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Thread: Bear Backup?

  1. #1

    Default Bear Backup?

    Just saw a show on TV featuring the .500 revolver (don't remember the make). Got me to thinking so I ask this question...

    When you fishermen are out in the woods fishing, what do you carry for bear protection? I have a 12 gauge that never gets far from my hand but there are times when it's on the bank and I'm waist deep in water. I'd like to have something a little handier and closer.

    Was thinking of the .454 Casull...what do you suggest?

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    The Ruger Alaskan 454 is a nice gun. My buddy has one. I got the S&W 500 with 4" barrel. Awesome gun. Period. Loaded with Buffalo Bore, it is pretty darn mean. I saw the same show if it was about how the gun is made. Discovery or History channel perhaps. Cool show. I also carry a stainless Marlin guide gun 45/70. This is not just walking around every day fishing. We take one to two week remote float trips each year. I like the guide gun laying around camp. I like the fact that the 500 is on me everywhere else. Like you mentioned, out wading in the river, taking a leak, etc.. Murphy's Law being what it is and all. If out for a day at a favorite fishing hole, I would only take the S&W 500. Depending on the location, not even that. Great guns listed here, but they demand lots of practice time before they are worth carrying anywhere.
    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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    Member Crab_n_fish's Avatar
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    In memory of the infomercial king, I'd have to say Billy May's OxyClean
    products. If it is good enough to rid clothes of stains then it's good enough for removing bears from my presence!

    In all seriousness, my cousin carries .44 S&W Magnum strapped to his side. As for me, I have a pair of nail clippers...not sure how these would hold up. It looks like I need to get some form of protection myself.

  4. #4
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Being that there are more accidental shootings than bear maulings, I would say you are safer
    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.

  5. #5

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    I carry a Smith 460v in a chest holster. In the camp is a 45/70 GG. Make sure you practice with whatever you carry.

  6. #6
    Member NickofTime's Avatar
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    870...packed with slugs!

    I also agree: Make sure you practice with whatever you carry!

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    Default 12 guage is better

    The 12 gauge is going to be better than most hand cannons. The 460 S&W is a good gun to go with. It will shoot the .460 as well as the 454 cassull and a .45 long colt. But non of those is worth a **** if you can't shoot.

  8. #8
    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    The vast majority of the time, you'd never even get a gun out of a holster or to your shoulder before the bear was on top you. That said, I feel much safer when I have my 870 with good sabot slugs with me. Whether I actually am safer or not is questionable.

    I learned a long time ago that the gun isn't for my safety. If someone I'm with gets attacked, though, I have a realistic chance of being able to help them.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    i carry a .44 ruger blackhawk with good 250 gr. hollow points(handloads by Pa) that have proven themselves in Kodiak to be pretty dependable bear medicine ....i sometimes carry a 30-30 winchester rifle with me as well, but I reckon it wont do me much good. someday ill upgrade to a 45/70 or .444...the 30-30 ive used several times to scare bears off by shooting over their heads or at their feet....**** me the day when I shoot a grizzly bear with that caliber.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the replies all. Yeah I do love my Mossberg and if I had my choice I'd pick her up every time! I have been doing some research on the .454 and watching some YouTube footage. I am really torn...half of the videos show this little lady shooting it and doing just fine, others show it kicking the h*** out of some big ole' boy! I wish there was some way I could fire one once just to see what kind of a punch it really had. I have shot .44's before and as I recollect (been awhile) I didn't dislike it too much. But the .454 is a lot of gun - hate to plop down $900 on a gun I don't want to shoot!

    We are going out fishing in a week or so and will be bringing the shotgun. There are three of us fishing, but we have decided that two will fish and one will be on watch at any one time. Maybe that is the way I should approach this? Or maybe I will just go with what I know and get a .44 Mag to go with the shotgun. I dunno...

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    Default bear backup

    pepper spray

  12. #12

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    Please don't take this the wrong way aksalmonslayer, but pepper spray has some drawbacks to it that make it less than ideal as a backup...

    First off, pepper spray is meant to be a deterrent, not a stopping force. It will not stop a bear from attacking, it only makes it unpleasant for the bear.
    Secondly, pepper spray is only effective if the wind is in the right direction. If the bear is upwind of you, it will just blow back in your face and "season" you for the bear!
    Thirdly, even in the best conditions, you have to get uncomfortably close in order to use peper spray. And if I am getting that close, I don't want the bear getting any closer!

