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Author Topic: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....  (Read 1928 times)

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« on: July 21, 2017, 10:34:55 PM »
Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ Country....

Thought I'd bring this one up again as the season is approaching us.... When hunting in big bear country, do you prefer to carry bear spray or a big bore pistol? I normally don't carry any anti-big bear, or for that matter, any other anti-big mammal measure, while hunting elk in grizzly country unless I'm going back in on a kill (that's just me). When I do strap something to my body, I carry a Taurus UL Model 444 .44 MAG with 305 GN solid lead HSM bear loads. I feel that if it ever came down to "it", I want to be able to disrupt the critter's nervous system (something I don't believe aerosol spray can do), even if its dragging me away by my leg. What do you cats feel about this and what do you/will you carry this fall on your trip(s) into big carnivore country? Just sparking some conversation ;). RJ
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Offline Oh Mah

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 10:41:36 PM »
Taurus 444 .44 Raging Bull.Also mainly for going back to recover the rest of the meat
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Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2017, 10:50:12 PM »
Bear Spray.

Even if I had a big bore pistol, I'd never think about taking on an angry grizzly with it.

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2017, 11:01:35 PM »
Bear spray.

 







Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2017, 06:55:50 AM »
Both, spray to slow things down, big bore for persistence

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2017, 08:39:53 AM »
If a big rifle or shotgun w/slugs aren't an option, I'd go with the big bore pistol.

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2017, 08:41:55 AM »
All can agree both is best, right?  I say so, more is better unless you are trying to avoid the weight of sidearm.  If only could choose one I lean towards spray based on accuracy.  I am not sure I could even get a usefull shot off and hit in the correct place nor am I sure the rounds would act fast enough to stop angry brown bear?  I think many underestimate the time and speed involved in a surprised attack.  With spray I feel more confident in at least hitting target and stopping or slowing attacks.  If I get sprayed as well I am ok with that, it doesn't require 40 staples in the middle of the jungle.
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Offline Scheindogg

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2017, 09:07:53 AM »
I'd rather not have to worry about handicapping myself with a bear spray which can and has happened with only slight wind.
I'm (hopefully) about to pick up a glock 20 (15rnds 10mm) that I will bring with.
Of course my .308 rifle will be option #1 then my 10MM will be my backup!
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Offline jackelope

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Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2017, 11:01:30 AM »
I'm always curious to know who of you think you have the wherewithal to accurately place a killing/disabling shot or 3 into a big bear when it's pissed off and coming for you at 20+mph. Lots of talk, but when the ish hits the fan.... what's going to give you the best opportunity to slow/stop/turn that bear?? A rifle with a scope on it would be my last consideration, unless of course it was all I had. There's a reason the guides in AK real bear country and in Africa that carry rifles  as defense guns don't have scopes on their rifles.
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Offline hunter399

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2017, 11:24:39 AM »

      This is my rifle.  There are many like it, but this one is mine.  It is my life.  I must master it as I must master my life.  Without me my rifle is useless.  Without my rifle, I am useless.

Some people have the ability,A rifle in the hand is better than any pistol or bear spray .

Offline j_h_nimrod

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2017, 12:19:07 PM »
Each has a place; the rifle initially and as a primary defense when rifle hunting, pistol as backup or primary during non-hunting or archery, shotgun as primary non-hunting and non-hunt guiding, pepper spray for eggs and burritos...

The undeniable best, all-around for defense is what you have in your hand when you need it.

Offline Bob33

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2017, 01:10:14 PM »
I'm always curious to know who of you think you have the wherewithal to accurately place a killing/disabling shot or 3 into a big bear when it's pissed off and coming for you at 20+mph. Lots of talk, but when the ish hits the fan.... what's going to give you the best opportunity to slow/stop/turn that bear?? A rifle with a scope on it would be my last consideration, unless of course it was all I had. There's a reason the guides in AK real bear country and in Africa that carry rifles  as defense guns don't have scopers on their rifles.
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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2017, 01:55:52 PM »
Spray, I'll take the best odds I can get (plus hopefully a slow buddy).


