Self Defence in Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness


August 18, 2008, 03:29 PM
What firearm and set up would you suggest for boundary waters keep portages in mind.

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August 18, 2008, 03:51 PM
Assuming it's legal, I would suggest a .357 in a shoulder rig.

August 18, 2008, 03:57 PM
A stainless .357 on the shoulder.

August 18, 2008, 04:45 PM
Better include a GPS to keep you out of Canada so as to not to run afoul of their firearms laws.

August 18, 2008, 05:14 PM
Better stick to a cheap 12 ga. pump--you'll end up in Canada when you least expect it.

August 18, 2008, 07:10 PM
Take two Boy Scout's,...they usually smell bad enuff after the third day to keep anything away. Only kidding,...sort of,...But we have Scout's go up there all season long without issue. I do agree with Neo-Luddite though, may wind up in Canadian territory and not know it. If you simply must,...make it a pump.

Duke Junior
August 18, 2008, 07:15 PM
Been there.Agree with the .357 and the GPS!

August 18, 2008, 09:23 PM
I'll REVISE my statement, as the .357 (or similar) makes more logistical sense. Bring a 1) revolver you can stand to part with 2) and a Canada-legal long gun to keep packed up.

August 18, 2008, 11:11 PM
Haha, so I guess you drop the revolver in the lake once you get to Canada... what revolver, eh

August 18, 2008, 11:12 PM
About the 12 gauge where do you put it when you portage

Ukraine Train
August 19, 2008, 12:25 AM
Funny this comes up. I'm going to Boundary Waters next weekend with a few buddies. I don't have a handgun big enough for really big animals so I was going to bring my Mossberg 500 12ga. I'll probably strap it across the top of my pack during portages and wrap it in one of those dry bags. Are long guns legal in Canada? I didn't consider that we might be crossing the border inadvertently.

Duke Junior
August 19, 2008, 01:01 AM
Are long guns legal in Canada? I didn't consider that we might be crossing the border inadvertently.

Certain long guns are legal,have to have at least an 18" barrel to start with,but it's hard to do that paperwork when you're out in the middle of that lake!Just kidding.
I'll try to find the Canadian website for the info.Or perhaps some forum member has it bookmarked.

This appears to be it.

August 19, 2008, 01:12 AM
make sure that long guns are legal for you to own and carry in Canada. Firearms ownership in the USA is a lot more strict if you're not a citizen and I'd imagine Canada has its own laws with foreigners bringing guns into their territory...especially without declaring them.

August 19, 2008, 01:34 AM
If only for self defense a center fire handgun would be best. Perhaps a .44 Mag. The biggest animal you will possibly encounter that will hurt you is the Moose , followed by the Black bear. Both rarely a problem in that area though. Then of course the two legged kind that can be anywhere.

Just stay the hell out of Canada no matter what your packing for a gun.

August 19, 2008, 01:53 AM
Here is another way of putting it. If you bring a firearm into Mexico, you could find yourself in a Mexican prison until after the start of the next decade depending on what kind of gun it is.
While Canada may be a little easier about it, its better not to risk it.

Here is a site that might help get you started. If you're only going for recreation, just carry a knife you don't mind dumping in the water if need be.

August 20, 2008, 09:05 PM
cheap nickel plated rossi 357. goes bang every time and won't break your heart if you ditch it. New england firearms single shot 10 or 12 ga. cheap and again goes bang every time and wont break your heart or bank.
maybe even a khurkri knife -vegetation/ multipurpose / self defense blade.
take your pick or take them all. the total weight isn't terrible for all. the long gun may get in the way during portage though. unless maybesecured in the boat.

August 20, 2008, 10:50 PM
I just had an idea for storage... look on brigade qm for a pelican rifle case and just strap it firmly to the thwart presto just add guns

August 20, 2008, 10:53 PM
About staying out of Canada... isn't going to happen anyone out for an adventure will cross the border during certain portages then loop back down into the US for a campsite

August 21, 2008, 12:24 AM
I got this from a BWCA site :
Some small fireworks are now legal in Minnesota. How about carrying a few of those instead for the bears, etcetera?

If you have a problem bear, just light off a couple of those, the bear doesn't know the difference and is scared off.

Can you imagine seeing a black bear that has been surprised by you on a portage and charging you? You dig in your pocket for the firecrackers and a ligther (hopefully, in a different pocket for safety) and yell, "Wait a second for me to light this and for this fuse to burn down a bit!" Bear appetizer. Num-num.

By all means bring something with some power to it like a .45ACP or .357Mag

Do you have a carry permit? You can still carry it even if you don't - just carry it exposed.

August 21, 2008, 01:16 PM
I'm with Mooney and also the bear would probably come out of the brush right in front or behind you in my mind that would be enough time to drop the canoe as a barrier and fire

August 21, 2008, 04:06 PM
It wasn't to long ago that some locals up there were convicted of terrorizing campers and canoers with late night rifle fire...

August 21, 2008, 04:53 PM
This whole border thing may not really be an depends on where you are going. You could canoe the "Boundary Waters" and still be tens of miles from the boundary.

Ukraine Train
August 27, 2008, 06:28 PM
Is it legal to carry a loaded gun up there if you're not a MN resident? I'm not sure if it's classified as a national forest or what.

