Study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesn't make you safer

Mar 06, 2012

Carrying a gun in bear country doesn't mean you're more protected in the event of a bear encounter, according to new research out of Brigham Young University.

A study led by BYU biologist and bear expert Tom S. Smith found that firing a gun is no more effective in keeping people from injury or death during bear attacks than not using a firearm.

"It really isn't about the kind of gun you carry, it's about how you carry yourself," said Smith, who has researched bears in the field for 20 years. "We need to respect an animal that could potentially take our lives."

Smith and his colleagues analyzed 269 incidents of bear-human conflicts in Alaska for the study, appearing in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management. Those incidents involved 444 people and 357 bears, 300 of which were brown bears.

The researchers found no statistical difference in the outcome (no injury, injury or ) when they compared those who used their gun in an aggressive encounter (229 instances) to those who had firearms but did not use them (40 instances).

The implication is that firearms should not be a substitute for doing the right things to avoid unwanted encounters in bear habitat. Although a shooter may be able to kill an aggressive bear, injuries to the shooter and others also can occur.

This finding is especially relevant given the 2010 law allowing guns in .

"We're seeing more and more people in bear country with guns," Smith said. "Yet guns, for most people, are not their best option. You don't even need a gun if you behave appropriately."

Behaving appropriately, according to the authors, means following the for avoiding bear encounters:

  • hike in groups
  • avoid areas of poor visibility
  • make noise as appropriate
  • avoid startling mothers with cubs
  • be more cautious in country
"This study provides statistical, quantitative support that following the conventional wisdom actually is the most effective way to be safe in bear country," said co-author Randy T. Larsen, a professor of plant and wildlife sciences at BYU. "Because once a bear charges, the odds of a successful outcome is seven times less likely, regardless of whether or not you have a firearm."

Smith and his co-authors write that using firearms in bear encounters is difficult even for experts due to the need for split-second deployment and deadly accuracy. People should carefully consider their ability to be accurate under duress before carrying a firearm for protection from bears, they write.

"People should consider carrying a non-lethal deterrent such as bear spray," said Smith, a owner himself. "It's much easier to deploy, it's less cumbersome and its success rate in these situations is higher than guns."

In a 2008 study, Smith found that bear spray effectively halted aggressive bear encounters in 92 percent of the cases.

Bear spray is a liquid pepper spray that comes in an 8-oz can and retails for $30-$40. The hissing sound and sight of the expanding cloud of the spray are often enough to frighten away bears. However, the intense burning of red pepper juice is debilitating and derails bears from continuing an attack.

"If you act appropriately and you carry bear spray, you are much better off than just blundering into bear country with a large firearm," Smith said.

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Musashi
2.5 / 5 (11) Mar 06, 2012
"Study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesn't make you safer"

By "you" the "study" refers to people that don't have the composure to own guns in the first place. Thanks, I needed the study tyo know that...
julianpenrod
2.4 / 5 (19) Mar 06, 2012
How casually and carelessly Musashi adds the unproved qualification that those whose use of guns in bear attacks didn't help "don't have the composure to own guns in the first place". So often, those with illegitimate stances manufacture "evidence" to support those stances.
Overall, though, the attitude described seems in line with a general sentiment of "guns solve everything" sweeping the country. Police have become trigger happy and many show willingness to accept summary execution as the answer for jaywalking. "Castle Laws" are letting people just shoot others at random, for sport, and claim afterward they "felt threatened". And the idea that bigger guns trumps human rights informs all corporate toadying American foreign policy now.
It's a question how soon the American public will come to embrace the idea that respecting other humans' rights is as advisable as respecting bears' rights.
ryggesogn2
2.2 / 5 (18) Mar 06, 2012
"In a 2008 study, Smith found that bear spray effectively halted aggressive bear encounters in 92 percent of the cases."
What about the 8%?
That's when you bring out the .454.
During a Sarah Palin show, they trained using a shotgun to ward off a bear attack.
Of course the best thing to do is be sure you can run faster than everyone else.
baudrunner
2.5 / 5 (11) Mar 06, 2012
I think I'd probably feel safer with a gun if I lived in bear country.

In my experience there are two kinds of people in the world: those who freeze and just stare into the headlights of a vehicle about to run them over; and those who run away like a scared jackrabbit to save their hides. It's the former who are of the ilk that die from a bear attack while cradling a gun. They are also people who shouldn't have guns. According to the study, that's most of them.
Temple
4 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2012
Baudrunner:
In my experience there are two kinds of people in the world: those who freeze and just stare into the headlights of a vehicle about to run them over; and those who run away like a scared jackrabbit to save their hides. It's the former who are of the ilk that die from a bear attack while cradling a gun. They are also people who shouldn't have guns. According to the study, that's most of them.


