 - 01/23/12 02:00 AM Re: Teens mauled by grizzly in survival skills cou [Re: Roarmeister]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
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Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6532
Loc: southern Cal
I have seen Herrero's statistics before and they are pretty convincing. It is also very clear that one needs to be scrupulously clean when in bear country in order to deter attacks. I have enjoyed firearms all my life, but I think bear spray to be a more effective deterrent.
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