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Thread: Do you take bear protection for highway fishing?

  1. #1

    Default Do you take bear protection for highway fishing?

    So I plan to be at the Russian the first week of August and I will be wandering around for a week chasing reds and maybe trout. I have been researching my trip and feel like I know where to go and what to do, but this is one topic I haven't resolved. Should I bring a pistol or get bear spray or just be bear aware, make plenty of noise, keep and clean camp and all the other normal things to do in bear country? I am comfortable with firearms although I don't want to bring my shotgun (to big for the plane) and I don't have a large caliber handgun. I am considering getting one though. I have searched here and mostly seen discussions on what is the best gun or what is the best spray, so I thought I would just ask. Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Chris View Post
    So I plan to be at the Russian the first week of August and I will be wandering around for a week chasing reds and maybe trout. I have been researching my trip and feel like I know where to go and what to do, but this is one topic I haven't resolved. Should I bring a pistol or get bear spray or just be bear aware, make plenty of noise, keep and clean camp and all the other normal things to do in bear country? I am comfortable with firearms although I don't want to bring my shotgun (to big for the plane) and I don't have a large caliber handgun. I am considering getting one though. I have searched here and mostly seen discussions on what is the best gun or what is the best spray, so I thought I would just ask. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Bears can be anywhere, including right along the highways. Really, bears along the public roads are typically going to be more dangerous around people than those out in the wild since they are accustomed to people and you can get a lot closer to them before they instinctiely will want to move away. This allows people to end up inside their comfort zone a lot easier and any unfavorable response from the bear can be more serious. Out in the "wild", bears will mostly stay well clear of you, something they can't always do in more populated areas. Personally, I would be much more comfortable walking in the woods in the middle of nowhere without any kind of protection than I would be on a trail in the middle of Anchorage.

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    Member 9601's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Chris View Post
    So I plan to be at the Russian the first week of August and I will be wandering around for a week chasing reds and maybe trout. I have been researching my trip and feel like I know where to go and what to do, but this is one topic I haven't resolved. Should I bring a pistol or get bear spray or just be bear aware, make plenty of noise, keep and clean camp and all the other normal things to do in bear country? I am comfortable with firearms although I don't want to bring my shotgun (to big for the plane) and I don't have a large caliber handgun. I am considering getting one though. I have searched here and mostly seen discussions on what is the best gun or what is the best spray, so I thought I would just ask. Thanks in advance for your help.
    You should practice bear awareness no matter what you're packing. You can have all the bear spray and/or hand cannons you can carry, but they should always be "Plan B". You may think you sound like an idiot letting out a yell every minute or so (when walking on the RR trail), but most would consider you very smart.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    I always pack the heat no matter where Im fishing. Could be a small lake or a remote part of a stream. Youre hiking/ fishing where they eat. Be prepared and dont be to proud to get the hell outta there. Thats why I normally fish with friends... especially ones that are slower than me.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

  5. #5

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    i got charged by a brown bear in eagle river.... so yes i do

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    I carry everywhere I go outside of my yard basically. Russian River is (in my opinion) the most likely place your going to encounter a bear(s) during a fishing trip on the peninsula and likely the road system, save for maybe the parks streams. I WILL NOT fish the Russian without a gun. I fish with a .44 mag cause thats the biggest hand gun I have and I hike with a 12 ga. pump.

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    I was bluff charged to about 10 feet on the Haul Road with semis flying by in the background. Left the 44 in the truck because "I was right next to the highway".

    Honestly, I could have had a machine gun in my hands and I was so frozen I wouldn't have thought to shoot it. So, yeah, if you normally carry a "just in case" gun, I'd do it everywhere.

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    Member REMF's Avatar
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    I always carry; I would rather be caught with it rather than without it. I sure hope I never need to use it, but I also hope I never need to use my seatbelt either.
    The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

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  9. #9

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    Ten years ago fishing for kings at the mouth of the willow I had a bear encounter. The river closed at midnight, walking to the rig at 12:15 AM a bear stood up between parked cars. Of the 2000 people there the 4 of us were the only ones without a gun! Thought for sure we were going to get killed in a cross fire. No one shot, the bear ran away. I spend a fair amount of time in the woods around bears and that one night in the parking lot at willow creek had me the most scared. I wasnt scared of the bear!! If you do not have a gun the crazy guy next to you will.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Yes, usually.

