Why You Camp/Hike with Enough Gun


April 14, 2006, 08:16 PM
Hikers are usually villified on hiking boards if they mention firearm carry.

However, this story should be enough to remind folks that they call it the wild for a reason.


Six-year-old camper killed by bear
Hunt for black bear is on

Friday, April 14, 2006; Posted: 5:25 p.m. EDT (21:25 GMT)

BENTON, Tennessee (AP) -- Using traps baited with honey buns and doughnuts, authorities Friday tried to capture a potentially crazed black bear that killed a 6-year-old girl and mauled her mother and 2-year-old brother.

It was only the second documented attack on a human by a black bear in modern Tennessee history, said state Wildlife Resources Agency spokesman Dan Hicks.

The attack took place Thursday at a waterfall near a campground in the Cherokee National Forest, where rangers said the animal might have been suffering from a disease that affected its behavior.

"It's a pretty rare thing. Black bears generally don't attack people," ranger Monty Williams said.

Witnesses said the bear snatched up the boy in its mouth as the mother and other visitors tried to fend it off with sticks and rocks. The 6-year-old girl ran away but was later found dead about 100 yards down the trail, a bear standing over her, authorities said.

A rescuer fired a shot that scared the animal off, Hicks said.

Both the mother and boy were listed in critical condition at a Chattanooga hospital but were expected to recover. The boy suffered head wounds, mostly likely from being bitten, while the mother had eight puncture wounds to the neck and too many others to count elsewhere on her body, doctors said.

Authorities have not been able to talk to the mother because of her injuries. "She may not remember the attack at all," Hicks said.

Authorities would not release the victims' names but said the family was from Ohio.

Lynn Rogers of the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minnesota, said that there have been only 56 documented killings of humans by black bears in North America in the past 100 years. Rogers said the current population of black bears in North America is around 750,000, and there is generally fewer than one killing a year.

In May 2000, a woman was killed by a black bear near Gatlinburg as she walked on a trail near a Smoky Mountains campground.

Joe Clark, a wildlife ecologist with the U.S. Geological Service who has been studying black bears for about 20 years, said injuries or sickness can make them more aggressive.

"I've never experienced any type of aggression in all my time in the woods," he said. "Typically you won't encounter one because they sense your presence a long time before you sense theirs."

"As the populations of people and bears continue to grow there will be more opportunities for this type of thing," Clark said. "We are dealing with a large, powerful wild animal."

Authorities at the Cherokee National Forest set out traps for the bear and said that if the animal is captured it will be killed so tests can be done to determine if it was ill.

"We may never find it," Hicks said. "It may be on the top of another mountain by now."

The attack occurred in a mountainous area, 10 miles from the nearest highway. The national forest covers 1,000 square miles along the Tennessee-North Carolina line.

No more than six groups of campers were at the campground at the time, and they were evacuated after the attack, Hicks said.

He said that this is the time of year when bears are usually active, and that there have been 42 bear sightings in the area in the past couple of weeks.

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Darth Ruger
April 14, 2006, 08:27 PM
A rescuer fired a shot that scared the animal off, Hicks said.I saw the video of that story this morning. In that report, they said one of the rangers (or wardens, or whoever responded) shot at the bear and actually hit it and it escaped wounded, and then they started hunting it. I don't know which version is correct, wounded or not, or if they've caught up with it yet.

April 14, 2006, 09:48 PM
That is why I always carry, even at home. Had a bear breakin attempt at my home about 18 months ago. Dog chased it off, but you never know with bears, mountain lions and human opportunists. I have had the most troubles with the human variety of predator.

April 15, 2006, 04:01 AM
I read that someone shot at the bear but no blood trail was found.

I'm thinking I need a Glock 20 in 10mm?

I just missed a consignment sale of a S&W model 60 in .357 with a 3inch barrel .., that might make a nice hinking gun too.

Baba Louie
April 15, 2006, 07:16 AM
Depends on where you go a-hiking and what you might run into. Bears, Cats, Wolves(?), 2-legged ner-do-wells, rabid skunks, venomous snakes, BigFoot...

Just like CCW in a city, one needs to tune into the surrounding environment and not allow self and children (especially children) to "ditty-bop" in a condition white, la-de-da mode. One should always have some type of implement for defense of self and family at hand and should not have that right infringed by any, at the risk of repeating myself, by ANY, Gov't agency when THEY are not my keeper, my mother or my dad and things are out there that can, and will, eat you or yours.

But whaddaIknow?

April 15, 2006, 09:30 AM
Heres a story about bringing enough gun. An older gentleman I know was hiking out west in the 60's when he was charged by a grizzly bear or brown bear (I don't remember which.) He killed it with one shot between the eyes using his Ruger MK1.

