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Thread: Advice on Bears

  1. #1
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    Question Advice on Bears

    I can't take my pistol out of Michigan without a CCW permit and I don't have time to get one. What would Alaskan's recommend to buy once in alaska (flying into Anchorage) for the best bear protection? There will be four of us and we will be spending the last week of our trip on the Kenai penn. - so I know we will need something. Any purchase locations and expected costs would be helpful. Options I am thinking of include maybe buying gun there or purchasing spray. If one buys spray can it be sold back if unused? Is buying and reselling a gun an option??
    Thanks for any advice - fly out Friday and counting the minutes.....

  2. #2
    Member Anglette's Avatar
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    I believe you cannot buy a firearm here in Alaska unless you are a resident. So bear spray is your best bet. You can buy it at any sporting goods store, including wal-mart.

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    I am sure this has been hashed over many times but i think spray would be your best bet. I am debating bringing my .44mag when i go up next summer but i will have spray for sure if i dont.

  4. #4
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default What

    Who or what says you can't take a handgun without a CCW. I have never heard of anything like that before. You can always get a shotgun in alaska if you are concerned and get some benneke slugs to go with it.

  5. #5
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Rent a 12 gauge and some 3" slugs, bear would be wise not to mess with you
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Anglette, I can't find any reference online to restrictions on nonresidents buying guns in AK. All I see is that a Concealed-Carry permit requires 90-day residency and that permit only exists for reciprocity purposes and a few crime-related exceptions. Can anyone clarify this? My wife is a field-researcher and wants to buy a gun to take into the woods with her.

  7. #7

    Default buying guns in AK

    There are a number of threads on this in the archives, but, if you are a non-resident, you can buy a long gun in Alaska and take possession of it if you have current official picture I.D. from your home state, like a Driver's License AND IF that does not go against your home state's laws. For instance, if you are from Texas, you can buy a long gun, but may not take possession of it in Alaska.You can buy a handgun in Alaska BUT you cannot take possession of it if you are a non-resident. You would have to get it shipped by the selling store to your home state UNLESS it goes against your state's laws to possess that specific gun. I don't know anyone who rents firearms in AK. You could purchase a long gun and sell it before leaving the state to a dealer, but you'd lose money. Why not just keep the gun and take it home? A short barreled twelve gauge with Brenneke 3" slugs would work well. Alaska does not require a CCW to carry concealed, but that really doesn't relate to this scenario.

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    Let me step up on my soap box for a minute,
    you want to buy a gun that you may or may not be familiar with to use in a s**t hits the fan situation, or if that's not available you want OC spray that you appear to not have experience with nor practice using the inert cans.
    Situations like this are far more dangerous than the bears. Be aware of the surrounding area and leave if a bear shows up.
    Just my take on the matter.
    By the way have a great time and be safe

    Stepping off the soap box
    At sea, it's force not reason that confers sovereign rights

  10. #10
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Question Really...

    Just what do you plan on doing on the Kenai? Where will you be going? I am not convinced you need a gun or spray.

    And not being able to leave your home state with your gun? Who would live in a place like that? Seriously, are you sure about this. I have never heard of such a thing.

    Returning bear spray because you did not use it? Come on man. You are kidding.

    Buying a gun in Alaska for a week on the Kenai? You lost me...

    If anything, buy a can of spray. Give it away when you leave.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  11. #11

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    Wow, well this sure seems to have gone in a somewhat negative direction...

    Get some bearspray... maybe while you're up here (Better yet, before you come here...), if you have time, do some reading and edumacate yourself the best you can. Rarely do bear encounters require a firearm. It is nice to have one when you really need one... but don't forget that the best weapon against any animal is located above your shoulders, not carried in your hands or on your back.

  12. #12
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default bearspray..

    Just remember that you can not fly with bear spray on commercial airlines. If that is the direction you go, be sure you buy it when you get to Alaska. UDAP/Counter Assault is a good brand. It should come with a holster too.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default thanks for all repsonses

    I have been planning this trip for a year. The last 8 days we plan on fishing areas on the Kenai that include the Russion river area, Deep Creek and Anchor River. I am hoping to stay away from crowds as much as possible . I was planning on picking up a can of spray when I get there then - then I start reading on this site about all the times that firearms are being used on bears and it concerned me especially since I will have my 11 yr old and 77 yr old father in law. I feel that I have read enough on how we should behave to prevent an encounter and what to do if one were to occur. I understand that the odds of us being charged and attacked are fairly slim - but I want to prepare for that in the most cost effective way. Right now I am thinking that will be two cans of spray at $45/can - and since I can't fly it back home I just don't want to dump it in the trash when I leave. I have been reading this site every day for the last 4 months and thanks to all who post very valuable info - as an outstater it has helped me plan.

  14. #14
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Good ...

