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  #51  
Old 07-31-2018, 08:07 AM
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Your Model 1926 with the heavy Keith hand loads should work as well as anything else on Black Bear.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:51 AM
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I would say your 1926 with heavy Keith hand loads would do the job as well as anything. It would also be more carry-able and shoot-able.
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  #53  
Old 07-31-2018, 10:46 AM
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You do realize I was joking don't you?
Sorry missed the humor. There are people that believe such things.
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  #54  
Old 07-31-2018, 11:00 AM
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It doesn't take much gun. I know because I saw it in an old advertisement.

So, I'm prepared and ready.



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Old 07-31-2018, 11:04 AM
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My Dad killed black bear with a 22LR.....
The hide hung over a beam in the barn loft....may still be there for all I know.


.


I've dealt with em runnin to me a whoofin and poppin their teeth,
I could see the pads of their hind feet at every bound. It was a very personal thing, it was.




Just try to think about it....would you want a 200 lb k-9 attack ya ???




.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:10 PM
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Lived in densely populated black bear country for 30 years. Beginning in the late spring through early fall, I was volunteering with the USFS packing supplies and equipment into their wilderness trail crews with my pack string.

I can't think of a time when I didn't see black bears on any of my forays. In fact, I could practically guarantee that we would run into at least one or two during each trip.

My constant companion on all of those trips, besides a good, yappy stock dog, was a Ruger Blackhawk, 4 5/8-inch barrel in .45 Colt. And like Dave (keith44spl), I too packed a lever-action short rifle also chambered in .45 Colt in a saddle scabbard.




My loads for both firearms were either 300-grain jacketed flat-nose traveling around 1350 fps or 360-grain wide, flat-nosed gas check hardcast traveling around 1250 fps.

Most of the ol' packers I worked with carried either .45's, .44 magnums, or .41 magnums. I remember one who carried a Ruger Redhawk in .357 magnum, but he had it loaded with some pretty stout handloads.

I'm not one who tries to decide what the minimum caliber is when facing a black bear who happens to "wake up on the wrong side of the bed." Heck no! I want to have a sufficient dose of the kind of medicine that's going to stop that son-of-a-gun as quickly as possible.

Also, I've heard that bear spray is effective. Maybe so, but I never carried it for a couple of reasons. One, I didn't want to run the risk of it accidentally blowing into the eyes of my horses or mules. And two, I've heard too many stories from very reliable sources who have seen sprayed bears, stop, shake their heads, start to walk away, then turn back again.

Again, that's just my two cents worth based on thirty plus years of experience.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:48 PM
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I've always said that if you get attacked by a black bear, you should go out and buy a lottery ticket that same day.

Around here, the chances of meeting an unruly meth-head is far more likely than an unruly black bear.

I've always figured I could scare away a black bear long before having to shoot.
Really? Think I'll be able to? LOL


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But, just like CCW, one should carry whatever they're comfortable with.
Not if it's inadequate for a bear encounter!!!
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Cocked & Locked View Post
It doesn't take much gun. I know because I saw it in an old advertisement.

So, I'm prepared and ready.



I guess all you need for Bear Defense is a .25 ACP Pistol after all!
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:13 PM
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Jeff Cooper set forth the "Gunsite Bear Rules":

1. Be alert.
2. Take bears seriously. They are not cuddly.
3. Never enter bear country on foot without a powerful firearm and the skill to use it well. (If this is not permitted, do not go.)
4. Do not pitch your camp on a bear thoroughfare, most particularly along the banks of a stream full of fish.
5. Be alert. See Rule 1.

Uncle Jeff recommended a .357 Magnum snubbie with the hard, solid, heavy bullet to achieve deep penetration into the brain of the animal. I do not think there is much wrong with this advice today, although I might want a 44 (and a spare pair of shorts).

