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    • snafu72
      Post count: 36

      How many of you guys carry a backup gun ?

      I my self carry a Mossberg 500 12ga loaded with 3in slugs [not in the winter as the bears are sleeping]

      I know i am not the only one that carrys

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      A good idea in Alaska no doubt, but here in Michigan you really don’t need to, unless you’re afraid of wolves and bears and I’m not:wink:. That said, to each his own!

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      paleoman wrote: A good idea in Alaska no doubt, but here in Michigan you really don’t need to, unless you’re afraid of wolves and bears and I’m not:wink:. That said, to each his own!

      I should say black bears..and I do respect them. Now grizzlies and Browns and Kodiaks, they would make me nervous to be honest and I have no experience with them.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Only time I carry a handgun when hunting is along the AZ/Mex border, and I’ve never even come close to needing it. Of course I always have one in my truck and I always have one in a tent at night. Never needed one there either and hope I never do. I view the justification for a reasonable man to paack to be increased self-confidence. By knowing you have a “backup buddy” close at hand, you have the confidence to handle nasty situations in a way that keeps you from ever needing a gun. I think women should carry, always.

      In general, I agree with grizzly guru and Vietnam Green Beret Doug Peacock, who says “I never pack a piece in grizzly country. It’s their bedroom and for me to come barging in armed would be rude. Now put me in a big city, and that’s when I feel the need to pack.”

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Prior to the beginning of last hunting season, Idaho Fish and Game sent out the results of a study that looked at the stats of those who were seriously injured/killed when using bear spray vs. a firearm in bear encounters. As I recall, the stats spanned at least a decade, and this was for the entire state, which has abundant populations of both black and grizzly.

      The conclusion was pretty obvious – the rates of serious injury/death were significantly higher in the incidents in which a firearm was used.

      FWIW.

      Not taking a position on it, or telling anyone else what to do, but I found this study pretty interesting.

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      David Petersen wrote: Only time I carry a handgun when hunting is along the AZ/Mex border

      Si, Seรฑor Dave! My South Texas carry gun is a Glock 29, 10mm.

      Ed

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Mine is a SW .38 Special +P hammerless snubby “Bodyguard” air-weight with a laser sight. The ammo weighs more than the revolver. My wife has a twin. Here again, what I view as the only rationale for a mentally mature person to pack a gun is to give you the confidence to not have to use it to kill, but rather as a threat tool to facilitate finding nonlethal ways out of a bad fix. The laser is even better than the racheting of a pump shotgun or the snap of a double-barrel slamming shut. Put that bright red light on a guys face, chest, or someplace lower — and there’s even a rapid-blink function purely to be more terrifying — and unless he is totally insane and suicidal he’s out of there; problem solved, no shots fired. Of course if he is totally insane and suicidal, you’re not likely to miss. (“What part of the eye?”) I feel a bit uncomfy discussing this sort of thing publicly, because there are so many different views, often strongly felt, and so many variables that no one point of view is ever purely right or wrong. But in sum and aside from serious grizzly country, where I’ve been known to keep a sawed-off double 12 in my tent (since bear spray is less than useless in a tent), first barrel with rubber “bear buckshot” and second barrel with 00, I don’t feel the risk in wilderness is worth the weight of even an airweight. So often, when we really enjoy a toy, we invent justifications for playing with it and keeping it with us. Although I was quite good at it as a young man, I’ve never been a gun guy and feel totally safe and comfy in wilderness unarmed except for a belt knife and bear spray. “I haven’t said enough … I’ve already said too much.” (Who said that, you trivia buffs?)

    • snafu72
      Post count: 36

      I am not really afraid of any of the beasts that roam this land Wolves I couldnt care less about as for the bears I carry because I like to hunt alone and if I find a Boar I will try and make a stalk on him at that point I need to be My own backup gun

      and if I am packing out meat 150-250lb of fresh meat on your back makes You a walking free meal

    • Dan Sweeney
      Post count: 94

      If I were to carry one here in Arkansas (and I often do on a day-to-day basis), it would be more for the meth lab idiots than the wild critters. Usually don’t when I am hunting, though it depends where I am. Sometimes, in the backwoods, I do.

    • wideangle
      Member
      Post count: 35

      Here in Oregon where I elk hunt I often see bears, cougar sign and wolf tracks. I will carry a 357 mag. Since we often came back to camp in the dark I feel it is prudent to carry a pistol.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      David Petersen wrote: The laser is even better than the racheting of a pump shotgun or the snap of a double-barrel slamming shut. Put that bright red light on a guys face, chest, or someplace lower — and there’s even a rapid-blink function purely to be more terrifying — and unless he is totally insane and suicidal he’s out of there; problem solved, no shots fired.

