Bear spray or pistol?

Mountain Happy

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
11
What are you using and why? I am going to use a spray as I have no desire to own a pistol. Plus in my mind, I think a spray would be easier to use leaving a large cloud for the bear to enter and the spray has been proven to stop an attacking bear in its tracks, it may not be foolproof but nor would a pistol be. With a pistol even if you were able to keep it together and hit an attacking bear he could still be on you. With the spray, if used right you should have at least a 5- foot cloud of spray the would have to pass through. Just my opinion and I am wondering what your thoughts are. If I had my way, I would be using a 12-gauge shot with buckshot.
 

brettdunn7

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Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
90
Bears can go through that spray and still be in you. Difference is a bear with a couple rounds in it has a chance of dying shortly after increasing your chances of staying alive. Bear with some spray on it can just keep going increasing your chance of being dead.

You say you have no desire to own a hand gun (why, idk) but do you have a desire to increase your odds of staying alive?


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2Stamp

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Oct 7, 2014
Messages
71
Location
Buffalo, WY
Why is the shotgun not an option? Are you talking about countermeasures while archery hunting?

I won't debate the "stops them in their tracks" spray vs handgun. I think it depends on the source of the article/ information, and a ton of other factors. To quote an Alaskan that shoots a lot of bears "There’s just flat-out nothing that compares to a big rifle when it comes to stopping bears." Are you talking about countermeasures while archery hunting?

Downside to spray; wind. In the heat of the moment, if it's blowing back into you, you get it as much or more than the bear. Know how it reacts to different winds (cross, head, tail, etc). Have you ever been pepper sprayed? It's not pleasant. Compound that with a pissed off bear that you can't see because your eyes are now shut because of the spray... You get the idea. Also, from my playing around with these, they don't necessarily leave a cloud. They shoot a high concentration stream. I believe there are a couple that have different nozzle settings that may have a more "cloud" spray, but don't quote me on that.

Edit: I carry a handgun regardless if I'm rifle or bow hunting.
 
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jhm2023

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Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
272
Location
Delta Junction, AK.
I can give you 2 reasons NOT to use spray. 1st: What will you do when the bear charges from upwind and that magic cloud of spray hits you and not the bear? This is a non-issue with a handgun. 2nd: Bear spray is only 1% oleoresin capsaicin. The stuff Law enforcement carries is 10% OC and during OC training most agencies require you to be sprayed and then perform certain tasks. I was able to wrestle a dude into handcuffs after my face was covered with 10% OC, so I'm definitely not going to trust it to save my life when something dangerous is in my bubble. It's really a matter of meet deadly force with deadly force, not non-lethal.

Spray might work given ideal conditions. An adequate handgun in the hands of a trained and proficient shooter will kill the bear, and dead bears don't eat people. To each their own though.
 

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mxgsfmdpx

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Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
95
Location
California``
I don’t think a lot of guys have actually used good bear spray. It’s not a cloud of spray. It’s a jet stream of liquid that shoots 30 feet in front of you. Sure there is a cloud effect as well after the fact but it’s not like a smoke grenade in the movies lol.

I carry both the spray and a glock 10mm with 16 rounds of buffalo bore on my belt pouch for a mag dump if it gets onto me.
 

kiddogy

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
478
Location
idaho
What are you using and why? I am going to use a spray as I have no desire to own a pistol. Plus in my mind, I think a spray would be easier to use leaving a large cloud for the bear to enter and the spray has been proven to stop an attacking bear in its tracks, it may not be foolproof but nor would a pistol be. With a pistol even if you were able to keep it together and hit an attacking bear he could still be on you. With the spray, if used right you should have at least a 5- foot cloud of spray the would have to pass through. Just my opinion and I am wondering what your thoughts are. If I had my way, I would be using a 12-gauge shot with buckshot.
a friend who moves slower then I do.😁


seriously though, IF a bear were attacking me , the spray coming from my posterior would very likely deter it.o_O
 

Team4LongGun

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
128
I can give you 2 reasons NOT to use spray. 1st: What will you do when the bear charges from upwind and that magic cloud of spray hits you and not the bear? This is a non-issue with a handgun. 2nd: Bear spray is only 1% oleoresin capsaicin. The stuff Law enforcement carries is 10% OC and during OC training most agencies require you to be sprayed and then perform certain tasks. I was able to wrestle a dude into handcuffs after my face was covered with 10% OC, so I'm definitely not going to trust it to save my life when something dangerous is in my bubble. It's really a matter of meet deadly force with deadly force, not non-lethal.

Spray might work given ideal conditions. An adequate handgun in the hands of a trained and proficient shooter will kill the bear, and dead bears don't eat people. To each their own though.
Spot on. Heed this advice
 

Tyglick

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
18
Location
North Dakota
100% pistol! Wind direction could screw the hunter. Just think if you had both spray and pistol sitting in front of you and a bear is charging. What would you grab? Gun for me. But the spray could work
 

AkMtnRunner

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
207
To the ‘never spray’ sayers, what would you do when a bear is just sniffing around and not threatening?

I’ve always liked the additional option to teach a non threatening bear a lesson (to avoid humans) without killing it.
 

jsb

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
69
Spray. If you don't have a grizzly bear tag then you have no business shooting one. If you're scared stay the **** out of the woods.
 

realunlucky

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
8,979
Location
Eastern Utah
Spray. If you don't have a grizzly bear tag then you have no business shooting one. If you're scared stay the **** out of the woods.
Don't take either just let a grizzly chew on your leg.

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mlgc20

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
82
Location
Dallas, TX
I still occasionally carry my 45 when archery hunting. But, I mostly have moved to bear spray. If I’m honest about my capabilities with a handgun and a grizzly charging me, I seriously question my ability to do anything that would prevent that bear from tearing me to pieces. Maybe I hit him with a shot that kills him after he’s using my bones as a toothpick. But, that doesn’t do me any good. I also like having a non-lethal option for other situations like an aggressive stray dog or something like that. Either way, my 300 win mag will be my first line of defense.
 

jsb

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
69
Seriously. All these hunters unloading on bears this year has really made me wonder how it's even legal to carry a sidearm when archery hunting. You CHOSE to go sneaking around in griz country. The bear doesn't deserve a face full of lead because of YOUR highly questionable (common-sense wise) choices for recreation. Bring the spray and take responsibility for your choices. Spray has been proven very effective and it's non-lethal. You owe the bear that much respect when you choose to go tip toeing through its house.
 
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