.357 vs black bear


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SimplyChad
April 19, 2011, 10:44 PM
This coming weekend my wife and 2 of our friends are planning a camping trip. The trip has been in the works for weeks. Any way the camp area has recently seen quite a few black bear sightings. So here is my thing is a 357 mag from a 3 in barrel adequate to stop bears or should I lug the 06 out

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Owen Sparks
April 19, 2011, 11:18 PM
I would opt for the '06.

RKRCPA
April 19, 2011, 11:18 PM
Just make sure you can out run the girls. :)

PcolaDawg
April 19, 2011, 11:27 PM
When I backpacked on the AT I ran into a number of black bears, but none of them acted aggressive towards me (thank goodness). If I was backpacking today, I'd carry a gun - but it would be a light Smith 642 J Frame. Mainly because backpacking is tough enough without carrying a cannon.

If I was going car camping in an area that bears were frequently sighted today, I would take the biggest frickin' hand cannon I could get away with.

SimplyChad
April 19, 2011, 11:41 PM
O I can out run them I just just dont wanna carry the rifle all that time. And its not car camping its just a text small enough to backpack. So the question has yet to be answered. 3 in 357 enough?

ghostwriter
April 19, 2011, 11:47 PM
I go bear hunting with my cousin and his dogs. I usually pack the model 27 in ,357 mag using some 158 gr handcast and handloaded rounds but cous carries his 30-06 as a backup. So far it's bears-0 me-3. The biggest weighed in at 375#. Every shot was up a tree and usually under the chin... dead on the ground impact.

SimplyChad
April 19, 2011, 11:49 PM
thank you

Water-Man
April 20, 2011, 12:02 AM
I carry a .357 loaded with Buffalo Bore 180gr. LFN-GC. More effective than 158gr..

ArfinGreebly
April 20, 2011, 12:07 AM
My grandfather hunted bear with a .357 mag pistol.

Thing is, it was a heavy N-frame beast with a barrel of at least six inches.

He was shooting what was at the time a "standard" load of 158 grain cast lead (as well as some of his own custom bullets) at 1500+ fps.

Today's .357 revolvers are typically K-frame, and not built to take the punishment of the original standard load. A carbine in that caliber would be fine for heavy loading, but the handguns of today that have made a name for themselves in bear hunting are for the most part .41 magnum and up.

And I'm gonna guess you're not gonna find those calibers in the K-frame sizes.

I have read in a couple of places that there's a Buffalo Bore cartridge that can be effective from a four-or-six-inch K-frame, but you would want to do your homework on that.

If weight and convenience are the main issue, the .357 will be better than nothing, but waiting until less than a week before an outing to wonder about the equipment kind of compromises your flexibility in exercising new purchase options.

The '06 may be more effective, but will you lug it with you everywhere you need to go?

If you do choose the .357, at least grab some hunting ammo. Your standard self-defense loads are probably not gonna be what you want for bear duty.

9MMare
April 20, 2011, 12:08 AM
Why are you worried about black bears? Act appropriately, dont leave your garbage or food around, and you'll be fine. They dont attack people.

If you have to use a firearm on a black bear....the fault is almost certainly yours. Just back or walk away.

Signed,
ex-park ranger

twofifty
April 20, 2011, 01:16 AM
These bear threads come up all the time. You'd think there were as many bears in the "woods" as there are terrorists on the AT. ;-)

I've roamed the trails and hollows of Appalachia, the Adirondaks, the Whites, the Greens over many years. Not to mention the Rockies, the Sierras. No bear problems at my campsites, ever. Keeping a clean camp, keeping the 'kitchen' away from the sleeping area (I love bivvy sacks outside of fly season), keeping the food strung up or locked in the provided food lockers (think AT or NPs) are great ways not to have to deal with bears.

I've seen several dozen bears -blacks and grizzly- and only once felt the need to chase one away. Used a bear banger for that. Don't get me wrong, you have to keep your senses about you.

But hiking the woods is not like clearing your house at 3am, slicing the pie at every tree or shadow looking for a crack-crazed assasin.

OP, believe me the woods and the animals that live there are not like the Big Bad Wolf of storybook fame. There is nothing quite like laying down in a bivvy sack in the middle of bear and wolf country, and falling asleep to a crisp star-filled sky, a crystal clear trout-laden river gurgling past your campsite. The wolf or coyote howls certainly add to the drama. So do the inevitable rustlings of small mammals (watch out for racoons) or ungulates ambling past your campsite.

What you really need to watch out for are:
- red ants
- ticks
- black flies
- mosquitoes
- horse & deer flies
- leeches
- scorpions
- snakes
- dehydration
- sunstroke
- breaking a leg
- giardia
- mice & packrats on the AT
- hypothermia / heatstroke

Those are the real dangers!

Sport45
April 20, 2011, 03:51 AM
There's a huge difference between hunting bears and defending yourself from one. Sure, a .357 under the chin of a bear up a tree will kill it. An arrow would do the same.

If the bear is bounding toward you in a real attack do you think you can make a CNS shot that will stop it? Do you think he'll even notice or care about a .357 slug that doesn't hit the CNS?

I think bear spray is your answer. Of course, this isn't a bear spray forum so the suggestion isn't likely to get much support. ;)

(I'm glad I've never been threatened by a bear, wolf, or other predator.)

mbt2001
April 20, 2011, 04:08 AM
.357 with 158 or 180 grain rounds (soft point) will do fine. The bear pepper spray works and less danger of park rangers getting irritated with you if you use the spray.

TomCat5
April 20, 2011, 04:49 AM
Chad, keep the 357 close, but keep the bear spray even closer. Your much more likely to get out of such situations unharmed using bear spray than if you use a 357. When you hit a charging bear with a 357... all you do is piss him off, which makes matters worse. When you hit a charging bear with bear spray... the charge turns into a full fledged retreat. When big boy can see or breath... survival kicks in and that means RETREAT!!!

jmr40
April 20, 2011, 07:04 AM
Lots of guys say not to worry about black bears because they won't bother you if you keep a clean camp etc.

Generally true, but you have no control over what the guy before you did, and the bears may have learned to associate humans with food and may have lost their natural fear of humans. That is when you have problems. There is an even better possiblity that you may need to use your gun against 2 legged vermin so I'd choose my gun with that thought in mind.

I'd do everything right as far as making sure I didn't attract bears, but I'd be prepared as well with pepper spray as my 1st line of defense and a handgun as backup. I personlly carry a 10mm Glock, but a 357 loaded with good ammo would be a fine choice as well. Both would be just fine for anythinbg with 2 or 4 legs in the lower 48. No need to carry a rifle.

Just to point out, black bears do cause problems and folks do have to defend themselves. I hunt, camp and hike a lot over N. Georgia, E. Tennessee, and Western North Carolina. Within the last 5-10 years there have been about 6-7 bear attacks in the areas I hike. Two hikers have been killed with several more injured.

Park rangers had to kill a bear about a year ago in the Smokeys after it attacked a hiker. A father beat a 250 lb bear to death with a stick of firewood after it attacked his 4 year old son here in Georgia a few years ago. Another bear here in N. Georgia learned how to sneak up behind hikers and pull off their backpacks and run off into the woods with them. There were no serious injuries and the bear eventually was killed by hunters.

Park rangers downplay these incidents and many are never reported in the news unless there is a death or serious injuries because they don't want hikers armed. I still hike and camp in these areas, and sleep well at night. I've personally seen dozens of bears and never been threatened, but I'm also prepared, just in case.

Mt Shooter
April 20, 2011, 08:52 AM
Why are you worried about black bears? Act appropriately, dont leave your garbage or food around, and you'll be fine. They dont attack people.



Do tell http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38451965/ns/us_news-life/

dirtymike1
April 20, 2011, 09:04 AM
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=bear+mace&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=6377770688342418974&sa=X&ei=odmuTf6uAsHr0gHYo7y9DA&ved=0CDcQ8wIwAw#


Another vote for bear mace. All of my friends that hike carry this with them. I just don't think you're little .357 is going to do what you need it to do.

MtnSpur
April 20, 2011, 10:32 AM
Remember...bears can run BOTH downhill and uphill (myth that bears won't run downhill isn't true) however, bears PREFER uphill as their shorter front legs in a downhill run make them more unstable. Lived in bear country and unless they are starving or protecting their cubs will typically leave you alone unless you smother yourself in bacon grease and carry a pikanik basket (said in my Yogi Bear voice).

kd7nqb
April 20, 2011, 10:46 AM
I regularly camp/ hike in "black bear country" my preference is to have a gun on me (your .357 should do fine) and then a rifle in the truck. If the situation allows you to access the rifle then thats the better option. Of course if you also happen to have a .44mag or .454c in the safe then those might be better options. I would argue that a .357 with some stiff 180g loads would stop the bear and it might not be idea but its FAR better than a sharp stick. Also remember if your camping at any sort of campground your going to want a CCW weapon anyway so why not make it usable for bears too.

sierrabravo45
April 20, 2011, 11:02 AM
I will second the bear spray. I do/have done Salmon Research in Alaska for 6 months of year, for the past 3 years. I carry a 870 Police with Brenneke's, and a can of bear spray. During that time I live in a wall tent, so IMHO I might have a bit more bear experience than some.

