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I'm looking into getting a hi caliber gun like a 45 vs getting something simple like some of that black bear pepper spray. Anyone thoughts?
 

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I agree with the 45, although I don't have one (only a 9mm), I know they have "stopping power".
 

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Pfff .45....get a 500 Smith and wesson :) I really have nothing agianst .45, and the 500 is waaaaaay excessive! the .45 will do the trick, or get bear spray.
 
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From someone from bear country... If it's charging you... It will probably get to you before you get a round off and probably before you even draw your weapon. The best option is to make noise and then usually stay away from you. However, we get a lot of treehuggers that think it's cute to feed the bears and a lot of hikers that carry small food packs that the drop to distract the bear so they can get away. Unfortunately... That just trains the bears to seek you out for food. The only good side is that these bears usually stroll towards you and give you time to aim. Momma bears are a whole 'nuther story. The same goes for pre-spring starvation.
 

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with black bears your only way out is to start shooting they are not the play dead sort, thats grizzley. shoot man. shoot that bear pepper spray. and shoot the damn thing ifn theres not another way.
 

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In all honesty... If you can outrun the people you are hiking with, you don't have anything to worry about. ;)
 

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Growing up in black bear country, I learned that black bears don't usually mess with you.

Me personally, I just use my fists. Bears are no match for my bear hands. Pun intended.
But for those of you that don't have my fists at the end of your arms, a .44 mag is the best tool for the job.
 

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this is all very interesting and slightly humorous

first off black bear can usually be discouraged by shouting and flailing hands.They are more skittish by nature.
If a black bear is following you it wants to eat you.This is pretty rare tho.
You wont out run it and you wont out climb it.

A brownie/grizz is different. if your attacked play dead. They are only defending.........and when the threat perceived is no more will leave you.
you wont out run them but you may out climb them as they are not as proned to do as blackies

99 outta 100 times a bear attack happens when, it is surprised and/or its defending youngins or a kill site/carcass.
you need to do your utmost not to find your self in these situations. make noise. holler out. knock your walking stick against a tree. some places sell bells. we do up here. They will avoid you if they have ample time.

now as far as defense. It is pretty well documented that spray has worked better as a deterrent vs a hand gun.
a shotty with slugs is your best bet for a weapon.

if you choose to go witha handgun
.45 aint to bad.
.44 is tried and true and is just about as good as it gets.
The .500 is a behemoth as well but pretty spendy vs the .44 which will do the trick.

If you choose something smaller then these please do your self a favor. File off the front sight that way when the bear shoves it up your butt it wont hurt as much.
also a litlle trick to tell what kind of a bear is around. You can tell the difference by their scat. Brown bear scat has bells in it.

Now everything is not set in stone.

Few years ago a grizz was turned catholic and stopped when a hiker emptied is .45 into it.

in the mid 90's a guy on the Kenai peninsula dropped a charging brownie sow with 3 shots from a 9mm. he probably should have emmediately got on a plane to Vegas that day lol but it worked

3 years ago in the Kenai area a guy was walking right hand side of the road. His German Shepard, stopped, alerted then ran away AS a good size grizz boar exited the treeline on left hand side of the road. Thanks to fido he was able to draw his .44 mag, emptied it at the charging bear wich literally slid past him into the ditch on the right hand side. Think they said he hit it 5 outta the 6

I can go on and on.

JUst do your best not to get caught unaware.
 

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Hhhhmmmmm. Look , I've lived in the backcountry where it's a given that you better get used to the big bears being around , still have a shack down the inlet from Larsens Bay and trapped for a living in a number of locales in the north country along with having stood bear guard for the tourist chi-chi fishing crowd.

As has been covered , black bears are seldom a problem , however the big bears are a completely different kettle of fish. If one of them is close enough for you to hit it with pepper spray then the damn bear should have been dead 25 feet prior. Handguns , .44 mag minimum , and loaded with something like the 300 grain Hornady XTP or 300 grain Swift A Frame stacked over 22 grains or better or 2400 ,ww296 ,h110 or n110 , long guns....well a slug gun with the *right* slugs can get you by , personally I keep a Marlin Guide Gun if .45-70 , usually loaded with the Jae-Bak Young Craters , the 420 grain will do but the 550 grain is better.

