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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our province can often pose more threats than just challenging terrain and weather. I'm planning to be out in grizzly and cougar territory this summer, and not excited about running into anything bigger than me that can run much faster than me, especially if it wants to eat me.

Do you guys carry anything to protect yourselves from the local wildlife? I've been looking around trying to research firearms. I'm finding it difficult to match portability (for hiking) with effectiveness (especially for something like a grizzly bear).

Also, any info on gun licensing would be helpful.

It's important to note that I'm not out actively hunting these beautiful beasts, and if I were to encounter one I'd hope to scare it away before actually harming it, but when it comes down to it and no warnings are heeded, it's him or me...
 

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Bear spray - use the best, UDAP Pepper Power with a hip holster. You are encouraged to carry these in Provincial and National Parks, where firearms are prohibited. Try firing 3-4 shots into a charging grizzly, getting lucky enough that the rounds don't deflect off his thick skull. A lot of the time 1 or 2 shots won't immediately stop agressive bear behaviour(eg: a charge) like a proper bear spray would.

Also, any man that can stand his ground and aim properly as a 1000+ lb grizzly is charging, (assuming you have enough time as they can run up to 35 mph), is one friggen UNIT in my opinion.
 

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I dont own any guns yet and still in the process of gettin my license but I was also wondering the same thing.. I always thought a good shot gun would do the trick, something where you can hip fire with reasonable accuracy?? Would that put a grizzly down?
 

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I carry a Remington 870 with 18.5" barrel and pistol grip. this is loaded with 3" magnum slugs. If you plan on using this to save your life you'd better practice shooting slugs. It took me awile to get accurate with the pistol grip. I shoot skeet for practice. The first time I shot a slug I missed the 20" dia. log that was 10 feet away from me 3 times.
 

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hip fireing is only done on tv. when you shoot, you aim.:laugh
Reallyy?? Aw ****, not even with a big bear running at you?
 

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I hip shoot lots, less felt recoil from shotguns.

This question's been beat to death on dozens of forums, basically it comes down to whatever you have on hand because thats what you'll be battling the bear with.. Whether its the bumper of your truck, bear spray, arrows, firearms, use it to your advantage. Practice definitely helps too.

Huge hitting power, relatively low recoil and quick reloading is a plus, but remember those things can cover several hundred feet faster than you could ever believe and a lot of times you don't see or hear of them until they're on top of you. The bears that allow you to see them from a distance and aren't bluffing aren't the ones you really need to worry about, its the sneaky bastages that creep up on you that are the ones that worry me cause they're fast and quiet. LR
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm more concerned about cougars sneaking up on me than a bear. Generally bears will avoid you before you even see them if you're making noise, unless a mother has cubs around. That being said, cougars scare the hell out of me. They stalk you for fun! ****!

A friend of mine has a pistol-grip 12-gauge and we went and shot it in the fall. From about 25 feet I blew a pilsner can off the stick it was jammed onto with buckshot, but it took me 2 or 3 tries. Definitely aim a little lower than you'd think shooting from the hip! One good suggestion I got was carrying a short shotgun (like HMFI's 18.5, or my buddy's 16") and loading a couple rounds of buckshot first, then a few slugs. That way if you have to fire at something, maybe the buckshot makes it think twice (and won't actually kill it) but if it keeps charging, the slugs will pack plenty of punch to bring it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I looked around real quick last night and I think I found the one my buddy had that I shot, Mossberg 500 JIC. Basically built for exactly what I'm asking about. Also appears to be an 18.5".

Lone Ranger - What other forums has this been discussed on? I'd love to read up..
 

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CanadianGunNutz, HuntingBC.ca, you name it. Any firearms related forum always has discussions regarding wilderness self defence. I'd personally recommend HBC over CGN just because from my personal experience with it there's a whole lot less BS and more down to business. Just my personal preference I guess, but I never really enjoyed their forum (I find its like the Pirate4x4 of the Canadian gun world, GREAT for learning and reading info but brutal as hell to fit in with, guys are pretty stuck on their own thing). HBC's still a little cliquey but they're generally good guys, and they're local. Just my .02 though.

