RMEF on bear spray vs. guns (for bears)

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by TheShadKing, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. TheShadKing

    TheShadKing Will Fish For Food

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    I was reading the most recent Bugle and came across a mention of some studies that had been done. I hadn't seen them before, or even mentions of them online in any of the perennial discussions on the topic.

    Perhaps y'all have because apparently the RMEF has mentioned it before (link below from last year's Bugle), but basically the upshot is that they're saying bear spray is far more effective, with a 90% safety rate (uninjured hunter) and only minor injuries in the other 10% vs. a ~45% safety rate with guns with serious injuries.

    It's worth chewing on and possibly even arguing over because the statistics for non-spray carriers suggest the outcome is about the same regardless of whether you try to shoot the bear or not.

    But who knows? Lies, darn lies, and statistics as always. I can see a dozen different ways the data can be suspect.

    Personally I've always preferred bear spray because I'm lazy-arsed bastidge, and bear spray is lighter. :rolleyes:

    The blurb from last year's Bugle is here; I couldn't find one for the most recent issue but then again I didn't try that hard:
    http://bugle.rmef.org/print.php?pages=74&issue_id=122939&ref=1


    Rolland
     
  2. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    I find the twin .50's, mounted on the gun ring usually solve the "problem bear" issue:D
     
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  3. WonkyWapiti

    WonkyWapiti Active Member

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    There was a recent issue in Backpacker magazine dedicated to bears and it had an article that said something similar. I am still behind on the last couple issues of my Bugle but will have to definitely read that article.
     
  4. scottr

    scottr Active Member

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    I say (and do) carry both.
     
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  5. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    The carry both gets my vote as well. Anyone know if the sprays work as well on cats, obstinate cows/bulls and tweakers?
     
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  6. scottr

    scottr Active Member

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    My bro-in-law took out a group of raccoons with bear spray. They were in a maple tree trying to get onto his roof and with one burst they dropped like flies but it did defoliate a portion of the tree.
     
  7. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    An acquaintance of mine was recently hit by bear spray, and it required a trip to the hospital for her. She is somewhat of an irresponsible dog owner and her dogs were the target. Weeks and many baths later if your were petting the dogs you had to thoroughly wash your hands after. If you even got your hands close to your face it was all over.
     
  8. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    My escalation of force leads me to carry four items used in order when possible:
    1) my head to avoid unfavorable contact
    2) an air horn (read Bear Horn) and my kids carry these as well
    3) bear spray (and know how to use it)
    4) sidearm as the last resort (and know how to use it)
     
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  9. scottr

    scottr Active Member

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    Yeah I would never use on a persons pet or a human unless it was a life or death self defense situation. It is nasty stuff.
     
  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I carry bear spray but have yet to use it. Talking to the bears, "Hey bear" as I'm walking through their territory gives them an opportunity to avoid me, and that mostly works. If not, I yell at them or blow a coach's whistle. That gets their attention, and they usually run off, but a couple have just turned around and walked away. I always think those will come back around camp to check for food, but so far that hasn't happened. These are rational, pragmatic measures.

    I think handguns, regardless of caliber, offer far more emotional security than physical security. The person who thinks he can draw, aim, and make an accurate kill shot with a handgun when a bear is closing from less than 50 feet away at 40 mph is delusional. About the only way that shot is going to be made is by jamming the gun in the bear's mouth when it's on you and firing. The probable percentage outcome in that scenario is that you're going to end up being bear scat. Embrace the wilderness concept and stop worrying about bears.

    Sg
     
  11. scottr

    scottr Active Member

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    Practice for shooting a charging bear in self defense should involve trying draw, aim, and hit a bowling ball coming towards you on a zip line.
     
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  12. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Except hitting the bowling ball on a zip line would still be easier than the needed kill shot on a bear. People should just try and get comfortable with the idea that one potential outcome of time in the woods is ending up as bear scat.

    Sg
     
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  13. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    The one time I wanted to use my bear spray on a bear, I couldn't. The wind was blowing in my face, so my buddy and I had to resort to yelling and finally throwing rocks (not recommended, but it was all we could do). When the bear got to within about 20 feet without showing any intention of changing course, a decent sized rock hit it in the ribs and it turned and ran off. It would have been nice to have a shotgun in the situation, not to kill the bear, but to make a lot more noise, and know that if all else failed, we'd have a way to defend ourselves.
     
  14. Gary Thompson

    Gary Thompson dirty dog

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    For some strange reason I have been thinking about this for awhile.
    I'm out hunting with my muzzle loader or my 30-06 and I see a bear coming toward me say 100 yds.
    1. I let the bear know I'm there. Made noise and move, maybe shoot the 06, but not the muzzle loader (to slow to reload).
    2. If the bear doesn't stop and leave before 50 ft. I shoot to kill. No waiting for a close encounter.
    I've been very close to a few bears that never new I was there and as soon as they did they shit and get.
    I would not kill a bear over an elk or deer.
    I figure my brother the bear and I both can live to hunt another day.
    I haven't started to carry bear spray yet.
    One reason is I'm part of the wilderness.
    If I'm fishing or hiking and I get in a bears way, I'm still part of the wilderness, really, really stinky bear shit.
     
  15. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    No argument that firing at a charging bear, expecting to take it down, is a low probability venture. But, have you have not seen the video of the rafting group in Alaska that had a sow coming charging back out of the woods into the river and got within maybe 30 feet when one of the group fired a .44 round into the water in its path? It threw up a plume of water and sent the sow back the other direction post hast. (tried to find it, but no luck). I have also heard others say just firing a round into the air or into the the dirt close to it has proved very successful in getting them to change their intentions.

    Maybe what we need is something like a 2-3 shot flare gun that creates an explosion and cloud of capsin or whatever other nasty stuff they don't like...patent application in process ;)