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Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2017, 08:41:28 AM »
I always like to share this VID from F. Eichler when we discuss this topic. I seriously doubt if a "pfffssst" sound would have stopped this mama brown bear like the big boom did. The big boom in itself, is a pretty darn good deterrent for a startled bear (I've used it a few times myself on annoying black bears and saw it in action once on Chichagoff Island (sp?) outside of Sitka while doing a nature hike on the island my pop was logging on). The effects of pepper spray are nasty indeed but I'm not so sure that they are as immediate in their desired effect to "turn" a big bear as 1. the big boom and certainly 2. nervous system disruption by a big chunk of lead being blasted through muscle, bone, organs.  One other downfall of spray is that is affected by wind, and, cannot be shot through tent material.  Good discussion folks, please keep it going.  RJ
 
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Offline Brushcrawler

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2017, 09:21:05 AM »
For everyone voting rifle (and I agree) do you really carry your rifle back in for a second meat haul?
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Offline Stein

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2017, 09:53:14 AM »
I always like to share this VID from F. Eichler when we discuss this topic. I seriously doubt if a "pfffssst" sound would have stopped this mama brown bear like the big boom did. The big boom in itself, is a pretty darn good deterrent for a startled bear (I've used it a few times myself on annoying black bears and saw it in action once on Chichagoff Island (sp?) outside of Sitka while doing a nature hike on the island my pop was logging on). The effects of pepper spray are nasty indeed but I'm not so sure that they are as immediate in their desired effect to "turn" a big bear as 1. the big boom and certainly 2. nervous system disruption by a big chunk of lead being blasted through muscle, bone, organs.  One other downfall of spray is that is affected by wind, and, cannot be shot through tent material.  Good discussion folks, please keep it going.  RJ
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi_Krx6C_7w

Here is a good discussion with a guy that deals with grizzlies for his job along with links to other papers with a ton of facts.

http://www.themeateater.com/2016/the-cold-hard-facts-of-bear-deterrents-bear-spray-vs-firearms/

Offline Brushcrawler

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2017, 10:01:15 AM »
The comparative studies don't delineate between hikers and hunters packing meat or moving solo in the vicinity of a fresh kill. I think this means that they are mixing surprise encounters with those in which the bear has arrived with a specific purpose. It is. Lear that spray works better in the former case, not so clear in the latter.
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Offline hunter399

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2017, 10:27:46 AM »
I don't own any bear spray,but maybe both if really worried.
Maybe the one you feel more comfortable with.
Your choice on how to protect yourself in the woods.

Here some good reading on the subject,along with a few quotes from the artical.

http://www.explorebigsky.com/why-wasnt-bear-spray-more-effective-in-todd-orrs-grizzly-attack

Everything inside 30 feet exists within what Bartlebaugh calls the “potential contact zone,” meaning you can expect bear spray to minimize the length and severity of an attack, but not prevent it.

After the initial encounter, Orr wrote that he “half hiked, half jogged down the trail” toward his truck, which was parked 3 miles away. Five to 10 minutes later, the sow was on him again.



Offline MikeWalking

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2017, 12:15:13 PM »
On my 3rd Alaska trip my pilot had 2 old friends killed in their tent, they had everything.

Weeks later another client was rushed from behind by a griz in the willows.  After taking a chunk of his leg it got him face down and started eating his pack.  He got his spray and just  sprayed straight up.   The griz disappeared.   

Offline JDHasty

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2017, 03:19:57 PM »
I'm always curious to know who of you think you have the wherewithal to accurately place a killing/disabling shot or 3 into a big bear when it's pissed off and coming for you at 20+mph. Lots of talk, but when the ish hits the fan.... what's going to give you the best opportunity to slow/stop/turn that bear?? A rifle with a scope on it would be my last consideration, unless of course it was all I had. There's a reason the guides in AK real bear country and in Africa that carry rifles  as defense guns don't have scopes on their rifles.

