View Poll Results: A shot in the air has no effect, you start shooting in self defense at

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  • 30 yards

    41 26.62%
  • 20 yards

    45 29.22%
  • 15 yards

    22 14.29%
  • 10 yards

    29 18.83%
  • 5 yards

    13 8.44%
  • 1 yard

    1 0.65%
  • I don't, I'll say a prayer and hope for the best.

    3 1.95%
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Thread: When do you shoot your chargin bear

  1. #1
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    Default When do you shoot your chargin bear

    I know another "Bear" thread, but I actually find most informative.

    The general consensus is "Gun" over "Spray", which I understand. The Poll on which gun was pretty interesting, the .44 seems to be the caliber of choice and while I disagreee, it is what it is.

    The Gun vs Spray thread had a line about shooting a bear in defense at 40 feet, which I thought was interesting. However if you do any reading about Bears and Alaska, all address false charges, many of which bring the bear to within feet before they either stop or veer off. In one book I read the author spoke specifically of Russian River Bears and they're being known for false charges, even multiple false charges. One example the author gave the bear charged him 6 times, once passing so close it broke the fishing pole he was holding in his hand. A gentleman I fished with last year had a bear charge and stop so close that as she was snapping her jaws he could smell her breath.

    Soooooo, your fising along the river, when you catch some movement about 60 yards down stream and it's a good sized grizzly by itself that has moved into the river and is looking your way.

    You do a hand wave, a couple shouts, but rather then leaving the bear starts walking your way. At about 50 yards, stops, stands, ears errect looking at you. You shout again and he drops and starts loping your way, picking up speed as he gets closer. Head is up, hackles are up, ears are errect, huffing as his front paws hit the ground. You have two fish on a stringer and you move up the bank away from them, however he changes his route, and it's obvious his interest is in you.

    Still coming and has closed to 40 yards, you pull your firearm of choice and you start shooting at ____ yards.

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default 40

    40 yards. But not at the bear. Just in front of him in the water with the first one, maybe two rounds. Then the rest are his if he doesn't stop.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  3. #3
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    I only spent three years in Alaska (was charged once, one dead bear) but consider myself an avid outdoorsman with plenty of big game and wilderness experiance throughout the US. I'm not a shot happy greenhorn, nor am I paranoid about bears. That being said, a dead bear at any range that wad charging me is better than closing my eyes, saying a prayer and hoping for the best. My personal preference is similar to Daves.....a warning shot at a resonable distance to allow myself the time for another shot and if he keeps coming then I do what it takes to survive. I'd say 40yds is close enough for a warning shot and by the time you get back on target, if the bear has continued his attack, he should be inside 20yds which I consider close enough.

    My one experience with being charged didn't result in a true DLP situation because my partner, who took the shot, had a brown bear tag and chose to use it rather than deal with an ADF&G investigation. Regardless, that bear died at less than five yards and likely wouldn't have been ruled unjust anyway.

  4. #4
    Member B-radford's Avatar
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    Default

    Although I have yet (knock on wood) to actually have to shoot at a charging bear, I agree with Dave on this one. First couple would be warning shots at the bears feet or in the water around him, the rest for if he doesnt scare off. But, given the situation you described, probably 40 yards.

  5. #5
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    Default

    30 yards and I don't believe in warning shots. That being said, I have never been charged by a bear, given so much time to consider the possibility those are the criteria I have planted in my mind. I just hope if ever I do get charged I have at least that amount of time to react, all to often the event takes place in much closer quarters and happens to an unsuspecting person.

  6. #6
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    Default Need a different....

    There isn't really a distance that I would consider. Each encounter is unique, if the warning shot doesn't work it's a dead bear. That might be 30 yrds or 10 feet.

  7. #7

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    30 to 40 yards may be a good guess, but...as said above...every encounter is going to be different. A bear with ears up and loping in will elicit a different reaction vs ears back and head low. I might pop a warning shot at 70 yards if warranted. 2 warning shots max...the rest are for deadly force.