    Granted, a handgun or even a shotgun also have drawbacks and a downside, but at least with a gun, you can practice to take some of the variables out of the equation.

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    Default Just to make you feel safer

    As I stood along the river the other night with no other souls around, I was visited by a really nice size blackie. Our encounter was at about ten feet. Close enough to see teh reflections in his eyes. I instictively reached for my sidearm, although never drew the weapon. At that moment I realized that if the bear had wanted me, I was done before I could draw down on him. There are so very many circumstances surrounding self protection with bears. If you have a wide field of view, you are good. Otherwise, the weapon is there to make me feel safer. That bear and I had a heart to heart discussion then. Afterwich he decided that I probably tasted like boot leather and went on his way.
    "No man who refuses to bear arms in defense of his nation can give a sound reason why he should be allowed to live in a free country" T. Roosevelt

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default More info...link and question...

    Here's ADF&G site with variety of good info...deterrents, fences, weapons:
    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...dfg=bears.main, and:
    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...laska.firearms

    Wide range of opinions expressed in past on this topic. "Search" then "Advanced search" functions for more.

    Hey, Hunt&FishAK, I wonder if you have more details on the performance of those 250 gr hollow point bullets?

  15. #15
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I take a short fat friend. As long as i can outrun him I dont worry about a thing.

    I carry my 44 on certain occasions. 320gr salvos in it. Never had to use it or draw it nor do I care to. My wife says my lovely singing voice does more than enough to keep the fuzzy things at bay. I guess Im not gonna be and Idol finalist. God is Great, Beer is good, People are crazy is the tune in the woods this month
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  16. #16
    Member AkTrouter's Avatar
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    I personally carry a .480 Ruger Alaskan. It is a little larger than the .454, but with out the sharp kick. Actually, you can drop a loaded 44 round completely threw the cylinder. I have drawn it once, but convinced the bear he would be better off picking a fairer fight. I think you are better off with something larger than the .44. The .480 doesn't seem to kick much harder than my .44, but has a lot more fire power. Becareful with the .500, there are hot rounds out there that have blown out more than 1 elbow...

    The nice thing about the .454 is you can practice shooting it with .45 long colts.

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    Default Welsh Corgi (smaller dog) bear deterrent

    My fishing partner is a Welsh Corgi. He has let me know of a couple bears nearby by barking. A dog barking will usually send a bear the other direction. Provides some pretty good company as well as a good bear alarm.
    I was fishing a couple years ago and didn't have my buddy with me and had a Canadian brown bear walk right up behind me and stand there and watch. I don't know about the rest of you but when I'm fishing I'm watching my line etc and not watching the woods behind me.
    Having a furry pal with good ears and nose is the best deterent. I do carry a Glock 23 with the best ammo I can buy because I can shoot it very very well (alot of career/professional training). The key for most situations I believe. Most guys with big magnums are scared of them and are marginal shots at a range with no distractions and ear muffs. If you add in stress and a fast moving target and you'll make alot of noise and hit very little.

  18. #18
    Member Crab_n_fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    I take a short fat friend. As long as i can outrun him I dont worry about a thing.
    Hmmmmm....

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    Quote Originally Posted by FbksFishinFool View Post
    Please don't take this the wrong way aksalmonslayer, but pepper spray has some drawbacks to it that make it less than ideal as a backup...

    First off, pepper spray is meant to be a deterrent, not a stopping force. It will not stop a bear from attacking, it only makes it unpleasant for the bear.
    Secondly, pepper spray is only effective if the wind is in the right direction. If the bear is upwind of you, it will just blow back in your face and "season" you for the bear!
    Thirdly, even in the best conditions, you have to get uncomfortably close in order to use peper spray. And if I am getting that close, I don't want the bear getting any closer!

    Granted, a handgun or even a shotgun also have drawbacks and a downside, but at least with a gun, you can practice to take some of the variables out of the equation.

    Yea, you said as back up. Pepper spray is a great back up ive used it before on the little sue and the bear took off. Usually bears wont attack you they just want your fish. Ive also shot off a shot gun at montana creek over a bears head and it just looked at me like i was stupid.

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