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What is better for stoping a charging bear?

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What is better for stoping a charging bear?

Old 07-15-2016, 12:21 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 3
Default What is better for stoping a charging bear?

I hunt in Wyoming. During archery we are allowed to carry firearms for protection only. I always carry bear spray,but my unit this year is bear heavy. I own two guns that I think would work well for defense. The first is a 870 shotgun with a 20" barrel. The second is a 454 casull lever action saddle gun. Of the two which firearm would you all pick?
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:16 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: west central wi USA
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If by "bears" you mean black bears, the fear of them charging doesn't match the reality. They don't want anything to do with people. I bowhunt and turkey hunt in bear country. We run into them all the time and they're not a problem. If by "bears" you mean grizzlies, that's a whole different matter. As the saying goes, "You can kill 'em but you can't stop 'em". Having said that, given the choice between the two, I'd go with a 12 ga. shotgun. A 12 ga. slug has a lot of impact. Otherwise, bear spray has been shown to be very effective threat stopper.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:35 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Colorado
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Have not ever had a black bear charge yet, notice the yet part. Pepper spray is great but what about time getting to it. I've killed lots of bears and even some with my revolver. I'd say the best way to stop a bear would be...... Be quick. Be accurate. Have luck on your side. Otherwise get ready for a good fight.
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Old 07-15-2016, 05:00 AM
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True bear pepper spray in a proper holster is likely the most accessible and effective protection you can have. Getting a rifle on target quickly would, I think, be a challenge unless you are already holding it at the ready. A high power revolver would be likely quicker but harder to get on target such that a charging grizzly is "put down."

I've carried when fishing in back country, for protection against cougar, black bear, and any two-legged critters that might hassle me. But if I ever go into grizzly country, I'm taking the spray.
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Old 07-15-2016, 05:53 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Colorado
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Bear Encounter courses that I have attended use Shot Gun with slugs. It is amazing how much space a bear can cover in a couple of heart beats!
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:42 AM
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Location: Kansas
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Flip a coin - the good news is, you're a step ahead by planning on a long gun instead of a handgun.

At short ranges, a 12ga won't spread enough to matter, so the only difference between slugs and buckshot is how deep they'll penetrate - the entry wound will be about the same. Equally, you'll have to place the slug/buckshot just as well as you would a bullet from the levergun.

So the decision really lies in which you handle best, and which you'll actually keep on your person the most.

I carry a revolver on my hip when in bear country no matter what (save Canada, jerks). My primary would be the long gun I had in hand, but if I'm on my back and the long gun knocked away, I'd rather carry an extra 3lbs of insurance than be left without. When fishing - so my long gun isn't a hunting weapon - I carry either a short barreled 12ga Super Nova or 870 or a Marlin 1895 .45-70, the same basic decision you're trying to make. Either are a good option, hence why I flip flop on different trips.
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:58 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
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if your in a full blown surprise attack, I doubt either will be much help, hence the word surprise?
the odds of hitting a vital that will STOP a bear is a small target that is moving fast!
either weapon NOT at the ready will become nothing but a object that gets slapped out of your hands
the long gun MIGHT help in stopping some bites as it might get in the way when it bites down on it IF it gets that part in its mouth!

a rifle or handgun is IMO mostly a piece of mind item in bear country

as if your NOT hunting them, your only time you can kill one is in an attack, and again, an attack is 99% something not seen coming
there basically from when you startle a bear, by getting too close to it, before it knew you were there, getting in between a sow and its cubs, and or a starving bear, that deems you as food.

pepper spray kept handy I think will more likely get a bear off you than a poor placed shot, which I think will just piss it pff more

the point behind pepper spray , is it causes the bear to react to something and it breaks there mind set, and many times that mind set break is enough to cause it to stop and back up, or leave

a poor placed bullet, again, IMO< will just make the bear more pissed at what it thinks just hurt it?

I have been about bears a LOT over the past 30+ yrs, trapped tagged, and hunted in all types of bear country, read a lot about bears,. learned about bears from some of the best bear biologist's out there

bear attacks are rare, even with the literally millions of folks every yr in bear country!

