Bear Safety in the Rockies

black dawg

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
260
Location
sw mt
Think about bear behaviour, any foreign smell is interesting to them, jeez I’ll bet even maartens, badgers or any other meat eater/scavenger with a nose around will check it out at some point

Yes, I agree. Bears do get curious of the smell. When I read you post, I read it as is loses effectiveness with age while still in the bottle...…
 

jog

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
74
I understood they have the data to back up the claims that bear spray is more effective than guns because: bear kills guy after being killed but has enough left to rip his head off. Guy shoots thru bear kills buddy. Guy wounds bear. Guy misses bear kills buddy. Guy misses bear. These are recorded incidents.
Bear spray has been 100% effective in any recorded incident (or correct me with link to incident if I am mis-informed please) where it was used against an aggressive and or charging bear.
Don't have to aim. Anyone can use it without much skill. (one dude in Montana used it 3 times to stop a male grizzly at trailhead. He also was packing a .45. He said he is certain he would have been attacked/killed by the boar if he had used his sidearm.)


Bear sprays biggest drawback is it comes in a can and does not have a barrel. It takes a lot of faith to put your marbles in a spray can when your life is at stake.

Regarding hanging food we always have on our Llama trips and I do when bivy hunting its not too hard to hang food/ toothpaste/anything that smells good etc.
 
Last edited:

Northwinds308

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
101
I understood they have the data to back up the claims that bear spray is more effective than guns because: bear kills guy after being killed but has enough left to rip his head off. Guy shoots thru bear kills buddy. Guy wounds bear. Guy misses bear kills buddy. Guy misses bear. These are recorded incidents.
Bear spray has been 100% effective in any recorded incident (or correct me with link to incident if I am mis-informed please) where it was used against an aggressive and or charging bear.

The stats on this are skewed. VERY few examples of individuals spraying a charging Grizzly. Out of 50 examined instances only 9 were deemed aggressive. Most sprayed bears for the 98% number were just curious/feeding/not expecting to be sprayed. This non-combative behavior makes a significant difference.

Furthermore firearms employed that do not result in injury to the hunter are not reported, leading to the erroneous belief that firearms do not work. A 12 gauge shotgun has a 78% chance to stop a bear in one shot when using slugs. That number is from a massive Alaska fish and game study on most effective firearms used in bear encounters. You can google it if you like, it will turn up. They sort over 250 bear shootings by weapon and ammunition type.

Meateater Podcast was discussing a Wyoming guide in 2018 that was killed. They found the spray bottle by him and it had been discharged. You could argue it may have stopped the attack, but I'm going to argue he's still dead so it wasn't that effective. His sidearm was knocked away before he could deploy it effectively.
 

tntrker

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
320
Location
Upstate SC
Prove it.

Bear spray narrative is supported by a wide range of people and professionals who spend their lives in the bush:

Heres a study on black bear attacks, moral of the story? know bear behaviour. https://wildlife.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jwmg.72

Heres a study on bear spray efficacy, moral of the story? the stuff works very well, even if you barely understand how to use it.

Heres a study on firearm efficacy, moral of the story? less effective than spray, why? Efficacy depends on type of bear behaviour and shooters proficiency

Heres an article by a guy who summarizes all of the above, how these are the most cited studies, their biases and how you can spin the debate either way:
https://www.gohunt.com/read/skills/hunting-in-grizzly-bear-country-sidearm-vs-bear-spray#gs.34vllr - he gets it, boils it down to personal preference, carry a sidearm and all the accoutrements of training with it, shooting it regularly, cleaning it regularly, wearing it whenever using it in the bush and dealing with (often realll limiting) restricted carry permits, or buy a can of pepper sauce and call it a done day.

Solo bowhunting is in my opinion the only time you're really justified in packing a sidearm if thats your preference, and in that case, as someone said above just buy a bear tag and you'll guarantee you won't see any. But hey, I'm just pushing an environmentalist narrative here cause y'know, I work for the Clintons and I'm trying to take your guns and jobs away.
Seems you need to do you and quit trying to downgrade a person just because they want to carry a firearm with them in the "scary woods" and "big bad bears". If you think owning and carrying a firearm is too much work and weight for you, pee wee, stick to your 8oz wonder spray and keep your degrading remarks to yourself..
 

Dos Perros

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
1,110
Location
Overland Park, KS

The stats on this are skewed. VERY few examples of individuals spraying a charging Grizzly. Out of 50 examined instances only 9 were deemed aggressive. Most sprayed bears for the 98% number were just curious/feeding/not expecting to be sprayed. This non-combative behavior makes a significant difference.

