side arms

littlebuf

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Ive asked opinions of this on other forums, but i wonder if there will be a different sentiment here. do you carry a side arm while backpack hunting? i personally have stopped carrying one on all my trips but still take one on occasion. to me there dead weight.lots of guys think that its crazy to go archery hunting in the back country with out one but really a lightweight side arm is more of a security blanket than anything else IMO. little hand gun calibers aren't going to even phase a charging bear.my dad always said you carry a hand gun to shoot your self with before the bear got to you because that's about all there good for out there. what say you?
 

BuckSnort

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They are nice to have when you need them...I usually have my G27 with me when backpacking.. The area's close to home that I pack into are full of bears.. A security blanket maybe..But when the shit hits the fan it's nice to have the option of slinging lead rather than just sucking you're thumb...
 

actionshooter

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I'll pack a G20, 10mm, when archery hunting in bear (griz) country. Otherwise I don't want to pack the extra weight.
 

Hike&Hunt

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I carry a glock 29 10mm, last year in a standoff with a bear at 5 yards I was happy to have my security blanket. With a 10 round clip of hardcast 220 grain its about 29 oz, my daypack is around 15 lbs including the 10mm so the weight isnt an issue to me.
 

belly-deep

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but really a lightweight side arm is more of a security blanket than anything else IMO. little hand gun calibers aren't going to even phase a charging bear.
I can think of two charging grizzlies killed in MT in the last few years off the top of my head. One was in the Gravellys last fall during bow season and one was on the Clearwater Game range during shed hunting season. I think both guns were .44s.

I wouldn't exactly call them "security blankets" but most hunters will never need to use them. And they can stop a charging bear if need be.

I liken them to things like space blankets, emergency matches, and a SPOT beacon. Most of us will never need them, but smart hunters will carry them "just in case".

There is also a big difference in "bear country" across the West. I bet you wouldn't hunt around Yellowstone very long without packing a pistol along.
 

fillthefreezer

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if its a scouting trip i pack, if i have rifle i dont. the wife always packs her 329, 2lbs loaded...
if im scouting without her, i steal it while shes sleeping cus it weighs half what any of my big bore guns weigh..
 

bbrown

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Here is a story for you all that changed how I view carrying a weapon...

Labor day weekend several years ago, I got back into town from a camping trip with every firearm I owned in my truck. After I unloaded all my gear (including weapons) and hopped into my truck to run to the store for some dinner. Less than 2 blocks from my house, I come around the corner in time to see a 90 pound pit bull scale a 3' chain link fence to go after an older couple on a nice afternoon stroll. It was clear the dog had bad intentions and something needed to happen and quick. Now mind you only a few minutes earlier I could have easily handled this situation (and would have without thinking twice) but now all I had was a puny Leatherman and a 3/4 ton diesel. Well I tried to run the dog down with my truck while yelling and honking - without even phasing the dog. I ended up getting in between the couple and the dog just long enough for the old man to jump into the back of the truck but before his wife could make it the pit turned towards her. Thankfully she was able to grab a trash can and fend off the dog long enough for the dog's owner to finally came outside to see what all the ruckus was about and put her dog away. I had the Leatherman in my hand and figured if it came to it and the dog got a hold of either one of them I would do what I could but I REALLY did not like my odds. To make things worse, because of the holiday I could not get the cops or animal control to respond so nothing ever happened to the dog or the owners and for as long as I lived there that dog was still around which made me nervous with all the kids in the neighborhood.

Now I carry regardless if I am in the woods or town and I always have a knife in my pocket. I have spent way too much on firearms and shooting over the years to be completely unprepared if the need ever arises gain. I honestly feel like I did everything I could in the situation and feel like we all got VERY lucky but I would feel terrible if I was ever put in that position again and the outcome was worse.

On the other hand, I just picked up the Ruger LCR in 357 - it weighs in at just a touch over 20oz loaded yet it really is not that bad to shoot. I tuck it into my cargo pocket or on my hip and don’t really even know it’s there. I know 357 is not the greatest bear round but with the right bullets it will do the trick and it will definitely handle anything else running around here in Colorado (regardless of 2 or 4 legs).
 
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littlebuf

littlebuf

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oh i carry in the city.i wouldn't think of not having a pistol on me in seattle. but i find the woods have far less threats than big cities. in reality bear spray is a far more effective deterrent than a hand gun. for 1 its far more efficient under a high stress fast moving situation with a wild animal where you may not have time to react with lethal accuracy.especially with small calibers, bear spry has a pretty large coverage area. 2 it attacks there most sensitive senses directly. and three its far lighter than a 44 or 50 cal hand gun or 10mm for that matter,those calibers being what you could consider "enough" for bears. areas i carry in the woods are where i think i may run into the two legged threat.and more and more these days i'm further and further from those.it always a interesting discussion.
 
