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 Post subject: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 17th, 2011, 7:47 pm 
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Below is a link to an interesting article that suggests that Pepper Spray is WAY more effective against a bear attack than any gun is. Even against Grizzly bears.

See the bottom of page 3 / top of page 4 for the stats if you do not want to read the entire article.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/a ... k?page=0,0

-?-

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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 17th, 2011, 7:58 pm 
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here we go again ..not directed at the OP but surely there will be some "interesting" responses. :doh:


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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 17th, 2011, 8:09 pm 
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Don't have to choose. Belt & suspenders...I carry both. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 17th, 2011, 9:04 pm 
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littleredcanoe wrote:
here we go again...


You know I THOUGHT about the possibility that this might open up that "debate" again when I posted the link.

And then I decided that this article was just too informative to not pass on.
_____
Of course, at least the info I posted has actual statistics and not just semi-formed personal opinion and anecdotes. (Thought I'd get the debate going... :P )

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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 18th, 2011, 6:49 am 
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WWGOD? wrote:
Of course, at least the info I posted has actual statistics and not just semi-formed personal opinion and anecdotes. (Thought I'd get the debate going... :P )



"Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say."
William W. Watt

The thing about all these studies is that I can't figure out where all that data comes from.

e.g. In my canoeing life (about 55 years and counting, for backcountry tripping), I have personally shot one bear (with a 12 ga.), sprayed 3 others, and fired bangers at maybe half-a-dozen more, and I am CERTAIN that NONE of those incidents were included in any statistics (obviously not the ones for Alaska, cos they didn't happen there) anywhere. I know that cos I never reported the incidents (back in the day, there wasn't anyone to report to...) so statistically, they don't exist. Except, they do.

Just my 2 cents. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 18th, 2011, 10:23 am 
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How do you transport your firearm to keep it dry while paddling?


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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 18th, 2011, 7:14 pm 
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Well, if it's kept properly oiled, and you dry it out when you make camp, it doesn't really matter if it gets soaked. But, having said that, I carry a side-by-side 12 ga., and it takes down into three pieces all of which fit easily into my pack or a 30 L. barrel.

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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 20th, 2011, 4:21 pm 
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Neither in black bear country, I take a big paddle and angry dog ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 21st, 2011, 12:07 am 
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I did some research on bear attacks a few months ago, and mostly found the available data to be poor and the opinions often tinged with a sort of political bias.

There are some data on deaths caused by bears, but no one can say how comprehensive those data are or even what the reporting and recording processes are. Far less available are data on injuries, property damage and just plain scary confrontations caused by aggressive bears. Nor are there good empirical data on the number of bear attacks or confrontations that have been successfully (or unsuccessfully) deterred by the various weapons. Yet all these things, and not just the probability of being killed by a bear, concern people who travel or live in bear country, especially when alone.

I've read threads on this topic on gun and hunting forums, and it's clear that all those guys would feel safer with their guns, though many would take spray also. Why not?

The anti-gun arguments almost always end up being a hash of hypothetical "problems", which in fairness could be levied against spray, bangers or, more generally, against virtually any weapon carried as protection against any threat. Just read the last paragraph in the article linked in the OP. Is this an objective and ineluctable conclusion based on data, or is it primarily anti-gun rhetoric?

"Because when a bear attacks and you have two seconds to react … and it’s raining … or dark … and you can’t see 10 feet into the brush … and your shotgun is leaning against a tree … or your rifle’s scope makes it difficult to acquire the bear … or you short-stroke your 12-gauge and jam it … or you empty your .357 magnum and the bear keeps coming … or you’ve never shot a gun before … and the ground is slippery … and your partner steps between you and the bear … or the bear straddles you, pinning your long gun in the present-arms position ... you might be wishing you had a can of bear spray."

You could make these soft arguments against a soldier carrying a gun in hostile territory or a cop carrying a gun in the hood. And, again, no logic dictates that spray and guns are mutually exclusive weapons.

Personally, I've never carried any bear protection in my many decades of paddling. I did buy bear spray this year, which I will take on trips into black bear country, and also a 12 gauge shotgun, which I won't. However, I might take the shotgun if I ever again go into brown bear country, which is unlikely.