August 27, 2008, 06:39 PM
Hi, I am Canadian, I live in Quebec city (you should know what i'm talking about, lol) and I can tell you some about Canadian laws.
First, here in Canada hunting rifles are not "restricted", just a "fully auto 12 gauge megagun" would be.
So any kind of hunting rifle, but don't bring an AR-15 with you or you take the rish to stay here for a while (you know what I mean), here in Canada we aren't kidding with abroad stuff coming in.
Since you know that, you should know that handguns are not prohibited in Canada. I mean by that that we have gun ranges in every city, handgun shooting included. BUT, you aren't allowed to carry a handgun wether you are in great danger in front of a grizzly or not. We aren't kidding with that stuff too.
So, anyway with a GPS you shouldn't brake in here, or maybe yes, cause we well know that there is not a Great Yellow Line in the middle of a lake, it's more like a territory.
Here we are more likely to spot you, pass close to you (check if there is no Ziplocks filled with white stuff, things like that... you know what I mean), say have a nice day! or if you are in french speaking territory say Bonne journée à vous! and let you continue enjoying your day.

August 27, 2008, 06:44 PM
I've never heard of anyone having trouble there. You'd think more Boy Scouts would get eaten.

Ukraine Train
August 28, 2008, 11:02 PM
So I'm all packed up to leave tomorrow and I can't really find a good way to strap my shotgun to my pack. I could put it sideways across the top of the frame but then it'll be sweeping someone's head every time i turn so that's a no go. I'm also concerned about it getting wet and dinged up in the canoe. My biggest handgun is a 9mm. Way smaller than ideal but I may just bring that. Time to get a snub .500 lol.

September 7, 2008, 03:53 PM
Do you have any revolvers because you could use cci shotgun loads for 357 not exactly the ideal shotgun though lol

September 7, 2008, 04:03 PM
Hearsay and speculation on a forum site are not very reliable. Check with Canadian authorities and ensure the legality of what you're carrying and how you're passing back and forth across an international border.

September 8, 2008, 01:02 PM
for pistols that is.....

pattern them in your revolver first!!!

rifled barrel does things differently to scatter shot....
there's a reason shot guns are smoothbore.

I like the advice of pistol shotshells but definitely practice and see what they do. You may just find a hole in your patterning on paper that will be nice to know about in advance...

September 8, 2008, 08:39 PM
I live right up there. Don't worry about going into Canada. From the BWCA you have to consiously try to go to Canada to end up there from the BWCA. There's a large body of water separating Canada and the BWCA.

I would not recommend a "long gun" because it'll be too heavy and cumbersome for what you'll be doing where you're going. I'd recommend a .357 magnum or a .44 magnum revolver and maybe one or two extra moonclips just to make you feel better. The only critters you need to worry about up here are black bears (garbage fed and people tamed) and wolves, timber and regular. We've got plenty of both up here.

Edit: A 10mm would be good too.

Ukraine Train
September 8, 2008, 10:17 PM
I ended up just carrying my Sig P6 9mm. The most ferocious thing I ran across was a very noisy squirrel lol. It was absolutely beautiful up there and worth the 2000mi round trip.

September 9, 2008, 02:55 AM
Fished and hunted a lot of that area with deer hunt annually near
Effie east of where you talk of. Many years spent at a family cabin
on Eagle's Nest Lake, with a walk in to Bearhead Lake. Teen years
spent on the Gunflint Trail and beyond. Not much in the way of
Canada gun laws in the 50's. Nothing dangerous enough to war-
rent a protection gun. Most was once a ticked off moose chased
and challenged us. Carried a 22 handgun to supplement food supply
when tiring of fish. Timber wolves and bear were seldom seen except
for tracks. In Canada each Povidence have their own law. Ont. used
to be very tolerant in those days without restrictions to speak of. No
great distance portages in that area you plan on. Many areas, ya can
almost throw the canoe from one lake to another. The less weight
possible would be my thought. Do you really feel the need for protection?
Can remember a few dinners of fool hens harvested without firearms.
Can't tell ya how they had an accident and fell out of a tree:D

September 9, 2008, 05:41 PM
I agree, its not much needed, but it dosent hurt to have piece of mind.

In that area, Id pack a .357, stainless, whatever model tickles yer fancy.

September 9, 2008, 06:37 PM
Been there many times and never really saw any threatening widlife. I did run across a big black bear once, a couple of just jumped on the picnic table and threw some big chunks of firewood at him and away he went. The sites are isolate denough that no one is going to hike up behind you and you should be able to hear anyone coming by water. I never found the need, but if you feel it necessary I would take a short barreled single shot 12 or 20 ga and a small assortment of ammo. I would recommend a box of slugs and a slug box full of some heavy shot #4 buck or bigger. Most of the single shot models should be short enough that they can be strapped to the side of whatever pack you are carrying without being too much of a hindrance.

More importantly be sure you bring a good quality waterproof camera and some good rain gear as I have never made a trip without getting rain on at least once. And have fun, it truly is an amazing place.

Duke Junior
September 9, 2008, 06:45 PM
Do you really feel the need for protection?

Oohrah,I did and do everywhere.
Evil can strike anywhere,anytime, even in beautiful Boundary Waters.

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