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Old June 17, 2017, 22:50   #1
TedMckay
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My new Alaska bear tale

I was hiking today in bear country . I decided to leave my 12 gauge at home and I don't carry hunting rifles when I hike , I own a big .460 but it's so bulky to carry . I normally have it when hunting only as back up . I usually wear my tactical vest with a .45 auto on it and my double trigger coach gun . Today we were on a popular trail that has lots of traffic so I let my guard down and didn't want to alarm people looking like a commando on trail . Big mistake I will never let my safety be jeopardized by worrying what other hikers think . I was carrying my glock .45 on my hip loaded with 13 rounds of hand loaded +p ball ammo . We came around a corner in the trail and 6' away was a 5'plus black bear . I drew my weapon as I pushed my son behind me and walked twords the bear putting distance between me and my family and yelling at them to back up . The bear rose up and I was just about to squeeze one off a warning shot . It turned away and walked off the trail . Now if that was grizzly which is what we normally see this encounter would not of ended this way most likely . I felt way under gunned even with a non aggressive black bear . I completely understand now why they say you are lucky to get one shot off before a bear is in your face chewing you .

So today was a good wake up call don't be ashamed to carry whatever you want in the woods even on a populated trail . This was not my first bear encounter while hiking but it was the first time with kids and the wife and let me tell you it's completely different feeling than strolling through the woods with your hunting buddy's . I had to keep them safe as well as remain calm and I was forced to put myself in greater danger moving twords the bear as they backed up . I didn't want to take my eyes of target so I couldn't tell what was going on behind me and I wanted some room if I started firing . Next time we go hiking I will be carrying my mossberg 500 shotgun with 000 buck , slug , 000 buck , slug , slug , slug or my marlin guide model 45-70 with hardcast 425 grain bullets . The .45 will be back up only . I was the only one armed on the trail lots of granola hikers with bells and bear spray . I had plenty of dirty looks just carrying a pistol . I have thought of taking a fal before , 20 rounds of .308 seems prettty adequate but the stopping power of slugs or a 45-70 is hard to beat .
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Old June 17, 2017, 23:34   #2
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When I am hiking in Alaska, I either carry my 460 in a chest rig and FAL pistol on a single point sling. The girlfriend has the bear spray and a G20 10mm with hard case bullets. the 10mm is really just to annoy the bear and make her feel better.

One question though, what will OOO actually do to a big bear. I have considered bird shot to the face to blind it, but gave up on that.
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Old June 18, 2017, 00:02   #3
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When I am hiking in Alaska, I either carry my 460 in a chest rig and FAL pistol on a single point sling. The girlfriend has the bear spray and a G20 10mm with hard case bullets. the 10mm is really just to annoy the bear and make her feel better.

One question though, what will OOO actually do to a big bear. I have considered bird shot to the face to blind it, but gave up on that.
After reading lots of bear encounter stories and talking to local guides I was told to load the shotgun with 00,000 buck first to slow the bear down when he is running at you so you can get that first shot off shake your nerves and place a slug next . Some load buck shot , slug buckshot ..... I'm thinking just one round of 00,000 then breneke slugs .
The main point of my story that struck home to me was I let the granola lib hikers repeated dirty looks on previous hikes effect me to make a poor choice about my family's safety .
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Old June 18, 2017, 00:12   #4
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I would load slugs only. Any size buck shot would likely just tick it off more.
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Old June 18, 2017, 00:34   #5
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I disagree I will have the first round buckshot , no matter what the circumstances are I won't miss , I do believe it will give me more time to put a proper kill shot in place .
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Old June 18, 2017, 00:40   #6
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Dude if I am ever in an area known to be populated by bears,moose,mountain lion,I will be carrying no matter wtf the laws are or peoples opinion are... Specially in Alaska of all places. Now I would rather NOT have to shoot any of those creatures but if circumstances dictate.... As for the tasty granola stuffed bipedal bear chews...i would smile and tell them good luck with the whistle and hope you taste bad...

Matter of fact last year my friends were hiking mt whitney,there are signs posted about bear country,ranger said he had not seen bear in a long time....30 min later...they came across a bear or vice versa...no bear spray,no whistle,no guns, they pulled their pocket knives and acted tough. I think the phrase was "thrashed around made noise and shook branches like a couple apes.."