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littlebuf

littlebuf

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brown, your story brings up another interesting aspect of the discussion. many guys have no problem heading into town, taking the wife to dinner or going to see a midnight showing of a new movie completely unarmed but don't dare step into the woods with out a side arm and sometimes a backup magazine. what scenario do you guys find not only more dangerous but also find your selves in more. the woods or town? i know we'd all like to say the woods but reality is the other way around. not trying to argue here like i said i just find the perspective interesting when it comes to perceived security.really i'm just trying to keep my mind off how far away monday morning is.2 week back pack trip starts the 3rd. still havent decided if i will have a side arm on me or not,ironic i know...
 

fillthefreezer

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i c.a.n.t. in town, around the house, at the groc etc. i find it funny when my city friends talk about wanting to buy a gun so they can take it in the woods when i have my guns to take when i have to go to town.
 

Matt Cashell

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littlebuf,

I am with you. I carry every day I am not in the woods. I carry UDAP bear spray in the woods.

I can't take a pistol with me through Canada, so it will be bear spray for me in AK too.
 

bbrown

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littlebuff - you make a very valid point and one that I wish more people would stop to think about.
Town - no doubt about it and I live in what many would consider a great place to raise your family (just ask all those damn magazines who keep printing it while our traffic keeps getting worse and worse). At the same time, I am only an hour north of the theatre where the shootings took place and I have a low income housing complex not far from my house that attracts some less than desirable people.

On the other hand, I have stumbled onto a at least one pot grow, a couple of old meth shacks and a handful of odd ducks that my gut was telling me to put some distance between us while in the woods. Hell last year I about shot a neurotic bull (the one with horns not antlers) that loved to hide in an alder thicket and charge you right when you got in the middle creek crossing. It always happend 2 hours before light and by the third morning I was over it...

The bottom line is I want to prepared regardless of where I am - I would feel pretty stupid to have a sweet CC piece at home on my night stand when I truly needed it. Plus I just sleep better with a pistol within reach…
 

7mag.

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I always carry when I leave the house. In town it's my 1911, and in the woods, I don't care as much if it's a long gun or a sidearm. I find myself leaving the heavy sidearm home more and more while carrying a rifle though. Besides, carrying a sidearm where you can get to it quick, while backpacking is a challenge.
 

Lawnboi

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Iv always got my glock on me whenever im traveling or in the woods. Never know whats going to happen.

Id really like to get one of those compact glocks eventually.
 

actionshooter

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I'll tell ya what, when you are packing a stick and string 40 miles north of Yellowstone in a wilderness area and you walk over a cow elk burried in a dirt pile. You will pray to god you have either bear spray or a gun. I personally am way more comfy with my 10mm than bear spray. I know what I am capable of and I can draw my pistol and hit a target way faster than I could even get a spray cannister out, let alone fumble around trying to get it pointed in the right direction.
Thats just me.
 

bobhunts

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In Colorado I usually don't carry but when I do it is a Glock 29 in 10mm. I will also bring that one with me to Alaska next year as well the bear spray. If the spray works I'll use it but like the comfort of last resort when down and out and the 10 mm is one that will not kill you to shoot it and still have some security should the need arise and everything goes weird at that moment. Not like shooting the S&M .500 but not as good too.
 

pyroducksx3

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Bucksnort that sign is hilarious!
I carry a glock 29 city or woods. Out in town its in a crossbreed no tuck deluxe (the most comfortable IWB colncela holster ever) with hornady critical defense ammo. In the woods its in a black hawk serpa paddle holster with double tap 200gr cast bullets. The blackhawk holster slips over the packbelt and is easy to get to, the if I need to drop the pack I just slide it off and put it on my belt.
 

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pyroducksx3

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Nope hasnt bothered me at all, dont even feel it. The only thing that is bothersome is that becasue its lose when taking the pack on and off it flips over that narrow strap so I just have to slide it back down. When its on its no problem. Im looking into a different blackhawk that actually clamps to a strap(but is still removable) vs the paddle portion. I have a few hikers notice it and say that is a great Idea mine is stuffed into my pack where I cant get to it quickly. I carried it crossdraw before I mounted my bino harness on that side.
 
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