      Unless you’re shaking so badly that you can’t keep the laser on the individual. That would likely boost the perps confidence. ๐Ÿ˜†

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      Patrick wrote: Unless you’re shaking so badly that you can’t keep the laser on the individual. That would likely boost the perps confidence. ๐Ÿ˜†

      Fat chance of that!

    • fattony77
      Post count: 59

      I carry a .357 ruger blackhawk. Mostly for hogs (I hear tell they’re mean), but when I’m huntin in a new area I’ve, unfortunately, found that there’s a need to carry for protection from dope heads. I’ve had too many close calls where I might’ve needed one & didn’t have one with me. I intend to not let it happen again.

    • jmack130
      Post count: 12

      i carry for all the above never know when u might walk up on a meth lab or pot field and id rather do time for killing them than them doing time for killing me nuff said on my part

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Jeez, this thread makes me glad that all I have to worry about are bears and cougar.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Hammer, what, you worry? I too have bears and lions but have never given either a moment’s worry. But then, you be in grizz country, eh?

      What really worries me is the growing threat of Zombie Bowhunters! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ And of course they are NOT traditional. Since I hear they prefer human brains, I’m considering starting to wear a motorcycle helmet with a lock on the chinstrap. Good luck finding the bit of meat in there … ๐Ÿ˜•

    • Stumpkiller
      Member
      Post count: 193

      Can’t legally carry any firearm while bowhunting for deer hereabouts. Other times I have either an Officer’s .45 ACP or the same frame with a Ceiner .22LR conversion slide & magazine.

    • ksbowman
      Post count: 15

      Like Dave’s original post I too always carry when bowhunting and camping anywhere near the border. It is terribly sad we have let our border situation deteriate to the point it has. If our federal government enforced our laws it wouldn’t be like it is now. Any other place in the U.S., I have a SW 40 cal. in camp or in the truck at all times. It is always better to have a not need, than to need and not have.I respect animals, people I don’t trust.

    • Don Thomas
      Member
      Post count: 334

      Only when Imm guiding brown bear hunters, although I always have a “camp gun” in bear country. Note to those who hunt where there are only black bears… Although I’ve been close to hundreds of grizzly/brown bears, the most aggressive behavior I’ve faced has come from black bears, and the statistics support this. An article on this subject is coming up in the J/J issue of TBM. Don

    • JodyS
      Post count: 114

      No wolves or cougars (supposedly none, but that is a different thread for the Arkansas guys on the site) here in Arkansas. The black bears here are few and far between. So, the only time that I carry a back up gun is when visiting in-laws, or around rattlesnake country, though both are very similar.:shock:

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      I carry a Glock 27 at all times including hunting. It is for people, but if the need arose I would use against other animals.

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1072

      I have carried a firearm/s most of my adult life, due to my Job/s, and still do. That being said I sometimes do not take one when Bowhunting { carry a BIG knife though -haha}. Mostly to maintain the More primitive mindset of that endeavor [IE, I am not the senior predator in the woods without my modern ordinance]. One has a tendancy to “Slink” about more without.

      In some places and situations I still do – Mr Petersons 1st post is spot on! Having a firearm allows one to handle “Dicey situations” with the confidence not to have to resort to their use.

      Mostly I carry a light 38/357 w/ ammo that has suffecient penetration to handle bigger critters. If in the North Country [ grizz ] I carry a S&W Mountain Gun 44 Mag.

      Like Mr Thomas says — the only “Dicey Situation” [ with wild critters] I have run into in the woods was with a Black Bear.

      I was scouting for elk west of “Jewet Gap”* in the Gila SW NM [ leopold country]. I was working towards a saddle going thru a narrow canyon that looked “Beary”. 2 cubs scrambled up a pine and their mother “false charged” me popping her teeth. She stopped 10yds out. I talked to her in a LOUD calm voice and slowly worked away and uphill – she was slightly downhill from me. I was Carrying a Colt SAA 45 with heavy handloads which definitely helped my demeanor thru that “dicey situation”.

      Scout

      * “Meet Mr Grizzly” M Stevens

      Any True American – “should be able to Talk, Buy, or Shoot his/her way out of trouble”– New West saying –haha

      in that order – well mostly–

    • strait-aero
      Post count: 350

      Dave asked, who said,”I’ve already said too much….I haven’t said enough”? And after mulling it around for a long time, I remembered it was the lyrics of one of REM’s songs,Mr P. Wayne 8)

    • Dennis
      Post count: 52

      I ran a commercial black bear bow hunt in Northeastern Ontario for about 10 years and never carried a gun. I was false charged many times while freshening baits. I wouldn’t let my clients take their guns in to the baits with them. “If you want to hunt bear with a bow then hunt bear with a bow – not a gun.” I’m sure some of them snuck there guns in though. I now live in cougar country and I am very unfamiliar with cougars so now I’m having second thoughts.

