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Old 08-24-2011, 04:59 AM   #21
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I always keep a gun handy. It is a deterrant not only for any wildlife with evil intent, but is especialy convienent to deter the most dangerous creature of all --------the human.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:09 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
A gun is not meant to be a noisemaker. Carry an air-horn for that. Where do you expect to point the thing for noise-making? I was trained that the only direction you point a weapon is at a target you expect your round to penetrate. Other than for cleaning, target practice or competitive shooting, the only time a piece comes out of it's holster is when you intend to kill.
I agree with Adrian whole heartedly! Why would you want to kill such a beautiful animal if there's a chance to scare it away? It isn't practical to carry one of everything. If you have the time to fire a warning shot, you will be able to set yourself for a hit shot. The greater the distance you discharge the shot the greater the possibility of a miss or a wounding shot.

As a Canadian I'm not allowed to carry a handgun while hiking so I carry a small air horn as my noise maker. I have encountered black bears in the woods but have been lucky enough that they seemed more afraid of me than I of them. I am a former competitive marksman and taught gun safety and agree a firearm should remain holstered until being readied for use; as a noise maker to scare a bear seems like an appropriate use to me.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:18 AM   #23
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It might be important to note that unarmed backpackers manage to survive trips through grizzly country all the time. Your brain is probably the best weapon in the wilderness.

If bears were the giant hairy menace you guys are making them out to be, we'd see national forest trails littered with the skeletal remains of hikers, and really they're not. Which is not to say folks should not be super careful, but seriously, bears are not lying murderously in wait for us to blunder through their territory.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:29 AM   #24
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It might be important to note that unarmed backpackers manage to survive trips through grizzly country all the time. Your brain is probably the best weapon in the wilderness.

If bears were the giant hairy menace you guys are making them out to be, we'd see national forest trails littered with the skeletal remains of hikers, and really they're not. Which is not to say folks should not be super careful, but seriously, bears are not lying murderously in wait for us to blunder through their territory.
I dunno Jen b do we need more evidence than this?
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:42 AM   #25
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I dunno Jen b do we need more evidence than this?
Heh. I stand corrected!
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:53 AM   #26
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It might be important to note that unarmed backpackers manage to survive trips through grizzly country all the time. Your brain is probably the best weapon in the wilderness.

If bears were the giant hairy menace you guys are making them out to be, we'd see national forest trails littered with the skeletal remains of hikers, and really they're not. Which is not to say folks should not be super careful, but seriously, bears are not lying murderously in wait for us to blunder through their territory.
Sounds "offal"!,or do you just argue with him? If you were a politician maybe you could bore him to death with a pseudointellectual diatribe! Careful with that though, usually only humans are dumb enough to fall for it and you might just make him angry.

Don't forget what one of our most famous conservationists is supposed to have said...Walk softly but carry a BIG STICK!, Heck, and they named the world's most famous bear after him!
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:07 AM   #27
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while it is a pretty serious matter, it does invoke some light-hearted juxtaposition.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:49 AM   #28
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If bears were the giant hairy menace you guys are making them out to be, we'd see national forest trails littered with the skeletal remains of hikers, and really they're not. Which is not to say folks should not be super careful, but seriously, bears are not lying murderously in wait for us to blunder through their territory.
Hehe Jen you are correct - my neighbourhood would also be littered with skeletal remains & our parks would closed all the time if black bears where considered to be so dangerous one needed to carry a gun for protection (actually doing that will land you in jail). Cant think of a time in the 20 years I have lived here when the forested mountain behind me has ever been closed due to bear concerns & we have a lot of bears in those woods and often in the neighourhood pools & hot tubes and they have even been known to go shopping at the local Safeway :-)

Here in BC we have the highest population of black bears in North America yet this summer we had our first human death in over 4 years - and no one knows for sure what actually happened in that case as know one else saw the attach.

You actually have a far higher chance of being killed by a car while walking down the street, being killed while snow boarding or falling off a cliff while hiking than being killed by a black bear.

Here is a link to what everyone is our community is taught in regards to what to do and not to do around bears:

Safety | BearAware
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:53 AM   #29
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Those are hilarious.

And to wit (so to speak) there are so few fatal bear attacks that it is possible to list them all from North America during the past century on a not-super-long web page. If you read through these, at least half the time the attack happened because the human was doing something really stupid (ignoring warnings, being inside a captive bear enclosure with food, jumping into a zoo enclosure to give the bears hugs or whatever, etc.) The other attacks probably could have been avoided had the victims not been either alone or with only one other person. I mean, if you're going to be so careless as to provoke a bear attack upon yourself, maybe the rest of us don't want to trust you with firearms??

