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Thread: Black Bear with a Spear

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    Default Black Bear with a Spear

    I once saw a video in which hunters used spears to hunt black bears over bait. The technique used was one in which the hunter would sit in a tree stand about 10-15 feet off the ground above a trail leading to a bear bait. Hanging on the tree next to the hunter was a long spear with an exceptionally long blade, probably around 24-30". When a trophy bear would walk directly under the tree, the hunter would slowly move the tip of the spear along the bear's back, just above the vital area, and he would then thrust downward so that the spear buried itself up to the stops in the bear's back. It was extremely effective, and the speared bears that I remember in the video were dead before they left the camera's view, easily within 50 yards. I can't remember where this hunting took place. I believe it was somewhere in Canada, and, though I'm not sure of their laws, there doesn't seem to be anything in the Alaska regulations which would prohibit such a hunt.
    I am intrigued by spear hunts, such as the Maasai lion hunts in East Africa, Tigrero's Jaguar hunts in South America, and bear hunts by North American Indians, and, while I understand that this technique is nowhere near as difficult or as dangerous as those just mentioned, I'd like to hear everyone's opinion on the issue. Have you ever heard of this technique? Do you know someone who's tried it? Were they successful? If not, why? Do you think it's ethical? If not, why?
    Barron

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    legal here, sounds pretty hard core!
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Spear Hunting

    Hello again, Barron,

    You asked for opinions, so here is mine. In my view a spear is a primitive weapon of necessity for those without other options. I see too many ways for spear hunters to make mistakes that end up needlessly wounding animals or getting people injured. Other than the entertainment value I don't see the point.

    I haven't thought much about this though. I suppose some of the same things could be said of archery, but...

    Well, anyway that's my first reaction to this. I would be interested in what others have to say about it.

    Regards,

    -Mike
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  4. #4

    Default spear

    I have a copy of a video of a local guy here in kenai spearing a bear in the same manner as described. He was at a bait station he had a hole below his stand filled with doughnuts. The bear came under the stand and he thrusts the spear down between its shoulder blades. It almost pulls him out of the tree. The bear went maybe 20-30 yards before it died. The blade on the spear almost cut the bear in half. Pretty gruesome but very effective.

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    Default why?

    I really don't see why anyone would do this.

    If it is to be "hardcore" then get on the ground with the bear.

    Better yet jump outta the tree with a leg bone of a cow and start fighting.

    I think people go too far to be different, like that retard that killed an elephant with a crossbow.( I wanted the elephant to stomp him and clean the gene pool)

    If it were a traditional hunt which was in the spirit of preserving traditions and history of a people then OK I understand.

    Otherwise,those people in the video should try surgery without an anestetic.( I will be rooting for the bear to get hold of one of them)

    No one take offense, this is just an opinion.

    jedi

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    Member Ripface's Avatar
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    I think neanderthals practiced this method, and well, they aren't around now.
    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey

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    That is not much different than Hog hunts in Texas and Arkansas. They are using dogs to corner boars and then two guys run in and grab the back legs, pick up the back end of the hog. Then the third guy runs in and stabs the hog in the vitals. This is done mostly at night. The hunters like the adrenalin rush of the kill.

    I think this would be close to 100% kill with a spear, and be a heck of a rush.

    I know there are some that think anything but guns are the only way to hunt. But I really feel the percentage rate of animals lost is higher with a gun over a bow, spear or knife.

    The reason I feel this way is because new hunters buy a rifle and feel adequate with how they shoot. They make shots to far for there ability, or get buck fever and yank on the trigger. I know alot of rifle hunters that go out each year without sighting in there rifle, just because it was sighted in last year. They go buy a new box of ammo and think it will be good enough. With a bow most hunters practice alot before hunting. Myself I shot my bow alot more than I do my rifle. I shoot my bow around 100 a day on average. But I do know my rifle also. I will have my data book with me when I hunt and feel a 600 yard shot is very doable, depending on wind.

