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#242870 - 03/10/12 03:35 AM Re: Bear attacks vs armed people [Re: Bingley]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1835
Loc: Colorado
If bear spray might work, and a firearm might work, guess what? I would be carring both! Which one would be used would depend on circumstance. Firing bear spray into a 20 mph headwind? I.d pick the firearm for that case. Using pepper spray would just serve as seasoning for my meaty little body for the bears dinner.

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#242871 - 03/10/12 06:33 AM Re: Bear attacks vs armed people [Re: Teslinhiker]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 977
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
The real simple fact of the matter is this: 1000's of hikers die, get injured every year by their own undoing and mistakes as compared to those who may even see bear, let alone be charged or mauled by a bear..... All the discussion here will not change these statistics and I cannot believe that the topic of guns vs bear spray comes up so often and always leads to the same arguments.
Yes, it is amazing, isn't it. People who have never even seen a grizzly or brown bear, let alone been attacked by one, or shot one, are more than willing to give "expert" advice. And they tend to get really upset when someone challenges their "facts" (or lack therof).

Quote:
I live and adventure in bear country on a very regular basis and the last thing crosses my mind, is a bear attack as there are 100's of more self inflicted accidents and mistakes that will cause me injury or death before a bear attack. And yes, I do carry bear spray and after decades of outdoor travels, have never had to use it once and in all likelihood, I will die of old age before having to pull the spray trigger (or any trigger) on a bear...
Yes, that is my view also. I've been living, working, and playing in big bear country for well over two decades. While bears certainly can hurt you, the odds of a serious encounter are extremely low. I've long been convinced that on any given outing in Alaska, one has at least two orders of magnitude greater risk of dying from hypothermia than a bear attack.

In my earlier post I had a link showing movements of just 11 collered bears around this town. We are a city of over 300,000 people, with some estimates of upwards of 60 brown bears around town (and many hundreds of black bears). One friend of mine once had a brown bear come up on his porch. To listen to some of these armchair experts, people should be getting mauled right and left. Yet the fact is, injuries from bears are extremely rare.


Edited by AKSAR (03/10/12 06:35 AM)
Edit Reason: minor addition
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#242872 - 03/10/12 06:58 AM Re: Bear attacks vs armed people [Re: AKSAR]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1835
Loc: Colorado
I've run into two bears in my whole life (in the wild). Both in Yellowstone, if you can call that "in the wild". We were hiking on trails away from the crowds so it was kinda-sorta in the wild.

The first one was a grizzly. I think. He had that flat-ish face and hump on his back. We stumbled upon him (her?) accidently, but he pretty much ignored us for the first few seconds. He was digging at something. He looked up at us and that's when my wife took his picture as we carefully, but quickly, left the area. I wanted to kill her when I heard that shutter click, but he had already seen us anyway. Looking straight at us actually. His picture is below. He was pretty close - that shot was taken with a 200mm lens on a 35mm film camera. We certainly didn't approach him this closely, we got surprised. It was dusk. Picture is grainy because back in those days film wasn't as good. The shot was on 400ASA film that we pushed to 800ASA during processing (realizing we might have a decent shot of the bear, but underexposed, hence the "push"). All you young folks probably have no idea what "pushing" film means - ah, the joys of getting older - I miss that darkroom!

The second was a black bear. We were fishing on a remote stream. He came stumbling out of the woods on the opposite side of the stream from us. He saw us, and took off running in the opposite direction. We didn't run, but packed up and left the area.

Mr. Bear, as we nicknamed him, sometime in the early 80's in Yellowstone:


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#242878 - 03/10/12 06:05 PM Re: Bear attacks vs armed people [Re: AKSAR]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1279
Originally Posted By: AKSAR

Yes, that is my view also. I've been living, working, and playing in big bear country for well over two decades. While bears certainly can hurt you, the odds of a serious encounter are extremely low. I've long been convinced that on any given outing in Alaska, one has at least two orders of magnitude greater risk of dying from hypothermia than a bear attack.

Originally Posted By: AKSAR

To listen to some of these armchair experts, people should be getting mauled right and left. Yet the fact is, injuries from bears are extremely rare.


Thanks AKSAR. I am glad that there is at least one other person here who agrees with me...

I think that at times, people inadvertently get too focused in their ideology and that colors their thoughts then distracts them from a more realistic and plausible way of thinking of what is a greater threat to their safety and well being while out in wilderness as apposed to the extremely small odds of a confrontation...let alone being attacked by a bear.
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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.

John Lubbock

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#242884 - 03/10/12 08:39 PM Re: Bear attacks vs armed people [Re: Bingley]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1835
Loc: Colorado
Just because a greater threat exists does not mean you should ignore the lesser threat. I'm not saying that means you need to carry a gun, but I'm also not saying that you shouldn't carry a gun just because a greater threat exists. Other factors need to be considered as well.

