Via Mad Ogre’s Facebook page.

I have never seen anybody who lives in bear areas and may have a chance to face the critters to do so only carrying a can of pepper spray. Probably the lowest caliber they dare going out to would be a .454 Casull or maybe an upgrade to S&W 460 or 500. To me the final word on the subject was watching the TV series Alaska State Troopers in which no matter what episode in what part of Alaska they might be, every time they have to do some business in an area where a bear has been spotted, out comes a 12 gauge loaded with slugs for their protection.

Pissed off real life Yogi does not believe in Taco Tuesday spices.

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

16 thoughts on “Don’t trust your life to condiments.”
    1. Ask yourself why that is?
      Why has bear spray had a higher percentage of bear stops?

      Hint: it is not because of the spray. Nor is it because spray is more common and cheaper than firearms.

      Additional hint:
      It has something to do with bears.

  1. Bear spray does nothing more than startle the bear. If the bear is approaching curiously, a spray of anything, water even, would be enough to startle the bear and generally it will turn around.

    A bear that is bluff charging needs a bit more encouragement, and that is where the capsaicin comes in. A bit of runny nose and watery eyes will discourage an approaching bear. Unless…

    If the bear sees you as a threat or as food, bear spray is not going to get the job done. You will need to open up a few wounds on the bear, and a large frame revolver, .454 Casull minimum (sorry .44 mag guys, bears are tougher than San Francisco thugs.), or better yet, a long gun. 12 of 20 ga. loaded with slugs, or better yet, a rifle chambered in something starting with .3 or larger.

    Hiking and backpacking, where weight matters, it is a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan chambered in .454 Casull. Fishing, it is the S&W .500 with a 6″ barrel. And hunting, it is 7mm Magnum, or 300 Weatherby at a minimum.

    These guys were stupid. Going into bear country to retrieve an elk without carrying their hunting rifles. Whenever I am leading people into the backcountry, I always tell them that bear spray does not emit a force field that will keep bears away. It has to be immediately at hand, and they need to be prepared to use it. And, they need to know the limitations.

    1. He’s half right.

      Yes for black bears, no for Grizzlies.

      Black bears are cowards of the North American bear family. They charge to protect territory but don’t hunt people.

      Grizzlies actively hunt humans.

      1. Known, confirmed instances of brown bear/grizzly predation of humans are extremely rare. A lot of the times people assume the grizzly hunted the human, it turns out the real reason is something a lot more innocent. Like field dressing an elk, or being Timothy Treadwell level of stupid.

        Polar bears actually hunt humans.

        Bears, like most animals, obey the conservation of energy principal. If they can get the same level of food without a fight, they will do that. Dig out a ground squirrel and eat berries, easy. Deal with human headaches like fighting and breast spray, tougher.

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  2. Do not confuse black bears with grizzlies. Black bears are smaller and more likely to retreat when confronted (no guarantees, mama bears protecting cubs are one exception). Bear spray may be effective on black bears less so on grizzlies. Grizzlies really don’t fear many things except other grizzlies. With the endangered species protection of grizzlies in the lower 48, grizzly encounters have become much more common, especially in the areas surrounding Yellowstone Park. Every year we have people who should know better and who are armed only with bear spray mauled or killed by grizzlies. If you want to hunt in grizzly country, and want to carry bear spray, thats your choice. I would recommend a large bore handgun or shotgun w/slugs as a backup. Grizzlies are big mean, tough and fast. Be advised.

    1. 4 people were killed by bears in Alaska last summer, two of them eaten by black bears. The geologist near Delta used bear spray but the bear ate her anyhow.

  3. This is something I never understood. A grizzly is an apex predator that weighs 800-1000 lbs.

    Why do the rules of thumb for equally sized African dangerous game no apply in Alaska?

    “Sure, take a big handgun or a shotgun.”

    You would laugh is someone gave you that advice for Tanzania.

    Why not 375 H&H, 375 Ruger, 416 Remington, 458 Win Mag, or 458 Lott?

    1. I think it has to do with different threats. A lion or hyena or cheetah or bear or mountain lion all are relatively thin skinned mammals. When your threat list also includes things like hippos (tons of fat), rhinos (thick skin + tons of fat), or elephants (giant, thick skin, and tons of muscle AND fat), you need something different?

      It could also be a hunting implement vs oh-shit-theres-a-bear-chasing-me implement.

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    2. Because those countries have laws about the calibers used and most of the times handguns are prohibited.

      Plus modern Magnum loads reach energy levels on par with medium power rounds (like .308) but with bullet weights rivaling big game rifle rounds.
      That is serious firepower in a handy compact package. No need to lug around a 10 pound riflle for fishing and bow hunting.

      Of course – there’s no such thing as overkill and overpenetration is not an issue if the Rocky Mountains are your backstop 😀

  4. The first story I read about this stated that the Floridian hunter threw a pistol, which had been in a pack, to the guide, but the guide apparently never used it, and no pistol was recovered at the scene. So maybe there never was a pistol, or it got stomped into the mud, or Yogi and Boo-Boo are now armed. If I owned a liquor store around there, I’d be worried.

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