    So to sum up, I believe a spear would be great way to hunt.

    One more thing. I hunt with a bow, I try to hunt and bag big whitetails with my bow. If I use a rifle I go out to kill an animal, be it deer or anything else. Don't get me wrong I like to kill animals but I also like to hunt them with a bow. To many rifle is just to easy. If you can see the animal you can kill it, If you know your rifle. With a bow you must get up close and personal with what ever animal you want to take.

    Just my two cents worth.

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    Default Mixed Reactions...

    I figured that this thread might eventually draw some heated opinions. Mike, you make a good point that it could be considered a useless method and that, at the same time, the same argument could be made about archery hunting. This seems to be just one step down on the "weaponry-evolution" ladder. From what I remember of the video, the bait wasn't right under the tree, which would make me a little more comfortable with it. My first reaction to putting the bait right under the tree would be that it's too easy that way, and I'd prefer to take the bear only if I could get him moving along the right trail, but I suppose that it would be the same as taking a bear with a bow at a bait 30 yards away. It's all relative to the range of the weapon.

    Jedi, if you think the "retard" killing an elephant with a crossbow was bad, pick up a copy of my dad's African Big Game video where he kills a bull elephant with a bow and arrow. You'd be disgusted at the sheer primitiveness of a compound bow and at my dad's elation at taking the world's largest (and arguably most dangerous) land animal with archery equipment. It makes me sick just thinking about it.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to more opinions on this subject. I'm definitely looking forward to getting my certification to hunt with archery equipment in Alaska once I get there, and I remain interested in the idea of taking black bears with a spear. As was mentioned earlier, my greatest worry would be that something would go wrong, and I'd wound an animal, but I suppose that's why God invented practice, so if I ever decided to do this, I'd make sure I was well-practiced to place my spear exactly where I want it to go, just as I do with my bow. On the most basic level, I think Mike is right. This method is just one step further into the primitive world of our ancestors.

    Barron

  9. #9

    Talking barko

    You stated that you felt rifle losses were higher than archery, etc. and one reason for that was because novice rifle hunters make bad choices and decisions. Can't argue with that...probably true, but you should apply that same senario to novice archers, cause they're just as capable of the same errors of novice riflemen. It's the same mentality and errors, regardless of what's in their hands.

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    Default hunting methods

    Here we all set, judging what is a effective method of hunting bears with spears, rifles and bows. I think any one who dont use a laser is an outdated hunter(LOL). I also saw the video from the guy from Kenai and have to say the animal felt less pain than the shock from a bullet. When I had good shoulders and bow hunted, often the animals would not even know they were hit, they just bled to death. I have seen to many animals wounded by rifles and bows, nothing is 100% effective due to factors we cant control. If we want to look at it from a negative angle what challenge would it be to bear hunt with my rifle. I know it would not be hard to set up a bait and shot a bear at 300 plus yards. But occassionally one wants more challenge. I have known 4 guys here in alaska that have got bears with spears. They have had zero wounded bears, and ate all the meat and utilized the bear like god had intended. These guys all spear straight down and chucking spears like neanderthals. Everyone does not have to fit the same mold. I guarantee the spear users have more knowledge and skill than the average bear hunter. They have got to get the bear within feet, that take skill and patients. All the negative I hear sounds like envy.

    Terry

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    Talking actually it would be cool

    "Jedi, if you think the "retard" killing an elephant with a crossbow was bad, pick up a copy of my dad's African Big Game video where he kills a bull elephant with a bow and arrow. You'd be disgusted at the sheer primitiveness of a compound bow and at my dad's elation at taking the world's largest (and arguably most dangerous) land animal with archery equipment. It makes me sick just thinking about it.

    On the most basic level, I think Mike is right. This method is just one step further into the primitive world of our ancestors.


    Barron
    Actually I would think it was cool if there were no backup firearms anywhere around. Live the bravado to its fullest! Get the best rush ever!
    Really risk death and not just risk the guides life.