It did get sporting with a bear when he was 10 yards away. Popped a shot over his head and he didn't have a care in the world, I almost dropped him, but let it pass, as he wasn't super aggressive just inquisitive. (Having a 8+ foot inquisitive bear is still sporting) Doing it over again, I probably would have sprayed him with Bear Spray first, before shooting over him.

IMHO, I would do the bear spray thing, and if you want to carry a gun bump up to a .44 Mag or a 12 Gauge with slugs. While the .357 is a good round, its sure not a stopper for a charging bear.

If you have a choice of carrying the .357 or a gun made out of chocolate, I would carry the gun made out of chocolate, so when the bear shoves it up your arse it won't hurt as much.....:neener::D

jiminhobesound
April 20, 2011, 11:10 AM
A 357 magnum has about 250 ft. pounds of energy at 50 yards. A 30-30 has 1900 foot pounds of energy at 50 yards. The people telling you that you have no reason to fear bears are, I assume relating thier experience. The folks killed and/or mauled by bears may have a different story. Do you really want a bear close enough to use a spray? How close does the bear get before you take action? Whomever told you about how bears can run was correct. The person that cited bear at 350 pounds is speaking of averages. However, most of that is muscle and hair and tough skin. If I had to choose between the two I would take the 30-06. If i was going to pursue this hobby on a regular basis I would probably get a gun to fit the need. I backpacked in Pennsylvania in the mountains. There are a lot of Black bears in PA weighing a lot more than 350 pounds. I carried a 44 magnum with very hot loads and still felt unergunned. I killed a pretty good sized grizzly in Montana with a 30-06. I do not compare the grizzly to a Black bear but I have great respect for all bears.

DAP90
April 20, 2011, 11:24 AM
Do you really want a bear close enough to use a spray?

If you're defensively shooting at a bear outside of spray ranges it's very likely you're in the wrong, not the bear.

hardluk1
April 20, 2011, 11:25 AM
Get some heavy hardcast loads for if a bear tries to come in your camper or tent. You don't want to use a bear spray in side with both you and him but the spray is by far the safest way to shy off a bear out side and keep you from getting chewed on by a wounded and pissed off bear. Thats what can happen with a baddly placed shot.

M&PVolk
April 20, 2011, 11:31 AM
It's funny to me how people prepare for wildlife interaction based on "observed norms" of any particular breed of animal, yet the same people prepare for human interaction based on behavioral aberrations. Many of the people who tell you "just be careful and don't bother them and they will leave you alone" when it comes to wildlife would be the first to tell you that you should get a CCW. I say be prepared for both. Animals are unpredictable just like people, only with animals, they won't shout obscenities or tell you they are going to attack. A short barreled .357 wouldn't be my first choice, but combined with bear spray it might be enough. A rifle or .44 mag or even bigger handgun would be preferred.

Red Cent
April 20, 2011, 11:40 AM
WV born. Bunch of black bears. 9MMare, while I respect the advice, this feller always had with him an old model Ruger 45 Colt with handloads or a SBH 44 Mag or M29 44 mag.
I don't look behind every tree but I cannot be accused of being in the white zone either.
Unintentionally surprising mama and kids can be a bummer. Or any other abberation that may make my life miserable in the forest.
Never hiked the AP, but I have spent some days (and nights) on Cheat Mountain, Canaan Valley, and the Cranberry Glades and some other places. Look them up. WV.

Black bear

Name, age, gender Date Species Location Description
Raymond Kitchen, 56, male
Patti McConnell, 37, female 01997-08-17August 17, 1997 Black Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park, British Columbia McConnell died from injuries while defending herself and her two children from a black bear attack on a boardwalk to the hot springs. Kitchen heard the attack in progress, and was killed while attempting to rescue. McConnell's daughter and a 20-year-old man were also injured. The bear was shot while standing over the victims.

Sevend Satre, 53, male 01996-06-14June 14, 1996 Black near Tatlayoko Lake, British Columbia Satre was killed while checking fencelines near the central British Columbia community of Tatlayoko Lake, British Columbia.
Colin McClelland, 24, male 01993-08-10August 10, 1993 Black Fremont County, Colorado A bear tore open the door to McClelland's trailer and attacked him at Waugh Mountain, Colorado. The bear was later killed by game wardens.

Darcy Staver, 33, female 01992-07-08July 8, 1992 Black Glennallen, Alaska The bear entered her cabin and Staver and her husband fled to the roof. While Staver's husband went for help, the bear killed her. The bear was shot and killed by a neighbor.
Sebastien Lauzier, 20, male 01992-06-14June 14, 1992 Black near Cochrane, Ontario Lauzier was attacked while taking soil samples.

Raymond Jakubauskas, 32, male
Carola Frehe, 48, female 01991-10-11October 11, 1991 Black Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario While they were setting up camp on Bates Island, a black bear broke both of their necks. The bear then dragged their bodies into the woods and consumed the remains. When police arrived five days later, the bear was guarding the bodies. A park naturalist called the attack "right off the scale of normal bear behavior".

James Waddell, 12, male 01991-05-26May 26, 1991 Black Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta In the Marten River Campground, Waddel was dragged from a tent during the night and killed

Red Cent
April 20, 2011, 11:48 AM
"If you're defensively shooting at a bear outside of spray ranges it's very likely you're in the wrong, not the bear."

Thats a joke, right?

A picture. Man is being charged by a rather large black bear. Wind is kind of heavy. Holds wetted finger in air. Decides to run. Sorry, couldn't help it.

One. You will never outrun a bear.
Two. If the bear is waddling toward you, things will probably be ok.
Three. A black bear will never rear and walk into you. The attack will be astonishingly fast. Inhuman deadly force. Shock and awe. The back of the neck is the favorite.

Red Cent
April 20, 2011, 11:50 AM
I cannot imagine the paralyzing fear one would have watching a bear charge straight at you. Seconds.

22-rimfire
April 20, 2011, 12:04 PM
I would choose some hard cast loads to have along. But I think you should be fine with the 3" 357 mag for self defense. It might be one of my choices as well. A warning shot in the event the bear gets too close is all that is likely necessary. As mentioned, they are very fast when they charge and if you are exposed to even a fake charge, your hair will definitely stand up. Enjoy your camping outing.

Red Cent
April 20, 2011, 12:10 PM
Gunfight rule: Bring a gun

Bearfight rule: Bring enough gun.

:evil:

Loosedhorse
April 20, 2011, 12:16 PM
If I was hunting black bear, I might use a .357. Heck, they can be brought down with arrows. But, just as with archery, I'd want a friend along with a rifle or a 12 gauge. Just in case.

Here, you're not talking about hunting, where you can choose whether you like the approach, the wind, etc. You're talking about emergency use against an angry charging bear.

So, make noise. Package food correctly, so you're not attracting them. Pepper spray.

And if, after all that, you still need a gun to stop a charge? Well, how accurate and fast is your brain-shot with that .357?

buck460XVR
April 20, 2011, 01:38 PM
I've lived, hiked, fished, camped and hunted in Black Bear country for 56 of my 57 years. I have yet to have anything resembling a confrontation, nor do I make a point to carry a "bear gun" with me every time I go outside. You do what you think is necessary to put your mind at ease. Odds are greater you will shoot yourself or someone else in your party by accident with whatever gun you take with you, than the odds of being attacked by a rouge man-eating black bear.

DAP90
April 20, 2011, 01:46 PM
Thats a joke, right?

Not a joke.

Seeing a black bear in the wild is not cause for alarm. Be cautious, absolutely, but if the bear is outside of the sprays range just what do you envision him doing that requires you to shoot him when chasing him off wouldnít suffice?

I bring a gun camping too but itís more for people than bears.

Zundfolge
April 20, 2011, 01:46 PM
If you're hiking in black bear country, pack a good gun for feral dogs and humans because your chances of having to shoot one of those is SIGNIFICANTLY greater than having to shoot a black bear.

Unless you get between a mama black bear and her cubs or stumble across an extremely rare black bear with rabies you will not have to shoot a black bear as he'll bug out before you get anywhere near him.

I live in a suburban neighborhood that is technically black bear country ... generally you yell at 'em and they look at you like "who, me?" and then amble off all dejected. I've seen black bears run off by small dogs (the bears looked genuinely frightened too).