    One thing I can absolutely and unequivocally guarantee: I will not be thinking for even a millisecond about what the DNR or F&G people might conclude. I have a lot of respect for the job they do, but in a bear encounter (charged), the only thing that will matter is how to dissuade or kill that bear and avoid injury. Let the chips fall where they will.

  8. #8
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default Sow vs Boar?

    I'll muddy the water a bit and ask if anybody thinks a charging sow is less likely to false chg than a lone boar?
    I have never hunted Griz but been around them and never had one show any interest. However, I have had a sow black bear false chg and she stopped at about 10 feet - I had no weapon with me and vowed to not ever get caught like that again if possible! Scared sh**less is a pretty good description!
    Personally, I think if cubs are in site with the sow, blacks or griz, she is more likely to continue than stop vs a boar showing he's a tough guy???

  9. #9
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    Red face

    Running towards me is my limit. If you have a shot you had better take it. You might not get another. And warning shots? Again, you might not have time for another.
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

  10. #10
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I'm different than most as I like to hunt a shoot my bears at less than fifty yards. I feel fulfilled if I can get with-in 25 yards before shooting and have gotten closer.

  11. #11
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    Default Shoot Now!

    I find it interesting that people say to give a "couple" warning shots. Depending on what kind of firearm you are carrying (semi-auto vs. single action) a brown bear can cover 40 yards faster than you can get more than a couple shots. I think it is easy to sit behind a computer and say what you would do if a brown bear was charging you; get in that exact situation and I believe most people would react differently. I believethat you have to rehearse that situation when at the range. Draw your firearm and fire at a target as fast as you can. If you have never done that before, you will be surprised how long it actually takes, and that is in a controlled environment. Bottom line: The first time you have to draw your weapon and shoot at a bear with the intent to kill or be killed, better not be in that situation. Practice, Practice, Practice!

    Sorry if I got on a soapbox but having been in the military, it was of the upmost importance that you train you men to become as proficient as possible with their weapon prior to facing a "real" situation. That is why we were always at the range practicing reflexive fire drills......It pays off in the end!

  12. #12
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    Default Having read the criteria of your senerio

    The first round hits the water just enough ahead of him to prove your capability to act against him, weather water or dirt ,spalshing it in front of him is something he understands, ( it is something they do them selves)
    Secondly the gun is still in the proposed direction, for another round should the animal determine your warning was not enough. Sence the gun naturally raises round after round, the next aim point is unquestionably close to making a fatal decision.
    If I were fishing a stream , my pole would be on a teather so that if i dropped it, or need my hands free to get up, or to convert full attention to the event unfolding needing the gun or some other thing , loosing the pole woiuld not be a concern, even if I had just tied into a big fish.
    If you run , you are food,
    If you give him your fish , you are a food source,he will not respect you.
    If you stand your ground, he must decide weather to invade your safe zone or not. If you are the invader to his teritory, he will be enclined to defend it .
    While most of my time in the woods has been searching for lost people, more than hunting, there is no substatute for respecting the fact that we were in some one elses back yard. I'm a tracker, and there's nothin like fallowing shoe prints and spotting cat prints over the top, to get the adrenilen up.

  13. #13
    Member Ken R's Avatar
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    Default Been there

    I got in a jam with a BB sow and her 2yo cubs. Cubs were 10 yards behind me and she was back in the brush at 40 yds. The cubs spooked as I was trying to get the shotgun ready (was bowhunting). She covered the 40 yds in the time it took me to get the shotgun, pump a shell and fire. First shot was at the end of the barrel--still knocked me down and bit at my legs while I reloaded. I feel lucky to have been able to walk away with some puncture wounds. My point is--at 40 yards--you might get a second shot with a pistol--shotgun probably only going to get one--unless you carry one in the chamber. If ever presented the situation again--there is no warning shots if the bear is coming at me--just not enough time in my opinion.

  14. #14
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    Default Warning Shots

    The warning shot can be and is a useful tool. However, the decision to use a warning shot all depends on the encounter. I don't think there is really a standard issue bear encounter. As with anything in the wild, no two bear encounters will be the same. If there is time to get the gun up and put a warning shot, why not. But that all depends on the situation.

