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Thread: Grizzly Bear Defense

  1. #1
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    Grizzly Bear Defense

    Grizzly bear numbers and range have incrementally increased in Wyoming to the point that they have been "delisted". https://county10.com/grizzly-bear-re...ned-in-lander/ Grizzly sightings are now fairly common in the southern Wind River Range. With increased numbers comes the increased likelihood of an encounter, and possibly an attack. Grizzly attacks in Wyoming are most common when 1) someone happens on a sow with cubs https://county10.com/wisconsin-hunte...k-near-dubois/; or 2) a bear responds to gun shot(s) and engages while the game is being field dressed http://www.codyenterprise.com/news/l...ccc63b5eb.html. I spend a fair amount of time in the southern Winds and would rather not end up like Hugh Glass. I found no thread dedicated to grizzly bear defense so, here goes:

    What tools do you employ for grizzly bear defense? Bear spray? Firearms? Both? How do you carry those tools? If you carry a rifle, shotgun, or pistol, what ammunition do you use? How do you train for grizzly bear defense? Do you hunt in teams of two or more? Do you wear a bell while hiking or biking in grizzly country? Have you had a close encounter with a grizzly in the wild? What happened? What lessons were learned? With thanks from the Big Empty, ELN.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter Jay585's Avatar
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    I spent a summer on Admiralty island in SE Alaska over by Juneau. Known as “The Fortress of the Bears”, it has 1 brown bear (basically a costal grizzly bear) per square mile.

    In my time there, I never saw a bear. Not one. Saw lots of evidence, but never an actual bear. So your worries may be moot.

    That said, a lot of Alaskans say to carry a 12 gauge with slugs. The Forest Service “sponsor” (the liaison between AmeriCorps SAGA and USFS) carried a .375 H&H. A Winchester model 70, with a red square in the front sight. He said he’d been told to shoot the shoulder of a charging bear rather than a head shot as the skull was very thick, and a shoulder shot was a better charge-stopper.

    GJM would have more relevant experience. Awhile back I recall him posting a thread about an encounter between his dog and a bear.
    "Well you know, it's a toolbox. You put the tools in for the job." Sam

  3. #3
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    I run crews that work in "light" Grizzly country. I give them and train them up on Bear Spray, 10 oz cans, Counter Assault. Make sure they keep it accessible. Data from US and Canada points that bear spray is more effective than firearms probably for a lot of reasons, more likely to be used, less skill involved.

    I work for a federal agency, no way to provide firearms (up in Alaska they do with specific training/certifications), our risk is low enough that I wouldn't bother, firearms and dealing with them would hurt production.

    No encounters, no stories, I give my crews Bear Spray as much for 2 legged animals as 4.

  4. #4
    Living in Bozeman, I do a lot of hiking and camping throughout Montana. I’m purposely noisy when I hike, usually singing/whistling as I walk. I also always have my dog with me on my hiking and camping trips, and just generally talking to my dog and letting him frolic through the brush is pretty noisy in itself. If I’m coming up to a sharp bend in the trail or the apex of a hill, I’ll clap my hand a few times.

    While I carry my CCW piece, for bears I have bearspray strapped to my chest pointed outwards, so I can deploy it without even needing to remove it from its holster. I like to practice; you can usually walk into sporting good stores around here and get, for free, expired cans of bearspray.

  5. #5
    There are many PF threads focused on field pistols, and defense against four leg threats. See 1076, USP field pistol, parts of Alaska Journal, Lehigh xtreme Penetrator bullets, etc.

    The short answer is carry a DA revolver with hard cast, or a service pistol with Underwood Lehigh xtreme loadings in 9/40/45/45 Super/10mm, consider bear spray, and if able carry a shotgun full of Brennneke slugs or an equivalent power load in a rifle able to put multiple shots downrange quickly. Two shooters are better than one. Dogs can help alert you or bring you the trouble.

    My strategy, when possible, is one warning shot in the dirt in front of the bear followed by one shot COM, then everything else to the brain.
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  6. #6
    Member JHC's Avatar
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    North Georgia
    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    There are many PF threads focused on field pistols, and defense against four leg threats. See 1076, USP field pistol, parts of Alaska Journal, Lehigh xtreme Penetrator bullets, etc.

    The short answer is carry a DA revolver with hard cast, or a service pistol with Underwood Lehigh xtreme loadings in 9/40/45/45 Super/10mm, consider bear spray, and if able carry a shotgun full of Brennneke slugs or an equivalent power load in a rifle able to put multiple shots downrange quickly. Two shooters are better than one. Dogs can help alert you or bring you the trouble.

    My strategy, when possible, is one warning shot in the dirt in front of the bear followed by one shot COM, then everything else to the brain.
    This but if service pistol, use Critical Duty. I think it will do well and am very curious for confirmation.

    How long has it been since somebody lost a pistol fight with a baar? Seems like pistol is non-negotiable. Long gun if possible as "secondary" sort of.
    As a man sows, so shall he reap.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    There are many PF threads focused on field pistols, and defense against four leg threats. See 1076, USP field pistol, parts of Alaska Journal, Lehigh xtreme Penetrator bullets, etc.

    The short answer is carry a DA revolver with hard cast, or a service pistol with Underwood Lehigh xtreme loadings in 9/40/45/45 Super/10mm, consider bear spray, and if able carry a shotgun full of Brennneke slugs or an equivalent power load in a rifle able to put multiple shots downrange quickly. Two shooters are better than one. Dogs can help alert you or bring you the trouble.

    My strategy, when possible, is one warning shot in the dirt in front of the bear followed by one shot COM, then everything else to the brain.
    What George said ^^^.

    Keep in mind, while bears are a potential threat the number one threat in remote areas is ALWAYS two legged.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    There are many PF threads focused on field pistols, and defense against four leg threats. See 1076, USP field pistol, parts of Alaska Journal, Lehigh xtreme Penetrator bullets, etc.

    The short answer is carry a DA revolver with hard cast, or a service pistol with Underwood Lehigh xtreme loadings in 9/40/45/45 Super/10mm, consider bear spray, and if able carry a shotgun full of Brennneke slugs or an equivalent power load in a rifle able to put multiple shots downrange quickly. Two shooters are better than one. Dogs can help alert you or bring you the trouble.

    My strategy, when possible, is one warning shot in the dirt in front of the bear followed by one shot COM, then everything else to the brain.
    I hope no one takes your warning shot advise, you don't fire warning shots at people and I wouldnt fire a warning shot at a bear that can run 35mph. I would not consider the bears welfare at all, false charge, bluff, shit for the bear instant brain shots will be applied. Warning shots are foolish and people who are serious about surviving don't waste time or bullets by giving the bear the extra advantage of time and distance.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SJC3081 View Post
    I hope no one takes your warning shot advise, you don't fire warning shots at people and I wouldnt fire a warning shot at a bear that can run 35mph. I would not consider the bears welfare at all, false charge, bluff, shit for the bear instant brain shots will be applied. Warning shots are foolish and people who are serious about surviving don't waste time or bullets by giving the bear the extra advantage of time and distance.
    To help folks evaluate your perspective, how much actual experience do you have with grizzly bears?
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    To help folks evaluate your perspective, how much actual experience do you have with grizzly bears?
    You know I just had this exact same experience, only in another forum on a non-gun topic about which I'm considered pretty knowledgeable. It happens a couple times a year and I've gone from getting pissed about it to trying to have fun with it.
    I was into 10mm Auto before it sold out and went mainstream, but these days I'm here for the revolver and epidemiology information.

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