THIS is what the typical black bear encounter looks like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdeNz4ybF34


Now brown bears are a different story (but you'll know in advance if you're in brown bear territory as you're probably not in the lower 48).



Anyway, to answer the OP's question, yes a 3" .357mag would be an excellent piece to take with you on your trip.

Red Cent
April 20, 2011, 03:02 PM
Then if that is all I have to worry about, I'll carry the MKIII.

The man asked if the 357 is enough gun. I take that in context of saving your a.......butt. Therefore; no, it is not enough. My 45s and 44s ain't either.

Would I shoot a curious bear walking around 25 feet away? Probably not. But by that time, I would have the big bore at the low ready.

Bow and arrow? Do you realize how long it takes a bear to bleed out from a razor cut:cool:?!

Didn't anyone read the snippets about black bear dining on humans:banghead:?

I have hunted the west, some south, a lot in the Appalachians. After all these years of harvesting deer, antelope, feral hog, quail, grouse, squirrel....... Now I cannot pull a trigger on game. I do not want to kill living animals, EXCEPT..........

Loosedhorse
April 20, 2011, 03:08 PM
Do you realize how long it takes a bear to bleed out from a razor cut?!
Sure. But not as well as this guy knows:

http://www.newyorkgameandfish.com/hunting/bowhunting-hunting/NY_0907_01A.jpg

http://www.newyorkgameandfish.com/hunting/bowhunting-hunting/NY_0907_01/

See, there's this sport called "bow-hunting", and what these guys do, they...:D

More seriously, all of the African Big 5 have been taken with bow and arrow. Uh...not by me, though. In each case (I assume) the archer was backed up by a professional with a large rifle--but if you use the rifle, it doesn't count as an archery trophy.

ATBackPackin
April 20, 2011, 03:20 PM
In addition to what has already been said I always have a loud whistle or even better an air horn when backpacking. While I would not use one on a charging bear, that is what the gun and spray are for, they are great from making a bear flee before they decide to charge.

OregonJohnny
April 20, 2011, 03:24 PM
Without getting into a bear gun debate, I'll just say that if you choose to carry a .357 for black bear defense, the Buffalo Bore 180-grain hardcast lead flat nose load is the best load I've found for my .357 revolvers. It averages about 1,240 f/s from my 2.25" SP-101. That's right, a 180-grain bullet going 1,240 feet/second from a 2.25" barrel for 615 foot pounds of muzzle energy. It's hot stuff. Imagine it out of a 4" or 6" barrel!

Is a .44 Magnum better? Yes. Will the Buffalo Bore 180-grain .357 load do the job? Maybe, maybe not, but it's probably got a better chance than 95% of other commercial .357 loads out there.

A warning, however: this particular Buffalo Bore load is a wrist-twister and will rattle your brain a little from a light weight revolver, and it takes a lot of concentration to get your sights back on target after that first BOOM. If you're going to carry it, practice with it a lot, as with any other load you are going to count on for survival.

22-rimfire
April 20, 2011, 03:26 PM
Would I shoot a curious bear walking around 25 feet away?

Red Cent, I would call you a keyboard alarmist. :) 25 feet is VERY close to a black bear. A black bear could cover 25 feet in a blink of the eye and much faster than you could ever draw your firearm from a holster (my opinion). You would be right to have your firearm drawn at that distance. 25 Yards is close. I would be waving my hands and yelling long before 25 feet unless I was out taking wildlife photos. But that is another story. You dream for those 25 foot encounters and you hope like heck that they wander away when you have finished with your photos. I have had 25 foot encounters. They don't last long as usually the bear is high tailing it away from you as soon as they realize a human is close by.

Red Cent
April 20, 2011, 03:45 PM
Loosedhorse, hanging in the garage is a Matthews Conquest, a Larry Wise Apex target bow, and a Mountain Top Archery (Davis, WV) shoot through, and an ancient Bear round wheel.

Shoot through.

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee189/redcent69/Bows003.jpg

If you are familiar with archery, you know that this would be the best to launch an arrow with no interference and easy to tune for the perfect cut in tuning paper.

Yeah, I have taken some deer with it. None dropped where they stood. That bear may bleed out but he/she will not drop in its tracks. You will probably p......make it mad.

Red Cent
April 20, 2011, 04:06 PM
I was a Boy Scout too. Trying to remember the motto. What was........

Keyboard alarmist?

I have been shot at, held up twice by a team at gun point, faced down a couple of situations, rode and helped with the State Patrol and have chased some interesting people.

Alarmist? Hell no. Been there and done that. Think I should be saying "Ahhh man, you don't need protection. Just call the..........."

People, if I am walking in the woods and a bear appears, I will carefully unholster,maybe back away slow. If it will not go away and if it continues to approach and attempts to scare it will not work, I will take the next step. Shame they cannot talk.

22 Rimfire, i would hope past training would take over my subconscious. Brag time. I can hit you from the holster with a SA COM in about a second including reaction time. Never tried it on a bear.

Brain shot? You will skip off the skull if you get lucky and hit it.

"....but if the bear is outside of the sprays range just what do you envision him doing that requires you to shoot him when chasing him off wouldn’t suffice?"

Don't know. Not into interpreting facial expressions of a bear. I guess the next step towards me?

Life is cruel. To insure it, I will cheat if necessary.:rolleyes:

You guys getting in your best shots (pun intended)?:cool:

KodiakBeer
April 20, 2011, 04:09 PM
Bears behave a lot like dogs. You wouldn't shoot a dog that happens to wander in close proximity to you unless it was displaying some sort of aggressive behavior. The same should be true for bears.
Hit him with some pepper spray if he doesn't back off. Shoot him if he shows the same body language or sounds that an aggressive dog would display.

Edited to add: Bullets won't bounce off a bears skull. That's just an old tale invented by bad shots.

Red Cent
April 20, 2011, 04:10 PM
Kodiak, I like Coors Light. Good answer.

Loosedhorse
April 20, 2011, 04:28 PM
That bear may bleed out but he/she will not drop in its tracks. You will probably p......make it mad.
Hey, I don't hunt anything with a bow. Lots of reasons, but maybe mostly lack of skill.

However, I wouldn't think someone dopey for hunting dangerous game by archery as long as: the bow draw and arrow weight are appropriate; he knows he can place the shot where he need it...or decide not to shoot when he can't; and--

He brings along that friend with the rifle that I was talking about. ;)

As to dopey for bringing a .357 for bear defense? For sure if that's his only precaution, or if he doesn't have lots of practiced skill with it. No firearm is a good luck charm.

SimplyChad
April 20, 2011, 05:32 PM
Well it now seems like Ill have a buddies 30-30 and he will have a 12 with slugs. I know is rare for a bear to attack without provocation but hope for the best plan for the worst. I really dont know much about bears. One of my biggest questions Is do that have a chase instinct like dogs? My wife I dont worry about but her friend is skittish as a rabbit but not near as fast. Shes my big worry. I thought about leaving her but the boss said shes coming. I think i will get the mace and possibly pick up a 44 mag on the way out (boss willing). I really like the 357 tho and for the aim questions I practice with swing targets at 15 to 30 yards about the size of a dinner plate.

hardluk1
April 20, 2011, 05:46 PM
DO NOT RUN Hay you bow hunters . Anyone remember reading about a father and son on an elk hunt. Son calling and dad ready to shoot with his bow. A grizzly chargered the son and starts mauling him. Father jumps up swing his bow and puts arrow try the bears heart. Bear gets off the son runs off to die. Son gets stitched up and learns that sounding like a elk in bear country could make for a bad day. Bows like centerfire cartridges are very diedly when well placed. May not drop game in there tracks but not likely to stand around either. Easy to read who has been around bears in the woods, some that hunt a bit and even some that probably don't even hunt. If one charges you time will be very short to react. A handgun is good for many things but have some bear spray is only smart. And as covered by others, you may in the excitment shoot your self or miss completely. The spray can wash off, a bullet won't. You could use a bear spray even if still mounted to your own chest. Most times when a bear is spotted it tends to not be a big deal so long as it ain't some dumies back yard bear. They darn sure do use our stands to sleep in to and clean up our feeders. Also up here during a bad warm winter a few years back bear were known to steal a died deer from a hunters late in the season. Don't go feel'n like rambo , carry your handgun for any problems that might come up but if bears are around carry some spray in a belt or chest holster too.

KodiakBeer
April 20, 2011, 06:54 PM
I'm not very experienced with black bears, but brown/grizzly bears will instinctively chase you if you run. It's known as the prey/predator response and we see this every year with moron joggers who decide to run on trails and get chewed up.

I suspect black bears will do it as well, but I'm not sure on that point.