My thought on this subject exactly

Offline j_h_nimrod

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2017, 08:17:13 PM »
The other consideration that is not made in the article is that that 90% success rate of spray likely has a critical flaw in that there are a larger number of bearanoid idiots carrying spray than firearms and when these people see a bear they deploy the spray and holler while spraying it when the bear is on the other side of the meadow. Bear sees the dinkus and runs off, +1 for bear spray!

I have seen spray deployed on one decent black bear boar from the porch of a cabin, bear was seriously pissd off and would have eaten the perp if the deck was not so high and the door was not bolted. Bear proceeded o eat up the deck railings and put claw marks on the door. I have also seen bears hazed by cracker shells and rubber bullets, much more effective.

Offline Labs07

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2017, 09:00:36 AM »
A bit of a rant here but lets get real!  An angry 400 pound boar charging you from 75 feet away in the brush at 25 miles per hour and you really think you are going to place a kill round in it before it is on you.  I am a decent shot with a pistol and a rifle but Id be pooping my pants and shaking in my boots if this were to happen.  So lets say you hit it but don't kill the thing and only wound it...then what? 
I have hunted in WY for Elk for about 10 years now and this is griz country and I carry two cans of spray and my buddy, who is a resident, carries two cans.  Spray is effective and it takes aiming out of the picture.  For me spray is the first line of defense and then a rifle or pistol.  Yes you can get spray on you but I think I would rather have that then a bear clawing at me!

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2017, 09:22:08 AM »
Generally I side with lead versus spray.  I did however chose spray over lead when weight became an issue and when my wife started going with me.   She got her own spray.   I figured she had a better chance with that than trying to shoot something. 
Having survived a bear attack because I did shoot it as it charged, I can attest to Jackelopes thought process.  Id imagine 90% of the folks out there would have been a chew toy.   I was close enough to being one and I didn't stutter or flinch until it was over.
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Offline wooltie

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2017, 10:49:06 AM »
I carry a glock 20.  In griz country, I would also carry bear spray.

Bear spray is reported to be more effective than a firearm because spray is used in far more reported bear attach events.  We hear of an attack, spray was used, the results are report.  I don't hear many reports of an attack, a firearm used -- either hitting the animal or simply a loud boom -- and the results.  So I think we can't say one is documented to be more effective than the other -- although spray has been reported to be effective.

So why not carry both LOL and let the situation dictate what you do.

If I walked upon a bear that's 30-50 yards away, I would first noise and large body motions, and draw my weapons.  If the noise and commotion didn't deter the bear, and the bear charged or even freaking motioned my way I'd shoot a round in its direction.  That doesn't work turn the bear away, and the bear becomes more aggressive or comes closer, then I'd empty the spray can in its face.  Then comes the lead.

You gotta think that a jacked up bear charging you is different than a bear just standing there, trying to figure you if you look tasty or not.

In that Orr situation, didn't the bear just blow through the cloud of spray? Actually, I just read that article about why bear spray didn't work.  To work effectively, you want to start spraying sooner rather than later assuming the bear is charging you to allow for more time for the spray to work.  Lead doesn't seem to have that problem.  You need placement, not time for lead to work.

Also, Orr credited his backpack with protecting his vitals.  Kinda makes me laugh thinking about which backpack brands make for the greatest bear protection LOL

Question is, if a griz is coming at you and nothing is working to stop it, at what point do you hit the ground, cover your neck and pray?
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 10:57:07 AM by wooltie »

Offline Bob33

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2017, 12:25:42 PM »
Neither handguns nor bear spray is 100% effective, and as a result you can read of failures to stop a bear with each.

