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 07-24-2003, 16:04 Post: 60077
AC5ZO

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I am getting ready to take an extended offroad trip up into the Utah Canyonlands. The park rangers have rules against guns, but I would not even consider going on this trip without one. There are regular reports of bear problems and two legged varmits can always be a problem. The park rangers seem to take a "Don't ask, don't tell" attitude.

Because of the rules, we are not going to be doing any plinking or fun shooting. This is strictly for personal protection in an area where we are going to be over a day away by offroad vehicle from civilization and professional medical care. That means no cell phones, water, toilets, gasoline or any of the other amenities. I will certainly take a 10mm, .44Mag or 45ACP handgun. Any of these will do fine, but I tend to favor the 10mm. I think I want to take a long gun also.

The question is, what long gun would be best? I have a Springfield Armory survival gun which is .22/.410, but I think that gun might be underpowered for potential problems that might arise. How do .410 slugs do against a bear?

I could bring the old reliable Winchester 30-30 and I am sure that would work just fine. Other options that come to mind are a 12 ga. pump with some slugs and buckshot or my old Ruger .44 carbine rifle.

I am not going hunting, so I have no intention at all of bringing a hunting gun with a scope and all. The guns need to be stowable in cases and discrete. I have been thinking about this for a few days now, and I thought that it might be a good topic for the discussion group.






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 07-24-2003, 16:46 Post: 60079
Misenplace

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ACZ; I am not sure of your hunting experience but if you have never hunted bears you would have to see them move after their hit to believe it. And thats with a gun and cartridge matched for the job. Typically most outfitters want that first shot in the shoulder so they dont run more than 60 yards. I have personally seen a "dead" bear with broken shoulders cover that much ground faster than you can say "oh #$% !". Based on that I sure would not go for the 22/410 combo. Considering that it is strictly defensive I would probably omit the long gun but of those mentioned I would surely go for the 12 guage with the biggest baddest slug or sabot I could get my hands on. In the hand guns I would take the one you quick draw best with the biggest solid slug. No hollow points in this scenario for me.






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 07-24-2003, 17:12 Post: 60080
AC5ZO

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I have hunted small black bears and wild boar with a cross-bow. I would carry a Marlin .357 lever gun as backup, but never had to shoot the rifle. On other occasions, I have used 8X57 Mauser and .308 for rifle hunts. I am familiar with dangerous game.

While doing off-road adventures, I have had bears in my truck but I have never been forced to kill one of them. They have torn up coolers and so forth, but never caused any injuries. I have shot a .357M from my pistol into trees near them to keep them out of my camp. This works with many, but the bears in this part of the world get agressive because people feed them and they become accustomed to humans and associate food with them.

One of my buddies that is going on the trip said that he is not worried because he is going to put a pork chop near my sleeping bag before he goes to sleep every night. I told him that I was not worried, because I was bringing a magnum super soaker filled with honey to wet him down after he plants the pork chop.

Seriously, though, the 12 ga. with a Brenke sabot slug is high on my list. I have an 870 with an 18.5" bbl with slug sights that would work fine. But at the same time, I expect that over history there have been more bears killed with a 30-30 than just about any other cartridge.

I grew up on a farm and have hunted since about age 12. I taught shooting and hunter safety. I am a big believer in gun control...you know...hitting your target. I am not worried at all about using the gun properly if I need it.






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 07-24-2003, 18:27 Post: 60082
Misenplace

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Well if your pard gets too sweet you can always sprinkle a little cayenne on his TP . Laughing out loud. I would say overall being prepared is the key. Most arms would work quite well in a pinch. For the most part a noise maker is adequite. But you sure got it right about the ones that have been fed being trouble makers. Here the bruins that get relocated get a red ear tag. I see a red tag and my tolerance for bear play goes WAY down. Its always the one trouble maker you really have to prepare for. I would venture a guess that more deer have been taken with a 30-30 than any other but I am a little skeptikal about the bears. A Nice gun no doubt but I would sure choose that 12 guage over the 30-30. After my last bear trip I consider a 300 mag minimum and would really go for a 375 H&H. Any Fishing on the agenda ?






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 07-24-2003, 19:12 Post: 60084
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 Travel Guns

Of the weapons you mentioned in your posession. I would suggest the 44 mag. with the hottest/heaviest load available and the 12 gauge with removed magazine plug utilizing a mix of Brenke sabot slugs and 00 buck shot. You aim is to first repel any beast human or fur bearing to protect you and your party and secondary is killing it which would take more than a few shots if a large bear. If you hurt it bad, it ain't coming back for more. Pepper spray is not a bad idea either. Just my 2cents worth.






