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Author Topic: Bear Spray or Handgun  (Read 13401 times)

Offline davk

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Bear Spray or Handgun
« on: May 06, 2016, 09:06:09 PM »
Just wondering what everyone prefers to carry(and a reason why) when bow hunting.  I currently have both, and often bring neither  :o.  I have a stainless steal .375 that often gets left because of weight.  Bear spray started getting left behind after spending 3 months in the wilderness all around the country, and more weekends over the last 3 years than most and never having any bear encounters.  I don't know if its more common than I think but for now I have shed the weight.  Let me hear your thoughts.

Offline 257wbymagkiller

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2016, 09:13:15 PM »
I carry .357 mag, dont trust some pepper spray on a pissed off big ol boar  :tup:

Offline HUNTINCOUPLE

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2016, 09:13:57 PM »
Spray. Its way more effective to get rid of unwanted hunters in your area. :chuckle:
Slap some bacon on a biscut and lets go, were burrnin daylight!

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Offline jeffro

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2016, 09:30:00 PM »
D: all of the above
One shot. One kill!

Offline Cougartail

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2016, 09:38:35 PM »
 Use "Hard cast" 180-200 grain bullets only in the 357mag if used for bear defense.

Offline davk

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2016, 09:56:04 PM »
Use "Hard cast" 180-200 grain bullets only in the 357mag if used for bear defense.

Yeah I use 180gr hard cast bullets.  I brought them out once to shoot with a friend and joked about it being about to shoot down trees.  First round went through the paper and a 3inch wide 20ft tall tree fell over.  Had a good laugh ...

Offline pd

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2016, 10:08:02 PM »
Boy, this is one of those topics that never reaches a conclusion.

My take on the subject: Unless you are in grizzly country, don't be too concerned.  I carry what I have in western Washington (.40S&W or .357mag).  For northern Idaho, .44mag but looking for a .45LC.

No spray for me.  Others will disagree.
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Offline davk

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 10:17:29 PM »
Boy, this is one of those topics that never reaches a conclusion.

That's why I figured Id ask for a why and not just a what.  At least get a few different points out so I, and others, can decide for themselves(as its more personal preference than anything).

Offline JoeE

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2016, 10:28:28 PM »
A Glock 20 10mm is what I use.

Offline Bob33

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2016, 11:14:42 PM »
I don't worry much about black bears. For grizzlies I much prefer spray over a handgun.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline NW-GSP

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2016, 05:54:40 AM »
You are 99.9% more likely to need either of your two options for two legged creatures then the four legged ones. I carry a glock 20 10mm but its really not the bears I am worried about. First would be people and second would be cougars.

Offline fisheral87

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2016, 02:35:34 PM »
Both

Al
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Offline Bob33

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2016, 03:00:15 PM »
You are 99.9% more likely to need either of your two options for two legged creatures then the four legged ones. I carry a glock 20 10mm but its really not the bears I am worried about. First would be people and second would be cougars.
In Washington that is true but not so much in other parts of the country and world. There have been numerous attacks of hunters (mostly bowhunters) in Montana and Idaho in recent years by grizzlies.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2016, 03:04:59 PM »
some places, the grizzlies are attracted to gunshots. 

Offline Johnb317

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2016, 03:09:01 PM »
Read an article awhile back that showed statistically you're better off with the spray.
But most have only a 30 foot range!!!! :yike:
Old enough to know better.
Young enough to go for it.

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2016, 03:23:13 PM »
Read an article awhile back that showed statistically you're better off with the spray.
But most have only a 30 foot range!!!! :yike:
I remember one of those kinds of articles, and someone had to break it down by cases.  Guess it had to be situational to actually determine if you were better off with spray.  Lots of the bear fatalities attributed to firearms were hunters/bear hunters.  It was stuff like guys wounding bears and then going into heavy brush to get it.  Or a guy getting shot by a hunting partner shooting at the attacking bear.  Finding a bear on your deer/elk.  The people with spray, generally weren't intentionally getting into close situations with bears in the first place.