I personally believe the odds of stopping a charging grizzly with a handgun are low. The sound may scare it off, but if it doesn’t you must place a bullet into the vital area of an animal charging at 30 mph within a few seconds. Doing that with a handgun isn’t something most people have the skill to do. If you don’t break the bear down or interrupt the central nervous system, you may do nothing more than make the bear more intent on harming you as his final death wish.

A shotgun or rifle yes, but I would prefer bear spray over a handgun.
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Offline 2MANY

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2017, 12:27:20 PM »
Generally I side with lead versus spray.  I did however chose spray over lead when weight became an issue and when my wife started going with me.   She got her own spray.   I figured she had a better chance with that than trying to shoot something. 
Having survived a bear attack because I did shoot it as it charged, I can attest to Jackelopes thought process.  Id imagine 90% of the folks out there would have been a chew toy.   I was close enough to being one and I didn't stutter or flinch until it was over.

I would be interested in hearing the details of this encounter and am glad you survived.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2017, 12:29:24 PM »
I don't own any bear spray,but maybe both if really worried.
Maybe the one you feel more comfortable with.
Your choice on how to protect yourself in the woods.

Here some good reading on the subject,along with a few quotes from the artical.

http://www.explorebigsky.com/why-wasnt-bear-spray-more-effective-in-todd-orrs-grizzly-attack

Everything inside 30 feet exists within what Bartlebaugh calls the “potential contact zone,” meaning you can expect bear spray to minimize the length and severity of an attack, but not prevent it.

After the initial encounter, Orr wrote that he “half hiked, half jogged down the trail” toward his truck, which was parked 3 miles away. Five to 10 minutes later, the sow was on him again.




He also had a gun that he lost track of during the attack.
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Offline jackelope

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2017, 12:33:04 PM »
 :dunno:
:fire.:

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Offline Stein

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2017, 12:34:28 PM »
The other consideration that is not made in the article is that that 90% success rate of spray likely has a critical flaw in that there are a larger number of bearanoid idiots carrying spray than firearms and when these people see a bear they deploy the spray and holler while spraying it when the bear is on the other side of the meadow. Bear sees the dinkus and runs off, +1 for bear spray!

The facts and the study don't support that:

Quote
In 90% (18 of 20; G1 ¼ 14.7, P ¼ 0.001) of close-range encounters with black bears, spray stopped the
bear’s undesirable behavior. All bear-inflicted injuries (n¼3) involved brown bears and were relatively minor (i.e., no
hospitalization required).

Bear spray only goes about 30', so if the bear is in close range and sprayed, it can't be at the other side of the meadow.

I won't even comment on the assumption that "bearanoid idiots" don't carry firearms. :chuckle:

Everyone should chose what they want, but the statistics and facts from a two studies stretching over 20 years are out there, bear spray gives you the best odds at the best possible outcome.  If there are conflicting studies that suggest otherwise, please link to them as I would be very interested in having all the information possible.

Offline washingtonmuley

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2017, 08:47:40 AM »
I always carried the .454 on Kodiak and other places in Alaska while fishing. I would rather fire something that I am pretty sure is going to work vs. something/bear spray that I hope will work.

Offline Mudman

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2017, 09:21:15 PM »
https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/how-hot-is-it-understanding-pepper-spray/       This is for the people who think mace or pepper spray is hotter than bear spray.  Its complicated and involves misleading advertisements but BEAR spray is much stronger as you can read here....
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Offline Seahawk12

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2017, 12:20:49 AM »
Griz have been spotted in enough areas that i consider most of the state griz country.
I dont enter the woods without a firearm.
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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2017, 06:21:55 AM »
I live in Montana- the only right answer is both