Furthermore firearms employed that do not result in injury to the hunter are not reported, leading to the erroneous belief that firearms do not work. A 12 gauge shotgun has a 78% chance to stop a bear in one shot when using slugs. That number is from a massive Alaska fish and game study on most effective firearms used in bear encounters. You can google it if you like, it will turn up. They sort over 250 bear shootings by weapon and ammunition type.

Meateater Podcast was discussing a Wyoming guide in 2018 that was killed. They found the spray bottle by him and it had been discharged. You could argue it may have stopped the attack, but I'm going to argue he's still dead so it wasn't that effective. His sidearm was knocked away before he could deploy it effectively.
I get it, this is the internet, we fret over minute disagreements, and that's exactly what I'm here to do.

In the 2017 report on Greater Yellowstone grizzly interactions, in something like 150+ backcountry human-bear interactions where the humans assessed the bear was aware of their presence (this is approximate):

60% of the bears ran
30% of the bears went on their life giving zero effs
8% of the bears were curious
2% of the bears were aggressive (resulting in zero human injuries)

So, we may be arguing about what to do on the off chance you encounter a 1-in-50 kind of bear.
 

Mike7

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
1,065
Location
Northern Idaho
Prove it.

Bear spray narrative is supported by a wide range of people and professionals who spend their lives in the bush:

Heres a study on black bear attacks, moral of the story? know bear behaviour. https://wildlife.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jwmg.72

Heres a study on bear spray efficacy, moral of the story? the stuff works very well, even if you barely understand how to use it.

Heres a study on firearm efficacy, moral of the story? less effective than spray, why? Efficacy depends on type of bear behaviour and shooters proficiency

Heres an article by a guy who summarizes all of the above, how these are the most cited studies, their biases and how you can spin the debate either way:
https://www.gohunt.com/read/skills/hunting-in-grizzly-bear-country-sidearm-vs-bear-spray#gs.34vllr - he gets it, boils it down to personal preference, carry a sidearm and all the accoutrements of training with it, shooting it regularly, cleaning it regularly, wearing it whenever using it in the bush and dealing with (often realll limiting) restricted carry permits, or buy a can of pepper sauce and call it a done day.

Solo bowhunting is in my opinion the only time you're really justified in packing a sidearm if thats your preference, and in that case, as someone said above just buy a bear tag and you'll guarantee you won't see any. But hey, I'm just pushing an environmentalist narrative here cause y'know, I work for the Clintons and I'm trying to take your guns and jobs away.
Solo bowhunting is the only time someone is "justified" in carrying a sidearm? Really?

Interestingly, and ironically based upon your comment above, that is exactly what a Clinton would say.

So a "pair" of people each with bear spray can always ward off an aggressive grizzly? Heck, bear spray can't ward off many humans. Or a rifle hunter with only a scoped rifle on a windy day will be able to accurately stop a startled attacking bear in thick alders or at night?

Have you ever tried any of this?
 
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
76
Try shooting 9mm 147gr +P hardcast rounds through hard substrates yourself before you believe this legend.


Mike

Nice name, and you’re funny AF too.

147 grain plus power sounds hot. I’ve heard they’ve made advances in 9mm ammo. I’m still not brave enough. I actually stopped carrying my old trusty Colt Officers .45 for a Colt Delta Elite 10mm.

To back up your point about bowhunting and carrying heat or bear spray, hunter yesterday in Yellowstone Park got his arse ate. Found dead with a can of spray, that was USED in the attack, obviously to no avail.

Another attack, same park and day, was successful spraying off a bear . Didn’t have time to pull their gun they said.

So we had 50/50 success. I do think a gun, if pulled, as a can of spray is pulled, is far more LETHAL. Who wants to argue against lethality of a .454 Casaul and a can of pepper spray ??


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Northwinds308

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
101
147 grain hardcast will outpenetrate a lot of .45 loads...

If I was packing a sidearm it'd be a Glock 10mm. External safeties on striker handguns are dumb.
 

Northwinds308

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
101
I get it, this is the internet, we fret over minute disagreements, and that's exactly what I'm here to do.

In the 2017 report on Greater Yellowstone grizzly interactions, in something like 150+ backcountry human-bear interactions where the humans assessed the bear was aware of their presence (this is approximate):

60% of the bears ran
30% of the bears went on their life giving zero effs
8% of the bears were curious
2% of the bears were aggressive (resulting in zero human injuries)

So, we may be arguing about what to do on the off chance you encounter a 1-in-50 kind of bear.