Of 269 people who had guns and were attacked by bears, 229 people fired them and only 40 did not fire them.

So, 229 people were the people who were able to get off a shot yet they fared identically to those that didn't get off a shot or who simply ran away.

This isn't a 'gun issue', it's simply a study which shows that a gun is fairly useless in a bear attack scenario.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (14) Mar 06, 2012
What kind of shot?
Ballistics are important. At least a .44Mag is recommend and one must have practiced.
The whole point of the article is to justify the US govt keeping self-defense firearms out of parks.
In Yellowstone, there used to be sharpshooter in areas where tourists would feed the bears from their cars, just in case.
Did this sharpshooters have firearms or pepper spray?
nappy
2.9 / 5 (14) Mar 06, 2012
THis is an insane statement. If you carry a gun of suitable size and shoot the bear, it will not eat you. Period.
Temple
5 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2012
This is an insane statement. If you carry a gun of suitable size and shoot the bear, it will not eat you. Period.


I'm reminded of an old saying: "If my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle."

That's a lot of ifs. A lot of ifs that the numbers have shown don't always shake out the way you imply they will.

What the study seems to suggest is that there appear to be far more reliable protective measures than firearms, measures which rely much less on relatively chancy 'ifs'.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (14) Mar 06, 2012
"Smith found that bear spray effectively halted aggressive bear encounters in 92 percent of the cases."
And the other 8%?

""If you act appropriately and you carry bear spray, you are much better off than just blundering into bear country with a large firearm," Smith said."
If you act appropriately AND you carry an appropriate firearm...

"They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking"
"Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered."
How to tell bear scat:
Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.
tadchem
3.7 / 5 (6) Mar 06, 2012
Can you draw, aim, and fire a can of pepper spray faster than you can draw, aim, and fire a .44 magnum Desert Eagle?
My advice is to hike with people who can't outrun you.
ab3a
4.8 / 5 (5) Mar 06, 2012
It is almost never a good idea to carry a gun without training and experience using it at a firing range. The article mentions nothing about experience of the shooter.

Were I doing activities such as fishing or berry picking where bears are known to be, I would resort to the spray first. I have no desire to kill needlessly. However, with appropriate training, a gun is still a reasonable last-ditch alternative.
dnatwork
4.5 / 5 (8) Mar 06, 2012
It would be interesting to see a study where all you armchair scientists and marksmen go hiking in bear country with your guns, try the bear spray first, then decide to draw your gun and fire, then decide to run away when that doesn't work on the first shot, all while a 1000 pound bear is charging you head-on at 35 miles an hour. But I don't think you will be around to report on the results.
kochevnik
3.3 / 5 (12) Mar 06, 2012
and those who run away like a scared jackrabbit to save their hides.
Unless you can run 55kph you will be it's dinner.
"Castle Laws" are letting people just shoot others at random, for sport, and claim afterward they "felt threatened".
If someone breaks into my home they deserve a lead shower. Why do you care? Are you a burglar?
aroc91
3 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2012
"Castle Laws" are letting people just shoot others at random, for sport, and claim afterward they "felt threatened".


[Citation needed]
TrinityComplex
5 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2012
Any law can be misused, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone had used Castle Doctrine to get away with assault or murder by fabricating evidence, but all laws are subject to the truthful actions of those they apply to.