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Old 07-31-2018, 03:45 PM
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Personally for in my area, I would like to see some 44 mag poppers that explode at about 30 or 40 feet from muzzle. I think it would be better than Bear spray and work no matter where the wind was coming from. I don't want them to explode at too far a distance/beyond the bear and chase them at me. {like the handheld ones can} 30 or 40 feet would be just a bit before where a person would start on the deadly path. It would also allow for carrying spares for a second or third encounter if you are out for more than just a little time. Bear Spray is large to carry and once it's gone, you have to pack out the empty useless can. If you need it again....it's gone. I would gladly load a popper or two, and give up one or two rounds in order to have a deterrent for a distance before it turns into a have to kill situation. Your only ever likely to get to fire one or two rounds if it's from a justified killing distance anyway. The only reloading would be if you scared it off for a bit. {no reload for bear spray while on the trail}

The searchable name for what I have been calling poppers is Bear Bangers. I would like the option for in a 44 mag

Last edited by RoyM52; 08-01-2018 at 02:34 PM. Reason: clarification of a term
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:49 PM
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I have been an active member on these boards for years...many as a paying member. This is my first commentary on this subject because many times it gets a little out of hand. Best gun...best cartridge...best...

A few years ago I was at a cabin up north, got lost (only logging roads...no signs to speak of that made sense) and I stepped out of my truck to, well, answer natures call on some bushes. I hop back in my truck with the wife and I look in the rear-view mirror and see a huge black bear. He was not scared of me and was more or less interested.

I only had a legal CCW 5 shot 38 special.

My grandad always told me that the noise alone in most cases would make them run. He was a WW2 vet and carried a Browning Hi-power he relieved from a German. He told me that the 9mm would do in a pinch and grandad usually carried a 30-06 with him in the woods. YMMV.
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  #62  
Old 07-31-2018, 07:13 PM
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Personally for in my area, I would like to see some 44 mag poppers that explode at about 30 or 40 feet from muzzle. I think it would be better than Bear spray and work no matter where the wind was coming from. I don't want them to explode at too far a distance/beyond the bear and chase them at me. {like the handheld ones can} 30 or 40 feet would be just a bit before where a person would start on the deadly path. It would also allow for carrying spares for a second or third encounter if you are out for more than just a little time. Bear Spray is large to carry and once it's gone, you have to pack out the empty useless can. If you need it again....it's gone. I would gladly load a popper or two, and give up one or two rounds in order to have a deterrent for a distance before it turns into a have to kill situation. Your only ever likely to get to fire one or two rounds if it's from a justified killing distance anyway. The only reloading would be if you scared it off for a bit. {no reload for bear spray while on the trail}
A small note to this. unlike a popper for a shotgun. A popper in a revolver could be placed in the cylinder as the 3rd round. That way you would have hot loads if need quick or just cock the hammer and let down if you have a need for a scare and it's out a little way. Don't have to load first , like in a shotgun or unload to get to a popper. One tool, doing it all. As far as I know nobody makes these.

The searchable name for what I have been calling poppers is Bear Bangers. I would like the option for in a 44 mag, like in a shotgun

Last edited by RoyM52; 08-01-2018 at 02:35 PM. Reason: clarification of the term poppers
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  #63  
Old 07-31-2018, 07:57 PM
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Really? Think I'll be able to? LOL

Not if it's inadequate for a bear encounter!!!
I didn't state that any gun one might choose would be effective.

We all have to live with the choices we make.

Some guys are comfortable carrying a .32 auto for CCW.
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:02 PM
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Some great input, and the years of experience really come thru. Can't thank y'all enough!

With all the great input in mind, my plan is to keep up practicing with my 1926, load with special attention to bear medicine. Meanwhile put out the antenna for a Redhawk in 44 mag. When I acquire that, start practicing and see how that goes and make a good an decision about switching after some trial and practice. I like any plan that ends in buying another gun. Meanwhile I do love my post war transitional 3rd. It's as accurate as I will ever be, it devours the Kieth load and what beauty.

Over and out good people!
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:27 PM
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I think the greater concern would still be human threats and I would prioritize accordingly.

"As noted, black bears are generally not a huge issue and you could probably get away with most service calibers." -Dr.Gary Roberts(DocGKR).

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Old 07-31-2018, 10:01 PM
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While I may not agree with Dave Keith on every issue every time he says (writes) something, I will emphatically say that I read and respect everything he says (writes) here. I like his revolver conversions, because I think they are great working guns for a guy who carries them seriously. I don't care at all about the occasional howls from the collectors.

When he has something to say about firearms use in dangerous encounters, one should listen. You don't have to agree, but it is always worthy of serious consideration, and not to be disregarded lightly.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:24 PM
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[QUOTE=RoyM52;140117890]Personally for in my area, I would like to see some 44 mag poppers that explode at about 30 or 40 feet from muzzle.