And don't bother telling me about what folks have thumped Brownies with when *hunting* them , because there is a big , indeed a HUGE bloody damn difference between thumping one at distance and having to shoot one close up in a DLP scenario that is coming and already has it's adrenaline up.

And there are good reasons why most bush folks carry a rifle AND a sidearm , you have to put that rifle down sometime , kinda hard to do a bait and reset , split wood etc with a rifle in your hand.


And quite frankly this is another subject that some of the Television shows are gonna get someone *killed* on , these bears are nothing to take lightly , they can move dead silently when they choose to....and if you think you're going to outrun one you're in fantasyland , I have *seen* one run down a damned good Quarter Horse mare and kill her going past.

Equally frankly , many folks that have a problem with one of the big bears ran into said problem because they had a case of recto-cranial impaction , a guy over by Karluk got mauled a few years back because he was stupid enough not to give up a deer he was field dressing and had obviously seen one too many Daniel Boone movies , you don't fight a full grown sow with a skinning knife.


And don't even get me started on Timothy Treadwell , grizzly man my ass , he was seemingly too stupid to have assessed just how damned dangerous the late season bears can be , the tragedy is that he got that girl killed into the bargain.


R E S P E C T nature and you're likely to be ok , if you don't then .....shrug.
 

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A better choice would be .44 magnum. .45 ACP does not get enough penetration to be a good bear stopper.
Absolutely agree 45acp would not break the skin, now it might scare them or make him change his mind. I've heard stories of the 45 acp not cutting though thick coats.

Rifle cartridge would be ideal 44 Magnum would also be a nice choice. Something with some powder behind it.
 

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Hhhhmmmmm. Look , I've lived in the backcountry where it's a given that you better get used to the big bears being around , still have a shack down the inlet from Larsens Bay and trapped for a living in a number of locales in the north country along with having stood bear guard for the tourist chi-chi fishing crowd.

As has been covered , black bears are seldom a problem , however the big bears are a completely different kettle of fish. If one of them is close enough for you to hit it with pepper spray then the damn bear should have been dead 25 feet prior. Handguns , .44 mag minimum , and loaded with something like the 300 grain Hornady XTP or 300 grain Swift A Frame stacked over 22 grains or better or 2400 ,ww296 ,h110 or n110 , long guns....well a slug gun with the *right* slugs can get you by , personally I keep a Marlin Guide Gun if .45-70 , usually loaded with the Jae-Bak Young Craters , the 420 grain will do but the 550 grain is better.

And don't bother telling me about what folks have thumped Brownies with when *hunting* them , because there is a big , indeed a HUGE bloody damn difference between thumping one at distance and having to shoot one close up in a DLP scenario that is coming and already has it's adrenaline up.

And there are good reasons why most bush folks carry a rifle AND a sidearm , you have to put that rifle down sometime , kinda hard to do a bait and reset , split wood etc with a rifle in your hand.

And quite frankly this is another subject that some of the Television shows are gonna get someone *killed* on , these bears are nothing to take lightly , they can move dead silently when they choose to....and if you think you're going to outrun one you're in fantasyland , I have *seen* one run down a damned good Quarter Horse mare and kill her going past.

Equally frankly , many folks that have a problem with one of the big bears ran into said problem because they had a case of recto-cranial impaction , a guy over by Karluk got mauled a few years back because he was stupid enough not to give up a deer he was field dressing and had obviously seen one too many Daniel Boone movies , you don't fight a full grown sow with a skinning knife.

And don't even get me started on Timothy Treadwell , grizzly man my ass , he was seemingly too stupid to have assessed just how damned dangerous the late season bears can be , the tragedy is that he got that girl killed into the bargain.

R E S P E C T nature and you're likely to be ok , if you don't then .....shrug.
That us Timothy "TRAIL MIX" Treadwell
and big what a dumb ass he was. And to think his dad said he wouldnt amount to shit.
 
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