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2017, 07:20:14 AM »
I was attacked by a grizzly in 2010 while on a mule deer hunt in Wyoming. Long story short, I actually packed a pistol and left it at camp the day of the incident because of the weight (.45 auto). I was able to finally put the bear down with my Tikka 30.06, however after the whole incident, investigation, and speaking with Wyoming Fish and Game, who were AWESOME by the way, I walked away knowing that if/when I hunt in grizzly country again I will have both!
The statistics are in your favor with spray. Studies showed you have a 50/50 chance with a gun during a charge. Most people have been proven to miss during high stress/adrenaline filled moments AND even if you hit the bear a grizzly gets further enraged by pain, just like when they fight another bear. Unless you brain shoot them, which is difficult in itself due to their skull and a moving target, the bullet strike in an adrenaline filled bear can prompt more adrenaline and just anger them, like a tweaker getting tazzed by police  :chuckle:.
If using the spray you have a 93 percent change of walking away unscathed, but you have to deploy the spray correctly and buy the RIGHT spray. Creating a cloud with the spray on a charge grizzly disorients them when they hit/run into it. The warden I spoke too said he had stopped numerous charges with spray. Instead of inflicting pain, prompting rage, the spray disorients the grizzly thus, most of the time stopping the charge by interrupting their primal focus. There are lots of sprays out there I later found out. The wardens, and studies, said to buy the big cans that have no less than a 50' spray length and to sweep in front of the grizzly, don't actually try and hit the running bear unless hes already within the 50' mark.
With all that said....the grizzly that came after me was starving, therefore I may have been able to stop his charge with spray but I am sure he would have found a way around the spray. Therefore....PACK BOTH. The spray is your best defense and may keep you safe for most charges of a surprised animal or sow with cubs, however if you meet the one bear that is intent on getting you to the ground then a death sentence is the only alternative and a can of spray won't do that for you. Joel-
The best way of getting a hold of me-
360-789-5056- Joel Swecker-BRT

Offline Mudman

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2017, 07:47:55 AM »
 :yeah:  Exactly how I feel about it, well said.
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Offline boneaddict

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2017, 07:58:54 AM »
Indeed, Well said.


2many, its on here somewhere.  Ill see what I can find
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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2017, 08:21:52 AM »
I know it has been mentioned before, but one of the main issues with that spray vs gun statistic is it compared 'bear spray' against all firearms (not just agreed upon bear hammer types).  So, a guy with a 9mm/.38 spl/.243 is given the same odds as a guy with a .460SW/.375HH/.45-70.

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2017, 08:34:19 AM »
I know it has been mentioned before, but one of the main issues with that spray vs gun statistic is it compared 'bear spray' against all firearms (not just agreed upon bear hammer types).  So, a guy with a 9mm/.38 spl/.243 is given the same odds as a guy with a .460SW/.375HH/.45-70.
Yes, although the title is "Bear Spray vs. Pistol" so that rules out rifles.
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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2017, 06:15:41 AM »
https://www.cliffcanoe.com/bear-rules  read the last bullet point on this list.This guy has a bunch of experience with bears all over N. America

Offline tgray

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #41 on: July 31, 2017, 05:16:00 PM »
Both! Spray and hope it does the trick. S&W 329 PD for when I'm fighting for my life. We run into big grizzlies every year in Wyoming, 7 years and only had to spray one so far

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2017, 09:33:41 PM »
https://www.cliffcanoe.com/bear-rules  read the last bullet point on this list.This guy has a bunch of experience with bears all over N. America

One of the more common sense list I've read.  Thanks for that.

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2017, 10:09:07 PM »

Here is a very cool video comparing the 10mm and 357 magnum testing through a raw bear skull.
He was using CRAP (for bear defense purposes) 10mm ammo and it did a helluva job, makes me feel assured when I get my glock 20 (same gun he tested with) and get some nice hard cast bullets I'll be set!!
I realie the video isn't exactly scientific and he was shooting very close range and the adrenaline would make it hard to aim and all that, but I'm just saying this is a very cool video

Worth a watch
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Offline Tbob

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Re: Bear Spray vs Pistol while hunting in GRIZ country.....
« Reply #44 on: August 05, 2017, 10:55:55 PM »
I've always taken my pistol with me, but I just ordered a can of counter assault bear spray. Probably gonna leave the pistol at home this year...

 

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