Desk Jockey
April 15, 2006, 11:33 AM
The Cherokee National Forest (where this incident occurred) should re-think their current policy:

"Use, possession or transportation of firearms, bow & arrows and other arms or ammunition are prohibited, except during designated hunting seasons. While possessing a firearm for the purpose of hunting you must have a valid state hunting license in your possession for the species you intend to hunt. The firearm possessed must be of the type legal for hunting the species that are in season. Firearms must be unloaded during transport. While camping firearms must remain in camp except during legal hunting hours."

April 15, 2006, 08:11 PM
I dont care what the postings in the area say, I dont camp without my Redhawk.

Stupid laws are there to give you something to ignore.

April 15, 2006, 08:30 PM
The interview I saw this morning said he shot at it with a .380.


April 16, 2006, 02:33 AM
when i go for a walk in the woods, i usually carry a Dan Wesson 15-2HV, with hollow point 357's in it... bears are kind of rare in my neck of the woods, but not totally unheard of... even seen 1 or 2 muself over the years... NOT something i care to screw around with...

April 16, 2006, 03:26 AM
Hikers are usually villified on hiking boards if they mention firearm carry.

This is pathetic considering that often times humans in the woods can be far more dangerous than any other animal. In January of this year about 40 miles south of Gaineville two Sante Fe Community College students from Gainesville were killed while camping in the Ocala National Forest. The killer (Leo Boatman) was a 19 year old that stole an AK from him uncle and shot the two students in cold blood for no aparent reason. If I recall correctly the Ocala National Forest was also the scene of one of serial killer Aileen Wuornos' killings. I agree with others that any law banning firearms in a national forest is stupid. People need to be able defend themselves regardless of what type of animal (human's included) it is attacking them.

April 16, 2006, 06:19 AM
enough gun???

enough to get it angry is about it!

April 16, 2006, 07:03 AM
If the gun was a 380, then it was a 380. First I heard that. Enough gun? I would use whatever I got and in many cases it would be a 22. This incident does make you rethink some of your choices for general woods carry. You can pretty much run into a Black Bear anywhere in the Eastern US.

April 16, 2006, 10:06 AM
Here's another "rare incident" posted in today's news...


Mountain lion attacks 7-year-old hiker
Boy suffers puncture wounds; cat later killed by wildlife officer

Sunday, April 16, 2006; Posted: 9:47 a.m. EDT (13:47 GMT)

BOULDER, Colorado (AP) -- A 7-year-old boy hiking with his family was attacked Saturday by a mountain lion, officials said. The cat was later killed by a wildlife officer.

The mountain lion bit the boy's head or jaw, and the child also suffered puncture wounds or scrapes on his legs, likely from the animal's claws, Division of Wildlife spokesman Tyler Baskfield said.

The boy, whose name was not released, was apparently the last in a single-file line of seven other people taking a short hike at a scenic area of Flagstaff Mountain, Baskfield said.

"The father turned and saw the cat had a hold of the young boy," he said. The group began screaming at the cat and throwing rocks and was able to free the boy, he said.

The group was 50 yards from a parking lot when the cat attacked, Baskfield said.

The boy was initially listed in stable condition at Boulder Community Hospital. He was later transferred to The Children's Hospital in Denver, Baskfield said, but he did not know the boy's condition.

An officer fatally shot the cat early Sunday in the same area of the attack, Baskfield said. It was killed in the interest of public safety, he said.

Baskfield said the mountain is prime habitat for the cats, and there had been several recent sightings of mountain lions west of Boulder.

"This is a very rare incident to happen," Baskfield said. "Mountain lions tend to be very elusive. Typically mountain lions don't want any part of people."

April 16, 2006, 10:16 AM
Hikers are usually villified on hiking boards if they mention firearm carry.

Did you ever read "Backpacker" or "Outdoor" magazine? I cancelled my subsriptions years ago as they are far left, ultra liberal and very anti-gun and everything else we value. When I hike, backpack or camp, I'm armed wherever I go.

April 16, 2006, 10:32 AM
Myself, wife, and young son often camp around Upstate NY. We always have our 357 wheelies loaded.

Signs or no signs, what cannot be seen is not noticed.

Dan Morris
April 16, 2006, 10:57 AM
Camping, dad n son BOTH carry either 357's or 44mag. We've had to back out of a few bear encounters.......so far, without having to use them. I'd rather have em and not need one than the alternative.

April 16, 2006, 11:15 AM
"Typically you won't encounter one because they sense your presence a long time before you sense theirs."

Well, I dunno about that ... though I guess I would never know how many times a bear has seen me that I haven't seen him/her.;)

But I have almost stepped on a sleeping black bear twice now (not the same bear) and I have found bears in general to be pretty easy to sneak up on. Their sense of smell is supposed to be phenomenal, but their hearing and sight aren't much to brag about.