Those Mossberg 500 JICs are very good self defence weapons for their cost. Buckshot will kill a cougar no matter what if you connect with it, they're fairly thin skinned. A lot of guys who hunt them use .22s or .17 HMRs to drop them. I don't mess around with predators either, if I'm going to go to the point of shooting an animal in self defence I want to know its not coming back after me - and that means killing it unfortunately. I hunt, but I personally hunt for substance. I don't shoot animals for sport or the thrill of it, and I don't shoot anything unless I'm taking it directly for meat or my life is in direct danger. I also don't give warning shots generally, if I've made up my mind that the predator is enough of a threat to warrant shooting it, it's getting shot and its going down. Thats just my personal stand though, many guys have different convictions. Cougars don't get warning shots from me either, period, because I've learned enough from them that if you see them then they are directly stalking you with the intent of finding a way to take you down. Bears, on the other hand, if you see them and they're not acting aggressive, its because they're either only checking you out or they haven't noticed you (or don't care about your presence). I will sit in a berry bush with a well fed blackie and share the berries with him because far more times than not he's not interested in you. I've done it several times. I've also stared several bear down face to face (once in Yale less than 10' away) and we both went our own way... rather quickly lol. Yes, some bears are aggressive (grizzlies and sows/cubs especially), but most times they'll try to avoid you too. There are exceptions, and because of those rare exceptions I do carry a firearm in the bush, and I don't mess around with buckshot on bears, they just get slugs from me.

That all being said, by and far I have had WAY more issues with asholes in the bush than rogue animals. Unfortunately, we're not allowed to shoot them because some of them do deserve it.. Animals understand that humans are superior, and usually treat you with enough respect to avoid you. Some humans, on the other hand, have no respect for anyone or anything and will cause trouble with other humans just to satisfy their own egos. I just try to avoid them at all cost because I have better things to do with my time than to deal with asholes. LR
 

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even with alot of practice, how good do you think your aim will be under pressure with a bear coming at you? are you going to hike around with the safety off? don't be one of those guys that ends up on the news after shooting yourself while in the middle of no where.

bear spray is the way to go. it will scare any animal away, even snakes if you happen to find yourself surrounded by rattlers. it's even good to use on ashole humans without getting you in jail.
 

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That's why the Rem 870 12ga is so nice. It's small and you can have the tube full with no danger of shooting it by accident. I can pull my 12ga out of my back pack from over my head and have a shell in the chamber pretty quik.
I do know a guy that killed a grizzly with a knife, true storey but not recomended. Bear spray is for hippy's.

It is true that bears are normally the least of your worries, but in the northern rockies, I'm ready for anything that wants to eat me for supper.
 

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I hear Bruce uses bear spray to spice up his hotwings.. just a rumour though. LR
 

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even with alot of practice, how good do you think your aim will be under pressure with a bear coming at you? are you going to hike around with the safety off? don't be one of those guys that ends up on the news after shooting yourself while in the middle of no where.

bear spray is the way to go. it will scare any animal away, even snakes if you happen to find yourself surrounded by rattlers. it's even good to use on ashole humans without getting you in jail.
A few questions: under pressure, how good do you think your aim will be with bear spray? Will you have the nerve to think clearly enough to get the canister out, pull the tab, aim it correctly, and douse down a charging bear while avoiding spraying everyone else in your vicinity? What if the stream doesn't quite reach yet properly and you have to wait a split second to try again.. or run out? Are you 150% sure that the bear will respond properly to the spray? If you can answer yes, then you can answer yes to having a clear enough mind to get your firearm out, chamber a round, and put one straight in the boiler room and drop it (and know its not going to eat you for dinner - now or later). What if it tore out of your camp and then consequently attacked someone else who couldn't defend themselves? Like I said, once I've decided its enough of a threat that lives are directly in danger, there's no more playing around - its done for. If you believe that bear spray will subdue an adrenaline-filled animal that weighs around 600 lbs, then you obviously have never faced a charging bear. I've been bluffed once, I got my ass out of there before he bluffed or charged a second time, thats the closest I've ever come to an aggressive encounter with a bear. I got back to my truck and left the area pretty quickly. There's tons of video proof that even large calibre firearms don't always slow or stop a charging bear, so why would you live in a fantasy world that some spicy spray would make it change its mind? Aggressive bears are in a category all on their own.

Snakes, now thats an interesting idea, I could see that stuff working very well on rattlers since they're pretty sensitive animals. A forked stick or .22 work well too (if your aim's good enough), I used to F around with them when I lived in Oliver and Mexico using the stick method, they're really not too scary, they usually try to avoid you too. I was also a lot younger and far more stupid than I am even now, but I even ate a couple of the snakes we caught (Mexican ones, them dudes will eat anything).