List of fatal bear attacks in North America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Here are some good pointers for awareness in bear country. Basically, don't surprise them, don't crowd them, and understand that their number-one job in life is to eat enough during the spring, summer, and fall to survive the winter, and that means eating all the time and is that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich you have there? It's not super difficult to understand the basics of staying alive in bear country.
Bear Facts

Now, to put all this in perspective, how many bears are killed by people each year? 40k - 50k is one estimate I've seen about legal hunting, and then you add several thousand through poaching, and then the handful who get euthanized because people have trained them to be food aggressive.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:54 AM   #30
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The Problem

The general wild animal population has been growing rapidly as has the human population. On average people are less "animal smart" than they were.

In BC the bear has virtually doubled in 100 years. New Jersey with the population density of India, has over 5000 bears.

I live in a beach town, the yards are only 60x100, really packed yet a moose has walked thru our neighborhood, coyotes are all around. By the way they caught the moose, put a radio collar on him, and transported him way north in NH. With a week or so he was back in southern NH headed our way again.

Being wild animal conscious is critical since they are really coming into populated areas, as Carol said when she began this post. It's when you don't expect danger that you are most vulnerable.

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Old 08-24-2011, 10:56 AM   #31
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Just because the "statistics" tend to make the numbers seem insignificant in regard to attacks by wild animals, it doesn't take into account the incidents where "real people" have been attacked, viciously mauled, or killed. You can tout your "pepper perfume" bear spray, or opening your coat and yelling "Bad Bear,Go Away!", or any other such nonsense if that's your way of dealing with reality...by the way, let me know how that crap works out for you when the bear is chewing your face off if you just happen to fall into the category of the "only a small percentage statistically" group.
Animals, by design, come equipped with thick skin, claws, long sharp teeth, powerful muscles, speed and agility, poison venom, etc. What do unarmed humans "bring to the table?" Themselves...as dinner! We innately do not exhibit any physically defensive attributes. We only have our "brains," and because we are not a physical match for a fight with wildlife in their environment, I'm sure some wild animal will enjoy feasting on yours...Don't get me wrong, I love animals, and I am all about preserving nature...That being said, I still don't plan on being a victim of an attack when I have the means to at least level the playing field, because I don't have sharp teeth or claws.
Oh, and by the way, wild animals aren't "coming into populated areas"...WE are continually expanding our domain into THEIR areas!
Get a reality check.
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:31 AM   #32
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Just because the "statistics" tend to make the numbers seem insignificant in regard to attacks by wild animals, it doesn't take into account the incidents where "real people" have been attacked, viciously mauled, or killed. You can tout your "pepper perfume" bear spray, or opening your coat and yelling "Bad Bear,Go Away!", or any other such nonsense if that's your way of dealing with reality...by the way, let me know how that crap works out for you when the bear is chewing your face off if you just happen to fall into the category of the "only a small percentage statistically" group.
Animals, by design, come equipped with thick skin, claws, long sharp teeth, powerful muscles, speed and agility, poison venom, etc. What do unarmed humans "bring to the table?" Themselves...as dinner! We innately do not exhibit any physically defensive attributes. We only have our "brains," and because we are not a physical match for a fight with wildlife in their environment, I'm sure some wild animal will enjoy feasting on yours...Don't get me wrong, I love animals, and I am all about preserving nature...That being said, I still don't plan on being a victim of an attack when I have the means to at least level the playing field, because I don't have sharp teeth or claws.
Oh, and by the way, wild animals aren't "coming into populated areas"...WE are continually expanding our domain into THEIR areas!
Get a reality check.
I agree with most of what you say, except that last sentence.
The Earth was actually commissioned to be built by mice if you ask the Magrathians!
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:48 AM   #33
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History

Oh, and by the way, wild animals aren't "coming into populated areas"...WE are continually expanding our domain into THEIR areas!
Get a reality check.

By 1700 you could barely find a deer to kill in CT or MA. Today we have between 30 and 50 per square mile i a state where 600 people also live on every square mile. In the capital of Hartford bear have been captured. A mountain lion related to a SD group of Mountain Lions was killed in CT.

Wild animals are rapidly extending their range, range loss for centuries.

It's true in some areas we are decreasing their range, but at least in Southern New England they are extending their range. Today their are more deer in CT than there were before Columbus. Hunting and hunters are very limited.