As far as bears, just be sure to educate yourself. Talk to the park rangers that frequent the area and they'll give you any number of tips to avoid becoming lunch, half of which are 'don't be stupid' and 'stop poking it with a stick', but I tend to trust the men and women who practically live around these creatures without much difficulty to know what they are talking about.
julianpenrod
2 / 5 (12) Mar 06, 2012
kochecnik is symptomatic of so many, these days. Breaking into \someone's house does not call for killing or even wounding. Some people are so psychotically eager to have an "excuse" to hurt other people, these days. And consider the wretched challenge, "Why do you care? Are you a burglar?" As if no one has any reason to care about the welfare of fellow humans. Only a craven sociopath would be unable to fathom the idea of caring about someone else without having a personal stake in the issue.
They used to say animals respoinded to what they scented on individuals around them, fear, bravery, even aggression. Perhaps the number of bear attacks isn't the result of so many people foolishly getting too close, perhaps there are just so many people anymore who stink of a desire to commit atrocites, and animal attacks are just the creatures trying to drive those lunatics away.
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2012
aroc91 issues the typical challenge to a statement, saying "Citation needed". If these precious "citations" meant so much to establish the truth of a statement, there would have been assertions published of the lack of any evidence in the infrastructure of Iraq of banned weapons systems. Largely, if not mostly, citations only say what the corporate New World Order is willing to allow them to say.
pauljpease
1 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2012
and those who run away like a scared jackrabbit to save their hides.
Unless you can run 55kph you will be it's dinner.
"Castle Laws" are letting people just shoot others at random, for sport, and claim afterward they "felt threatened".
If someone breaks into my home they deserve a lead shower. Why do you care? Are you a burglar?


No, but maybe a person might break into your house for some reason you are too slow to think of yourself. Maybe there is an emergency outside and they need to call 911 (and no cellphone). Maybe there is a psychopath trying to shoot them outside and they are seeking a safe place. Or like happened to me once, the guy was drunk and was at the wrong house. Yeah, he deserved to die.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) Mar 06, 2012
"A 911 tape released to Oklahoma City media outlets Wednesday reveals that 18-year-old Sarah McKinley asked a Grady County dispatcher for permission to shoot the intruder. McKinley's 3-month-old son was with her when she shot Justin Shane Martin, 24, at her Blanchard mobile home.

"I've got two guns in my hand. Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door?" McKinley asked the dispatcher.

"Well, you have to do whatever you can do to protect yourself," the dispatcher is heard telling McKinley. "I can't tell you that you can do that, but you have to do what you have to do to protect your baby."

Read more: http://www.foxnew...oOIUCNkb

gwrede
3 / 5 (6) Mar 06, 2012
The problem with guns against a charging bear is, even if you hit its heart, it will still have ample time to rip your guts out. The bear doesn't stop immediately and start contemplating the meaning of life and death until it falls down.

The only way to stop it immediately is to shoot it in the head or the upper spine. But the spine is too thin to realistically hope to hit. And the head is so thick that you need to hit it in the eye, which again is next to impossible.
aroc91
5 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2012
aroc91 issues the typical challenge to a statement, saying "Citation needed". If these precious "citations" meant so much to establish the truth of a statement, there would have been assertions published of the lack of any evidence in the infrastructure of Iraq of banned weapons systems. Largely, if not mostly, citations only say what the corporate New World Order is willing to allow them to say.


Yeah, a citation would establish the truth of a statement. That's the point. You can't say something and not back it up. I'd be willing to bet the statistics would not be in your favor. I think you'd be hard pressed to find an appreciable percentage of shootings made from an abuse of castle laws.

Quit prancing around the point with this Iraq nonsense.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (12) Mar 06, 2012
The problem with guns against a charging bear is, even if you hit its heart, it will still have ample time to rip your guts out. The bear doesn't stop immediately and start contemplating the meaning of life and death until it falls down.

The only way to stop it immediately is to shoot it in the head or the upper spine. But the spine is too thin to realistically hope to hit. And the head is so thick that you need to hit it in the eye, which again is next to impossible.

Which is why a large caliber, higher energy round is needed to provide the force to stop the bear.
The .45 auto was created to physically stop a person charging you.
Energy on target is the key.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (9) Mar 06, 2012
gwrede
2.3 / 5 (6) Mar 06, 2012
Which is why a large caliber, higher energy round is needed to provide the force to stop the bear.
The .45 auto was created to physically stop a person charging you.
Energy on target is the key.
Oh. Ok. So, a bear weighing twice what a big motorcycle weighs, would stop in its tracks with your .45? Do you think it would stop a motorcycle even from a walking speed?

Seems to me you'd feel safer with a pacifier.

