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Thread: Camp gun/ Brush gun/ Bear deterrant

  1. #1
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    Default Camp gun/ Brush gun/ Bear deterrant

    Hello,
    I would like to get peoples' opinion on the following gun choices for a 2 week moose and caribou DIY float hunt.
    My hunting rifle will be my 7mm Rem Mag, and it will most likely remain in a case when floating. I am trying to decide on a gun to keep on the raft within reach when floating, around camp, and be capable to put an agressive bear down if needed. These are the options I am looking at. I do not own any of these yet, and I am open to other sugestions.

    1 - Marlin lever action in 45-70 (with open or peep sights)
    2 - Shotgun loaded with hard cast slugs and fully rifled barrel
    3 - Large caliber handgun (make, model, barrel length, and caliber needed)

    At first I was leaning toward the shotgun. But I think the rifle would be better incase I need to go after a bull in heavy cover, or happen upon one when rounding a bend when floating. Yet, a handgun would always be on my side incase of trouble.

    Now the topic of bear spray. I think having some would work well in the following type of situations.
    1 - Having a bear get to close for comfort when cutting up downed game
    2 - Deterring a bear from bugging camp or hanging meat
    3 - Accidently coming across a bear at close range when stalking a bull to get the bear out of the way without scaring away the game
    How many cans would you sugest for a 2 week trip?

    Thanks
    Bill

  2. #2

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    Your 7MM and a can of spray, forget the redundant firearms, your likely not going alone.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Bear spray is very difficult to fly with, NOT allowed on commercial flights or in the cabin of bush planes. About the only way I have been able to fly any is in the float of a float plane.

    Bear fence and firearm for me. I only use the rifle I hunt with and I keep it at hand, seen a lot of moose and bear from the raft while floating. I do keep a safety cord attached to it while floating.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Camp gun/ Brush gun/ Bear deterrant

    Heck all I ever seem to have along is my wee little 280AI.

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    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    Shotgun with 18" barrel and brenneke slugs

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    ...or just bring a bear tag and you will not see any bears the entire trip. lol

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    ...or just bring a bear tag and you will not see any bears the entire trip. lol
    Isn't that the truth, best deterrent ever!

    I would stick with your 7MM like previously mentioned. No reason to load your self down. The 7MM will stop anything you need it to

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    Regarding bear spray

    If I'm cutting meat or have it hanging in camp, and a bear comes by, that's a situation where I'm actually serious about throwing lead....otherwise noise and posture suffices. Much more likely to be a determined bear when you're sitting on 500 pounds of fresh meat, that said, I hunt in Bristol Bay where there are plenty o bears and have yet to have an issue on the kill or in camp. But, definitely keep your eyes peeled if you come across someone else's kill site, or your buddy's, or your own. Watched two kill sites get claimed this year by some rather determined (yet not unhazable) bears.

    As far as bumping into a bear while stalking....again, posture and noise will be just fine. If the moose bolts due to that, well, welcome to bush logistics and reality. But, I doubt you will have this issue at all.

    No need for a second gun, especially on a float trip. Just don't drop your 7mm in the water.

    However, if you really wanted a reason to bring a second, bring a shotgun, with brenneke slugs, no riflings needed. plus a bunch of six shot for ptarmigan and grouse....that would warrant a second firearm for sure. Breakfast grouse are a standard on our moose hunts.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    ...or just bring a bear tag and you will not see any bears the entire trip. lol
    Isn't that the truth.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    However, if you really wanted a reason to bring a second, bring a shotgun, with brenneke slugs, no riflings needed. plus a bunch of six shot for ptarmigan and grouse....that would warrant a second firearm for sure. Breakfast grouse are a standard on our moose hunts.
    +1....Can't say I'd pack a second gun just for fuzzy wuzzy but a 12ga with a box of sixes would probably get put to good use.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  11. #11

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    I have an additional task for the extra firearm in camp- It's a backup in case a "primary" hunting gun breaks down or conditions dictate it's a better choice than my primary. Both have happened too often to ignore in the last 40 years. My gun has failed or that of a pardner has failed. Or especially, I start the hunt all set up for open country shooting and the game moves into tight cover with a weather change. I can't tell you how many times I've switched from a scoped bolt to my open-sighted backup due to a shift in weather or cover.

    I'd go for the lever rifle with open sights to "back up" all the scoped guns in camp while also serving as a camp gun. My choice has almost always been my Savage 99 in 358, but the 45-70 would be fine, too.

    Bear spray? Yeah, we have it, but always backed up with a suitable loaded gun. The spray has worked just fine a few times and saved the hassle and paperwork of a DLP. But every time we've used it there was a gun pointed at the critter, too.