Karl Hungus
April 20, 2011, 07:00 PM
I own lots of guns. Among them a Dan Wesson .44 mag and a T/C Encore 7mm 08. When I go out in the woods camping or just walking around (lots of black bears around here), I don't take either one or any of my other guns unless I'm hunting. I may have a death wish, but I don't have a roll bar on my truck either. And I don't wear a helmet when driving it. It may seem like I'm being sarcastic, but it's far more likely you will get in an accident on the way to the woods than get attacked by a black bear whilst in the woods. If you think you need a large caliber handgun for black bear proptection that's your choice and even if it does nothing but make you feel safer I say go for it. But realistically you may also want to consider some crash safety modifications to your vehicle and some protective gear.

KodiakBeer
April 20, 2011, 07:01 PM
Best to have a gun anyway, though I agree that black bears should be the least of your worries.

Zundfolge
April 20, 2011, 07:47 PM
I have been shot at, held up twice by a team at gun point...
By black bears?

I'm not very experienced with black bears, but brown/grizzly bears will instinctively chase you if you run. It's known as the prey/predator response and we see this every year with moron joggers who decide to run on trails and get chewed up.

I suspect black bears will do it as well, but I'm not sure on that point.

Black bears and brown bears are VERY different. Black bears are docile when compared to their brown cousins ... basically the lighter the bear the more dangerous ... polar bears are the meanest beasts on the planet (if they ever learn how to drive we're all in trouble).

Like I said we live with them here in town and they're basically like lazy dogs.

If you look at things from the standpoint of statistical probability, you're much more likely to run into feral dogs or feral humans than you are to run into an aggressive black bear.

If you look at things from the standpoint of avoiding even remote possibilities ... well then stay home ... and barricade yourself in a room in the back with a heavy machine gun and claymores strewn about the property.

Red Cent
April 20, 2011, 08:38 PM
I probably should not comment on the.....b..l...a...c....k...bears with guns. They did have stockings and no holes. Hoodies. Brown cotton gloves. Blue work pants. Later I was informed they were all wearing body armor.

CHEVELLE427
April 20, 2011, 08:49 PM
Dad went to Alaska back in the 80's.

brought back some stories.

one was about how to tell the bears apart.

if it climbs the tree and eats you it was a black bear.

if it knocks the tree down and eats you it was a grizzly.

was also told of a ranger that had an encounter with a bear (im thinking grizzly) said when they found the bear it had 6 slugs in it from the ranger's 357 mag and the Ranger.:eek:

i think i would go with a min of a 44mag just because.:cool: or a SW ES 460


It has also been said that some have killed bears with a sharp rock tied to the end of a stick....

Taurus 66
April 20, 2011, 09:45 PM
So here is my thing is a 357 mag from a 3 in barrel adequate to stop bears or should I lug the 06 out

An 06 along with a 357 is better than a 357 with nothing else as backup, but without a rifle on hand and only discussing pistol here, barrel length doesn't matter that much because by the time you "have to take a killing shot" a bear would be close enough to where distance doesn't matter. 3" barrel pressure will give you adequate penetration into a bear's vital body organs, and it will also penetrate deep into a bear's skull.

I heard some pretty bunk stories over the years about hunters who shot black bears at close range with a (30 something) rifle, and the bullet deflected off he skull causing the animal to get enraged. It's not an unbelievable story ... it's a story not to be believed.

Don't listen to anyone who might in a round about way say something like: "Bears are super-fortified mighty beings with special kevlar & reactive military armor combined. Yeah bullets bounce off them only making them madder than ever." - or something to that nature.

Heck, there has been one case where I read about a man who threw a rock (or something similar) at a bear that was about to attack his child and in that one lucky throw he killed it. Is a rock a .357 bullet? Does the rock travel at anywhere near the velocity of a bullet from any gun? Why could a rock kill and rifle bullets bounce off?

Debunk the myths yourself. At least I helped aim you in the right direction.

gym
April 20, 2011, 11:07 PM
You don't want to gamble with peoples lives, I would suggest 2 to 4 firearms. Everyone should have a 357 minimum, I would opt for a 44 Mag or a 454-50. a bear can outrun you and run longer and go right up a tree after you. This should be a no brainer unless you are going to be actually holding hands, you need everyone to be able to protect themselves. Again this is like deciding when you are going to get robbed or not. I won't take my gun today it's hot and I have a suit on, then bang that's the day you needed it. don't assume you are going to be in a position to pick off the bear. The Bear does this all his life, he knows when to pick you off if he's watching you. He will wait for a stagler or when you are sleeping. Everyone or at least every couple should be armed. Besides there are more than just bears out there. I don't know where you are going camping but wild cats, wild hogs, wild dogs, and other crazy stuff is out there, along with wild men, so take a few handguns with you.

hso
April 20, 2011, 11:14 PM
Bear spray with the .357 as a backup.

It almost certainly isn't adequate out of that short a barrel, but with ammunition specifically intended for the purpose you'll be better off than with JHP.

Zundfolge
April 20, 2011, 11:15 PM
In some places and at some times of year, hiking with a rifle and no hunting license will get you cited for poaching (or at least hassled by the game warden).

9MMare
April 20, 2011, 11:25 PM
Red Cent, you are bringing up...legitimately...the only real threatening black bear populations: those that are not familiar with humans...in very remote isolated areas....they actually may consider humans as food, like polar bears do.

But that's not going to happen in the lower 48.

And the bear that invaded the trailer for food...probably killed the guy because there was no way for the man to escape....he was too close to the food.


It's not impossible, but carrying a gun tends to make people feel that they can drop their other defenses, not be as careful. So then they end up too close, not as respectful of their space...and end up with excuses to shoot.

Jeff F
April 20, 2011, 11:28 PM
Use hard cast lead bullets and a .357 will do the job just fine. I have killed 2 with a 4 inch Security Six at about 30 yards. One round on one, two rounds on the other, he was running and the first one broke his shoulder.

9MMare
April 20, 2011, 11:29 PM
"If you're defensively shooting at a bear outside of spray ranges it's very likely you're in the wrong, not the bear."

Thats a joke, right?

A picture. Man is being charged by a rather large black bear. Wind is kind of heavy. Holds wetted finger in air. Decides to run. Sorry, couldn't help it.

One. You will never outrun a bear.
Two. If the bear is waddling toward you, things will probably be ok.
Three. A black bear will never rear and walk into you. The attack will be astonishingly fast. Inhuman deadly force. Shock and awe. The back of the neck is the favorite.

Black bears, even mommas with babies, almost always bluff charge. Hard to stand there? Sure, but it doesnt change the fact that you walked into their home...scared them, and now decide to shoot them. Every single person I've ever seen post here says they feel they are justified in defending themselves and their families in their homes............

I do have sources but they are all books. Of course if you are between a garbage can and a black bear, all bets are off :)

9MMare
April 20, 2011, 11:31 PM
Do tell http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38451965/ns/us_news-life/

They dont know what species of bear, or even how many.

gatorjames85
April 20, 2011, 11:32 PM
Obviously if you shoot a black bear with a .357 revolver and it notices it will get very angry, especially if it bounces off its impenetrable skull. I think your whole party should be armed with .470 Nitro Express double rifles.:rolleyes: Seriously, unless you are going to be engaging in activities that will frequently take you into close contact with large bears, I would just carry your handgun with some hard cast ammo (and maybe some bear spray) and not worry about hauling your .30-06 everywhere. Life is all about calculated risks; you can't do anything that will 100% ensure safety.

Sport45
April 21, 2011, 09:05 AM
You don't want to gamble with peoples lives, I would suggest 2 to 4 firearms. Everyone should have a 357 minimum, I would opt for a 44 Mag or a 454-50. a bear can outrun you and run longer and go right up a tree after you.

And get a couple of those leather cartridge belts for everyone and cross them over your chests Poncho Villa style. With 3 or 4 guns each and plenty of ammo you should be ready for just about anything. :)

Bear spray. It's purpose-made for repelling bears. Really.

One of these days bear threads will be locked down as fast as zombie and TEOTWAWKI threads.

2 Wild Dueces
April 21, 2011, 09:39 AM
I've carried a 357 GP100 Ruger with a five inch bbl while baiting bears for several years. I use some warm-loaded 158 grain, flat nose, semi-jacketed bullets. Not sure if it would stop an enraged bear....but it's better than a stick, has a stout recoil, and it makes serious noise......and it makes me feel better.

Some years back.....I got "lost" while dragging a plastic sled full of bait to an active bait pile (we had patterned a big bear at this site prior to season). Cloudy, no wind, big bear scat everywhere, no compass, no gun, hot, tired, and I got "lost" in thick cover near the bait. :eek: Dumb. Didn't want to abandon the sled as I was serious about the site and the bear that was dining there. Took me about 30 minutes of extra dragging to locate the site.

