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Thread: Common Combat Rivers and Bears

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default Common Combat Rivers and Bears

    Bear spray or handgun? All this talk about Bear spray had me thinking today. For two reasons. The tests and or reports published, have not read them and don't want to, say the bear spray is the way to go basically. BUT I think the results are not good, would not be good info. I bet people prematurely blasted the spray off when there was no real threat or charge. Sure it may have turned the bear away or made him leave. But in a real charge I would never think it would work. Seen evidence of this. I have also seen a bear turned away on video, but the guy was hiding and blowing a call. It was not a charge and when the bear was right behind him he jumped out and sprayed the bear. Again I would still never trust spray in a real situation.

    Secondly can you imagine being at Russian River Confluence, Sheep Creek, Willow Creek, where ever you choose when there are a lot of people fishing and a bear shows up. If the retards carrying Bear Spray freaked out and emptied a can, you would have a major situation. People would be more affected by the spray than the bear. Mass panic would set in. People could drown and so on.

    But if people were armed with handguns, what I have seen mostly, they would wait till last minute and when there was a actually threat, not just a bear walking or coming close by. Sure there might be a guy who would shoot off a warning shot at some point, but that won't hurt nobody, I think that happened last year?

    Basically I think people who choose bear spray don't really understand the bears and the actual threat they pose. If and when they do use the spray it is in my opinion not the right time or situation. From the videos I have seen and bits on YouTube of bears actually charging, a shot fired in the ground in front of them stopped the charge, or actually shooting the bear at 8 yards stopped the bear. Any actual footage of pepper spray really working in that type of situation? All I have seen is the dead russian dude with an empty can of spray and a lot of orange snow around him---the situation I think that would be common!



    Just my thoughts and opinions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    Basically I think people who choose bear spray don't really understand the bears and the actual threat they pose. If and when they do use the spray it is in my opinion not the right time or situation. From the videos I have seen and bits on YouTube of bears actually charging, a shot fired in the ground in front of them stopped the charge, or actually shooting the bear at 8 yards stopped the bear. Any actual footage of pepper spray really working in that type of situation? All I have seen is the dead russian dude with an empty can of spray and a lot of orange snow around him---the situation I think that would be common!
    I have seen bears completely unaffected by warning shots. Some wander closer to see what it is. Never been there but rumor is on Kodiak bears come in when guns go off because some of them have learned that a gunshot means food. Sure, some bears will stop or run off but not all of them. If you hit a bear with spray it's usually a good thing. If they associate people with unpleasant experiences then they will be conditioned to stay away from people.

    Anywhere there is combat fishing you'll also have LEOs writing tickets for violations. If there is a bear around it's better to let the state take care of the hazing unless there is a legitimate DLP situation. If you think a bear is too close to you and not charging go somewhere else. Don't pop off rounds in hope of scaring it off.

    You also hear stories of dead people laying next to guns.

    Fact of the matter is bears are big, fast and extremely powerful creatures that are inherently unpredictable. There is a chance that neither gun nor spray will deter or stop them. Most people who do carry guns are not what I would consider proficient enough to warrant carrying a gun. If you can't hit anything reliably with a gun the spray has a better chance of keeping you alive. Bullet have little to no effect if they don't find their mark. It's easy for anyone who has used a hose to understand a can of spray.

    [rant]Which works best changes from person to person and situation to situation. If you are going to carry a gun for bear protection or any other type of protection you need to be proficient. IMO, spray is for those who are unable or willing to put the time in to become proficient. [/rant]

  3. #3
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    .....Secondly can you imagine being at Russian River Confluence, Sheep Creek, Willow Creek, where ever you choose when there are a lot of people fishing and a bear shows up. If the retards carrying Bear Spray freaked out and emptied a can, you would have a major situation. People would be more affected by the spray than the bear. Mass panic would set in. People could drown and so on.....
    Actually, I see it the other way around; there's no way I'm going to be shooting my weapon in an area with people all around me. I'd rather be chewed up than shoot somebody and end up in court.

    I see it as just another good reason to avoid combat fishing zones.........

  4. #4

    Default Bear Spray...egad!

