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Thread: bear vs pepper spray while bowhunting

  1. #1

    Default bear vs pepper spray while bowhunting

    any words of wisdom in cosidering to carry pepper spray instead of firearm as bear protection while bow hunting? good idea? not?

  2. #2
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Eagle River/ Juneau


    Jack Frost, who was my bowhunter ed teacher and the first to take the N. American Sheep grand slam with a bow carries both and prefers to use pepper spray. If you can't place bullets in a target moving at you at 20 miles per hour while wetting yourself I wouldn't carry a gun.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  3. #3

    Thumbs down Pepper spray

    South Dakota, pepper spray has it's place, but as someone that has lived in and hunted Alaska since 1984 and have had many bear encounters, I vote not no, but Hell No for relying on pepper spray while hunting the areas occupied by the big bears. A major drawback is the wind. Unless the wind is still (which it usually isn't), and you are VERY lucky to have the bear come at you every time from downwind, the spray wil either dissipate or blow back in your face. Not a good prospect trying to fight off a half ton of whoop-ass when you can't see through your own peppery tears.........

    To suggest pepper spray doesn't have it's place is also irresponsible. If I carried it while bowhunting up here, I would carry it right next to the holster my .454 Casull is riding in, and use it as the last resort. The object of defense against a bear is to not allow it to reach your person. The impact of a bullet, even a badly placed one, the sound and the muzzle blast of adaquate handgun or shotgun is in itself a deterrent for most bears, even though a few will come at you until it is dead. Been there, done that. But, in these situations, the bear is right on you and you do not "aim". That is impossible. You absolutely MUST use enough gun, and shoot it regularly in GOOD practice, and keep shooting it until you can wield it in the dark. Knowing where it shoots and the prior practice and training will take over, and you will not just shoot like Yosimite Sam. If you do, or think you will panic, you haven't shot that weapon enough. Since I sucessfully faced a charge from a brown bear years ago, I shoot every gun I may use on any hunting trip as much as possible. I mean hundreds of rounds through my big rifles, and literally thousands through my handguns every year. If I could shoot even more, I would. In my Casull, I shoot .45 Long Colt ammo for 90%+ of my practice, but I shoot a lot of the full power loads I carry to know how it will shoot with them and control the recoil.

    Each bear is different, but it has been documented that some bears actually like the stuff, so to trust your life to a spray not only shows the lack of understanding of the dangers up here, but shows a lack of common sense. Sure, a lot of black bears are discouraged every year with pepper spray, but they usually are not in a charge mode and are just curious about what the person is that sprayed them. The old adage is correct; How do you tell the difference between a black bear dropping and a grizzly bear dropping? Black bear droppings have berries in it, grizzly droppings have bones and cloth in it and smells like pepper.

    If you are hunting in an area with no brown/griz in it, pepper spray is not a bad option, but I wouldn't trust my life to it. No way.
    Last edited by Hawken54; 08-03-2007 at 19:59. Reason: Fat fingers
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???


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