I've encountered as many as 20 bears a year. Good friend is an Outfitter and has encountered 70. Still think 1 in 50 isn't worth worrying about?
 

jog

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
74
I carry bear spray and don't have a problem with anyone who would rather carry a sidearm. But why is it that someone always seems to get defensive? And I am not pointing this at anyone in particular. I read very little where anyone is saying negative things about anyone who carries for bear protection.
But I do think its real that many who carry heavy loads in their sidearm are not really very good at shooting a hot load (if they were honest with themselves) its a very time hungry skill to master under duress and it is fact that a follow up shot with say a 44 mag pushing hardcasts is not going to happen real quick anyway-the recoil is significant. The easy part is making the gun go off. Hitting something trying to kill you is something different altogether.
Anyway, I think there are valid reasons to trust bear spray and it does work. It is not productive to try to make it seem to be otherwise. I personally do not mistrust the data saying it does. I carry it more for cow moose protecting a calf or for a lion. The best thing about it is its easy to use and bear spray, no matter what you think of its effectiveness, is better than a missed or non lethal shot from any gun.
I am realistic about my skill under duress with my 45. I will use it if there is time but I know there may not be time. I can get the spray in action about twice as fast as my 45 and I practice with it too.
Just sayin....
 

Northwinds308

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
101
I carry bear spray and don't have a problem with anyone who would rather carry a sidearm. But why is it that someone always seems to get defensive?

Not being defensive, presenting data. You said the data is that spray is more effective and if there were failed counts to tell you. I pointed out that the data is inaccurate and that there are multiple failed counts of bear spray not stopping the threat. You may do with that what you will, just know that the studies you are citing were flawed.

It's good that you're realistic about your skill level. The defensivness was with someone further up the thread blowing smoke up everyone's @$$ and making broad brush statements, claims, and accusations that don't fit in a largely fact based discussion. You're fine, we're just pointing out the information you asked us to point out.
 

jog

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
74
And I appreciate the info. I see skill with a sidearm on par with trad archery- it takes dedication to become very good. I do not see a lot of folks putting the time in to master hot loads, which is at another level of mastery. Our lives are too busy.
 

Northwinds308

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
101
And I appreciate the info. I see skill with a sidearm on par with trad archery- it takes dedication to become very good. I do not see a lot of folks putting the time in to master hot loads, which is at another level of mastery. Our lives are too busy.

I wouldn't be so pro sidearm if I didn't shoot a couple thousand rounds a year. I'm fortunate that way. I'm unfortunate in that the government will not budge on wilderness handgun carry. Wish I could.
 

Mike7

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
1,065
Location
Northern Idaho
Nothing against spray... but I see no diffference in the time it takes to draw and point my glock from my chest holster vs. removing the safety and pointing my bear spray from a chest holster.

I feel like trad archery is more like the skill/practice needed for accurate sporting clays shooting or maybe good tactical pistol shooting (with the moving, reloading, unknown hostiles & friendlies about, etc.).

But plain ole pistol shooting at a single threat/wild animal without need for a reload and from a simple gun like a glock seems more like riding a bike to me or shooting a compound bow with a rangefinder...
it's not like you have to constantly practice, be a rocket scientist, or great athlete to be decent. Just be mentally prepared and don't freak out.
 
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
76
147 grain hardcast will outpenetrate a lot of .45 loads...

If I was packing a sidearm it'd be a Glock 10mm. External safeties on striker handguns are dumb.


I carried a Colt Officers .45 since the mid 80’s. It’s an amazing weapon.

But recently I was convinced to watch some YouTube jell tests and couldn’t believe what the 10mm could do in comparison to a .45.

I conceded and bought a Colt Delta Elite 10mm and been carrying it since.

But I’d take a 230 grain .45 hard ball over anything 9mm makes. But the 9mm capacity is hard to beat. 14-16 rounds ? Something would have to connect you’d think ?

.45 on a Griz ? No. On a Black Bear ? Yeah all day.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Northwinds308

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
101
I carried a Colt Officers .45 since the mid 80’s. It’s an amazing weapon.

But recently I was convinced to watch some YouTube jell tests and couldn’t believe what the 10mm could do in comparison to a .45.

I conceded and bought a Colt Delta Elite 10mm and been carrying it since.

But I’d take a 230 grain .45 hard ball over anything 9mm makes. But the 9mm capacity is hard to beat. 14-16 rounds ? Something would have to connect you’d think ?

.45 on a Griz ? No. On a Black Bear ? Yeah all day.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

That's fair enough and everyone has their preferences. I just think it's funny how many guys get all "muh fortey fiiiivvveee!" Not realizing that if they pick the wrong ammo the difference is marginal at best. A lot of lackluster performance with 9mm has to do with FMJ ammunition, which sucks in everything smaller than .30 Cal rifles.

Between a 9mm and a 10mm I'd definitely rather have the 10 for big brown bears, no question. But I wouldn't be as concerned as you might think with a Glock in 9mm with the right ammo. There have been quite a few bears killed with a 9 so long as the shooter is competent.
 
Top