    Well;
    Bear spray is eating the forums alive.
    I have warded off more than my share of bears with the warning shot and have never had to actually kill one yet.
    Yep, it's the Kodiak dinner bell. Different though when it is close and personal.
    My final decision is that I cannot do both. My strategy is to outfit my Wife with spray, and myself with trusty iron. I fire warning, she sprays, I finish.
    That is the best I could come up with.
    The bear facing the crowd scenario isn't near as much fun as the bear in tent scenario....
    Mark
    Last edited by snowshooze; 04-29-2008 at 18:10. Reason: Darned keyboard....

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    A large group of people should have no problem scaring off a bear, if they do the bear shouldn't be shot, and in that large group of people chances that someone has a gun are pretty dang good. It is Alaska!
    Last edited by Daveinthebush; 04-30-2008 at 08:26. Reason: Corrected spelling
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I fish the russian and upper kenai all year long. On the russian and the confluence I dont carry a gun or spray. I just tell my wife duck if she see's a bear because there are so many "wingnuts" carring weapons. Im not talking handguns. I have seen some bizarre stuff carried on the russian. Spray seems to work from what has been published. if the wind is wrong or there is a crowd what happens. Oh wait mr bear, let me lick m finger and check the wind direction. i do think spray works but has it limits. Weapons, I think it is the same thing. They have thier limits too. Can it be drawn quick enough, am i gonna shoot my fishing buddy getting snacked on by this bear etc etc. The one thing that has never affects my 44 super blackhawk with 320 grain salvo's in it is wind. This can be debated and chatted for a lifetime. It is all about the situation you are in or presented with. If i could or was motivated enough id carry a 12 gauge riot gun loaded with slug, buck shot. slug, buckshot, slug. If that does not do it Id curl up and get eaten. Just my .02 worth
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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Talking i just LOVE this rationale!!!

    "The tests and or reports published, HAVE NOT READ THEM AND DON'T WANT TO, say the bear spray is the way to go basically. But I think the results are not good, would not be good info. "

    why not just say "i don't know what i am talking about and like it that way"?

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default HomerDave

    Ever hear of "common sense isn't so common any more" Well that is my reasoning. I do know what I am talking about. Just not ignorant enough to read a bunch BS by greenies to save THEIR bears. From the evidence I have seen, after my brownie and living with the bears for 8 day, seen lots and lots of bears, see Survivor Man thread from back in october. IF you want to trust what their reports say and trust your life to can of spray, then go for it. Just don't end up like mr. russian dude, really how I see the out come of a REAL bear charge that is not a bluff and full on ready for an attack.

    Other people have the same kind of concerns, wind, crouds, just to many variables, not to mention distance. If you crap your pants and freak out and blast off the can then what? Dinner time for mr. bear.

    My beef is that they greenies are trying convince us to leave guns at home. If for some reason I cannot carry a gun, I rather go empty handed, than carry that spray.

    I don't fish those rivers either. But have floated the kenai and seen 13 bears in a few miles, 7 blacks and 4 brown bears. One of the brownies was HUGE. All from Cooper landing to Skilak Lake. Most people looked calm, but WHAT IF. Right across from the Russian was 2 brownies fighting off a blackie. I guess use your own common sense is all I can say. Just hope anyone will be smarter than the russian dude, after seeing that documentary it really sticks out in my mind.

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    I fish the russian and down all the time. The only time I carry is at night when I made the decision to fish all night. In the day I go with the idea that there are so many freaking people we could drive off a bear easily. I usually don't worry about it, and have had many encounters on the kenai. Every time is different, but if you stay calm, and act rationally it usually ends up ok. (or always so far with me, cross my fingers).

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    Bear spray or handgun? All this talk about Bear spray had me thinking today. For two reasons. The tests and or reports published, have not read them and don't want to, say the bear spray is the way to go basically. BUT I think the results are not good, would not be good info. I bet people prematurely blasted the spray off when there was no real threat or charge. Sure it may have turned the bear away or made him leave. But in a real charge I would never think it would work. Seen evidence of this. I have also seen a bear turned away on video, but the guy was hiding and blowing a call. It was not a charge and when the bear was right behind him he jumped out and sprayed the bear. Again I would still never trust spray in a real situation.
    I have seen video of a bear in full charge that was not only deterred by spray, but, actually collapesed to the ground as if it fainted mid-stride before running away. I do think that video predated some aerosol bans, so the newer sprays might not be so overwhelming.

