Sidearm or Not?

hobbes

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
2,035
That'd be some scary stuff. I suppose I'm fortunate to not hunt an area where I'm concerned about it. We did have a job site near a Montana town once where tweakers kept stealing things from the job site at night.

The solution was fake cameras with little blinking lights on. :)
 
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PredatorSlayer

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Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
1,177
Bear spray is cheaper, lighter and more effective against bears than a sidearm (go look at the data). As for people problems, if you haven't got enough sense to get out of the way of a crazy man and prefer to shoot your way to safety, well, I wish you luck.
🤔


Definitely not more effective than a handgun.
 

JordanH

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 9, 2012
Messages
108
Location
CO
I carry my 10mm Glock...until I get tired of it. And bear spray.
 

Sawtoothsteve

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Joined
Dec 24, 2012
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65
Location
Idaho
🤔


Definitely not more effective than a handgun.
Regardless of where you land on spray v. gun, if you are backpack hunting, that should seal the decision.....you cannot reload a spray can after deployment on day 1 of a multi-day hunt. Therefore, after day 1 you have nothing if not carrying a firearm. I'm not opposed to spray, but when more than day-hunting it will always be a sidearm for me.
 

Bighorner

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Nov 15, 2017
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555
Sounds like a lot of you boys are hunting elk on the wrong side of town.
 

deerhunt1988

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Oct 15, 2017
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637
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MS
Regardless of where you land on spray v. gun, if you are backpack hunting, that should seal the decision.....you cannot reload a spray can after deployment on day 1 of a multi-day hunt. Therefore, after day 1 you have nothing if not carrying a firearm. I'm not opposed to spray, but when more than day-hunting it will always be a sidearm for me.
If I have to reload my gun or spray, odds are I've already $hit my pants so I'm coming back out anyway
 

Bighorner

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Nov 15, 2017
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555
I love guns as much as the next american, but after working with the inherit canisters I would choose spay if I had to pick one. There is a way bigger margin of error, you can use it blindly if you had to, and it's not going to poke holes in your buddy if you have to break up a mauling. With that said in griz country I always carry both. With spray being the preference.
 

JREG19

Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
66
Location
Kuna, ID
Last year I slept at least 15 nights in the Idaho backcountry just out under the stars no tent or pistola and didn't have any issues at all.
I think its all about what makes you feel comfortable and is going to help you enjoy your time more. My wife feels more comfortable out there with a pistola. I want her to go with me and feel comfortable so she has a pistola she'll carry.
 

Salmonchaser

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Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
778
Location
Pendleton, Or
I've been on and off the Alaska peninsula every year but this since 1958/59. I've been involved in 4 DLP SHOOTINGS, only one in the last 20. I'm also a 20 year veteran of Swat, kinda proficient with hand guns and O/C. During my 20 year guiding career I sprayed several bears a year, most of those in the last 15. Worked every time including bears that were coming in. Turned every one. I also carried a 454, or a variety of long guns. While I have moved to take advantage of the wind, I've also just sprayed and moved. Idea being don't be where the bear last saw you. We taught that in police work as well.
I don't care if you carry or not, what ever makes you happy. I've read most of the studies so I could better train my new guides, fact of the matter is all our guides have sprayed bears successfully. 90% of the people I've talked to who think bear spray is ineffective, if they have seen a grizz, weren't close enough to spray anyway. That other 5% are guys I know who are skookum and it didn't work for them.
Stay alert consider your options and have fun.
 

Augie

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Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Messages
111
During archery season I don't carry spray or a sidearm unless in grizz country, in that case I may bring a can of bear spray. Mostly I just try to think of where bears are likely to be at certain times of the day and use caution in those areas. During rifle season I hunt with a Marlin 30-30 so I don't carry a sidearm or spray either. Had a close encounter last October with a grizz, dumped a few rounds into the dirt in front of him and backed out of the area.
 

trophyhill

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Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
2,161
Location
Tijeras NM
Bear spray is cheaper, lighter and more effective against bears than a sidearm (go look at the data). As for people problems, if you haven't got enough sense to get out of the way of a crazy man and prefer to shoot your way to safety, well, I wish you luck.
Who's providing the data? An anti gun pro wolf pro bear group?
 

Whisky

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Dec 25, 2012
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1,352
I only carry while hunting, when in Grizz country. Which is not very often.
 

Deadfall

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Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Messages
1,242
I've always been a spray fan grizzly ppaces. It has worked 100 percent of the time for me. However, after last year I now own a 10mm. Will not be carrying spray any longer.

Had several bears under 20 yards/5 steps. Problem being we are seeing more and more old bears that are getting skinny. During archery it's not so bad as food is plentiful. Soon as weather turns and food gets touplaces find. Well them old bears are becoming more aggressive.

I'm just not interested in lugging around 3 or 4 cans of bear spray for 4 months. Odds are good won't use one. What if I needed 5? Anyway it's firearm time near as I'm concerned.

Honestly I'm getting tired of all predators. Sooi....yeah...
 

AbSandy

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
19
How many of you carry a sidearm when archery elk hunting in wilderness areas but not grizzly territory? And of those who do carry, have you ever actually needed it?
ya I carry a Taurus Judge 44 long colt/410 shotgun shells.
 

Bighorner

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Joined
Nov 15, 2017
Messages
555
ya I carry a Taurus Judge 44 long colt/410 shotgun shells.
If you plan on shooting hot loads out of that judge you may want to take a good luck at the cylinder walls. You might be getting more than you bargained for.
 
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