Started carrying a revolver after that incident.....cause I don't want to wrestle with bears over the bait. I also flag the trail better now. I probably should own a 44 or 45 cal. :rolleyes:

Red Cent
April 21, 2011, 11:12 AM
"But that's not going to happen in the lower 48." :cool:

"It's not impossible, but carrying a gun tends to make people feel that they can drop their other defenses, not be as careful. So then they end up too close, not as respectful of their space...and end up with excuses to shoot."

9MMare, it is obvious you would not kill a bear. There is a big difference between me, the present woose who used to hunt incessantly, and you, who, apparently disdains hunting/killing. Thats OK. But PLEASE don't tell a 69 year old hillbilly who toted a Remington #4 when he was four or five that he shouldn't carry a firearm because he might be inclined to shoot a bear. I think you are thinking you are in some people's head. Holy..........

One of my comfort and security blankets.
http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee189/redcent69/Handguns/SWM29002.jpg

gym
April 21, 2011, 11:57 AM
No Sport, just a holster, Try using that bear spary when the bear comes at you from above , or it's raining, or windy. Just a simple 357 for each couple will do more should they walk into a litter of cubs, and not be aware of it. I grew up "when I was very young 1"-12 or 14", on 1000 sq miles of land upstate, where my family owned a hotel in Fleishmans. And there were bears right up the mountain many times when we "as kids" not knowing any better, would go where we were told not to. Nothing happened but that was probablly just dumb luck. If people panic and try to get out that can of spray while backpacking up a trail with a blind spot, then you are taking unnesasarry risks. I would not shoot a bear unless it was coming for me, it happens more now than before. So just because I live in FL now dosen't mean I don't know what I'm talking about. Plus My dad used to send me out with a professional hunter who worked for him, and he showed me many nights some of the big cats overhead in the trees and other wildlife. If you carry a gun for self defense on the street, why would you not take one into the woods. There may be a couple of crazys in there also, the aren't confined to citys. People go into the woods to hide also, don't you watch those movies where the gorgeous blond and her boyfriend walk into those horrible bank robbers..lol

KodiakBeer
April 21, 2011, 12:53 PM
I always carry pepper spray, but oddly I've never actually used it. I've repelled brown bears with shots into the ground, clapping my hands, yelling and even waving my hat. Sometimes just lowering your eyes will make a bear that's moving toward you turn, just by demonstrating that you're not a threat. I have video of doing just that - a bear loping towards me and me lowering my head where he immediately loses interest.
That might sound like BS, but I see brownies almost every day during the summer. People around here get pretty used to bears. Just think of them like big dogs and do the same things you'd do when approached by a dog. If it's just curious, shoo them away. If they are aggressive zap them with pepper. And if you must, shoot them.

gym
April 21, 2011, 01:01 PM
I am completlly with you on that Kodiak, I would only shoot any animal as a last resort. But for god sakes these people are going into the woods, not having a gun available is just silly. The bears never bothered us as kids we knew where they were and snuck up to watch them, but there are cyotes and wild dogs , etc that are probablly more dangerous to people than the one pissed off bear. Take your gun with you just like going out in the city.

KodiakBeer
April 21, 2011, 01:20 PM
Yeah, bring your gun when you camp or backpack. Heck, bring your gun when you go anywhere.

I don't have much experience with black bears, but I've still probably encountered more of them than 99% of the population. If I was carrying a .357 for black bears I'd use heavy hard cast hunting slugs. And pepper spray...

Ala Dan
April 21, 2011, 02:27 PM
Just say, "come here BIG BLACK" - give him/her an apple and a bannana; and
they are sure too leave you alone~! [Just kidding, of course ~!!! :D:D:D:D]

I think the .357 magnum loaded with hard cast bullets of a 158 grain weight,
should do the trick~?

The Smokies are loaded with BIG BLACK's; and while they are not actually
known to attack people, if hungry they probably would. Especially, if their
CUBS are present or near-by. Over the years, I have fed 'em, without any
problems. Once I run out of food, I make haste in gett'in the hell out of
Dodge.

Mr. T
April 21, 2011, 02:40 PM
A .357 Mag is more than enough gun to do the job on a black bear; just use hard cast bullets. If there has been a lot of sightings though I would bring a youth model 20 gauge with foster slugs. You could sling the gun that way, but it's still light and readily available. If the bear sightings are that numerous...I'd consider another camp site.

Cosmoline
April 21, 2011, 02:45 PM
"If you're defensively shooting at a bear outside of spray ranges it's very likely you're in the wrong, not the bear."

Thats a joke, right?

Well what are you proposing, shooting every bear in sight? I've run into many black bears here, sometimes right underfoot. They aren't ravening beasts. They're just black bears. The sows aren't even that much of a threat. I came upon a mess of them last fall and that got kind of fun, but even then I didn't need to spray or shoot any of them. They're just little guys.

The instances of black bear turning predatory are rare, and do NOT involve a charge. If one wants to hunt you he will likely be a very large boar and just walk right up and take a bite. They don't charge to hunt, nor do they leap on the back of your neck. They casually walk up and grab you. No barking, no slapping, no teeth clattering. They do those things when they're scared of you, not when they want to eat you.

Mr. T
April 21, 2011, 03:12 PM
Dear Cosmoline- not sure where you got your wilderness in sight from, but I've grown up around Black Bears my whole life (going on 50 years)...the minute you stop respecting them that's the minute you get your @sS ripped up and you end up as bear scat on the trail. Statistically black bears kill more people every year in this country than Polar, Brown, Grizzly, Kodiak, etc. The reason that is, is because people like yourself don't give them the respect they deserve and you try to treat them like some Disney Character. A female sow protecting her cubs is the most dangerous thing in the woods if you surprise them (Yes..even the black bear sows). In many cases you might not even have enough time to draw the weapon you are carrying to defend yourself. Oh and black bears do charge, even if they don't intend on eating you; many times they do it if they are defending their perceived turf.:scrutiny:

mcmurry
April 21, 2011, 03:16 PM
One thing with bear spray. Some years back one of the outdoors magazines had a story about bears and using pepper spray. It said you almost had to let the bear get close enough to actually spray it in the bears face. In one instance, someone actually sprayed their tent, and a bear tore down the tent. The story claimed that bears are curious and if the spray does not hit the eyes or someother sensitive area, the bear may actually come closer, to investigate the smell. We have black bears in south Arkansas, but they are extremely rare. In a large state park,neither guns nor hunting are allowed. The National parks are different, but to shoot an attacking animal, you had better have tooth or claw marks to prove an attack. I would carry bear spray on my belt along with a gun. Preferably, a gun that I am comfortable with.Keep one thing in mind-wild animals don't think like you or I do. It's entirely possible that the animal will panic and want to get behind the nearest bush, even if that bush is behind you! I've both seen and heard of it happening with coyotes.

Cosmoline
April 21, 2011, 03:29 PM
Black bear sows do not typically attack in defense of cubs. It can happen, but is very rare. I know of one instance where a sow physically swatted a man in defense of a cub up here, but it was an oddity. The ones I've run into dart for cover or climb a tree. In fact it was a little CUB that charged me last fall. The sow took off.

That does not mean black bears are Disney characters or harmless. They can be deadly, particularly the very large boars. But they are not in the same league as a brown bear sow with cubs. I respect both, and will back off from both. If a bear has the trail, my policy is to call it a day and leave. But I don't go around shooting them on sight or just because they're darting around under foot.

Shooting any bear you see is a recipe for a well-earned poaching charge. The black bear to be worried about are the large ones that waltz right up to you. Observe the pattern of their attacks:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_bear_attacks_in_North_America#Black_bear_3

The brownie sows are the ones that maul people every season, though these are not usually fatal encounters. Brown bear predation is rare. There was the well-deserved Treadwell case and another case up in ANWR.

DAP90
April 21, 2011, 03:42 PM
I recommend bringing a cat for black bear defense. Make sure itís a farm raised Maine Coon Cat though Ė gotta bring enough cat. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi7tN2rjQcc&feature=related

Statistics have shown that just presenting the cat from a concealed carry position is enough to stop the majority of attacks.

Seriously, the last two black bears I saw ran off when we banged some pots together. A .357 will be fine. Hopefully, when you see one in the wild youíll reach for your spray (or pots) first and the .357 as a last resort.

Mr. T
April 21, 2011, 03:47 PM
I'm not sure the OP was saying that they were going to be shooting everything they see; they were wondering if the .357 Mag they had would be adequate defense against a black bear. Oh, and black bears do kill more people than any other type of bear in the typical year.

