Canadian Canoe Routes

Bear Spray versus Guns - Not as clear as it seemed
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Author:  MikeD [ March 4th, 2020, 1:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bear Spray versus Guns - Not as clear as it seemed

"I mooned a moma bear that was about 30 feet away from me! Now I know why she ran away. Hey, don't knock what works!"

I could bearly keep from snorting coffee through my nose when I read that line......


Author:  Krusty [ March 6th, 2020, 8:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bear Spray versus Guns - Not as clear as it seemed

Stajanleafs wrote:
Planning and preparing for a trip in Polar Bear territory this summer. Plan is to carry both lethal and non lethal devices. I've never tripped with a firearm as a deterrent/safety mechanism...

You're no tenderfoot and I'm sure you've thought this through but I'll add a comment anyway.
Make sure everyone is practiced with the firearm, not just the "gun guy" in your party. Taking it out of its holster/case efficiently, managing the safety mechanism and firing repeatedly in quick succession. And re-loading.
Actually doing it is important. I'd be carrying a rifle. Its long range and accuracy make sense in the typically open polar-bearish landscape. But I've tripped with a shotgun in grizzly territory. If we had to shoot one it would be at close range where a shotgun's shortcomings didn't matter as much. I'm not a gun person (auto-correct said "gay" person. I'm not that either.) but have used a 12-gauge to hunt birds a few times back in the day. Let me tell ya', a heavy slug is on a whole different level then popping off some bird-shot. The concussion, noise and kick is literally shocking. It caught me off guard. A bear attack is not a good time to lose seconds while your brain tries to figure out what the hell just happened.

We'll likely never see one, and if we do, I'm sure it will be at a distance

If you can see it then it can see you and probably knew about you a while ago. Shouldn't be an issue if you're in your boat if you accept that they can move faster then... then you think they can.
At camp everyone make a point of knowing where the gun is. You should discuss and have practiced a deterrence plan (the look big, calm deep voice thing escalating to bangers and warning shots), an escape plan (grab your survival go-bag, into the boats and paddle like hell) and a fight-for-your-life plan (shoot it). Sounds dramatic but there you go.
If the risk of an encounter is high enough the locals may advise a banger-fence thing around your tent at night like in Jim Baird's Baffin Island videos. I'd think about taking one anyway.

I'm pretty sure this'll line up with what the locals will tell you. But I still have lots to learn and would be interested in comments on this advice.

Author:  MikeD [ March 6th, 2020, 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bear Spray versus Guns - Not as clear as it seemed

Was in Churchill back in the 80's. Most locals carried Mossberg or Remington 870 12guage 18" . Recently a colleague was in Churchill and saw many of the locals carrying Akkar "Churchill" 12 guage with 12" barrel.

Anyone seen/have any experience with it?


Author:  Krusty [ March 6th, 2020, 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bear Spray versus Guns - Not as clear as it seemed

The reviews in your link for that gun aren't great.
Yeah, most use would be within 50 yds and a shotgun can deliver a big whack, is reliable and the lower-end models are relatively inexpensive. I was thinking rifle because I want them to be as far away from my as possible. The 4-wheeler I hitched a ride on in Kimmirut sported a rifle. I suppose rich dudes could use a big bore handgun.

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