Ruger Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,568 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Since this came up in another thread, there seemed to be some interest in discussion, so I figured I'd add my .02, and see what develops.

In my experience, and those whom I know, there are 3 different encounters a hiker or jogger will have on a trail with BROWN bears. I will list them from the most common, to the least common based on anecdotal experience. (this is by no means an all inclusive list, just some common ones)

1. The bear will have seen or smelled you first, and you might see part of its hind end as it runs away.

2. The bear will see or smell you. It will not want to leave for whatever reason. It may stand on its hind legs to show you how big he is (or just out of curiosity to see better). He may huff and puff and stomp, throwing it's head side to side. Next could be a) it backs down and leaves b) a bluff charge c) a no kidding charge.

3. You will not see the bear. You likely have surprised each other, and it's defense is an offense. It will either bluff charge, or real charge.

Human responses-

1. Good deal, remain vigilant.

2. Be ready with your defense, back away slowly, show the bear that you are no threat.

3. Be Johnny on the spot with your defense. You will likely have 0-2 seconds to react decisively. (a bear charges in excess of 35 mph, and you may not see it till the last few yards)

Brown bears very rarely attack because they want to kill you. It is usually that they feel threatened, or are protecting something (like food or cubs)


Now as far as the actual defense part. I carry a Redhawk in VERY hot loaded 45 Colt. It's on a Diamond D chest holster which I can draw and get on target pretty quickly. I also shoot at least a cylinder or two a week, while practicing quick draw.

When the situation presents, I carry a 16" AR in 458 SOCOM in addition to the Redhawk. It is a more effective round, and I'm handy with it.

The girlfriend carries UDAP bear spray on a chest rig. She does not practice enough to carry a firearm as a primary means of defense.

In a real defense scenario, you will have anywhere from 0 to just a few seconds to hit a 1000+ lb animal coming at you at 35mph. Not just hit it in the vitals, since it may take the bear a few minutes to realize it's dead. You have to hit it in the central nervous system. It takes most people quite a lot of practice to do that.

You will almost certainly not have time to use more than one defense measure (spray then gun)

You will not likely have time to pull it out of a fanny pack or similar.

Once bear spray is used, there is a real possibility that it will temporarily incapacitate you as well (wind).

If all of these fail, since Brown bears usually just want to neutralize you as a threat, if it gets to you and you are unable to employ your defense, then STOP screaming, and crawl into the fetal position. You may get beat up, but you statistically will survive.


Here is a video of a real encounter in Alaska. It has a lot of dramatic crap added, but it gives you an idea of how quickly things can develop. In the narration, it mentions that the guide shot in front of the bear and the muzzle blast scared it away. Me personally, I think that's bunk. The guide missed, and he's lucky it was a bluff charge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMbnmLLnsfw&feature=youtube_gdata_player
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,407 Posts
I used to hike a short section of the Appalachian Trail pretty often, camp one night, and hike back.

On one trip I met a young black bear, about 2/3 grown, roughly 300 feet ahead. I stopped, he stood and sniffed. We stared at each other for 2-3 minutes, and he ambled off to one side. As soon as I could tell he was a safe distance, by the noise he made through the brush, I just continued on. A very uncomfortable ten minutes of my life.

It is illegal to carry a firearm on the AT, which I don't agree with. There have been several AT murders and rapes, by those who obviously don't care about that law.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,469 Posts
It is illegal to carry a firearm on the AT, which I don't agree with. There have been several AT murders and rapes, by those who obviously don't care about that law.
With the ruling about nat parks etc is it still illegal?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
I used to hike a short section of the Appalachian Trail pretty often, camp one night, and hike back.

On one trip I met a young black bear, about 2/3 grown, roughly 300 feet ahead. I stopped, he stood and sniffed. We stared at each other for 2-3 minutes, and he ambled off to one side. As soon as I could tell he was a safe distance, by the noise he made through the brush, I just continued on. A very uncomfortable ten minutes of my life.