My wife and I were charged by one last fall as we were walking a dirt road on our property. She was a sow that we had seen earlier in the year with a single cub. The cub was not with her as we could see, but was maybe near by...of course it was the one time I left my Ruger in the truck...never again. She charged us with in 20 -25 yards and snapped and popped her teeth. We continually faced her, but maneuvered ourselves under a barbed wire fence that was seriously over grown. When we were safely on the other side of the fence she took off in the other direction. Had we stood our ground she would have ripped us to shreds; you could tell just by her demeanor. I've seen black bears plenty of times in the woods, and they don't typically act like that....8 to 9 times out of ten they just run off....it's that one time when they don't. Most of the time they are good natured...but just like a bull in the barn yard...you don't ever trust them and you don't ever turn your back on them. The last thing I would do is down play them to someone who may not have any experience with them; definitely don't make a boogey man out of them, but don't PETA/cartoonize them either. That's my only concern.

Cosmoline
April 21, 2011, 04:19 PM
Black bear sows don't, though.

Nobody is working for PETA or Disney here. But they're not ravening man eaters except in very rare cases. Thankfully. So your response must be attuned to the behavior of the bear you're confronted with.

Mr. T
April 21, 2011, 04:56 PM
The sow was a bear we had seen before and she was never aggressive. I haven't seen her since, but their behavior can change for no reason. I know another guy that was bowhunting and was ripped out of his tree stand by a bear and thrown to the ground...it was a female and she had cubs. The females can be very aggressive and it is not just limited to the female my wife and I encountered. I would advise not painting them all with the same broad brush.

ColdChili
April 21, 2011, 05:15 PM
This topic seems to get a lot of press, anyway:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=365055

About the 11th post in the above thread I posted a link to the field and stream website that shows a park ranger putting down a grizzly bear with a .357 revolver.

KodiakBeer
April 21, 2011, 11:50 PM
Statistically black bears kill more people every year in this country than Polar, Brown, Grizzly, Kodiak, etc. The reason that is, is because people like yourself don't give them the respect they deserve and you try to treat them like some Disney Character.

Actually, if you think about it black bears outnumber brown/grizzly/polar bears by about 100 to 1, yet only kill about the same number of people. So, that makes them about 1/100th as dangerous...

Any large animal can kill you and have to be respected, so having a gun in the woods makes sense. Carrying a gun also has responsibilities, the foremost of which is knowing when to use it.

Scipio Africanus
April 22, 2011, 12:32 AM
Most of the time black bears are docile and unassuming, but I have been around black bears enough to know that, as all predators, they can be a little scary. I've seen them run from people, I have seen them ignore people, and I have been inspected at very close range by a particularly large and curious old bore. Last fall, a fine gentleman was mauled within an inch of his life by a small ( under 250lb), very hungry black bear right in my neighborhood. I bet he would have loved to have had a .357 when he got scalped and de-rumped. I know his wife would have.
Bottom line take your .357, load it with some heavy hard cast boolits, maybe take some bear spray. Follow the "bear safe" rules, know that you are prepared for a two or four legged threat, and have a great time camping and hiking.

Dog Victor
April 22, 2011, 01:32 AM
First post. I ran into a black bear the stupid way: going back to a place away from camp where I'd cleaned fish. Why? I left the brews in the creek under the bridge that served as trout cutting board.

There I was trying to find two brown bottles that the labels has washed off of. Where the heck are they? Headlight bobbing around...ah ha! Gotcha! Rise up triumphantly clutching the brews and my headlight falls on the head of a black bear licking the residue of the fish off the bridge abutment, only half looking at me.

Obligatory paralysis followed by the bear rising, turning and ambling off the other way. My gaze and light followed him as he went. Total shock. I half stumbled/ran back to the camp. We were in Sequoia National Forest, King's Canyon, way lower than we should have been and the last people in the area.

When I say RIGHT THERE LOOKING AT ME, I mean the bridge was head height and I was no more than 3' away. Sucker could have reached through and swiped the stupid look off my face. Adding insult to stupid, the bear spray we brought leaked on our silverware and we were burning good before realizing what happened. Trip from hell.

The bear I met was nice enough. Great forum BTW. Lurked a little in the past. Look forward to sharing more stories and figuring out some of my firearm issues.

Lord Teapot
April 22, 2011, 04:25 AM
.357 is probably too small to kill a bear unless your aim is dead on. i saw this nifty revolver in 30-30, that might work :)

mes228
April 22, 2011, 07:31 AM
I know two people that have killed Black Bear with a .357 pistol. One, a retired game Warden used a snubby .357 to keep one from taking his groceries by force, out of his hands. On the other hand I was involved with a Black Bear charging my petite 100 lb. wife in Yosemite.

At that moment NOTHING would have been too big a caliber. I was so shook up that, had I been armed, I would have killed that bear and gone directly to jail. He veered aside at about 2-3 feet in a full speed charge. I believe only because I too was running toward my wife as he was charging her. He covered a 100 yards before I could cover 20. He was a problem collared bear and we encountered Rangers tracking him about 1/4 mile down bike trail. Of course they had loaded Rem. 870 shotguns and pistols. Tourist (at that time) were allowed to carry nothing in Nat. Parks. I believe that may have now changed.

Usmc-1
April 22, 2011, 10:08 AM
twofifty
Member


Join Date: April 21, 2007
Posts: 641
what ex park ranger said
These bear threads come up all the time. You'd think there were as many bears in the "woods" as there are terrorists on the AT. ;-)

I've roamed the trails and hollows of Appalachia, the Adirondaks, the Whites, the Greens over many years. Not to mention the Rockies, the Sierras. No bear problems at my campsites, ever. Keeping a clean camp, keeping the 'kitchen' away from the sleeping area (I love bivvy sacks outside of fly season), keeping the food strung up or locked in the provided food lockers (think AT or NPs) are great ways not to have to deal with bears.

I've seen several dozen bears -blacks and grizzly- and only once felt the need to chase one away. Used a bear banger for that. Don't get me wrong, you have to keep your senses about you.

But hiking the woods is not like clearing your house at 3am, slicing the pie at every tree or shadow looking for a crack-crazed assasin.

OP, believe me the woods and the animals that live there are not like the Big Bad Wolf of storybook fame. There is nothing quite like laying down in a bivvy sack in the middle of bear and wolf country, and falling asleep to a crisp star-filled sky, a crystal clear trout-laden river gurgling past your campsite. The wolf or coyote howls certainly add to the drama. So do the inevitable rustlings of small mammals (watch out for racoons) or ungulates ambling past your campsite.

What you really need to watch out for are:
- red ants
- ticks
- black flies
- mosquitoes
- horse & deer flies
- leeches
- scorpions
- snakes
- dehydration
- sunstroke
- breaking a leg
- giardia
- mice & packrats on the AT
- hypothermia / heatstroke

Those are the real dangers!
Last edited by twofifty; April 20, 2011 at 12:40 AM.

That snake and them pack rats better watch out , a .357 will kill them!

I would be leary to rely strictly on the .357 and dont kid yourself if you think you can outrun a bear , (even if you can, what about the kids, the old lady) , wanna stopper , bring a .44 magnum and keep the 06 with you!

22-rimfire
April 22, 2011, 10:39 AM
There is no question that IF a bear attack occurs or about to occur, you would want bear spray and a firearm. In that case, there is no handgun that is big enough. Bear attacks are almost random events from an individual perspective. People can be a bit careless when it comes to food prep, camping, and waste disposal. Like carrying a firearm for self defense, you will be carrying a lot without ever needing the gun. It is your choice and now carrying in national parks is allowed with a carry permit (applicable state regulations). I think an attack from a disgruntled human is far more likely. People have been attacked by deer and elk too. You need to respect wildlife and give them some space just like most of us do not like somebody in our face.

Since I do go out in the woods wandering around (especially in national forests and national parks), I think I will get a small bottle of the bear spray. The price is not prohibitive based on my google search, but I wonder if I will even carry it in reality in black bear country. The same goes with a handgun unless I just like to have a firearm with me out in the woods (which I do).

I still say that the 357 mag is your best choice when considering handgun size, weight, and power in preparation for a random event.

Addition: I would suggest that you have what is called a "tailgate meeting" in health & safety circles at the beginning of a hike especially if you are hiking or camping with folks that are not familiar with the operational aspects of bear spray or firearms, or are not very familiar with woods dangers. Bears would be just one of the topics. There should be some discussions as to what to bring with you before you hit the woods as well and that would include a small first aid kit, matches, knife, compass, water, clothing, etc depending on how long you are going to be hiking or camping.

gym
April 22, 2011, 01:19 PM
Haven't I seen many post here over the years where a 44 or even a 50 was recommended to hickers as a backpack gun. Why is it such a contoversial discussion this time. 4 adults sleeping in the woods. It should be a natural conclusion they would have at least a 357 if not larger. Some have mentioned 10mm in the auto catagory if my memory serves me right. I would hate shooting a bear, as mentioned they do look like rotties when they are young. But I have no hesitation if anything is going to do me harm, in dismissing it from lifes plan for it, if it is about to kill me. I also agree as I mentioned before there are many other things to worry about in the woods. Have a safe trip, being over prepared never hurt anyone.