It worked.....it was a black bear..
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Old June 18, 2017, 17:11   #7
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when I was in Alaska in '93 my fishing guide and the others I saw all carried a 12 gauge pump and at least a .44 mag as backup

their 1st shell in the chamber was #6 shot, meant to get the bears attention and get them to leave the fishermen be, the next two shells were 00-Buck, then three slugs

up close and personal 12 gauge 00-Buck and slugs can stop the biggest mean Grizzly/Brown bears and all Black bears too

so screw all those bunny/tree huggers, keep the proper tools for the job with you
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Old June 18, 2017, 19:17   #8
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Matter of fact last year my friends were hiking mt whitney,there are signs posted about bear country,ranger said he had not seen bear in a long time......
Not a blanket condemnation, but I know for a fact that SOME Rangers, at least some I have talked to around here either don't know what the hell they are talking about or are just plain misinformed.
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Old June 18, 2017, 21:19   #9
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I would load slugs only. Any size buck shot would likely just tick it off more.
I agree. Your either prepared to stop a charge or you aren't
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Old June 18, 2017, 21:31   #10
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Sorry, did not mean it to sound that way. I felt the same while hiking in Alaska last summer. People on the trails looked at the 460 across my chest, fal on a sling and G20 on the GF's hip and I was conscious of it. But when I cam across fresh bear scrapes about 6-8 feet up a tree, I was happy I was carrying. I actually had the FAL pistol ( really a L1A1) made up for carry while camping. Great for 2 legged and 4 legged predators.
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Old June 18, 2017, 21:38   #11
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slugs only for me. the fal would be better. pound em with 20 rounds of 7.62. u only get one chance.
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Old June 18, 2017, 23:42   #12
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and make them black tip
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Old June 19, 2017, 11:10   #13
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Bears do kill..


http://www.newser.com/story/244483/t...gn=rss_topnews
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Old June 19, 2017, 12:08   #14
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I think least invasive yet effective pistol on bear would be a Glock 20 loaded with hard cast(I normally keep it loaded with 165 grain GDHP)
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Old June 19, 2017, 12:12   #15
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and make them black tip

You mean these , right ?

http://www.brennekeusa.com/hunting-a...magicr-magnum/
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Old June 19, 2017, 17:12   #16
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I saw my first bear in Alaska about a year after we moved there(about 1983). Me and 3 family were walking the trail to the Russian river on the Kenai Peninsula. Yeah, we were aware that there were bears in Alaska, but as newbies did not correlate the "where there is fish, there is bears" wisdom. Walking down the trail I noticed a large black spot moving along the ground about 15 yards from me. Taking another look I noticed a grizzly attached to it. You have probably heard people talk about time seeming to slow down during dire personal situations, well this is what seemed to occur in this situation. I looked back at the other three and told them to move back, then looked back at the bear which was now standing on its hind legs. It's really funny(not ha ha funny) what you think of in times like that. I remember thinking that I'm gonna have to beat the bear with my fishing rod. Then it occurred to me that the bear would probably die laughing while I did that.....sooo problem solved. The bear finally woofed at me then turned around and ran away. From that point on we made lots of noise to let any bears know we were coming. We finally got to fishing and did not catch a damn thing.

After that incident I didn't even want to leave my back yard without a weapon. Finally settled on a Win model 97 with slugs. It went with me for about nine summers to the Talkeetna river at Clear creek for salmon. Funny thing...I never saw another bear close up after that first time.
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Old June 19, 2017, 17:37   #17
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they can smell gun oil
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Old June 19, 2017, 17:53   #18
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Originally Posted by TedMckay View Post
I disagree I will have the first round buckshot , no matter what the circumstances are I won't miss , I do believe it will give me more time to put a proper kill shot in place .
Even with buckshot, the spread even at close range is not going to amount to much. Take the shotgun to a patterning board if ya don't believe me. Just as easy to miss with shot as it is with a slug.