    No forefathers had a backup rifle, so in the interest of primitive tradition the guide should only have a bow too. (alas, those guys tend to have bushsmarts and that would end the hunt right there)

    I tend to look at this whole thing as how many people think its cool to go to work on a construction site with sandals and a scarf rather than steel toe boots and a hard hat.

    Sure it would be primitive, and a rush, and bring you close to injury and death......but why?

    Please don't be offended...I just can't wrap my head around this bow/spear/rock logic especially when primitive is the goal yet modern GPS is used and water purifiers, SAT phones, emergency beacons and gortex and electric fences for camp and bush planes etc are used too....shouldn't everything be primitive for the hunt....otherwise its just a "FAKE" primitive hunt.

    jedi

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    Default Primitive Hunting

    Jedi,

    While I understand your argument about all of the elements of a hunt being primitive in order to call it such, this is simply not feasible. For example, our forefathers did not have Supercubs or Chevy Silverados, so I suppose we might as well start walking now to make it to the hunting grounds by August 15th. What I am talking about is "a step" into the primitive world of our ancestors, not a complete deevolution of our hunting tactics. Just as to go into the mountains of Alaska today without GPS, a first aid kit, and some method of contacting help would be foolish, it would be considered an act of lunacy to try to take an elephant with a bow and no backup. As to risking the guide's life, I can assure you that he doesn't see it that way, and, if you watch the video, the Professional Hunter, Howard Knott, states that it is "the pinnacle of my hunting career." On a more basic level than that, the PH is required to be there, and I guarantee you that he will choose to bring his rifle for his own sake.

    So, yes, it would be great if we could actually take some time to live and hunt as our ancestors did without the necessities of modern technology, but we just can't, so those of us who've decided that we'd rather accept the challenge of taking our trophy with a bow from 20 yards rather than with a gun from 300 take pride in that one small step backwards in time.

    Barron

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    I guess I do not understand why people do not think you can hunt dangerous game with a bow or a spear. I guess they are just a different mentality than I am, or just ignorant of the process.

    Like I said before I use a bow to hunt and a rifle to kill. I just do not get the same thrill out of taking game with a rifle as I do with a bow. Maybe that is because I have hunted some 30 plus years and taken lots of animals with a bow and a rifle.

    I guess watching a deer in the middle of the soy bean field 300 yards out. I watch him feed and try to get around to ambush him when he gets close to the edge, 70% of the time don't even get close for a shot. 20% of the time you get close but not shot. 10% of the time you get the opertunity for a shot and take your trophy. Now for rifle the hunt was over at the 300 yard mark in the bean field. So that is why I call hunting with a rifle killing, way to easy for me.

    I will say a rifle kills the animal quicker for me. I havent had a deer take a step in many years. But I haven't had a animal go over 100 yards with a bow either.

    The best hit. Shoot the animal with a bow, hit the animal in the boiler room, complete pass thru, animal jumps towards you when arrow hits ground on far side of animal. The animal looks at the arrow and goes on feeding. Doesn't even know it is hit. Animal ussually goes less than 5 yards before it get the dieing quiver walk. Then it is over. Nothing better than that. Animal doesn't even know it is hit. There is nothing like it.

    I think if everyone could feel this most people would bow hunt. Have a big buck at 10 to 20 yards, draw your bow and place the arrow in the boiler room and watch the animal go down within sight.

    Rifle just doesn't do that for me anymore.

    Someone mentioned guides with a back up bow. I would love it. I would love it if they didn't carry anything. I do not believe that there is a regulation that requires the guide to even carry a rifle, pistol or a bow. I believe they do this for piece of mind for themselves, and I do not blame them. You never know when something might charge.

    Just my point of view again.

  14. #14
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripface View Post
    I think neanderthals practiced this method, and well, they aren't around now.
    The Athabascans also took bears with spears. They made spears specific for the purpose. I know one who did a grizzly. He flipped it over his head as the bear charged and impaled itself. He's still alive and well in his 90's.
    Now what ?