Stevie-Ray
April 22, 2011, 07:19 PM
It's funny to me how people prepare for wildlife interaction based on "observed norms" of any particular breed of animal, yet the same people prepare for human interaction based on behavioral aberrations. Many of the people who tell you "just be careful and don't bother them and they will leave you alone" when it comes to wildlife would be the first to tell you that you should get a CCW. I say be prepared for both. I agree with this 100%! I've seen many a black bear in my travels in the Hiawatha National Forest over the last 40 or so years, and never had to even yell at one. However, I'm not about to tell somebody to not even bother being armed as I find that quite reckless and foolish. Personally, I prefer 10mm from Double Tap in a Glock 29 for that, and while in the "concrete jungle" revert back to .45 ACP.

DAP90
April 22, 2011, 07:34 PM
However, I'm not about to tell somebody to not even bother being armed as I find that quite reckless and foolish.


I'll bet there's not a single post in this thead where anyone recommends going unarmed, being unprepared or taking foolish chances with bears.

Red Cent
April 22, 2011, 08:32 PM
Close.

"Why are you worried about black bears? Act appropriately, dont leave your garbage or food around, and you'll be fine. They dont attack people.

If you have to use a firearm on a black bear....the fault is almost certainly yours. Just back or walk away."

twofifty
April 22, 2011, 10:30 PM
Red Cent, you spoke earlier of being familiar with the West Virginia Highlands, among others Canaan Valley. I agree there are a lot of black bears in the valley bottom and up above in the Monongahela NF.

Do you have any factual accounts of bears injuring or killing residents or any of the many tourists that flock to Canaan? For our purpose, let's include the following areas:

- CV valley bottom including the resorts.
- Cabin Mtn. and the Mon NF up to Davis-Thomas & the Potomac headwaters.
- the Blackwater canyon & its forested slopes.
- the Bears Den summit area & adjoining trails.
- The general area referred to as the Dolly Sods Wilderness
- Mt. Porte Crayon to Hwy. 33 crossing of the Eastern Divide.
- Red Canyon to the confluence with the Dry Fork
- Dry Fork to Hambleton then N. to Olsen tower and back to Thomas.

For the others who don't know CV, the area was first explored then settled in the later decades of the 19th Century.

edit: Almost Heaven. True in every sense of the word.

69Rebel
April 23, 2011, 02:06 AM
I think the only way to really be sure is with a Barret M82 in .50 BMG.:D

But really, when I tromp around the woods not hunting, I only carry my trusty Colt 1991A1 and a dog. Well, I don't carry the dog, she's spoiled enough as it is.:) The .45 is more for two legged predators, which are far more common. The dog prevents anyone or thing puttin' the sneak on me.

Karl Hungus
April 23, 2011, 09:40 AM
^^^^^^^^^^

But what if you miss with that first shot? A Dillon minigun is the only way to be sure!

..and the bit about two-legged predators is spot on. They are a far greater danger in NPs and other wilderness areas than the wildlife.

Red Cent
April 23, 2011, 10:30 AM
twofifty, I have not researched or have any knowledge of black bear attacks in WV.

You didn't mention the Cranberry Glades. This has been designated as a bear sanctuary (forever) and is in a remote and beautiful area similar to Dolly Sods and Canaan Valley. As you may know, the flora and fauna found in these areas are found in the extreme northern tundra and nowhere else. And Canaan Valley used to have the best woodcock hunting ever. Been a while.

One of the most interesting areas is the trail from Summit Lake to the parking lot across the mountain from Richwood. Home of the Cherry River Navy. I have fished for trout down this trail (mostly downhill for about eleven miles) and stayed over night in the 3 sided slant roof shelters. You will see more bear sign on that trail than most. Must keep the rangers busy replacing torn up wooden signs and posts. That 3 sided shelter felt pretty good. Had to come in the front door (over the bells).

In a bunch of years tooling around WV, I have seen a number of black bears. Never had an incident. Been close to some big bears. Close enough to examine the power that these animals exude and to respect their right of way.

I carry (almost all the time) a lw Commander 45 acp. When hunting with either bow or rifle, I had a Ruger Security Six SS snub with 158gr SP. Another one of my happiness and security blankets.

I have never hunted or killed a black bear. Around those parts,the black bear is hunted with dogs. IMHO, I would ban shooting bears from trees. The excitement of the chase is real, but I agree with the fox hunters. A nice small fire high on a ridge, a bottle of George Dickel and listen to them run.

.

69Rebel
April 23, 2011, 11:20 AM
But what if you miss with that first shot? A Dillon minigun is the only way to be sure!

The M82 is a 10 shot semi-auto!:D The muzzle blast alone would probably tumble a bear.:p

22-rimfire
April 23, 2011, 12:30 PM
Choosing a good pair of boots is probably more important than what firearm you choose when in black bear country. To be honest, I'm comfortable with a 22 revolver. I would be thinking more about what camera and lenses to carry with me.

Karl Hungus
April 23, 2011, 05:38 PM
The M82 is a 10 shot semi-auto!

Yeah but the recoil makes quick follow-ups nearly impossible. I stand by the Dillon minigun as the minimum for black bear protection. Or maybe tactical nukes deployed from orbit...

dprice3844444
April 23, 2011, 06:09 PM
do nut use hollow points,they will expand in the fatty layers,not reach vitals,and piss it off.use hot loads that give good penetration.might wanna order a can of bear spray for the wife.[URL="http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/7185/Bear+Warning/"]http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/7185/Bear+Warning

Evergreen
April 23, 2011, 06:22 PM
I personally prefer to carry nothing less than a .44 mag with hard cast bullet for black bear protection here in Oregon/Washington. However, our black bears can get up to 500lbs or so.. Most black bears in the rest of the country are quite smaller and can easily be taken out with a .357. Obviously, shot placement and not pissing in your pants are a requirement. I have had quite a few run-ins with black bears and not panicking is important, as you will get nervous. However, black bears are not fierce like grizzlies and if you hit them center mass they will usually will be wounded.

My advice is to also get a can of pepper spray which is quite effective against all bears in general. Carrying a 30-06 for a black bear does seem overkill, especially if you have multiple people with you. One person with pepper spray and another with a handgun would usually be all you need. I like to hike alone, so it's usually one or the other for me, but I would always carry both.

In grizzly country, I plan to carry my .460 S&W loaded with hot Buffalo Bore 360gr. However, I am still in the testing stage of this gun and round. Perhaps, I should make sure to file off the front sight though :p.

Deepwoods
April 23, 2011, 09:39 PM
I worked for a small Township Police Dept in Michigan's Upper peninsula. One night a call was received of a bear causing problems at a State Park in our jurisdiction and we investigated. After trying to chase the Black bear away with negative results. The Sergeant decided to destroy the animal before someone was attacked. Eighteen (18) 357 rounds later the bear was badly injured, but still pretty frisky (granted these were super-vel self defense rounds ideal for protection against humans). This all happened in less than ten minutes, then the shotgun was broke out and the bear "finished off" with two close range shots with 00Buck. The carcase was checked for rabies with none found.
Just from my own experience! (We both felt bad about what we put the bear through, and decided if we got into another situation where a bear needed to be put down we would use a shotgun, a box of 12 ga slugs were always carried in our brief case' after that incident).

SimplyChad
April 23, 2011, 11:33 PM
Were already back only spent one night then rain and the wife had enough. Anyway between the 4 of us we had 2 357's a 45acp a nifty little .22 ( Ithaca model 49) and my .30-06 carbine saw one bear who bolted before we really recognized what it was. Until now I forgot to mention Izzy my 60 lbs pit. all in all I had fun. Next time I think we will leave the girls or check the weather better which ever is easier at the moment.

Scoob
April 24, 2011, 01:33 AM
You mentioned your dog. I think a dog would be an excellent defence against a bear. Even a small dog. Dogs have senses that we can appreciate and a warning "alarm" is a wonderful advantage in the woods.