  15. #15
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    Talking "chargin" bear

    I'd cut him down as soon as the bill hit $500.

    Gary

  16. #16
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    Default Deadly force or none

    For me.....it's X marks the spot until the bear proves otherwise. Just like my hunting instincts, get on target and be ready.

    I've been in plenty of my own encounters and If I don't see bear butt headin out of Dodge I'm in a defensive posistion ready for anykind of encounter.

    It's all in the body language, a bear really has a way of telling you what's happening.

    If it says I'm on the menu or needing eliminated.......we'll I'd say 15 yrds and the lead is on the way.

  17. #17
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    A bear can run about 40 miles per hour - Thats 58.7 feet per second - It will be covering about 20 yards per second. Not a lot of time to get a second shot off, especially with a bolt gun.

    I agree with the last post. Get the sights on the kill spot and follow him in. 20 yards is only 1 second away. Miss that first shot or need a second to finish the job and you may be shooting with teeth in you.

  18. #18
    Member Alaskacajun's Avatar
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    The first one that charged me, told me a lot about myself...

    I thought I would soil my pants ~ I didn't

    I thought that I could out-run a bear ~ I can't

    I thought I was a pretty good snap shooter ~ I am

    I thought shooting a bear in the head was a bad idea ~ it's not

    I thought I was good under pressure ~ I am

    Also I learned that there are a ton of arm chair internet commando's out there that have a lot of opinions, that have absolutely no clue what it's like to be charged by a bear. But they will tell you everything that they would do... all I gotta say is you don't know what you're gonna do until that time comes.

    My experience started at 25 yards. The bear came out of the brush and before I could flip off my safety on my .300 Wtby, it was comin' at me. I thought to myself "if it comes past that bush" (5 yards in front of me) I'm gonna shoot it.

    Before that thought barely made it through my mind it was at that imaginary line and closing. I lifted my already shouldered rifle (I was looking over the scope) and put the crosshairs on the bears nose. I pulled the trigger and immediately jacked another 200 gr Nosler Partion in the chamber.... as the bear was passing by me in full roll I pushed the barrel toward it's shoulder and shot it from the hip at less than 3 feet away.

    It rolled by and piled up behind where I was standing approx. 20 feet away, deader than a hammer. I hit it in between the eyes and in the shoulder. All I gotta say is WOW, the whole experience was less than 2 maybe 3 seconds. Good luck with shooting in front of charging bears ya'll, all I gotta say is that if I'm in the same situation again... I'll yell at it to give it a chance to leave but if it comes closer than 15 yards running toward me... I'm killin it!

    The last thing I need is to have my gun jam while shooting off warning shots at a charging bear!





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  19. #19
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    All Bears avoid me or leave on the first chance, so far, 'cause I make alotta noise, and I've never had a bad encounter with a Bear. Even wading up creeks,or walking river sides, mud bluffs or while in camp, I sing or talk loud.
    At camp we play music and the kids run around and make noise, we piss around the perimeter of the camp as well, and they dont come around when were there.

    Only the younger son had an encounter where he went up a trail to a neighbors house in Candle once,in the brush and bumped, litterally into a cub...who sniffed 'em up, and was then scooted aside by Momma, who sniffed 'em up and blew slobber all over his belly while doing so.
    The Bears had been spotted by the people in the house and the old man there grabbed his only gun, a .22lr and since the Bears were only 10 feet out the door, he pooped the mom in the butt with it........She jumped OVER the son and took off as fast as a bear can.
    A second later, the old man realized he was holding a gun on a 4 year old, and called 'em over to check 'em out. Too big to swallow, too small to be a threat.........

    That mom hung around for 10 more years, keeping the bad bears away, its the replacement Bears that I worry about now......
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  20. #20
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    I'm different than most as I like to hunt a shoot my bears at less than fifty yards. I feel fulfilled if I can get with-in 25 yards before shooting and have gotten closer.
    I don't think this thread is about you hunting bears. It is about bears hunting you.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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