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      “As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives [only] moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. โ€ฆ Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion to your walks.” — Thomas Jefferson, writing to his teenaged nephew.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Wayne — yep! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • MSARCHER
      Member
      Post count: 93

      Here in Mississippi, there isn’t to many critters that I feel is enough of a threat to need a backup firearm. We have hogs in certain areas but where I hunt I’ve never seen any. However, I carry a Kel-tec .380 w/ hollow points on a daily basis for most of the same reason the other posts do…dope heads and crazy people. I hope I never need it and at first I felt a little silly for carrying it everyday, but now I’ve gotten used to it and feel a little vulnerable when I dont have it with me. In this day and time, you never know when a situation will arise. Now if I were in bear/cougar/wolf country…..I’d supersize my .380 cause those are scary animals to a Mississippi boy.

    • William Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      Not legal to carry during bow season in NC however, I would only feel the need on public land. As needed I’m like Dave, S+W .38 +P. If I were going to big bear country I’d pack a .44 magnum no question about it and the 12 guage camp gun sounds good too.

      I’m hearing more bad stories about boat ramp robberies and public access points these days. Makes me think twice about packing. In the past I only carried on float trips on the river. Never know who you might come across in that swamp or at the next access.

    • Wild
      Post count: 9

      Great to read through this thread. I am on my way (God Willing) to Alaska for an unguided 10 day float / Fly Fishing Trip in August.The people I will be with carry a 12 gauge of some sort. I’ve been thinking I should have my own side arm just in case. Then, I am aware of the success of Pepper Bear Spray. Still kind of torn on what to bring.

      Thanks to all those that have replied.

      Bill

    • Don Thomas
      Member
      Post count: 334

      Two bits of advice. 1)Take the pepper spray over the handgun. but don’t worry about getting it before you go (it doesn’t travel by air, including bush planes, without prior permission.) 2) Don’t worry too much about the bears. Hey–I’m still here. Enjoy your trip. Don

    • snafu72
      Post count: 36

      I will always go with powder burns over pepper burns on a bear sorry not going to trust my life on a can of Seasoning

      but in the 18+ years i have been up here i have had way more close calls with cow moose then i have a had with bears

      bears do respond better to warning shots then cow moose and with that said you dont always have to shoot the bear it self you can warn it first with the 1st shot.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      ‘Can yer skin grizz pilgrim’

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Winter’s a long time going, up this high.

      My best second-hand pepper spray story. A friend of a friend, doing some placer mining near Chicken, AK, and who was accustomed to running off frequent grizz visitors to his cabin (must have kept a sloppy operation with garbage, etc.) with pepper spray, once had a big bull moose in rut show up on his small porch and … just stand there. Very strange, but there it was — a bull moose parked on your porch and keeping you from going out. (No bush cabin I’ve ever seen up there has a back door, and the windows are usually quite small to keep bears from crawling in.) So finally the guy cracks open the door and sprays the bull square in the face with “bear” spray. The moose went insane and turned into a rodeo bronk, knocking down one of the porch support posts, then destroying the outhouse and meat shed, and still it wouldn’t leave. Guy finally had to shoot it but I don’t know if the spray flavored the meat. ๐Ÿ˜€ True story.

      If you’re seriously concerned about grizz, you need both a gun and spray. We are free to make our own decisions but as noted in an earlier post here, statistically you are way ahead with spray. When it’s worse than worthless is when a wind is blowing from you to the bear, and in a tent. I keep a “bear gun” sawed-off shotgun in my tent, as previously noted, but in daylight hike and explore freely with only the spray. In daylight I fear NO animal except man and crocodile, and the latter is purdy scarce in the mountains.

    • jmsmithy
      Member
      Post count: 300

      “Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My”….too easy for trivia ๐Ÿ˜›

      At my place in ADK’s, biggest danger I’m aware of are dopeheads…my neighbor (few hundred acres south of me) walking his own place tripped over a hose…of course he followed it to the 72 pot plants it was irrigating…Have I mentioned my buddy is an Federal Agent?! Bright bunch those dopers…:lol:

      After multiple close bear encounters throughout the states and Canada my biggest issues were black bears…charged in Manitoba stopping 7 FEET away and, believe it or not, good ole NJ…chased out of a blind by sow with triplets when one of the youngsters decided it was time to go check out the chubby guy in the leaf looking tent ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Both issues required changes of clothes BUT were handled with no shots fired (holding wheelbow both times and a handgun in NJ a BIG no no….:twisted::evil::x )

      In Alaska was stalked by a huge blonde brownie after I blew it with my bow (didn’t draw soon enough and he caught me….The stinker circled around, came up from behind me, made another pass then walked down trail about 50 yards and hunkered down in a bush beside the trail. I was so awestruck by the wild ferocious beauty of having him that close (inside 20 yards) that, dopey me never really felt threatened…to the point that AT NO TIME did I even think to pull my .500 SW and harvest what would have been damn near a B&C bear…:roll: It was truly one of the greatest wildlife experiences of my life…. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Smithy — Sometimes what we don’t kill sticks with us better than what we do because, in various ways, it’s a more profound thus memorable moment.