I have actually followed bears around for a while, and if you stay downwind and stop moving when they look towards you, you can get awfully close :uhoh:

April 16, 2006, 11:19 AM
I agree with others that any law banning firearms in a national forest is stupid.

Carry in National Forests is usually OK if carry in the same state is OK. It's carry in National Parks that is out. Still stupid though :fire:

April 16, 2006, 11:39 AM
I never went into the woods up in the
woods around fairbanks AK without
being armed.Mossberg 500 with slugs
and S&W M 28 were my companions.

Gun Wielding Maniac
April 16, 2006, 01:02 PM
Speaking of hiking with firearms... I'm kinda lazy and am curious... Is it legal to carry SBR's or machine guns in the woods for self-defense? I know it isnt during hunting season in most states, but, say in KY...? I have a Yugoslavian M92 SBR that I think would be a wonderful camp gun for those long hiking trips. 30 rounds of 7.62x39mm would be a great deterent for both two and four legged predators.

April 16, 2006, 02:01 PM
But I have almost stepped on a sleeping black bear twice now... Um, why would you want to do that?:neener:

Such a tragic story, and I was shocked to hear the bear attacked because black bears are not aggressive.:(

My husband & I went off-roading in a rented Mercury Marquis :rolleyes: in Northern California many years ago. We were driving some mountain road when we spotted a small bear up ahead. I began rolling up my window while my husband yelled for me to get the camera so he could take pictures!:D The bear ran away from us and all we ended up with was a black blur against a backdrop of evergreen trees. That and our memories.

I'd definitely carry if I'm going into the woods. More in the case of the two legged predator than the four.:eek:

April 16, 2006, 02:55 PM
A couple of years back I went hiking with my daughter up near Moose Lake in the Western Adirondacks. I carried my P99 and an extra mag. The firearm was for the two legged creatures rather than the four legged. I have since carried a Mod.27 in the woods. I like the .357. I carry two speed loaders with me as well.

The .357 is large enough for taking on a Black bear as well as a miscreant. I may start carrying a Model 10 though. The odds of being attacked by a Black bear are awful low round these parts. I think the .38 should do the trick. Maybe I'll carry the 10 on my hip and put the 27 in my pack. Just a thought.

April 16, 2006, 02:59 PM
Just had a blurb on cablenews that local forest officials think they've killed the bear involved in the attack. No other details.

April 16, 2006, 03:04 PM
PATH - "Maybe I'll carry the 10 on my hip and put the 27 in my pack. Just a thought."

I don't see the logic in that. Why carry two guns, one "for bad guys," and one "for bad bears?" If a "bad bear" comes at you, you'll not have time to get your 27 out of your backpack.

Why not just carry your S&W 27, which will handle BOTH?? :confused:


April 16, 2006, 04:13 PM
Out and about on private property, out in the country and such as I do, always carried , even nothing else a CCW while in a back yard. Packs of rabid dogs do roam, and sometimes the smells of cooking outdoors draws them in.

Always been one concerned getting to and fro, including hunting, fishing, hiking areas.

Even back in the Big City, bears, oh yeah, we have these and other critters too. Everyone once in awhile a bear comes into town, more often deer, plenty of raccoons.

Now we have parks, a few mountains, ans such, where I most often used to see bears was down near the river. Landscape such, even with a RR track, bears and other critters live below the houses since built up higher.

Now Homeland Security and War on "[]" does not allow folks to enter where we used to , and access areas to fish.

The two black bears wanted my fish it seems in the River, on the stringer. Then two cubs appear between me and momma and papa.

Time for me to leave, My name is Steve, I'll be your waiter, fish is over there and excuse me, gotta check on the hushpuppies....

I was armed with a 1911, and had my traveling pump gun cruiser ready with slugs in the vehicle. I just eased back, tossed them a pack of smokes, kept easing walking backward and my vehicle had been backed in...so I eased off. They seemed happy I had left and focused on my stringer of crappie, and one bass.

This within view from a bridge a Freeway uses, and only 1/2 mile from a 4 lane road in the Big City.

Still, I have been able to view from safer areas the cubs rolling down the hill, playing, and Momma bear keeping watch. Cubs are cute and funny little critters.

Tossing the Marlboros past the cubs , had them head toward momma...just flung them like a frisbee. Cubs about 8 - steps away, momma and papa another 5- 7 steps.

As big as they are, with the woods, gravel , and all they were silent, and quick coming down.

Steel Combat Commander sure looks smaller in that light of day...

April 17, 2006, 01:13 AM
I've said it a dozen times, it's the reason I carry my Delta Elite in the Hiawatha National Forest and surrounding areas of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Most to worry about are dogs, but the occasional bear attack surprises and shocks the nonchalant residents of the area and gives me "I told you so" vindication. 200 gr solids for me.