    I also remember a the guy in Birchwood (I think) that got charged by a sow, and he turned her away with a blast. Up til then, he had been more inclined to use a gun. Now he swears by spray.

    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    Secondly can you imagine being at Russian River Confluence, Sheep Creek, Willow Creek, where ever you choose when there are a lot of people fishing and a bear shows up. If the retards carrying Bear Spray freaked out and emptied a can, you would have a major situation. People would be more affected by the spray than the bear. Mass panic would set in. People could drown and so on.
    I'd rather have a can of spray emptied on me than a full clip any day. Arming a person with a gun does not make them any more intelligent. In the words of Pat McManus, "people are either panickers or they are not." I'd much rather face a spray weilding (R word) than a gun weilding one of the same mental prowess.

    I still prefer to carry a gun to spray myself, but, I don't believe that I am "arming the antis" if I suggest that spray is good too. Each situation is so much different. But, if all you can see is the bushes exploding and you have little more than a general idea of where target is, I think a 25' sheild might work better than a single projectile that is 1/2" in circumference.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

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    Member garnede's Avatar
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    There are many people who can't or won't carry a gun big enough to stop a bear. Spray gives them an alternative. The biggest benefit is to give a person a reason not to run. If you read the USGS report they tell you that part of the reason spray has a higher effectiveness is that all gun encounters were considered both small calibers and inexperienced users. Inexperience was not a problem with spray users and the drift caused by wind was minimal when you used a quality product. They do not try to dissuade you from using a gun just give an alternative to carrying a hand cannon.

    Carry what ever gives you peace of mind and let the rest of the world do the same.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan View Post
    I fish the russian and down all the time. The only time I carry is at night when I made the decision to fish all night. In the day I go with the idea that there are so many freaking people we could drive off a bear easily. I usually don't worry about it, and have had many encounters on the kenai. Every time is different, but if you stay calm, and act rationally it usually ends up ok. (or always so far with me, cross my fingers).
    I agree, if you are smart in bear country most encounters are benign.
    I have seen tons of bears and been as close as 10' (the only time I have really been spooked) I have never had one charge or bluff so far. I have had them woof at me before turning tail and heading for the hills though.
    I am a Canadian and as such running about with a hand gun is more than a little difficult. I have brought my 12 ga slug gun twice to AK, but found myself too far away from it to do any good should an issue happen. Thus I carry spray, because it is an effective defense if an encounter became dangerous. Last fall on the Kenai I was sitting on the shore setting up when 60 yds away a sow with twins popped out of the bush. She saw me and became agitated. I had 2 options 1/ stand my ground and make myself big and hope to not have to test the spray or 2/ move downstream a bit. I did the second, and as I moved away she became calmer. As I was now about 80 yds away at the downstream end of a gravel bar and had nowhere left to go should she decide to come see me I still had 2 options. 1/ Stay and hope that she would go on here merry way and I would not have to defend myself or 2/ Hop into the flow and ride it down to the next bend. This time I took option 1 and eventually she moved off upstream.
    Some of my AK friends take hand guns when we're out and that's fine as I think in the right hands both firearms and spray can be effective. The first defense against any bear encounter is common sense. When travelling in dense cover (Make Noise), let the bears know you are there and you will never surprise them and have an issue. I know of one fellow that I have seen below Jim's that walks the trails playing a trumpet!! I gurantee he has never surprised a bear!!!!

    Here's a shot of ma and the kids.


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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    If i could or was motivated enough id carry a 12 gauge riot gun loaded with slug, buck shot. slug, buckshot, slug. If that does not do it Id curl up and get eaten. Just my .02 worth
    LMAO! A shotgun can be a pain to carry, but would nearly seem ideal.


    "My strategy is to outfit my Wife with spray, and myself with trusty iron. I fire warning, she sprays, I finish." Snowshooze


    I like your rationale on this one too, seem logical enough.

    Tim

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