In CT a grade school story was the killing of the last wolf in 1700. I suspect many of today's students will hear a wolf in the night before they die, there are certainly plenty of deer.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:45 PM   #34
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Hondao3842,

Not to be argumentative on this issue, as that would really serve no useful purpose, and would only be "my opinoin vs your opinion," each of which we are entitled to, but as a background, I was born, raised, and grew up in New York State until I joined the Navy in 1970. I used to hunt with my Dad "upstate" a lot while growing up, and I would have to say that the population growth "back east" has increased exponentially. What used to be wildlands and rural farms has turned into shopping malls and housing developments. It is unfortunate that a large part of our wildlife habit has diminished or disappeared over the years in the name of progress and development, but we, as a species, have really been the worst thing to come along, relative to animal habitat.
But the question begs to be asked, "Are we displacing the indiginous species through our development of land, and then blaming them for "encroaching" on "our space?"
As to the over-abundance of game animals, well that, IMO, is little more than the actions of overzealous politicians, creating restrictive gun laws that prevent balancing herd growth through their misguided anti-gun legislation. They seem so concerned with regulating gun possession, (yet every "gang-banger" seems to have a gun...ironic, isn't it, in a part of the country with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation?) and then to have total disregarded to the gun ownership rights of law abiding citizens to hunt, which I personally feel is not only a "right", but,for all you animal rights and conservation leaning types, also helps to prevent overpopulation of certain species, (which, by the way, often die a slow painful death due to starvation from to lack of available food resources.) OK, I'm off my "soapbox" now.
We, as a species, are more than fully responsible for a good number of the world's woes when it comes to loss of indiginous animals, but apparently, we love to pass the blame onto other things, like the animals we've displaced for instance, for "invading" our turf...it's all their fault of course, for being rude enough to invade our back yards (which used to be their front yards.)
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:52 PM   #35
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Went to Yellowstone this summer and found out that the trouble with Bears is the Idiots that insist on getting right up to them to take a picture.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:55 PM   #36
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QUOTE: "Went to Yellowstone this summer and found out that the trouble with Bears is the Idiots that insist on getting right up to them to take a picture."

It's a "Darwin Award" thing...the stupid species die off, the smart ones move on. Go Bears!
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:00 PM   #37
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Greg, just be careful not to paint with too broad a brush...my husband and I are those "conservation leaning types" who love fuzzy critters, and have a couple of hunting weapons that get used each year. People don't quite fall into easy to categorize sides all the time.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:11 PM   #38
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Jen b,

I mean, if you're going to be so careless as to provoke a bear attack upon yourself, maybe the rest of us don't want to trust you with firearms??

Based on the above statement, I gotta ask...And when you are walking through the brush hiking along a trail and, suddenly in the blueberry and silal brush, a mother bear, with cubs, stands up in front of you, unknown that they were even there two seconds ago, your reaction would be? For me, I'll rely on my firearms, rather than my wits, when it comes to a mother bear "defending" her cubs. Do I want to shoot her? No! Will I shoot her to defend my life, (aka, her or me?) Hell Yes! It's all about survival, whether I'm in a ghetto "hood" being attacked, or in the woods being attacked. Not even a questionable decision in my book.

Please don't take my comments as a personal affrontery. I do not want to provoke a "bad blood" situation here. I am not picking on you, or anyone else. If you haven't been able to read between the lines in my comments, I too, am very much a conservationalist. And, furthermore, I no longer hunt, nor have I for over 20 years. That doesn't mean, however, I am not prepared to defend myself, against any two-legged or four-legged predators whom would seek to do me harm.
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:18 PM   #39
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I mean, if you're going to be so careless as to provoke a bear attack upon yourself, maybe the rest of us don't want to trust you with firearms??
This is about as silly as it gets. Really? We provoke bear attacks? I live in a very rural area and there is a healthy, thriving bear population. In addition to camping in my Trillium I also enjoy other outdoor activities like hiking. Bear encounters happen by chance. They're not planned events. When I encounter a bear I don't do anything to provoke an attack and none ever has; thank goodness. I don't carry a gun and if I had I have never been in a situation where I would have used it. However, if I were permitted to carry one, I would. I would hope I would never have to shoot any animal but if it came down to me or them... that's not a tough one. In addition to bears, coyotes have become very aggressive in this area as well and last year a pack attacked and killed a young female hiker. Yes, attacks are rare and fatalities even more rare but they happen. Being prepared isn't provocation, it's just smart.
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:38 PM   #40
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QUOTE: "Went to Yellowstone this summer and found out that the trouble with Bears is the Idiots that insist on getting right up to them to take a picture."

It's a "Darwin Award" thing...the stupid species die off, the smart ones move on. Go Bears!
Saw a lot people who should be given the Darwin Award in Yellowstone - apparently many feel that petting the Buffalo while their friend takes a photo is a real good idea.... or sticking your hand into a spring to see if the water is as hot as the sign says it is or standing within 3 feet of a moose with a big rack is the only way to get a good picture .....

Sadly the big prize went to the fellow who was killed this summer. He and wife came across a grizzly with two cubs - per the ranger the bear was walking away after the couple had already gone back and forth a number of times getting pictures with each of them in it with the cubs in the background. The bear started to leave the area and the couple started to followed it! Momma bear was not happy about that! Bear lives on as the park rangers felt the bears behaviour was as to be expected.....

Creg I totally agree with you BTW that it is we who have moved into the bears areas - suspect that is why I am pretty tolerant of them being here (although the house has been here 55 years).
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