It is illegal to carry a firearm on the AT, which I don't agree with. There have been several AT murders and rapes, by those who obviously don't care about that law.
The US Park service is now required by law to abide by the state carry laws in which the park is located in. The AT is now open to carry in very large sections. If you have a CCW; reciprocity will allow you to carry on the AT thru any state that issues CCW. Federal law still makes it unlawful to carry into federal buildings. YMMV depending on the state you are in.

BTW, Statistically you are more likely to be killed by a actual black bear attack than a grizzly/brown bear attack. Black bear attacks which do occur are very fierce; and generally are motivated by hunger. Grizzly/brown bear "attacks" are generally territorial and usually end up being an aggressive encounter to some degree or another. Now if the ole grizz/brownie is hungry....all bets are off, and YMM indeed Vary.:rolleyes:

I have had many black bear encounters on the AT and around The Great Smoky Mtn National Park over the last 20 years. The one that stands out, occurred about 10 years ago. A woman had recently been attacked/killed and partially eaten by a black bear on the AT. Park rangers killed the young male bear while guarding his kill. My family and I were hiking Rainbow Falls on the edge of Gatlinburg not too long after the incident. My three children were very young at the time; the oldest five or six; and my youngest a toddler on my wifes back in a kelty kid carrier. The last mile of the hike we were stalked by a young male bear. That was the longest and most fearful mile of my life. I was carrying my Colt commander at the time and still felt a little under gunned. After getting to our vehicle un-accosted I determined I needed a bigger packin pistol. Not too long after, I acquired my Birds head Vaquero in 45 Colt. For this reason I always load for bear.;)

Regards

Rod
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,568 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
BTW, Statistically you are more likely to be killed by a actual black bear attack than a grizzly/brown bear attack. Black bear attacks which do occur are very fierce; and generally are motivated by hunger. Grizzly/brown bear "attacks" are generally territorial and usually end up being an aggressive encounter to some degree or another. Now if the ole grizz/brownie is hungry....all bets are off, and YMM indeed Vary.:rolleyes:

Regards

Rod
true statement.

We have less black bear attacks up here per capita IMO, just because when all the numbers are crunched, there are so few brown bears in the lower 48. The huge population of people in the lower 48, and that (for practical purposes) there are only black bears, there are naturally going to be statistically mostly black bear incidents.

I've found that black bears are more curious, will follow humans, and therefore will lend to more incidents. That being said, I've never had an encounter (other than hunting, and the little bastards trying to get into my cabin while I'm gone) with a black bear. I have seen their tracks over top of mine after only a few minutes of walking. I've been followed a lot, but they were cagey, and did not present themselves to me visually.

When a black bear is attacking you, it's for food, and you should fight back with whatever you have at all costs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
What year is your KZ? I'm restoring a 77 KZ 1000 by grandfather gave me
A 1980. It was the only year they made the Z1 in a 1000cc.
Your grandfather...ouch...I was 27 when my KZ was made :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,568 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yeah I'm a 34 y/o young buck lol, my great uncle raced my particular one, it's bored to 1240cc. Ran like a top till the rusty tank clogged the carbs, and gramps garaged it in 1997. Now it's my project to get back together. Can't wait to ride the bike I was first on in 1981 riding on the gas tank.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,469 Posts
Thanks, I wasn't aware that there were changes. Here's the official info:

Firearms Information - Appalachian National Scenic Trail
It says in your link they changed in 2010 and follow National Park rules for those portions controlled by them it also says:

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, a unit of the national park system, is administered by the National Park Service, Appalachian Trail Park Office. The Appalachian Trail spans 2,179 miles across lands administered by 6 other national parks, 8 National Forests, 1 National Wildlife Refuge, and 75 other federal, state, and local agencies. Each one of these agencies has their own rules and regulations which contributes to the complexity of legally carrying a firearm on the Appalachian Trail.
So typical. Truthfully when I hiked on a portion in NH I don't think I was in violation of the law but frankly never gave it any thought as it was in NH and in the White Mountain National Forrest that allows hunting on all lands. Oh well I was concealed and no one noticed.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top