Sgt Stevo
April 17, 2006, 02:48 AM
I hike and work dogs three to five times a week in the hills above the bay area.

If I were to carry any gun, anywere, I could go to jail. At best i can carry my taser and that is a grey area.

there are lion warnings posted all around. One was killed like block from Svens old house last year.

A dog got ended about half a mile from my house, in its own backyard. I am not so worried me being attacked, as my three year old, or one of the $5,000 dogs I am working.

PRK sucks

April 17, 2006, 03:25 AM
"Typically you won't encounter one because they sense your presence a long time before you sense theirs."

Well this is ridiculous. Of course the normal animals well avoid humans as much as possible It is the non-normals that you should be concerned about.

* The momma bear on one side of the trail and cub bear(s) on the 'tother with you in between.

* The injured and starving bear ready to eat anything the presents itself ("Keep those dinner bells on the shoes ringing!")

* The suprised bear.

* And worst of all, the rogue bear.

I was hiking up in the North Cascades (Copper Ridge?) and we ran into a gut who was skidaddling because a bear chased him up a tree and tore his camp apart. He had tried making a fire (no no for the Ranger), banging pots together, flaling arms about and shouting. Bear was not impressed. He retreated to the tree while the bear examined his tent, backpack, etc. He was hiking out that morning as we were going in with literally the shirt on his back and pretty rattled.

Later we met the Ranger who was patrolling that area and she warned us that there was a rogue teenage bear harrassing hikers at the pass. I noticed that although the National recreation area is posted as no firearms, she was armed with what looked like a N-Frame either .357 or .44. Why is is necessary for Rangers to be armed with a dangerous bear about and hikers are told to wear bells on the shoelaces and curl into a fetal position if attacked?

I felt better having my BIL's Python with me (discretely of course). On the way out the next day we had to go back through that pass at twilight and we were hyper alert the last several miles in the dark back to the trailhead. Ever since then bells and flashlights on the trail remind me more of live bait than "warning to animals that man treads the trail."

Just as I am not concerned for my safety from the 98% of humans I encounter that are anything from welcoming to anonymous, I am also not much concerned about 98% of the cougars, rattlers and bears I might encounter on the trail. It is that 2% you catch in a grumpy or hungry mood that concerns me and makes me think it only prudent to be armed while hiking.

April 17, 2006, 11:21 AM
What I carry in the wilderness is between me and whatever "predator" decides to introduce itself along the way.... ;)

...Ranger Rick need not inquire... :fire:

April 17, 2006, 01:18 PM
Ever since an incident I had 15 or more years ago I don't go into the woods unarmed. If firearms are not allowed I go somewhere else. I was backpacking with my wife in Montana and we were three days away from any trail head. We had made camp and went for a day hike to explore. When we got back to camp there were two slimy looking guys going through our stuff. I had a Dan Wesson .357 in a shoulder holster that was in my hand before they even knew I was there. I told them to drop everything and leave. They had most of our gear packed up and were going to leave us with nothing. Had I not been armed???????? Anyway, tree hugging outdoor lovers be damned, in the wilderness there is only one law and survival is a individual sport.

Camp David
April 17, 2006, 01:35 PM
While the bear attack on hiker in TN and the moutain lion attack on hiker in Co are rare, far more frequent are attacks on hikers from other humans while out in the country! Therefore carrying a weapon of some type while hiking makes good sense in most cases! Laws restricting the carrying of weapons by states while hiking need to measured against your own safety while hiking against a demonstrated threat.

Personally I think all of these attacks are good advertising for Ruger's new Alaskan....

April 17, 2006, 07:34 PM
I usually go to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to enjoy the outdoors. First choice is my Colt Anaconda 4 inch barrel. Second choice is my Colt Delta Elite 10mm.
In my opinion, people who go into the deep forest without any means of protection are lacking common sense. Bears during the spring time are hungry because they haven't eaten since the start of winter. Wild pig are unperdictable. Most people don't even survive a cougar attack. Also, there are other people out there who may be boobie trapping their marijuana crop. You just never know. It is not like my cell phone will work out their so I can call for help.

Gun Wielding Maniac
April 17, 2006, 07:35 PM
Anyone got any info on carrying NFA weapons in National Forest lands or Wilderness areas?

April 17, 2006, 07:46 PM
the best bear repealant= Smith and Wesson Model 500 w/ 4" barrel

Scott Daw
April 18, 2006, 12:41 AM
I camp with my pistol for just this reason. I'll also turkey hunt with a slug as my 2nd shot since I turkey hunt in a very beary area (Lycoming county).

April 18, 2006, 02:57 AM
the best bear repealant= Smith and Wesson Model 500 w/ 4" barrel

Bear stopper = 4" S&W 500 , For everything else = Glock 29 10mm

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