    And honestly it's not just for bear protection. There's some crazy folks out there.

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    Member fishak's Avatar
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    Everywhere I fish with the exception of ship creek I bring my spray. In a month when I am of age I will be in the market for a pistol for protection. Better be safe then sorry.
    hook, line, sinker, done.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    Russian River is having lots of bear encounters this year. I was talking to a guy that said he had 11 in one afternoon. I fished there last week and heard the double horn 3 or 4 times. If you are fishing the russian, bring something.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
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    Member Col. F Rodder's Avatar
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    Has there been much activity down on the Anchor, Deep creek, etc this year? I know they are there but have never even seen at a distance. I usually don't carry but make as much noise as I can in the pre dawn hours.
    You want bears everywhere you fish, just go to Kodiak!! Every river except the Pasagshak I have had encounters. Hell one even bluff charged us last year and we were standing on the bridge.

  14. #14
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    I have seen two Bears on Deep Creek in the last 30 years of fishing it quite often. One was a black bear that ran across the river about 150 yards downstream of me. The other was a Brown bear that walked out of the woods across the stream from me while I was fishing for Silvers one fine AM. That bear came out of the trees and was already pissed off, snapping it teeth and looking angry.... I just reeled in my line and backed away and kept backing away until I was back at the parking lot. By the way I could see the parking lot from where I was fishing. About an hour later a chopper flew over very low with a guy with a rifle hanging out the side of it.... it flew the direction the bear last went and there where gun shots. Never did hear the story but scared the bejesus out of me.

    Bears are everywhere... heck I had a black bear try to steal my garbage can from my driveway last week.. I pack a 454 Casull when river fishing and a 45/70 when riding the wheeler. My wife had bear spray in the house and carries one in the truck at all times...
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

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    Definately safer then sorry...Don't let it become of those told you so stories.

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    I carry bear spray. I've never had to use it, and I don't know if I'd let off a pre-emptive blast if a bear either bluffed a charge or made a steady advance to within 20 feet, but when I'm on a trail with limited forward and side visibility I have the guard off the spray trigger and either keep checking it with my hand or actually have the thing in my hand. I have no idea if the stuff is really useful in a sudden, unexpected charge situation, but it makes me more confident having it. I've shot my handguns enough to feel confident hitting a paper target at 25 feet, but I think my accuracy will drop substantially if the target is a bear running at me and I have to unholster the gun and fire. So, I don't bother carrying a gun, although I realize it's not bad to have it along.

  17. #17

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    I've been bluff charged only once. It was at Allison Pt. right in the parking lot. I could see the car, where my gun and spray was. Never again.

  18. #18

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    Ok, you have convinced me I should bring a firearm. So are there any certain laws I need to be aware of in Alaska for carrying a handgun? I assume it is ok to carry as long as it isn't concealed or do you need a permit to carry? I am still a little concerned with the hassel of flying with a handgun going through TSA, so I may resort to bear spray, but I am sure it can be done.

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    I've been to the KP the last two summers. Ran into a Russian River bear two years ago on the boardwalk back to the parking lot. I'd heard there'd been an attack in that same spot a few years earlier. I carry a 44 magnum, and was glad to have it that night. Some foot stomping and yelling got it on it's way, but my hand never came off the butt of my revolver. I don't camp/hike/fish without it up there. As I understand it, Alaskan MOSQUITOS laugh at bear spray.

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    Member PG13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Chris View Post
    Should I bring a pistol or get bear spray or just be bear aware, make plenty of noise, keep and clean camp and all the other normal things to do in bear country?
    Now ask how many have discharged their firearm at a bear while fishing. It may give you more confidence but I'd be very curious to see how many have ever needed it. A bear won't decide to go the other direction just because you draw on it. I'd recommend you save your money and extra flight effort and just get some spray if you are still apprehensive.
    Go Big Red!

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