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 07-24-2003, 20:59 Post: 60088
Billy

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 Travel Guns

44 mag and 44 mag, in a 300 grain bullet.






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 07-24-2003, 21:19 Post: 60090
Misenplace

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Buffalo bore Ammo offers some wicked hot solid loads for the 44 mag. Not easy on the green but not easy on a agressive bear either. I have always been a 44 mag fan but the 45 is my favorite auto. Old dog same tricks I guess.






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 07-25-2003, 09:01 Post: 60109
AC5ZO

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This is all good advice. This trip is going to be a dry hot trip that is 100% off-road over slick-rock, boulders, and other obstacles. There will be no fishing, but the Green river will be within two miles at points on the trip. We will be in the higher country. The planned loop will take about three days in total to complete.

I have a couple of .44Mags that would work fine. Probably the best choice is a Smith 629 with a 4" bbl. It is small enough to carry and packs plenty of punch. My Ruger Super Redhawk is scoped and is good for hunting but a little big for this situation. The reason that I mentioned the 10mm is that it is even more compact than the 629. It is a Glock 20, packs a considerable punch and carries 15 rounds in the magazine. The 10mm with the loads I use is very much like a .41Mag ballistically.

I think that the 870 with the slug bbl is probably the other gun that will go. It is pretty versatile at close range. I really did not know about the .410 slugs. I have never used one for hunting. I have used the .44 M Ruger Carbine for deer, and a .44 will pack a good punch when used in a rifle barrel. But, I consider the Ruger .44 to be a "brush" gun for shots under 100yds.

My comment about the 30-30 relates as much to its time in service and general popularity as much as anything. I would never use the 30-30 to hunt large dangerous game. But, over the years, it has protected many homes and ranchers around the west and does pretty well for a light cartridge in a light gun.

It seems that today, we tend to use some pretty heavy calibers to assure one shot humane kills on game. I support this. I have a .338Mag that I would use for hunting boar, bear or elk. I use .308 for most other hunting. Pests are dispatched with a .223 or whatever is handy. I chased off a couple of ferel dogs yesterday morning with a bull whip.

The bears that we may encounter will generally be medium size black bears. They are not generally dangerous and can be driven away with noise. But, with people feeding them and with dangerous bears being located to the area where we are going to be, I think a little extra caution is called for. Pepper spray was also mentioned. I ordered a big can of that yesterday. It should arrive before my trip.






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 07-25-2003, 19:28 Post: 60137
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20-gauge is minimum size shot gun for black bear around here. Think I'd want something heavier than minimum for defense, which probably wouldn't be a planned shot exactly. Not a good thing to have to go looking for a wounded one. I carry pepper spray myself. There are some pamphlets that might be good to read. Some go beyond the usual 'don't do this' in bear country and talk some about bear behaviour and how to better judge if you're genuinely being threatened.

It comes up a couple of times a year that I need to dump something off-hours and find myself in a contest of wills with one or several bear. I figure it's best if I have some confidence that I know what they're about to do so I can give'um more room if necessary. With some persistence I do move them far enough from the pit so I can dump things. I figure that probably would work most times with a camp too. But from experience I can say that if a bear gets on your camp it's time to move. They'll always be back.

My wife came back from the store today and one of the township guys told her that our Natural Resources people shot and killed one of our dump bear. I think I know the one, and it took my brother in law and I quite awhile to move if off the pit several weeks ago. I guess that bear must have won a contest of will after our encounter. Funny thing is that the township guy said they shot the bear first with rubber bullets, which didn't work. The real bullets did. Rubber bullets? Wonder what they were thinking and how'd you tell if they didn't work? Sounds about as good as relocation. Something else that doesn't work.







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 07-26-2003, 04:27 Post: 60139
Misenplace

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Acz, Yeah you sure are right about the 30-30. I guess I just never thought of it as a bear gun but considering there have been more than a few taken by bow and arrow I'm sure it would do. The last time I was in Alaska the big push was away from pepper spray and towrds a sort of flare gun kit. Tom, Laughing out loud, I though the folks in our area were the only ones who tried stupid stuff like shooting bears with rubber bullets. Nothing like really getting the old boy riled up ! I am thankfull that at least when they relocate the trouble makers here they tag their ears. That way at least I know right from the start I am dealing with a former inmate.






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