Offline Dan-o

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2016, 03:29:10 PM »
Bear spray is full auto....
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Offline Special T

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2016, 03:35:52 PM »
I vote gun because of 2 leggers. I have met the first usfs ranger to use bear spray and she said you had to be danger close for it to work. 20 ft. She said you could smell what it had for breakfast when it growled and it didnt smell good!
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Offline Dan-o

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2016, 08:17:32 PM »
True, but you also have to be danger close to shoot a charging bear with a pistol......
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Offline JoeE

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2016, 09:36:43 PM »
I'm more worried about a bear encounter while I'm sleeping. When I'm up during the day I probably have a rifle in my hand and if I need to suppress a bear it's going to be with that. If a bear encounter happens at night while I'm in my tent I absolutely do not want to be deploying bear spray in a tent and would opt for the pistol every time.

Offline Cougartail

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2016, 09:47:15 PM »
Read an article awhile back that showed statistically you're better off with the spray.
But most have only a 30 foot range!!!! :yike:
I remember one of those kinds of articles, and someone had to break it down by cases.  Guess it had to be situational to actually determine if you were better off with spray.  Lots of the bear fatalities attributed to firearms were hunters/bear hunters.  It was stuff like guys wounding bears and then going into heavy brush to get it.  Or a guy getting shot by a hunting partner shooting at the attacking bear.  Finding a bear on your deer/elk.  The people with spray, generally weren't intentionally getting into close situations with bears in the first place.
All those articles claiming spray is better don't want to talk about the 2000 plus "Defense of Life & Property" cases that have been reported to Alaska State Troopers or the even greater number of encounters that are not reported but a hunting  tag was slapped on. The problem is a firearm is used and the bear is dead. It throws their percentages right out the window.
As for wounded bears.. this is when you could  actually be attacked. (Not just an "encounter".) Show me one Alaskan guide that carries only bear spray to protect their client when pursuing bears in these dangerous situations. Doesn't happen for a reason..

 

Offline davk

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2016, 10:17:10 PM »
It was stuff like guys wounding bears and then going into heavy brush to get it.

I think that bow hunting bear and hunting for deer/elk/etc are basically 2 different situations.  If I was bear hunting I think I would want a gun over spray 100%.  Last year I shot a bear and it immediately went into some of the thickest crap.  That was with a rifle so I didnt have a handgun with.  I would have been much more hesitant to enter the brush with just a bow in hand.

Offline davk

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2016, 10:23:44 PM »
In Washington that is true but not so much in other parts of the country and world. There have been numerous attacks of hunters (mostly bowhunters) in Montana and Idaho in recent years by grizzlies.

Id prefer to keep this related to Washington/black bears. If I was heading into grizzly country I wouldnt be taking a 9oz can of bear spray that shoots 20ft and last 2 seconds.  If I did I think I would be walking funny due to my huge balls.

Offline NW-GSP

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2016, 10:44:30 PM »
In Washington that is true but not so much in other parts of the country and world. There have been numerous attacks of hunters (mostly bowhunters) in Montana and Idaho in recent years by grizzlies.

Id prefer to keep this related to Washington/black bears. If I was heading into grizzly country I wouldnt be taking a 9oz can of bear spray that shoots 20ft and last 2 seconds.  If I did I think I would be walking funny due to my huge balls.

I 100% agree. In grizz country I would want a short barrel 3 1/2 in mag shotgun.

Offline Bango skank

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Re: Bear Spray or Handgun
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2016, 12:33:42 AM »
Read an article awhile back that showed statistically you're better off with the spray.
But most have only a 30 foot range!!!! :yike:
I remember one of those kinds of articles, and someone had to break it down by cases.  Guess it had to be situational to actually determine if you were better off with spray.  Lots of the bear fatalities attributed to firearms were hunters/bear hunters.  It was stuff like guys wounding bears and then going into heavy brush to get it.  Or a guy getting shot by a hunting partner shooting at the attacking bear.  Finding a bear on your deer/elk.  The people with spray, generally weren't intentionally getting into close situations with bears in the first place.
or the even greater number of encounters that are not reported but a hunting  tag was slapped on.

Happened to me.  Was out hiking around checking trail cams and a young boar came at me, nailed him with my sidearm inside 3 yards.  It happened to be bear season and i had a tag in my pocket, so worked out pretty good.

 

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