      I have been between black bear sows and cubs so many times, I long ago quit worrying about it. A bear bio friend said he’s plucked cubs off trees and ear-tagged them while the sow sat nearby making unpleasant noises, but was never ever charged in 20 years of intense bear handling, including entering occupied dens.

      On the other hand, I hear that black bears in AK “are a whole ‘nuther species” from what we have down here,accounting for more injuries and deaths to people than grizzlies do. Brown bears are said to be far more mellow than grizz, since they have a far richer food source and don’t need to be so competitive among themselves, and bears treat us like they treat other bears.

      And finally, a few summers ago I shot a young black bear square in the chest from 2′ away, with a 12-bore sawed-off and rubber “bear pellets” after he took a swipe at me through the bedroom screen window (glass was open). But then, as my bear bio friend noted, I was shining a bright light in his eyes and yelling in his face. “I’d have taken a swipe at you too.” The bear lived and my wife later saw it near here, but it never again came around the shack.

      Bears, like people, are far too individual, intelligent, and unpredictable ever to put into the same can together. And I’m damn glad they’re out there. IMHO

    • FUBAR
      Member
      Post count: 252

      “Fine figure of a man,yes!”:D

      I carry a Taurus .45 sometimes. Depends on where and how I feel. Sometimes I just get a bad feeling about the day and will pack. Hasn’t let me down yet8)

    • W David McLendon
      Member
      Post count: 56

      I always go heeled, not because of any wildlife that may be encountered but the two legged trash that can cause real problems. A good friend and co-worker’s girlfriend was abducted on the Appalachian Trail several years ago on New Year’s Day, she was killed and beheaded, that won’t be happening here. I carry a Colt .45 LW Commander XSE with a Crimson Trace laser grip (which eliminates aiming in a high stress, high pressure situations) and multiple refills of Black Talon ammo. Modern urban society seems to have raised a generation of sociopaths, it’s a shame that a person needs to take these precautions but in today’s world it is foolish not to.

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      I guess I am glad I live in the Northeast rather than Alaska. I never felt a need for wanting a handgun while out hunting. To me it would ruin the whole traditional bowhunting experience. I too, was bluff charged once by a Mama Black Bear, and have encountered many black bears over the years, and never felt that I was threatened. on the contrary, most bears are most likely to hightail it the minute they get a whiff of you, and that is usually long before you even get a chance to see them. To me, there is more danger in getting to where I want to go, rather than anything I might encounter in the woods.

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1072

      — ” better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it” — for the trivia fans

      Scout

    • Don Thomas
      Member
      Post count: 334

      Dennis–I live in downtown cougar country–I’ve treed a half-dozen of them after walking out the backdoor–but I don’ worry about them at all and doubt I ever will. They don’t bother people with one important exception–kids. The vast majority of MT cougar attacks have been directed at children under 12. When my kids were growing up here, they had to take one of the dogs with them if they were going outside. Don

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      After retiring as an LEO couple years ago, I have grown less attracted to carry all the time like I used to. I do carry 24-7 when I leave my area on a trip so this question would be a positive answer in the affirmative. I’m kinda like Dave in the choice of Jawbone. The little Smith is nice! I do carry a little Glock 9 mickey mouse some too. I am thinking a Glock in 10 mm would be a good choice in Bear/Cat areas.:)

    • pewanogo
      Post count: 35

      I carry a Glock .40 SW with crimsom trace laser. Not a four legged critter in Mich to worry over but the two legged version is whole ‘nuther’ issue. Unemployment and forclosure rates have created so very many desperate people. A lot of drug users with no money to buy so crime is continually rising and spreading from urban areas into areas that never have had problems before. Must be a responsible Victim Prevention Specialist.

    • KLShotkoski
      Post count: 2

      I agree with the above post. We can carry in Wyoming while bowhunting. I will start because of the people not the animals. There has been alot of camper breakins up here the last few years.

    • Sam86
      Post count: 51

      24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 day a year i have a gun within arms reach of me. when i was a teenager hunting in Missouri i came across some “farmers crops” out in the middle of know where and i did have a shotgun on me then (squirrel hunting) but the thought came to my mind “what if they had seen me and what if i didnt have a gun?” ever since any time i’m in the woods you better bet i got at least a CCH pistol with me. And no i didnt help my self to any of there “crops” lol

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