Incidentally, if you found a gun with enough energy to stop a charging bear, then merely firing it would throw you back some 20 yards. Oh, and it would weigh enough to not be a one-man portable weapon.
julianpenrod
1.4 / 5 (9) Mar 06, 2012
aroc91 actually says that something is true if a citation from the corporate controlled "news" says it and, if they don't say something, it must neve be considered true. They are the only arbiters of truth, and everything they say is true. That is short sighted at best and deceitful at worst. Many are eager to accept the lie of the reliability of the corpporate controlled press and many are willing to encorse that. But claims of banned weapons in Iraq, of Iraqi soldiers taking babies from incubators in Kuwait and dropping them on the floor, of the "rescue" of Jessice Lynch, of the Gulf of Tonkin, of the sinking of the Maine all attest against the unquestionaned veracity of the corporate controlled "news" and of those who insist they can't lie.
kochevnik
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 07, 2012
kochecnik is symptomatic of so many, these days. Breaking into \someone's house does not call for killing or even wounding.
In USA I can shoot anyone breaking into my house. It is the law. In Russia I cannot own or carry. But the guard always carries a PDT-9 Captian-9 which would likely stop your attempts to achieve tremendous personal gain in a short time.

Many drunks in Russia but I not hear of one so dumb as to robber the place. So what you say makes no sense.
aroc91
5 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2012
aroc91 actually says that something is true if a citation from the corporate controlled "news" says it and, if they don't say something, it must neve be considered true. They are the only arbiters of truth, and everything they say is true. That is short sighted at best and deceitful at worst. Many are eager to accept the lie of the reliability of the corpporate controlled press and many are willing to encorse that. But claims of banned weapons in Iraq, of Iraqi soldiers taking babies from incubators in Kuwait and dropping them on the floor, of the "rescue" of Jessice Lynch, of the Gulf of Tonkin, of the sinking of the Maine all attest against the unquestionaned veracity of the corporate controlled "news" and of those who insist they can't lie.


1. The news is not the only source of information.

2. This still doesn't have anything to do with Iraw or Kuwait. Are you drunk?
dnatwork
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2012
No citation, but I remember the case of a Japanese exchange student in Alabama who was trick or treating on Halloween with some of his friends from school. Some castle-owner shot the student dead in his driveway because he felt "threatened." He was acquitted by a jury of his peers. The only reasonable explanation I can see is that killing Japanese students, but not their white counterparts, is justifiable in the minds of a representative sample of gun-owners in Alabama.
nappy
2.2 / 5 (11) Mar 07, 2012
If you hit a charging bear in the head with a large caliber handgun, its motor functions will cease. If you are afraid to shoot a handgun, you should not be in bear country anyhow. Whoever did this "study" is a fool and wrote this for propaganda purposes.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (12) Mar 07, 2012
In Russia I cannot own or carry.

But criminals can.
"This year will go down in history. For the first time a civilized nation has full gun registration. The street will be safer, the police more efficient and the world will follow our lead into the future. That was spoken by Adolf Hitler, on April 15, 1935.
The Turkish Ottoman Empire established gun control in 1911. It then proceeded to exterminate 1 and a half million Armenians from 1914 to 1917.
The Soviet Union established gun control in 1929. Subsequently, from 1928 to 1953, 60 million dissidents were imprisoned and then exterminated.

China enacted gun control laws in 1935. After the communist takeover, from 1948 to 1952, 20 million Chinese, unable to defend themselves, were murdered."
http://www.wnd.co...4/41225/
Burnerjack
3 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2012
Seeing this has devloved into gun owner vs. non gun owner thing, I feel compelled to ask one off topic question: I have seen many, many "statistics" that show the number of crimes committed with guns. I don't recall EVER seeing a statistic reporting the number of crimes STOPPED by the use or at least the brandishing of a gun. Why IS that? Seems odd...
Back to the bear thing. Without training and the presence of mind to operate with determined confidence in the face of impending doom, spray or guns will not help. Freezing in the face of death is suicide, pure and simple. Ask an Alaska State Trooper, or antone else who makes a living in bear country if they would feel just as safe without a weapon at the ready...
Fact is, the ability to arrest ANY immediate threat to one's survival is by sheer logic a safer situation proportional to the threat probability. Any thought to the contrary is just bullshit.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 08, 2012
I don't recall EVER seeing a statistic reporting the number of crimes STOPPED by the use or at least the brandishing of a gun. Why IS that? Seems odd...

You are not looking in the right place.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 08, 2012
I don't recall EVER seeing a statistic reporting the number of crimes STOPPED by the use or at least the brandishing of a gun. Why IS that? Seems odd...

You are not looking in the right place.

Try this:
http://www.nraila...zen.aspx
Moebius
1 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2012
"In a 2008 study, Smith found that bear spray effectively halted aggressive bear encounters in 92 percent of the cases."
What about the 8%?
That's when you bring out the .454.
During a Sarah Palin show, they trained using a shotgun to ward off a bear attack.
Of course the best thing to do is be sure you can run faster than everyone else.