The only possible way I could ever shoot or threaten another human with a firearm is if my life or a friend's life was in direct strong physical danger. Thats a call that can only be made at that exact moment, and will be replayed in your mind for years after. In most circumstances of self defence dealing with a person who has the intent to maliciously harm or kill you, you are justified under the criminal code of Canada to defend your life with physical or lethal force. Thats not saying that if a person pulled a knife on you, you can't necessarily shoot him with a 12 ga, but if you are in the process of being attacked grievously damn straight you're allowed to defend yourself. Bear spray might work, but what happens when they recover? You better get his ass tied up in a hurry then. I'm assuming we're talking very extreme situations here, not general fights. If some dude wanted to punch me for whatever reason, I wouldn't even pepper spray him... but tasers, now there's a novel idea!! Make the F'er dance. LR
 

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You are encouraged to carry these in Provincial and National Parks, where firearms are prohibited.

I was under the impression that you could carry a firearm (rifle/shotgun) in parks for the SOLE purpose of self defense against animals.
 

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Nope, no firearms in any provincial or federal parks [there are a few exceptions, but I can't remember them all off the top of my head though. You need to check the regs for specific areas]. I'm not saying don't carry bear spray, just don't expect it to have the effect a rifle could. Its amazing what adrenaline can do to any animal or human, and less-than-lethal defence doesn't always work in those situations. Bear bangers are even less effective than spray IMHO. LR
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the input guys, I appreciate it. Matt, you've pretty much reinforced my assumptions about what I was looking for.

Any tips about getting firearms license?
 

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Firearm: IS OUT, in parks you cannot carry them,
other places you can carry where its only hunting area, open season, and you have your CORE and tags for those animals ( still you can just shoot any size, females......)

Bear spray: is good to spray your ******* friends... :)
if a bear is just doing its thing and you spray him, he will chase you and take you down,
if bear is coming after you and you spray him he will be more pissed, so he will rape you before eat you

Most of these animals only attack when they get surprise or when they are with their cubs
-best thing is to talk while you hiking or have one of those gay bells hanging from your pack so they wont be surprise
-hike in group of 2 or more
-bear banger and flare is also good to scare them
-some luck and practice running faster than your hiking partner
 

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-some luck and practice running faster than your hiking partner
Thats the rule with me: if you see me running you had better start following because one of two things is about to happen - a) you're about to be mauled, or b) somethings about to blow up and you're probably in the direct path of it :D I won't always slow down enough, either, to warn ya!

There's no point letting wildlife scare you enough in to wearing tin hats and carrying copious amounts of firepower in the bush, you'll lug it all around for pretty much nothing. In southern BC your biggest worry is people and cougars generally, occasionally black bear sows with their cubs. Deer, moose, elk, or any other animal can do easily as much damage and no one worries about them at all. Northern BC is a little different around grizzlies, they're rather territorial and they can definitely get testy. For an animal their size you'd be shocked at how fast and silently they can move, and chances are they'll be on top of you before you hardly even know whats going on - and then it comes down to hand-to-hand combat, or relying on your partner to shoot it for you.

I've really only started carrying in the last few years because I legally can, and I've done tons of trips [including 2 months in the backwoods of YK and AK] without any formal protection. The only time I've ever felt seriously uneasy was last summer up Chilliwack Lk, I got the truck and camper stuck in a cross ditch so I had to unload the ATV and ride it down the mountain in the dark, then hike back up for the truck. I've seen tons of cougar in the area and there was something following me in the bushes, I wouldn't have ever seen it before it was on me but whatever it was would have gotten a face full of .45-70 lead. They generally don't bother adults too much and usually won't really follow through with an attack if you fight back, but they're powerful enough to inflict a lot of damage in a short period of time [well, if a house cat can chew me up gooder I'm pretty sure one that weighs as much as a bull mastiff can't be much nicer!].

Hike smart, be prepared, and know what to do if you encounter anything. Don't run. Keep a clear head and don't panic, large sticks can work almost as well as anything else in a pinch. If spray or bangers is all you have, then make them count. If I only had a .22 you'd better believe that I'd be pumping as much of it in to the animal as possible. If its enough to make it rethink its strategy and turn around, then you've done your job. Just be prepared for a possible round 2 in case it wants another crack at you thats all. There's nothing in the rules saying you can't carry spears in provincial parks, heaven knows I've been tempted to make one in to a hiking stick! It'd work better than a knife in a fight. LR
 
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