They make a 12ga round called a "bird bomb" Don't know if that's the official name or if they are even produced anymore but I've been hit by one during a training event. Hit in the knee, felt like being hit with a baseball bat, small flash bang, then felt like my knee was lit on fire.
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  #68  
Old 08-01-2018, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug M. View Post
While I may not agree with Dave Keith on every issue every time he says (writes) something, I will emphatically say that I read and respect everything he says (writes) here. I like his revolver conversions, because I think they are great working guns for a guy who carries them seriously. I don't care at all about the occasional howls from the collectors.

When he has something to say about firearms use in dangerous encounters, one should listen. You don't have to agree, but it is always worthy of serious consideration, and not to be disregarded lightly.
First off, I really appreciate this forum. I love reading the various opinions from the great folks who frequent this forum. But, you have to admit, some of this stuff we read is just speculation or opinion. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Dave, on the other hand, has been there, done that, and gotten the t-shirt...several times over. He's cowboyed, led a packstring, and worn the badge. In any one of those venues, a guy is going to gain a heckuva lot of experience with firearms.

Like Mark Twain once said, "The man walking down the street carrying a cat by the tail will get ten times the experience than the man standing on the corner watching him." Dave has been "carrying the cat by the tail" for many years.

Like Doug M. said, you may not agree with everything Dave says, but it's always worth serious consideration.
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:09 PM
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M460 Carry with the proper loads/holster.
Most everything else is old, outdated, and
sublimely surpassed.

My brother thought a bear would never bother him.... he was right for half a century and then he was wrong!!!

We sent a 629/4” to Denver last month.... chest holsters with lightweight jackets stand a bit proud.
G19 and G29 are popular for local hiking and are concealable.

The 629/4” and the 460 Snub are about the same length.
45LC Remington High Velocity 255gr LRN feels like a
38Spl 158gr TCBB with soft target load in the Colt DS.

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Old 08-01-2018, 02:30 PM
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A short barreled 460 S&W Magnum double rifle would be nice.
Wonder if an old short barreled Winchester 24 could handle Brenneke slugs?

Always liked the idea of handgun/rifle combo.
The 460 Snub needs a Lever Gun..... ???
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:17 PM
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C'mon folks.

Bears are greatly misunderstood critters.

They're cuddly.And friendly.

The problem is...

Even when they are being cuddly and friendly they are vewy vewy dangerous.

Hey! Buddy! Wanna hug?
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:28 PM
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I have been hunting Elk and Mule Deer in Wyoming and Colorado for close to 30 years and have had several encounters with Black bears.... each turned out with neither of us harmed. I have had 2 close encounters with them, both of which were un-nerving to say the least. The first encounter, I was bow hunting Up-state Michigan and was 15 feet up in a platform stand and could hear something milling around below me eating acorns before sun rise.... it had my full attention with hopes of a Muy Grande buck. As it got light I realized it was a big, to me, black bear. He made his way to the base of my tree and started to stretch.... he looked up and we were staring at each other. He was very curious... started to climb the tree watching me the whole way. Folks trees will not save you. I was getting pretty worried about his advances and just when I decided to draw my bow he decided to go back down the tree and slowly wandered off. I waited a long time in that tree to make sure he was gone.

My next encounter was in Colorado west of Montrose. I side hilled along a canyon for a ways and found a nice bench to over watch an elk wallow maybe 300 yards below me. I was sitting on a rock with my back against the canyon wall when I could hear something coming down the trail I just walked in on. I found myself listening and watching the trail harder and harder as I could hear the bear grunting and blowing. There was no where for me to go. I un-snapped my holster and drew my Mdl 19 sitting it close to hand and raised my rifle up just as the biggest bear I have ever seen came into view. It did not take him long to see me...he started rocking side to side and clacking his teeth together. He was less than 25 yards away. I decided if he took one more step in my direction I was going to open fire. Boys..... I wasssss not happy. We stayed that way for about 5 minutes, seemed like forever, then he turned and walked off. I went up that canyon wall like a mountain goat.
One more bear story.... never saw the bear, but, I got plenty worried anyway. Two years ago we were hunting Unit 61 west of Montrose Colorado in a trophy elk draw only area and I was driving down this dirt road just at dark to pick my uncle up when Mother Nature called. I stopped my truck got out and stepped into a pile of steaming fresh bear scatt. As I realized what I was standing in my head looked like an anti-air radar antenna swing around...forgot why I stopped and climbed back into my truck.... could not start it though because my Mdl 19 was firmly adhered to my right hand. I did not realize till then I had drawn it from my holster. I do carry a 357 with 180 gr. hard cast Buffalo Boar rounds in it. It is a backup to my .300 Win Mag.