There is a funny video above of a common house cat chasing off a black bear. Animals react differently than we would imagine in most cases.

danite
April 24, 2011, 03:16 AM
in the late 80s in nor-cal coastal mountain range(its 3hrs to pavement)my hunting partners and i have a cabin we hunt hogs and deer from.after dressing and gearing up for hogs with a full lug 629 s&w 44 mag.in a bandoleer holster in the early am barely light i was relieving myself on to the edge of a black berry patch just off the porch and looking at the view over the canyon,mostly dark too early,when i heard something directly in front of me,when it stood up it looked bigger then a dinosaur,it turned out to be a sow with 1 cub both of them about 8-10 ft.out in the berries,as i backed away she came toward me like a roto-tiller i'm pulling the gun walking rapidly backwards when i tripped and fell right on my butt,thinking all the time i'm bear breakfast,as i got the gun out,for some unknown reason the sow slowed,for what appeared,to sniff the the urine puddle,then she charged i hit the animal 4 out of 6 pulls1 rd went through her eye 2 through the neck 1 breaking the spine,1 in the shoulder 2 others who knows,of course in the chaos i hadn't noticed one of my partners had come on to the porch with his coffee,and better yet his .45-70 lever gun,and had also hit it twice of course,heart and lung also disintegrating 4 in. of spine.we both claimed success in our shooting skills after i had replaced my weapons.1 behind my fly and zipper,the other i re-holstered,and since i had pissed all over my leg i changed my levis,but our skinning and bear autopsy,confirmed the hits by each of us.the animal weighed north of 385lbs. i m o when it comes to bears bigger is better

Red Cent
April 24, 2011, 02:37 PM
Danite, you da man. I would hope I would have a similar reaction to that kind of danger. Always makes me wonder.
Don't know if it was black or brown, but I bet that was a moment in time that is eternal. Holy..........

Red Cent
April 24, 2011, 02:39 PM
http://www.wtap.com/home/stateheadlines/19173544.html

Red Cent
April 24, 2011, 03:46 PM
http://www.southeasternoutdoors.com/wildlife/mammals/smoky-mountain-fatal-bear-attack.html

Red Cent
April 24, 2011, 03:48 PM
http://www.southeasternoutdoors.com/wildlife/mammals/cherokee-fatal-bear-attack.html

Red Cent
April 24, 2011, 03:57 PM
http://www.aolnews.com/2010/10/11/survivor-recounts-grisly-details-of-near-fatal-bear-attack/

Red Cent
April 24, 2011, 04:00 PM
Enough to establish that you can step in death's way anywhere, any how. I would hope these articles tell you that when meeting a black bear, simply backing up slowly may not work. Stay in condition yellow and carry your chosen protection. 'nuff said.

danite
April 25, 2011, 02:26 AM
Danite, you da man. I would hope I would have a similar reaction to that kind of danger. Always makes me wonder.
Don't know if it was black or brown, but I bet that was a moment in time that is eternal. Holy..........
"i'd rather be lucky than good"i can't remember who said that(one of napoleon's staff officers i believe)but i think it applies.it was a black sow probably heavy from eating for it's winter-prep that explains the size.i still don't know why it stopped to smell the urine puddle,factor in no flap on my holster,including that i was sitting from falling back,and was shooting straight on,also my friends say i was screaming bear,bear, like a 9 yr old girl that may have weirded the bear out somewhat,and the luck that my friend was holding his "big-pig"(his name for the.45-70 lever-gun)when he came out with his coffee cup,and he always seems to hit stuff.i think our 2 spinal shots slowed her roll+the cranial-ocular,and heart shots proved fatal,the damn animal almost got me,expiring about 1 ft away .the fact a 40yr old guy can scoot on his butt at high speed defies logic,and after 20 odd yrs the point that's always made with my bozo friends is screaming bear,and standing there with my tender business out like some flasher and that i pissed down my leg the bear is hardly mentioned.go figure!we looked but never saw the cub again and that was the first actual bear we had ever seen hunting that claim for yrs,seen sign that's all.

9MMare
April 27, 2011, 12:47 AM
I'm not sure the OP was saying that they were going to be shooting everything they see; they were wondering if the .357 Mag they had would be adequate defense against a black bear. Oh, and black bears do kill more people than any other type of bear in the typical year.

My wife and I were charged by one last fall as we were walking a dirt road on our property. She was a sow that we had seen earlier in the year with a single cub. The cub was not with her as we could see, but was maybe near by...of course it was the one time I left my Ruger in the truck...never again. She charged us with in 20 -25 yards and snapped and popped her teeth. We continually faced her, but maneuvered ourselves under a barbed wire fence that was seriously over grown. When we were safely on the other side of the fence she took off in the other direction. Had we stood our ground she would have ripped us to shreds; you could tell just by her demeanor. I've seen black bears plenty of times in the woods, and they don't typically act like that....8 to 9 times out of ten they just run off....it's that one time when they don't. Most of the time they are good natured...but just like a bull in the barn yard...you don't ever trust them and you don't ever turn your back on them. The last thing I would do is down play them to someone who may not have any experience with them; definitely don't make a boogey man out of them, but don't PETA/cartoonize them either. That's my only concern.

You dont know that she would have attacked....as I've said...blacks, even sows with cubs, almost always bluff charge. That is their defense.

No, dont trust them, but also dont assume that they are some deadly threat. Of course they require our respect, as you say, they arent cartoons. The real danger is being between them and a food source. And then they're very like dogs....possessive and very possibly dangerous. That's why it's a death sentence to feed bears...for the bears especially, but occasionally for people. :(

9MMare
April 27, 2011, 12:58 AM
Close.

"Why are you worried about black bears? Act appropriately, dont leave your garbage or food around, and you'll be fine. They dont attack people.

If you have to use a firearm on a black bear....the fault is almost certainly yours. Just back or walk away."

Red, no way would I say dont go armed. I would, I just wouldnt be carrying it because of bears. Or cougars.

Humans and sadly, feral dogs do come to mind tho.

Like I said...unless they're ripping down your kitchen door (which they've done in the 'burbs)....you are in their house. And everyone on this forum, that I've read, has said they'll defend their homes.......so we certainly, IMO, should be the ones making room for them....retreating, being responsible with food, going the long way around, etc.

cjbs2003
April 29, 2011, 04:16 AM
I'm not waiting to see if it's a false charge or not... Just like if I see a guy drawing a gun on me, I am not gonna wait to see if he's gonna shoot me with it first before I shoot. The whole reasoning that anyone would protect his home, somehow equates to a bear being given the benefit of the doubt while in the woods doesn't hold water with me. My family's and my life and limb are far more important to me than being concerned with a bear's "feelings". I couldn't care less about the bear if I feel it is threatening me.

My number one protection in black bear woods is OC spray, but I do have a firearm as well and will use it if I feel I need to. I am aware of bear behavior and have used restraint in the past. Past experience was with me. Should it be my family involved, I can tell you I won't be so restrained. I will take no risks when it comes to protecting my wife or children.

Double Tap Ammo in 200gr WFNGC Hardcast load is what my Security Six in 6" barrel will be loaded with when I am in black bear woods. If I run across 2 legged vermin, I am sure it'll put a hurting on them too... Plain and simple though, if you don't hit your target it doesn't matter whether it's a .357 mag or a bazooka! I can shoot my .357 mag much more accurately and confidently than the bigger loads. I don't trek into brown/grizzly bear country or I'd feel the need to become more efficient with something bigger. However, I am very confident with my .357 mag and my ability to put well placed shots on a bear charging.

alsask
April 29, 2011, 09:02 PM
In Alberta they average 2 bear attacks being reported a year. Probably 10 times that number are never reported. I think a .357 is a little light for bears. Pump 12 gauge with slugs is best.

9MMare
April 29, 2011, 11:12 PM
I'm not waiting to see if it's a false charge or not... Just like if I see a guy drawing a gun on me, I am not gonna wait to see if he's gonna shoot me with it first before I shoot. The whole reasoning that anyone would protect his home, somehow equates to a bear being given the benefit of the doubt while in the woods doesn't hold water with me. My family's and my life and limb are far more important to me than being concerned with a bear's "feelings". I couldn't care less about the bear if I feel it is threatening me.



Well you are in luck! Bears dont have lawyers and cant do much against those that invade their homes if the invaders have guns. At least us humans have rights and when *we assume invaders are dangerous* we have some legal safety nets.

Dem poor bears are just plum outta luck.

stjdavis
May 3, 2011, 06:13 PM
Leave them both at home, black bears are no threat to humans.

Meeteetse
May 3, 2011, 06:58 PM
I have a black bear hide hanging on the cabin wall. It was shot with a .357 Ruger Blackhawk (4 5/8" bbl). The load was 180 gr. hardcast Federal IIRC. Bear was shot twice. Since then I have decided to carry a .44 mag Super Blackhawk with the same barrel length. I do not know what velocity/power differences there would be with a 3" gun, but if you needed it up close and personal I think it would be adequate. I have also started carrying true bear spray. Make sure you have the most powerful because some are not very strong. I use Sabre products.

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