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#292938 - 08/13/19 01:52 PM More on Bears and Firearms
Doug_Ritter Offline


Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 2203
Doug Ritter
Equipped To Survive®
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation

#292944 - 08/13/19 02:48 PM Re: More on Bears and Firearms [Re: Doug_Ritter]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3831
Loc: USA
Good read!

I do carry a pistol (where it's legal) when I'm out in bear country, as well as bear spray, always with avoidance as my primary tactic.

#292949 - 08/14/19 06:38 PM Re: More on Bears and Firearms [Re: Doug_Ritter]
wileycoyote Offline

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 309
Loc: north central west TX
not just bears, but for huge wild hogs that are everywhere in west texas.

i don't roam our property without a 45 Colt in my hip (265gr hard-cast wide flat nose in front of 8.5gr Unique). for that matter, neither does my wife (same combo).

#292951 - 08/14/19 11:19 PM Re: More on Bears and Firearms [Re: Doug_Ritter]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1183
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Sounds like some Canadian campers could have used a firearm in a wolf attack.


"Wolf dragged man from tent as wife held his legs"

Friend on mine was followed back to his truck by a couple of wolves last fall. He wished he hadn't left is pistol in the cab when he strolled out to pee.

Edited by clearwater (08/14/19 11:21 PM)

#292963 - 08/15/19 06:11 PM Re: More on Bears and Firearms [Re: clearwater]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 960
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Perhaps a rifle or shotgun could have been used. Handguns in Canada are only allowed at authorized ranges to shoot targets; everywhere else is a big no-no.

That said, a wolf attack is extremely rare. I sighted one by the roadside on a recent road trip to the Arctic Ocean.

#292972 - 08/16/19 04:28 AM Re: More on Bears and Firearms [Re: Roarmeister]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3230
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: Roarmeister
Perhaps a rifle or shotgun could have been used.

Not in this circumstance. In almost all national parks, a firearm must be disassembled while in the park to be legal. I suppose this is a response to poaching problems in the past.

As noted, handguns are not an option here.

I regularly tent camp in the Canadian Rockies, and because of the tight control of garbage, attractants, and tourist idiocy, the wildlife is actually wild. (This does not apply around remote northern work camps outside the parks, though it's getting better.) But in the Rocks, I sleep quite well ... with a hatchet or machete close at hand to drive home the point that I'm not "easy prey" in the event of an extremely unlikely attack. But honestly, my near-death experiences have been on the highways, not in camp.

#293003 - 08/17/19 12:49 PM Re: More on Bears and Firearms [Re: Doug_Ritter]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
No mention of bear spray as an effective deterrent against bears. I understand that spray has been shown to be just as effective, if not more so, that firearms (although clearly not as macho0.

Geezer in Chief

#293012 - 08/17/19 08:28 PM Re: More on Bears and Firearms [Re: hikermor]
DaveL Offline

Registered: 10/03/18
Posts: 90
Loc: Colorado Springs,CO
Too each his own,I will take the firearm. Always works wind, rain snow etc. excellent record as shown in the OP.
As a side note I believe that bear biologists are influenced toward save the bear. MTC

#293015 - 08/17/19 11:44 PM Re: More on Bears and Firearms [Re: DaveL]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal

The above is an interesting read on the subject of guns vs bear spray, generally favoring bear spray. The author claims, without citing statistics, that more people are injured or killed by firearms carried to defend against bear attacks than are damaged by bear attacks themselves.

It is worthwhile to point out that there are something like 3 fatal attacks by bears annually in the US. Five times are many people are killed by dogs. Something like 50 people per year perish from bee attacks.

For that matter, the number of fatalities from animal attacks of all types is dwarfed by the number that die as a result of falls or drowning. Although one should certainly take precautions in bear country, there are greater dangers present.

I would be willing to bet that tweaking data is not unknown on either side of this debate. I suspect that serious tinkering would be called out; there is no faster way to establish one's own reputation in scientific circles.

Bear in mind (!) that the article was published in something called "Ammoland," probably not a peer reviewed journal and possibly, just possibly, a biased source.

In the end, we all select our own respective security blankets and depend on them. For me, in the places where I am spending most of my time, bears are not present. We have to be concerned with sharks.

Firearms always work??? That is news to me.
Geezer in Chief

#293017 - 08/18/19 01:19 AM Re: More on Bears and Firearms [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5357
For the average guy out there who rarely or never trains with a firearm, bear spray is the only realistic option. For a trained person with the skillset, a firearm may be a more reliable option.

Problem is those are two separate groups of individuals and in their Venn diagram the circles don’t overlap. Yet these “studies” make it seem as though everybody has equal skillsets and the only difference is the chosen tool — firearm or bear spray. It’s not a valid study group.

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