I would strongly consider a semi-auto .308 rifle with an appropriate bullet, or a comparable cartridge in bear country. Similar weight and bulk as a shotgun, usually better-balanced, better penetration, larger capacity, can't short stroke (providing one is using a pump shotgun), and a follow-up shot is much faster.
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Old June 19, 2017, 19:52   #19
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just today on local news here in fairbanks....
the first one...


http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska...c4a4bb5fc.html


then....
http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska...186fa4c45.html
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Old June 19, 2017, 20:09   #20
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Even with buckshot, the spread even at close range is not going to amount to much. Take the shotgun to a patterning board if ya don't believe me. Just as easy to miss with shot as it is with a slug.
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Old June 19, 2017, 20:39   #21
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Originally Posted by longhair51 View Post
I saw my first bear in Alaska about a year after we moved there(about 1983). Me and 3 family were walking the trail to the Russian river on the Kenai Peninsula. Yeah, we were aware that there were bears in Alaska, but as newbies did not correlate the "where there is fish, there is bears" wisdom. Walking down the trail I noticed a large black spot moving along the ground about 15 yards from me. Taking another look I noticed a grizzly attached to it. You have probably heard people talk about time seeming to slow down during dire personal situations, well this is what seemed to occur in this situation. I looked back at the other three and told them to move back, then looked back at the bear which was now standing on its hind legs. It's really funny(not ha ha funny) what you think of in times like that. I remember thinking that I'm gonna have to beat the bear with my fishing rod. Then it occurred to me that the bear would probably die laughing while I did that.....sooo problem solved. The bear finally woofed at me then turned around and ran away. From that point on we made lots of noise to let any bears know we were coming. We finally got to fishing and did not catch a damn thing.

After that incident I didn't even want to leave my back yard without a weapon. Finally settled on a Win model 97 with slugs. It went with me for about nine summers to the Talkeetna river at Clear creek for salmon. Funny thing...I never saw another bear close up after that first time.

I lived up here at the same time you were walking that trail at the Russian , that was the exact trail I was on the day . There are way more bears here now than back then since it has become so difficult to get a brown bear tag .
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Old June 19, 2017, 20:43   #22
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I just got back from the range and did preform that exact test . And shooting 00 buck at 15-20 feet was a lot easier to destroy a gallon milk jug than with a breneke slug .my back was turned to the range I had 4 jugs out there marked 1,2,3,4 and told my son to set them at different distances each time and to yell out a number and I would turn around and shoot , of course after he was safely behind he shooting line . The pattern was about 12"x12" with 18" barrel on a mossberg 500 pistol grip .
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Old June 19, 2017, 21:24   #23
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you might get one decent chance to shoot thru bear muscle & bone to hit the vitals. i would not dick around with buck shot.
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Old June 19, 2017, 21:35   #24
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I lived up here at the same time you were walking that trail at the Russian , that was the exact trail I was on the day . There are way more bears here now than back then since it has become so difficult to get a brown bear tag .
When we walked that path to the river back then it was just a ~4' wide dirt path through the forest with some scrub bushes down low. Has it been improved/been civilized, or still wild? I'm hoping for wild. It's been a long time, but IIRC, at the river you fished from the steep wooded bank with the river 10-15' below. There were a few folks fishing in the river with waders.
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Old June 19, 2017, 22:22   #25
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gee, we only saw 6 grizzly/browns a day for a week during the sockeye run

but we covered much more area on a tunnel john boat on the Alagnak river

most were about 6' but one I spotted over a mile away on the tundra you could easily determine was nearly twice as big, my guide could not believe that I spotted a bear that big
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Old June 19, 2017, 22:56   #26
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I think least invasive yet effective pistol on bear would be a Glock 20 loaded with hard cast(I normally keep it loaded with 165 grain GDHP)
I reached the same conclusion as far as make/model for a handgun. When minimal gear is required I carry my G20 with 15 rounds of Buffalo Bore 220 grain hard cast. My G20 has a KKM barrel and heavier than factory spring. I have tested it thoroughly with said load and trust my life to it working properly. That said, I prefer to carry a long gun whenever possible as the stopping and killing power are much superior. Most of the time this will be my .45-70 Guide Gun with handloaded 425 grain hard cast, running hot.

I'm not a bear expert by any means but we have lots of them around here, both black and brown. See them often but fortunately not too many up close encounters. Knowing which places to avoid or take extra care (fish creeks, berry patches etc.) is more important what weapon to carry, although I believe you should always carry in bear country. When hiking it's usually not hard to take the right precautions. I worry more when hunting as it involves lots of sneaking around in places where deer/moose (and therefore bears) are found.
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Old June 20, 2017, 13:45   #27
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A G20 with Buffalo Bore hard cast is a potent tool: great penetration, lots of chances to win and lightweight. I cant think of a better hiking companion if a long gun is going to cause problems.

I dont understand the logic behind planning to wound a charging animal and hoping conditions for a follow up shot are somehow better with less time and less distance after a manual reload.
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