That .357 is a lot more comforting than a stick or a knife or my faith in out running Mr. Bear.

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Old 08-07-2018, 08:55 PM
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Sometimes they hunt from a tree stand! lol

I would carry either magnum and bear spray.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:52 PM
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I've spent a fair amount of time hiking around far eastern North Carolina...by the Alligator Wildlife Refuge, surrounding swamps in Hyde and Tyrrell County. Loaded with black bear. I've seen as many as 33 in one weekend. By "seen," I mean had them step right out in front of me on the trail or walked within feet of them. I carry a 5" Model 629 Classic out there, as a matter of precaution, but have never pulled it. The bears have invariably run away when surprised or warily kept distance. In fact, the bears out that way tend to eat a lot of crops. Their poops look like piles of granola. I'd probably be in more danger if made of potato.

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Old 08-07-2018, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
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...sectional density for a 158 gr. 357 is .177 ...

...for the 240 44 it's .186...better but not much...

...300 grain 44s would be better at .233 ...

...the minimum for dangerous game is considered to be .300 ...pretty much impossible in a hand gun...
Impossible?? Really??? Try a 500gr Hornady XTP fired outta one of these....
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:20 PM
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WOW ...carrying a .38 in bear country!

Brave man.
While not my first choice for black bear protection, I wouldn't feel insecure with some warmish .38 loads with 158 grain hard semi-wadcutters. They are very superior penetrators in tissue and bone, which makes it easier to reach things you want to puncture and break.
Of course, a .44 with the same type of bullet should be even better, but most people will place their shots more accurately with the .38 or .357.
9mm FMJ has stopped or prevented far more bear attacks than is generally known. Even with big bears.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:49 PM
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As an avid Black Bear hunter I do like these handgun bear threads. I have been lucky and taken 2 large ones. The rug that lies now in front of my fireplace is 7'2" from nose to tail. Taken at 35 yards with a .375 H&H Mag. The 300 grain struck the right front shoulder and exited the left rear hip. The bear sat back on his rump and took off FAST! He didn't go far but he did go about 50 yards. If you have to hit a charging one with a little 44 you had better hit the brain. The big ones do not stop easy all the time.

old 1911 fan
You are absolutely right when you say "little 44". I have standardized on the Keith 250gr HC in my 629-5 Mountain Gun with 44 Special and 44 Magnum. The Special is loaded to about 900fps plus or minus, and the Magnum is at 1200fps. For me it's a last ditch head shooter just before I become a meal for Mr Bear. I am never in Griz country or I would carry something much bigger. Got rid of my super Blackhawk which was my hunting 44.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:26 AM
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There are other reasons to carry enough gun when in the back country.

Many years ago my dad and I were moose and bear hunting hoping to get one of each. One morning we got in the boat at daybreak so we could try and catch one getting a drink. We saw a big bull moose and put the boat ashore. We proceeded to track the bull spaced about 70 yards apart.

There I was like a Elmer Fudd thinking I was going to get trampled because all I could see was alder and grass over six feet tall. I walked the game trail and could see where several moose had been bedded down. But still no bull. Around the next corner of the trail I came across a still steaming pile of bear poop.

So now Iím really nervous. Now Iím thinking Iím about to be eaten.

What seemed like hours was really about 20 minutes and I hear a shot. My dad shot something but what? I walked carefully to where he was and saw the moose on the ground dead.

They both surprised each other about ten yards apart. My dad only had time to draw his 44 mag with home grown 250 grain lead hard cast and shot the moose in the head. Dropped him right there.

Back then people only had access to 41 mag, 44 mag, 12 gauge, and 45-70 to use as a back up for hunting or fishing. It worked then and it still works now.