    I can certainly appreciate you concern. Traveling with a child adds to your responsibilities for sure. The buying a gun idea in Alaska will be tough from what I recall. Aside from being impracticle perhaps due to the short duration of your trip. Bear spray is a choice for many and in your situation it would be the most convenient route to take. But if you can justify it, perhaps by future trips to Alaska, you may consider a short pump action shotgun with slugs. It will be suggested by more people than any other gun for bear protection. A Remington 870 pump with pistol grip and short barrel should not set you back more than $400 or so. You might even pick up a used one for less. Great guns and very reliable (and simple). Cabelas makes a nice gun case that fits in the bottom of a heavy duty duffle (made to hold the gun case). Both are Cabelas products. I am pretty sure (almost positive) that you could fit the 870 in it if you took the barrel off. That is how I carry my S&W 500 and Marlin Guide Gun to NW Alaska for our yearly float trips. Works great. But then again, it would be easier to buy some spray. I prefer guns. But there are arguments on both sides of that one. If you can justify the expense, a shotgun with slugs in a slick gun case/duffle would be perfect for this (and future) trips to Alaska. Just add a sling and you would be in good shape. Below are a few links for you. Hope you guys have a great trip.

    http://www.remington.com/products/fi...ess_7-shot.asp

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...593&hasJS=true

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...772&hasJS=true
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  15. #15

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    I bought my bear spray from someone leaving AK, and I sold it when I left. I'm pretty sure there are plenty of people who would purchase it from you when you left.

  16. #16

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    "And not being able to leave your home state with your gun? Who would live in a place like that? Seriously, are you sure about this. I have never heard of such a thing."

    I'm with Dan on this, two places I know you cant have a handgun in possession
    The commy state of N.Y. and D.C. which was overturned and returned?lol

    The CWP does not apply to taking weapons to other states AND AK. you can carry concealed without a permit.

    I would call the T.S.A about flight regs in MI.

    So who told you no travel without a CWP???
    Inquiring minds ---LOL

  17. #17
    Member 9601's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Impression View Post
    Right now I am thinking that will be two cans of spray at $45/can - and since I can't fly it back home I just don't want to dump it in the trash when I leave.
    You're not the only one who has thought of this. When you get to the airport go hang around by the baggage claim/security gate for about 10 minutes. There are always a bunch of people who don't know the rules about bear spray on the planes who are looking to throw the stuff away. You can probably get a couple of free cans. I have a friend who has done this a couple of times. Oh, and when you leave, return the favor.

  18. #18
    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Default My .02

    As stated prior, there are arguments for both sides. Think about this, while theory is nice, the reality if a bear comes at you, you think about what you would rather have, a can with aerosol or a weapon. Again, the lives of your family members are at stake. I guarantee you that every single person who gets attacked "didn't think it would happen to them". When I moved up here I bought a book called "Bear Attacks". It covers just about every documented bear attack for the last 30 years. From experienced hunters to tree huggers. But, in just about every case, the common theme was that the person wasn't armed. While it may be more inconvenient to carry a shotgun with you, and the chances of you needing it may be slim to none (but ask the people who got mauled if they wish they had inconvienced themselves) if it happens, you will be darn glad you have it. I don't think "some" people realize just how, big, fast, and toothy a bear coming at you to kick your A#% is! With spray, while processing your thoughs at micro seconds, is the wind blowing right, wrong, in my face, in the bears face etc...you will not have those thoughts with a gun, you will instinctively point it and start shooting (remember your child is only feet from you). I know all of the "experts" on here will pipe in about how you should be a trained SWAT Team member and fire 300,000 rounds and be able to field strip you gun in the dark etc...but guess what, a slug will get anythings attention on the receiving end. This is just my .02 as stated, but I think you already answered your own questions, "I will have my 11 year old and 77 year old...". This is not to say you might miss with every shot and still get chewed on BUT, I will take my chances with a gun over spray anyday of the week. Let your wife carry the spray and expend it while you are blazing away with the slugs, what ever it takes, hell bring in an A-10 (my favorite). Just think about laying in or visiting a hospital and looking at a loved one thinking, "man I wish I would have had a gun". But hey, it's your family and your choice, only you can make the decision. As the others have stated, have a great time while visiting this miraculous place called Alaska!

  19. #19
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default I always thought

    that the spray was a good alternative to a large cal handgun or a shotgun...but I don't think so anymore. I had a blackie messing me a little bit - I had a gun and the spray. Didn't feel the need to shoot the guy, but wanted him away from me. I let him get about 25 feet from me (he had been closer)...and I hit him with the spray - well, not really, it didn't make it that far - no wind. Bear did go away for a minute then came right back. Had it of been a pissed off Griz and I did not have a bgun - he could have just came and et me.

    I didn't have the magnum can of Udap - but it was a good sized can that cost me 30$ at walmart. I'll take the gun over the spray anyday.

  20. #20
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Default i don't like spray

    The downfall to spray is if you encounter a bear, you are hoping it doesn't just come barreling out of nowhere and gets ya. Your hoping you see him first and have time to spray if he comes close. If he's on top of your wife or kids the last thing you want is to hope you can spray him and run off. That's why I've always toted a 12 gauge coach gun with slugs. It's light weight and packs alot of punch. But anyway the odds of a nasty bear encounter are very slim so do what you feel needs done.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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