  12. #12

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    Trade the 7mm in on a SS 45-70 Marlin Guide Gun and bring along a shotgun for grouse and ptarmigan. Problem solved

  13. #13
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    My bid goes to a big bore revolver (take your pick). Sure is nice to have round camp, always on yah. They are good for dispatching animals that you walk up on that are still alive. A big hardcast through the neck is cheaper and less destructive to the hide n meat up close than dispatching with an expensive full power hunting cartridge. Manuevers inside a tent quickly too when you're wrapped up in a sleeping bag.

    Or in my case, you forget to bring extra rifle cartridges, and your miles from camp with only two bullets left in your rifle, over-nighting on your moose kill.

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    I don't like the 12 ga for bear protection, even with Brennekes'. I have seen quite a few bears shot with slugs and buckshot and they did not work the way you might think. Your hunting rifle is good enough. If you want to carry an extra gun a small Marlin guide gun in 45-70 or 450 iron sights will do, I leave one in my vestibule with flashlight attached. Inside the tent is a pistol. Not that the pistol is a primary kill gun but it might let me fight my way out of the sleeping bag and to the 450 or my 06 which is close by also. I might add I am boating in and can carry these things.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Bear spray is very difficult to fly with, NOT allowed on commercial flights or in the cabin of bush planes. About the only way I have been able to fly any is in the float of a float plane.

    Bear fence and firearm for me. I only use the rifle I hunt with and I keep it at hand, seen a lot of moose and bear from the raft while floating. I do keep a safety cord attached to it while floating.

    care to expand on this fence idea a bit?

    I have never given bears a second thought... I don't leave a mess... keep my rifle in my tent... pay attention, but have never gone any further than that.

    After the Sterling incident this Fall I am starting to think maybe be a bit more cautious..


    how much does the fence weigh/cost.. last.. easy to set up?... I've heard it's quite effective..

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Bear spray is very difficult to fly with, NOT allowed on commercial flights or in the cabin of bush planes. About the only way I have been able to fly any is in the float of a float plane.

    Bear fence and firearm for me. I only use the rifle I hunt with and I keep it at hand, seen a lot of moose and bear from the raft while floating. I do keep a safety cord attached to it while floating.

    care to expand on this fence idea a bit?

    I have never given bears a second thought... I don't leave a mess... keep my rifle in my tent... pay attention, but have never gone any further than that.

    After the Sterling incident this Fall I am rethinking my position.


    how much does the fence weigh/cost.. last.. easy to set up?... I've heard it's quite effective..

  17. #17
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default Camp gun/ Brush gun/ Bear deterrant

    I believe they run about $275 and about 3-5lb.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  18. #18
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    The fences don't take long to setup, 10 minutes or so and are light. In this photo, when we returned to camp there were 3 bears around the fence, but none had entered the perimeter.

    I use this one, they can be rented in Anchorage at Wiggy's

    I send a lot of time in the bush and I do not use one all the time, I know how to keep a clean camp. But there are areas that they are necessary and they WORK.


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    Member ekberger's Avatar
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    Stid, how do you assure yourself that they're working correctly in the field, without the obvious, e.g., touch them to find out. I guide float fishing trips all summer and for years we never did anything but keep a clean camp and take the necessary precautions. The last couple of years we started using fences. One model had a little blinking light that if you saw it flashing you were suppose to trust that it was on. The other model did not, but I could sometimes hear a faint high pitch noise. I take great pains to make sure it's set up correctly, no grass or other obstructions touching the wires, fresh batteries and above all a good ground when it's set up. I'm most often the last one to my tent at night after all the clients tucked in and the last thing I do is activate the fence. However, there's always this doubt in my mind that it may or may not be working. Any suggestions on this since you have a lot of practical field experience?

  20. #20
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekberger View Post
    Stid, how do you assure yourself that they're working correctly in the field, without the obvious, e.g., touch them to find out. I guide float fishing trips all summer and for years we never did anything but keep a clean camp and take the necessary precautions. The last couple of years we started using fences. One model had a little blinking light that if you saw it flashing you were suppose to trust that it was on. The other model did not, but I could sometimes hear a faint high pitch noise. I take great pains to make sure it's set up correctly, no grass or other obstructions touching the wires, fresh batteries and above all a good ground when it's set up. I'm most often the last one to my tent at night after all the clients tucked in and the last thing I do is activate the fence. However, there's always this doubt in my mind that it may or may not be working. Any suggestions on this since you have a lot of practical field experience?
    Well, being a Man I had to "test it" by using the touch it method. After I got back up off the ground I decided that a cheap tester was a much better option. I bought it at the feed store it was cheap and it is very light. Has a hook and a ground and you ground it and touch the hot wires, it has several lights to indicate strength.

    much like this one, but not the same.

    http://www.kencove.com/fence/voltmet...FSmCQgodmEIARA
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