That was my first of many hunts. And you wonít catch me with bear spray or a 40 short and weak for large game.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:34 PM
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686 with Buffalo Bore 200 grain hard cast 357's are my preferred load for trail/woods carry.

But my black bears in CT are typically smaller than a our Black Bears they are typically less than 250 lbs.

If you are somewhere that has larger Black Bears, you may want to go up to 41 or 44 Magnum.

44 Magnum is a lot to handle in a 3" or 4" gun, but if you have to use it to on a bear you will have so much adrenaline going through your body that there would be more worry about bending the trigger.
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:59 PM
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...then there was that guy who used a Smith & Wesson 3953 9mm....

AK Guide kills Grizzly with S&W 3953
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:06 AM
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Default Bear Spray Effectiveness on Two-Leggeds

I had the occasion last summer to run two different bears off the deck, one of them twice. They were inspecting the grill. Anyway, I failed to get either one with a direct hit in the face, more like a shot to the the south end as they retreated. The BIG black one only retreated a few feet out of range, so I took a few steps toward him to spray again. Apparently, the spray sort of fogged the area and I stepped through the fog, fired again, the bear ran, and I suddenly realized all was not well on the home front. In fact, I was on fire. A quick shower and a few gallons of cold water to the eyes made things better. So, yes, I believe bear spray would be quite effective on most any threat.
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:33 AM
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Evidently bear spray doesnít always work.
Two More Bear Spray Failures in Montana - The Truth About Guns

No thanks.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
This story was told to me by an old friend who was a forest ranger:

He said that the best defense against a bear was to wear bells and carry pepper spray.

He also said that it was important, when hiking, to be aware of what type of bears were in the vicinity. The best way to determine the difference between black/brown bears and grizzlies was to examine their droppings.

It seems the black/brown bear droppings will contain berries, leaves and insects. Grizzly bear droppings, on the other hand, will contain bells and smell like pepper spray...

John
My neighbor works for the state water system inspection department and he told me that years ago, he received an email from the department head concerning just that joke about "bells in droppings."

He said the email was so official-looking, it fooled you until you got to the last line.

I think Alaska DNR carries 12 gauge shotguns with slugs for bear. I'd go with the bear spray and a .44 Mag myself.
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Old 09-08-2018, 09:46 PM
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Evidently bear spray doesnít always work.
Two More Bear Spray Failures in Montana - The Truth About Guns

No thanks.
Every fall there are more instances like this here with bowhunters. While I'm sure spray works sometimes, it doesn't often enough that I have no intention on relying on it. And if something is charging my wife or grandchild over there while I am over here, my spraying seasoning at it will do nothing. I carry my 44 when bowhunting or pretty much anytime in the woods, my wife and kids carry 357's with loads that hopefully will never be tested but should do the trick. Three days ago my wife was walking her dogs and had a close encounter with a mountain lion, close enough that she cut loose with three rounds into the dirt to make sure it got the message.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:43 PM
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WOW ...carrying a .38 in bear country!

Brave man.

I prefer a 22.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:34 AM
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Bears are the main reason I bought a M69 4" for my woods walk around gun.I go to Nat'l. Parks and I did not want a heavy weight revolver to just go for a walk in the woods.I do not reload and I am still undecided on the best carry ammo.So many choices and opinions to choose from.
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:08 PM
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Bears are the main reason I bought a M69 4" for my woods walk around gun.I go to Nat'l. Parks and I did not want a heavy weight revolver to just go for a walk in the woods.I do not reload and I am still undecided on the best carry ammo.So many choices and opinions to choose from.
If it is for bears you want a wide nose solid for penetration & some tissue crushing. Why I handload, I get exactly what I want to feed my 44mags.
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:59 PM
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In my experience growing up in Alaska, black bear are known to be much more unpredictable and more aggressive than a brown/grizzly. Even at only 300 pounds a black bear with a bad attitude can be just as difficult to stop.

The 44 magnum has served a few generations of outdoorsmen well. I never carried anything smaller.

And......I know of one instance where pepper spray failed.
Fully agree .. Had a brown bear walk 15 feet in front of 3 of us along the Kenia River and would never have allowed a black bear to do the same .. They are just plain unpredictable and are just as likely to attack as they are to walk on by !!
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