  15. #15

    Default Bears and spears

    A friend of mine in Kenai speared a black bear a few years ago with his home made spear. I have the video. He has taken them with rifles, bows, handguns and now a spear. He wants to do a brown or griz with a spear also. He spends a lot of time in the woods, does some guiding and works his rear off during hunting season. Is he nuts? Heck, ain't we all. I will say this. It is legal, worked for him and got rid of one more moose calf eating bear. He is a good man, hunts hard and loves God's creation. Am I going to do it? Not as long as I have a rifle.

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    I'm newer at hunting. This spring will be my second bear hunt, and I'll be doing it with a rifle, and not a small one. Last year, however, I bought a bow. Someday, when I know how to use it well enough, I want to hunt with it. It's a challenge. People like the word "sporting", but it's simply taking the challenge up to the next level. Anyone can kill a rabbit with a .338, but can you hit one with a bow? Catch one with your hands?

    Part of being an outdoorsman, in general, is the challenge. It's about entering a world where you can't order a $5 cheeseburger at your convenience. You have to work for it.

    Now, would I go out and spear hunt a bear? Not right now. Maybe, as my self confidence and skill increases, I might want to head that way, but it probably wouldn't be a good idea for me right now. The bottom line is like this- anyone can start a fire with gasoline and a lighter, but not everyone can do it with flint and steel. It's about self-actualization, and in a small way, doing it because you can. Maybe it's not for everybody.
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    Default I liked it

    I have done the hog hunting with knives before. I thought it was a good time, even though we got chased up a few trees and had our fair share of bruises from tackling them and flipping them. We originally went to Texas to bowhunt hogs but after the first few it was getting mondane so we "upgraded" the experience with our local friends and learned some new things. I was impressed at the quickness in which the hogs expired, within seconds it was over, the boars we castrated and set free to flush their system so when they do meet their demise they are a little better table fare common practice in texas.

    Now this is a common practice among the locals in texas (wild hog "catchin") I think it is ethical as long as the hunter (spearman whatever) is well versed in the anatomy and with a spear maybe practices (no need for darwin winners). After having done a lot of bowhunting i draw a lot of parallels to closing the distance with knife or spear.

    But at the same time maybe my views of fun are screwy as i jump out of planes and dodge IEDs for a living??

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    I worked with a fella who's dad took a blackbear with a spear (with a throwing stick...atlatl...I believe) recounting the story to me he must have seen my eyes widen to the size of our dinner plates. I have no problem with doing it over bait, but I definitely take my hat off to a guy that can stalk one on the ground and take a bear in this manner....this is woodsmanship folks....a fading occurrence. I would agree, that the kill efficience of these spears...or the knives in hog hunting, must be extremelely good, a blade of any size inserted properly must make a very quick kill...any greenie that balks on that one had better be a tofu eater with no leather anywhere in their lives or they stink like hypocrisy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geoff156 View Post
    I have a copy of a video of a local guy here in kenai spearing a bear in the same manner as described. He was at a bait station he had a hole below his stand filled with doughnuts. The bear came under the stand and he thrusts the spear down between its shoulder blades. It almost pulls him out of the tree. The bear went maybe 20-30 yards before it died. The blade on the spear almost cut the bear in half. Pretty gruesome but very effective.
    I know a guy who works at UAF who did exactly that.
    Last edited by RayfromAK; 04-08-2007 at 16:19.

  20. #20

    Default What the heck?

    Why do people have to jump on someone when they bring up something "different" than what we might do? I know the guy that speared the bear in Kenai, and he is a great guy! He wanted to do something different and he did. He killed the bear VERY efficiently. It was a "rush" and was pretty darn exciting. Lots of things have to go right your to do this. Yes there can be mistakes, but I can almost bet you a million dollars that more things go wrong with people shooting rifles than someone spearing a bear!

    If it interests you and you are excited about it, GO FOR IT!

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