The study is worthless without breaking the guns down by type and caliber. Few people carry handguns like a .454. Doubtful if many were rifles or shotguns either since they would be hunters looking for an encounter. Likely they were mostly 9mm, anemic at best, more likely completely useless. I'd much rather have my 10mm or 44 magnum. People only carry a .454 if they KNOW they might encounter a bear and can actually handle it.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 10, 2012
People only carry a .454 if they KNOW they might encounter a bear and can actually handle it.

That is obvious.
It think this 'study' touches upon another topic, babes in the woods.
US parks and forest service want to encourage people to visit and enjoy nature. Because of environmentalists, nature is being returned to its natural, dangerous state. People used to kill predators like bears, wolves, tigers, snakes, lions, ... before they were killed.
And not just animals, nature lovers are consistently being rescued because of weather or avalanches or ...
"Life is hard. It's even harder when you are stupid."
Don't want to be attacked by bears, stay out of their way and their territory, or kill them before they kill you.
And the one organization that promotes preparedness, the Boy Scouts, are attacked by 'liberals'.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 11, 2012
Another statistic showing a gun used to deter crime.
"Elderly farmer near Bois D'Arc pulls gun on 3 thieves who came back for more"
http://www.ky3.co...57.story
God made man, Sam Colt made them equal.
Sinister1811
1.7 / 5 (12) Mar 11, 2012
I remember seeing a documentary (I forget what it was called) about a guy who got attacked by a Grizzly. He was a real mess - the bear tore off his scalp and most of his face. He was definitely lucky to be alive. I can imagine how a gun wouldn't stand a chance against these powerful animals. Bears are one animal I wouldn't want to encounter out in the wild.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) Mar 11, 2012
I can imagine how a gun wouldn't stand a chance against these powerful animals.

Depends on the individual and the firearm.
Callippo
3 / 5 (2) Mar 11, 2012
IMO the explosive bullets causing immediate shock across neural system is the only way, how to stop the upset animal. The usage of smaller guns just makes the animal more stressed and aggressive. Especially the frustrated bears hold in captivity will never stop with attack, when some foreign person appears in their close personal territory: the only advice here is to run away out of his sight or to shot the bear immediately. The playing dead or another well minded advices won't simply work here. http://www.youtub...zxzDGxr0
Mastoras
not rated yet Mar 11, 2012
THis is an insane statement. If you carry a gun of suitable size and shoot the bear, it will not eat you. Period.

You take for granted that you will be able to shoot and hit the bear. The study says this many people shoot and hit the bear, this many shoot and miss, and this many didnt shoot.
The outcome, no injury, injury or fatality, is statistically irrelevant with carrying a gun.
-.
clarkjeff
5 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2012
In the lower 48 states you are more likely to be attacked by the smaller black bear than the brown bear. Some hungry black bears will stalk you to eat you. I suggest shooting those ones. They are not coming after you by mistake. They are coming with intent. I also suggest you study bear anatomy. You have to aim pretty low to penetrate the skull. Aim for the nose or the open mouth.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (9) Mar 11, 2012
"The Michigan man killed by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park in August was not carrying bear spray, although he was a competent, experienced backcountry hiker and outdoorsman, his family told investigators in a report released Monday."
"He also told employees at the Canyon Village Campground the night before he disappeared that he didnt need to hear the bear-safety lecture because he was a grizzly bear expert."
http://www.bozema...3f4.html
Familiarity breeds contempt.
scottalias
1 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2012
This is why you are advised to file the front sight off of a pistol for use against bears. It hurts less when the bear takes it away from you and shoves it up your ass.
Modernmystic
1.8 / 5 (10) Mar 12, 2012
So, 229 people were the people who were able to get off a shot yet they fared identically to those that didn't get off a shot or who simply ran away.


LOL...run away from an aggressive bear...I dare you. You won't fare identically to someone who stands his ground or hits one with a high caliber bullet.

Unless it's a zombie or vampire bear that isn't effected by high velocity lead....

This isn't a 'gun issue'...


Of course it is.
Modernmystic
1.8 / 5 (10) Mar 12, 2012
I can imagine how a gun wouldn't stand a chance against these powerful animals.


People kill Moose on a regular basis with a .270, that's not a huge rifle...

