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Weapon for Hiking in Bear Country

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ReadyontheRight, Jun 23, 2003.

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  1. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    I guess a .38 isn't enough for Alaska:

    "Check this out before going to Alaska:

    The following pictures (at bottom) are of a guy who works for the Forest Service in Alaska. He was out deer hunting. A large grizzly bear charged him from about 50 yards away. The guy unloaded his 7mm Mag Semi-automatic rifle into the bear and it dropped a few feet from him. The big bear was still alive so he reloaded and capped it in the head. The bear was over one thousand six hundred pounds. It stood 12' 6" high at the shoulder, 14' to the top of his head. It's the largest grizzly bear ever recorded in the world. Of course, the game department did not let him keep it. It will be mounted and put on display at the Anchorage airport (to remind tourist's of the risks involved when in the wild).

    Think about this - you would be level with the bear's belly button when he stood upright, the bear would look you in the eye when it walked on all fours! To give additional perspective, consider that this bear, standing on its hind legs, could walk up to an average single story house and look over the roof.

    The bear had killed at least two people. His last meal was the unlucky nature buff in the third picture below. The Forest Service found the hiker's 38-caliber pistol emptied. Although the hiker fired six shots and managed to hit the grizzly with four shots (they ultimately found four 38 caliber slugs along with seven 7mm slugs inside the bear's dead body) it only wounded the bear - and probably angered it. The bear killed the hiker an estimated three days prior to the bear's own death by the gun of the Forest
    Service worker."

    I will NOT post the referenced picture of what's left of the nature buff with the .38.
     

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  2. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    Bear Paw.
     

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  3. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Urban (internet) legend

    This pic has been recylced over and over again, each time with a more outlandish story. The ADN cleared it up a while back. Apparently this fellow is an Airman on leave. IIRC he took the bear on Hinchenbrook island or a nearby island. It was not a man killer, and there was nothing out of the ordinary in the way it was killed. The bears out there get quite large, though this one is not the biggest.
     
  4. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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  5. Zip06

    Zip06 Member

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    I guess the point is that if you are going hiking/camping and feel you need a sidearm get a LAW. Wear it in a shoulder holster for very quick access.
     
  6. Bigjake

    Bigjake Member

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    LOL zip06

    Yet another case for that huge new smith .500
     
  7. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    That's one big bear the airman took.:eek:
     
  8. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    So in reality it took 6 shots at close range with a .338 Win Magnum. The first in the skull.

    I suppose I should have checked the urban legend factor, but those are a couple of nice photos of one big bear. That paw IS the size of that guy's chest.

    I'm still not hiking Alaska with only a .38.:uhoh:

    I wonder what chomped the nature lover's thigh down to the bone but left his sneakers and socks in the 3rd gruesome picture I received with this story but didn't post?
     
  9. gun-fucious

    gun-fucious Member

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    Forest Service's details give the lie to monster hunting myth
    Griz wasn't a record and had not killed anyone as far as it is known


    By PETER PORCO
    Anchorage Daily News

    (Published: May 7, 2003)

    Theodore Winnen, of the 18th Fighter Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base shot a big brown bear on Oct. 15, 2001 on Hinchinbrook Island. (Photo by Jim Urban / Associated Press archive 2001)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Click on photo to enlarge
    Tina in Louisiana wanted to know if the photographs were real. So did Martin, a pastor from Michigan, who wrote, "Are you able to verify for us that they are indeed genuine and true?"

    Both Tina and Martin, sending separate e-mail messages to the U.S. Forest Service in Juneau with attached photos of a grizzly killed in Prince William Sound in the fall of 2001, had written their heart-felt wonderment atop a message string that included this text, from a previous e-mail writer:

    "Think about it. This thing on its hind legs could walk up to the average single-story house and could look on the roof at eye level."

    There was never a question that the brown bear that 22-year-old airman Ted Winnen shot to death in October 2001 on Hinchinbrook Island was huge.

    The grizzly measured 10 feet, 6 inches from nose to tail. Its front claws were three to four inches long. An Alaska master guide estimated the bear's weight at up to 1,200 pounds. (Average brown bear weight for Hinchinbrook is less than half that.)

    One photo shows Winnen holding the bear's paw as it obscures almost all of his chest. A second photo shows Winnen crouched looking like a child behind the bear's massive, bloody head.

    But the "legend" e-mail, as Forest Service spokesman Ray Massey calls the tale that's been making the Internet rounds all this time, has converted the bear into a monster of impossible proportions.

    It's now "over one thousand six hundred pounds ... 12'6" high at the shoulder," reads one message Massey has received.

    E-mail exaggerations about the animal began to circulate little more than a month after Winnen, stationed at the time at Eielson Air Force Base, shot it while deer hunting with several partners.

    Some of the early e-mails reached the Daily News, and the paper published a story about the kill in December 2001 accompanied by the two photos taken by one of Winnen's partners, Eielson Staff Sgt. Jim Urban.

    Despite the newspaper story, the e-mails did not stop. Nor did calls to the agency from print and TV reporters wanting to know if the e-mail version was true.

    "I've gotten calls from media all over the world," Massey said one day last week. "I got a call from London today."

    The Forest Service, which manages the Chugach National Forest encompassing Prince William Sound, gets three or four e-mails about the bear every week that have to be answered, Massey said.

    Many of the messages are from people who are skeptical and want confirmation of their doubts from the agency. About 30 percent of the messages come from hunters who are all but certain the tale is a tall one.

    What's got Massey somewhat concerned, however, is that the circumstances of the bear's death morphed some time ago into what he terms an urban myth -- about a killer beast taken down by a Forest Service employee.