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#242888 - 03/10/12 09:43 PM Re: Bear attacks vs armed people [Re: Bingley]
Pete Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1126
it seems to me that these statistics are not really about people and bears. What they really tell is a message about how people with firearms are likely to react if charged at close quarters by a dangerous animal. Clearly ... making an effective shot is a LOT harder than most of us would like to admit.

On a separate, but important, subject ...

chocolate IS definitely good for you :-)

So if I am charged by an enraged grizzly, my plan is to take out a chocolate bar from my pocket and eat it. Might as well die happy.
Hahaha !

Pete2

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#242890 - 03/10/12 09:58 PM Re: Bear attacks vs armed people [Re: Bingley]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1835
Loc: Colorado
If a bear were charging you, how many people would know WHERE to shoot it for best effect? I know I wouldn't. Again, that doesn't mean I'm against having a firearm in bear country, just that I wouldn't know where to shoot such a beast. Maybe if I were treed and had a long time to take nice aimed shots, I'd go for the eyes and the nose - take away his senses the he would use to find you. But I think that's actually a pretty bad plan. not to mention, very cruel to the bear.

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#242892 - 03/10/12 10:51 PM Re: Bear attacks vs armed people [Re: Bingley]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Bingley
Having a gun makes no difference in the outcome of bear attacks!

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/03/08/2058759/gun-is-no-insurance-policy-in.html


I appreciate your overall sentiment, but your statement is hyperbolic. If somebody said they're going to drop me off in the middle of known bear territory (with no other threats), I would definitely carry a powerful gun if given the option.

You, in contrast, are saying that it makes no difference. Actually, you're saying carrying a gun would be worse because the gun would be nothing more than dead weight. Going without the gun would allow you to save weight.

To reiterate, for those who say it makes no difference, than I'd like to see you put your money where your mouth is by refusing the option of carrying a powerful gun in bear territory. For example, somebody hands you a powerful gun in bear country (with no other threats), and you must deliberately refuse because it's dead weight.

Here's a video worth watching:
http://youtu.be/tjHiu4RWMBk
The gun made a difference in that situation. Further, the gun was the only thing that made difference. What else would have worked there? A whistle? Yelling?
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If you're reading this, it's too late.

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#242896 - 03/11/12 01:05 AM Re: Bear attacks vs armed people [Re: ireckon]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1238
Post voluntarily removed.


Edited by Bingley (03/12/12 02:17 AM)

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#242908 - 03/11/12 03:47 AM Re: Bear attacks vs armed people [Re: Pete]
Basecamp Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 107
Loc: PNW
Originally Posted By: Pete

...
On a separate, but important, subject ...

chocolate IS definitely good for you :-)

So if I am charged by an enraged grizzly, my plan is to take out a chocolate bar from my pocket and eat it. Might as well die happy.
Hahaha !

Pete2

I'm with you cool... don't forget, if you have opted for pepper spray at that point, spray it all over yourself at the last second, the bear may appreciate a spicier meal.

I don't know what went on here, I didn't notice anyone stating they were giving expert advice or that they were an expert. I noticed one biologist's report given as an informational, safety notice that we could file into our "other folk's experiences" file. I didn't see it as the end all, do all report of human - bear encounters.

Some folks here take offense to others opinions and experiences and call names, thinking that only their opinion and supporting data matters. There are usually at least two sides to every story... with deviations and variances...

AKSAR, your name here infers that you are, or have been, on a SAR team in AK (with my limited imagination, anyway). You should have some great info and insight. I have 25 years experience on a recognized team. I would imagine that, working in AK, if you had looked around at other team members, you might notice a few firearms. I carried once in a while, but not all the time. A couple of times the volunteers were intentionally excluded and we went in armed due to circumstances of the search but that was not due to bears in the area.

You can read many studies, reports and opinions and you may notice that there are arguments across the spectrum as to cause and effect.

To those of you that think pepper spray automatically incapacitates any animal, man or beast, I would say it would be in your best interest to do further research.

To those of you that believe that a properly placed shot of the correct calibre does not incapacitate an animal, I would say the same. Yes, it is not as simple as all that, and I did not say "immediate incapacitation"... there are many variables... but bullets destroy tissue and turn off switches that make things run. Yes, adrenaline and drugs and all that. yada, yada, yada..

Really, no disrespect, these really are facts.

Best wishes and safe travels to you all, I understand that not everyone likes firearms. The best use of pepper spray I have found to date is to dissuade vicious dogs, but it was always backed up with a firearm.

P.S. The last time I was assigned critical incident review, I was given a months for a researching single incident. There are "experts" on all sides, some will arrive at different conclusions that you; hopefully they have arrived at their conclusion after a thorough investigation of all involved parties, witnesses, the scene and available evidence... I know, time consuming, boring, and may seem like too much to do for something so apparently cut and dry... maybe. I don't know all the details of these incidents reported, If I read the reports of all the incidents reported, I still would not have all the info, just the info that was presented.

Hopefully we come away with the knowledge of how it may have happened, what conclusions were arrived at by the individual or team assigned to study the incident(s) and we can use that info to make our lives safer.



Edited by Basecamp (03/11/12 04:00 AM)

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