FYI Moose are bigger than bears...
Kinedryl
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 12, 2012
Moose is silly animal with prey instincts. The beers are like cats with nine lives and they don't run away when being hurt. You'll need something larger, .44 magnum.
Modernmystic
1.4 / 5 (9) Mar 12, 2012
Moose is silly animal with prey instincts. The beers are like cats with nine lives and they don't run away when being hurt. You'll need something larger, .44 magnum.


So...you're saying it's the "prey instincts" that kill a moose hit with a lead slug?

Really....??
Ooo O
2 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2012
The problem is this is not science its statistics and statistics are all about point of view.
There is no way to know how useless the guns are because there is no way to gauge weather or not those 229 who fired their gun would have been injured more if they had not fired it.

For example a bear comes up to me and attacks me. I pop a shot off as he is scratching me and he runs off.

There is no way to know weather or not he decided to leave on his own, thought I was not a threat anymore or if the gun hurt/scared him off. Therefore I can not tell if he would have continued attacking me if I did not shoot my gun.

So this whole article is moot and the BYU biologist should get some real work done instead of wasting university research time and capital on rubbish science.
Kinedryl
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 12, 2012
you're saying it's the "prey instincts" that kill a moose hit with a lead slug?
The moose can be pretty aggressive and territorial, the males are one of most dangerous animals at wild. But when injured, it's pre-programmed to run away for to save rest of heard from the sight of predator. Bear does not: it will attack you instead, if it has you at sight.
Modernmystic
1.4 / 5 (9) Mar 12, 2012
The moose can be pretty aggressive and territorial, the males are one of most dangerous animals at wild. But when injured, it's pre-programmed to run away for to save rest of heard from the sight of predator. Bear does not: it will attack you instead, if it has you at sight.


You're assuming it has TIME to run away. I've been hunting all my life and I've only had to chase ONE animal. All the rest have dropped dead where I shot them...it's usually how it works unless you hit them in the foot...

On edit: This applies to firearms only. I can't speak to any other weapon (ie bows, crossbows, etc..)
RitchieGuy
1 / 5 (3) Mar 13, 2012
The crossbow is fine for hunting small game, but too dangerous to use for a bear charging at you especially if your arrow misses in the first shot. A semi-automatic is best for bringing down an enraged bear before he gets to you if you happened to bring one. It's the outstretched paws and claws that's likely to knock you over. I find that bear spray in a vest pocket works well in a surprise visit from a bear and the really best thing is to have the bear spray in one hand, your weapon in the other, and nothing behind you that you can trip over backward.

As for the Castle Doctrine, here in rural Florida and in some other states, the law requires you to be in possession of a gun in your home. The sheriff's deputy explained that they can't get to my place fast enough to make a difference if an intruder enters my home intent on violence. He advised me to be well armed and apply for conceal carry, which I did. There are specific laws in Florida and a full investigation is still carried out
barakn
not rated yet Mar 13, 2012
If you are afraid to shoot a handgun, you should not be in bear country anyhow.

Let me put this as plainly as possible. The coward is the one with the gun.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 13, 2012
If you are afraid to shoot a handgun, you should not be in bear country anyhow.

Let me put this as plainly as possible. The coward is the one with the gun.

A coward is one who eagerly abdicates his responsibility to others for his personal protection.
Moebius
1 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2012
If you are afraid to shoot a handgun, you should not be in bear country anyhow.

Let me put this as plainly as possible. The coward is the one with the gun.


That has to rank near the top of the all time stupid comments. If you want to enjoy the outdoors in bear country and you aren't an idiot you carry the correct weapon and know how to use it for self protection. Depending on only pepper spray is suicidal.

I would carry pepper spray, either my .44 or 10mm, my walking stick which conceals a battle ready Katana and a dog. Stick the butt of that Katana on the ground and it will impale a charging bear and having 40 inches of razor sharp steel stuck in would mean a bad day for any bear. Hopefully I won't have to put any of this into use.
Calenur
not rated yet Mar 14, 2012
How did a study about bear attacks turn into 'scientists are trying to take our guns?' You conservatives really are a paranoid and out of touch group. I can't imagine what it's like spending every day being so insanely paranoid.

Tell you what...we'll use the bear spray, conservatives use your guns. I like our odds.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 14, 2012
I can't imagine what it's like spending every day being so insanely paranoid.


Really?
Is it paranoia when the US govt authorizes the sale of weapons to drug dealers in Mexico hoping to create an excuse to further restrict firearms?
'Liberals' in IL and DC continue to defy the SCOTUS and 2nd Amendment.
If not for the 2nd Amendment, the 1st would be lost.

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