    "He was out deer hunting when a large world class Griz charged him from about 50 yards away," according to one e-mail tale that has been circulating. "The guy unloaded a 7mm Mag Semi-auto into the bear and it dropped a few feet from him. This thing was still alive, so he reloaded and capped it in the head. ... It's a world record. This bear had killed a couple of other people."

    The bear was not a record, and it didn't kill anyone, as far as is known. It was coming toward Winnen and Urban from about 10 yards away, but it may not have seen them. And Winnen used a .338-caliber Winchester Magnum.

    Hoping to debunk the myths, Massey answers the e-mails with plenty of details about the actual size of the bear and the hunt. The Forest Service's Web site provides a news release about the hunt and the rumors.

    But now a third photo is making the rounds, a picture that supposedly shows a person's body, the bear's victim.

    Massey never opened that attachment, he said.

    "I didn't want to see a photo of the body. I know it's bogus."

    Massey says there's no way to know how many people are reading the false stuff as the message travels the globe. He just scratches his head and says that, 19 months after the hunt, the story is still going.

    "It's like the Energizer bunny," he said. "I have no doubt the Internet is keeping it moving. Otherwise it would have died a long time ago."
     
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I've heard that the really big brownies on Hinchenbrook, Kodiak, etc. tend to be a lot less prone to attack humans than the somewhat smaller brownies around here, let alone the griz to the north. Humans are too small and low-fat to be of much interest to bear that have whole lakes full of salmon to eat.
     
  11. Erich

    Erich Member

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    Mmmmm - salmon! :)
     
  12. 0007

    0007 Member

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    Best thing to have is a friend(?) who runs slower then you do...:evil: :D
     
  13. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

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    perhaps cosmo, but still, anywhere you may be that you encounter a bear, NEVER assume it doesnt want to take a piece of your hide to see what it tastes like.

    my brother was waiting for a flight from kodiak to anchorage a couple years back, and decided to walk down to the river near the airport. walking back, there was fresh bear tracks, and remains of half eaten salmon that werent there when he walked in.
     
  14. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Sure, sure, sure. But if I had blasted away at every bear I've run across in the past few years, I'd have caused far more problems than I solved.

    When was the last fatal attack on a human by a Kodiak bear? They're so well fed, they just don't care about people most of the time. I'd be a lot less worried about big guys like the one in the picture and a lot more worried about:

    --Brownie sows with cubs, esp. THIN LOOKING sows with cubs

    --Black bears that have no apparent fear of humans.

    --Barren ground griz with hungry eyes

    --Young brownies (two years old or so) that want to "play" with you

    If a monster boar over 800 lbs. wants to kill you, there's basically nothing you can do to prevent it. When his blood is up it takes multiple hits from a magnum rifle to stop him, and if he's trying to kill you he's not going to give you a chance to get the shots off. One swipe is enough to pick up a man and perforate his heart and lungs. Thankfully, unlike tigers, they don't turn into man eaters. Unless you run into a kill site, you shouldn't worry too much about defending against the big boys.

    Anyway, your nose and your ears are the best defense against bears. That's why I dislike the bells.:D
     
  15. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

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    up here everyone has a bear tale to tell. but i have a difficult time determining what is real accounts and which are exaggerated. example, a cab driver was telling my boss and i of his cabin a few miles outside of seward where he has a gold mining claim. he says the bears are so used to him they wander in and out of his cabin and are as harmless as dogs.

    yeaaaaaah, real believable.

    an uncle used to talk of his getting chased up a tree by a bear. he was a drunk though, so that might never have happened. could have been a fox that treed him for all we know.
     
  16. Combat-wombat

    Combat-wombat Member

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    I was reading in G&A or some magazine like that and it sait a full caliber is sufficient. .38, .357 mag, .44 mag, 9mm, stuff like that. If I were you I'd pack a one of these, or for something a little smaller like this.
     
  17. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

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    a shiny nickel says that G&A is referring to teh pansy bears found across the rest of the continental USA. the ones that get to *maybe* 300 lbs.

    however, it probably isnt impossible for lower calibers to kill a bear, but i wouldnt trust my life to a .38 or 9mm. heck, a .45 isnt even all that comforting.
     
  18. Zip06

    Zip06 Member

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    I read a similar article in a gun rag yesterday. It said that about the minimum you want for a "pansy bear" is a .357 with about a 180 grain FMJ traveling at 1300fps. Dump them all right between his eyes and run like &^%$.
     
  19. mussi

    mussi Member

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    In some eastern European country (Slovenia?) you need at least a .300 Win Mag to be allowed to hunt. This will send the brownies down here packing, but in Alaska, I'd probably change that to a .338 Lapua Magnum.
     
  20. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Take whatever you feel good with at close range, and be prepared to use it in a hurry or not at all. A massive scoped magnum hunting rifle that weighs 10 lbs doesn't seem to useful for the trail.
     
  21. MountainPeak

    MountainPeak Member

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    I live in black bear country and see them frequently. I feel comfortable with a .41 or .44mag.. I usually hike with one of my .41s because I happen to be a fan of that caliber.
     
  22. gun-fucious

    gun-fucious Member

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    hand gernades
    lots of hand gernades

    :evil:
     
  23. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    44mag absolute minimum, and that will seem like a 22lr against a brownie. Use Garrett Cartridges (or similar) hardcast loads...and get 'em HOT!

    Marlin 45-70 is MUCH better... (still use hardcast loads like Garrett or BuffaloBore...)
     
  24. Combat-wombat

    Combat-wombat Member

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    How about a GE Minigun? M2HB? RPG-7?:D
     
  25. Double Maduro

    Double Maduro Member

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    According to Alaska fish and game, there has NEVER been a sucsesful defense against a grizzly attack with a hand gun.

    They said that yes, sometimes the bear dies from it's wounds but NEVER fast enough to help the shooter.
     
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