I'd carry a container of pepper spray and keep it handy and be sure I know how it works, I'd also maybe carry a hand gun, for like reasons others have said, if on your BACK in an attack, its easier maybe to get to than a shotgun/long gun!

making noise when in bear country (non hunting of course is the best idea of them all, gives bears a chance to leave before things get too close)

I have seen bears get shot with rifles, shotguns and handguns
very very very few dropped a bear in its track, and NON were being attacked at time of shooting

try shooting a foot ball someone throws at you as it passes by,(be safe here)
and see if you can hit it
as a bears head is about that size and will be moving about that fast in an attack!!
Good luck!

I shoot quick draw matches and I wouldn;t want to HAVE to make that shot! and I doubt in an attack you would be half as ready as shooting in a match or as calm!
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:45 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 3
Default Thanks for the responses

Yes I am talking about Grizzlies. Black bears generally don't worry me to much. Generally!. I do carry a 45colt. But I just can't see being very accurate over 15yrds, I've seen how fast a pissed off bear can cover 100yrds, it's impressive to say the least. The hope is never to have to use any weapon. But would rather pack the extra weight. Than wish I had, as teeth are grinding on my thick skull.
I've have had enough close encounters to make me stay focused. Between big cats, moose, and even a bison once. With elk hunting I'm more concerned with calling one in,than walking on top of a bear.
Thinking its time to go to the range. And see how much speed and control I have with both. Would really suck if my other gear interfered with using either one. Thanks everyone.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:17 AM
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Location: Illinois
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Brownies are getting very conditioned to equating shots with food. They hear a gun go off and they know there may be a dead animal in close proximity to that shot. I personally carry a very large caliber handgun ( .500 S&W) as does a couple of my boys when in Brownie territory. My oldest and I both have had encounters where we have had to defend against charging Browns and we were both lucky to hit our marks. BUT both of us are highly trained with handguns and practice constantly. As was pointed out, to drop a charger, you need to hit CNS by either a brain shot or spinal. Anything else will absolutely NOT stop a full on charge. I personally recommend folks to carry a short barreled (as short as legal) 12 gauge pump or semi loaded with slug, 00 Buck, slug in the magazine. Most people haven't trained like I and my boys do with handguns and just aren't as proficient with them. Imagine if you will, a bouncing tennis ball (That would be the size of your target) coming at you at around 35mph and trying to hit that with a handgun. Especially if that tennis ball is wrapped in 300-1500 pounds of angry Brown bear! People tend to sight better down a longer barrel than that of a pistol.

As far as bear spray goes, there is one seriously major flaw to that and that is WIND! If the wind is in your face, you are going incapacitate yourself not the bear! And you can bet, 9 times out of 10, if you spooked the bear it is because you were UPWIND of it! That means the wind is in your face! Major flaw to that folks.

Now, most times Browns and Blackies both are more shy of you than you are of them and will high tail it out of there before you ever knew they were around. But, as was stated, there are times when you sneak up on one and startle it into a charge. MOST times there will be a bluff charge (unless you are inbetween a sow and her cubs) and the best thing you can do is make yourself as big as possible and back away. DO NOT TURN AND RUN as that will trigger a chase reaction but back slowly away. That will usually remedy the situation and you will both go on your merry way.
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:59 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,743

just a fact to add here, black bears are responsible for more human attacks than brown/grizzly's by a large difference, the MAIN reason is , simply there are more black bears in more places
if you read up on bear attacks , you will also find a black bear is more likely to try to kill you IF they attack, where as many brown/grizzly attacks will just attack you till they fell you are NOT a threat anymore and leave
its why they suggest you fight back on a black bear and play dead on a grizzly
well, all depending WHY the bear is attacking, LOL
any bear that see's you as food, your in trouble

and I fully agree, 90% of all bear charges are Bluff's
they will do so to enforce dominance on you and scare you!
this is basic bear nature of how they have pecking order in the wild among each other!

they will also normally give other signs of your TOO close, by either huffing at you or clicking there jaws/teeth!

even a sow with cubs will warn 90% of teh time before an attack on black bears, as long as there is an escape route handy for them, or tree's to send there cubs up
that is there main way of leaving an area

NOW as for OP< if your seeing a bear a 100 plus yards out and its coming at you on a run?
I would have to wonder WHY?

and that should give you a bunch of time to get ready or. plan a way out

been in bear couintry all across the USA. AK and Western canada, and have never had a bear run at me from that far away, not even HALF that far
I have been around maybe a thousand or more bears over the yrs
from up close to handling them, having personal eye sight on them,
they can be very curious creatures at times, but never to date felt I was in any danger near one!
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