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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 21st, 2011, 12:24 am 
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Quote:
I did buy bear spray this year, which I will take on trips into black bear country,


Which seems to include your back yard.

http://www.depdata.ct.gov/wildlife/sigh ... rsight.asp

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection...my my the fox is cozy in the hen house.

Sorry for the hijack.


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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 21st, 2011, 7:30 am 
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Glen wrote:
Quote:
I did some research on bear attacks a few months ago, and mostly found the available data to be poor and the opinions often tinged with a sort of political bias.


You might want to read this book:
"Bear Attacks, Their Causes and Avoidance by Stephen Herrero"
ISBN-13: 978-158574-557-9. The Lyons Press, latest edition 2002.


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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 21st, 2011, 10:38 am 
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OK, just some foolish thoughts before I head out on a short trip......wild critters need to have a healthy fear of us puny bipeds. Otherwise, if they realize how easy it is to eat us, they will. I never thought wolves would eat me before, but the other night a big one snuck into a campsite of about twenty noisy people and ate one of our dogs....like 20 feet away. Two and three year old kids had just been playing in the exact same spot. Gave me pause to question my belief's about wolves. Hopefully we will be able to dispense the law of the jungle on that particular fearless canine. Bears are the same, we deal with a multitude of them every year in town. If they are not treated harshly, they continue to harass. A 12 guage bean bag in the arse, something the OPP use occasionally, might hurt you or I, but it's only foreplay for Mr. Bear.

Black bears in the bush are a different story. Rocks usually work fine on a stupid one, just make sure you throw with a reason. However, i still take my gun frequently, cause i like it.


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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 21st, 2011, 12:35 pm 
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Yes, I have had black bears on my property. They haven't done any damage yet, and until this summer I didn't own a gun or or spray -- not that I think they would be necessary.

I have read Herrero. It was his recently published research about predatory male black bears that made me consider getting a weapon. His data show that most black bear deaths are not caused by surprised sows protecting cubs, but by a small minority predatory male bears who stalk humans to kill and eat them.

Still, Herrero's data is only on deaths, only on black bears, and subject to the suspect reporting and recording processes. We know deaths are rare. However, to me, the equally or more important data would be on injuries, property damage, and deterrence. I personally feel a 12 gauge warning blast would be an equal deterrent to bangers or spray, and of course has the backup kill potential if needed. I've posted videos on solotripping.com showing gunshots driving off charging bears.

Here is a video of Herrero discussing his most recent research in May 2011:

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/05/10/science/100000000812441/stephen-herrero-on-black-bear-attacks.html


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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 21st, 2011, 1:29 pm 
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
I'll keep my bearspray.
For me it's seems to be the best "sustainable" defence.

Before anybody jumps...this isn't directed at any one, but...
I do think it's sad how trigger happy people get when they carry a gun.

I've heard so many stories (hopefully most are just that) about how they "had" to shoot the animal because they felt threatened.
These animals are threatened all the time by nature and especially us.
So let's blow these animals away when they look for food, check out who's in their territory, or defend themselves or their families. :roll:

Hey Rob, just curious, was the dog small? Tied up? Old or sick?
Many bush towns have cougars, coyotes, or wolves coming to town at night to pick off just these animals.
This is where these wild animals will take any advantage. Wouldn't you?

Ducking now.


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 Post subject: Re: Pepper Spray or Gun?
PostPosted: August 21st, 2011, 2:46 pm 
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Sam82 wrote:
Neither in black bear country, I take a big paddle and angry dog ;)

What nobody going for the Buck Kife? Bunch of ....., (except Sam82 and sam's man) ;)

I agree a 12 guage full choke might be sufficient deterrent, if fired on target at 10 ft or less distance (which doesn't give you a lot of time to move out of the way, but a more powerful rifle would be better. If the bear isn't attacking me, I would only shoot as a last resort.

I have access to bear spray and think it would be a good thing to deter nuisance bears, but somehow I've never remembered to bring it along. I've never brought a firearm along either (I quit hunting a long time ago), but if I were going into brown bear country, I would be much more likely to.

All the studies I've seen say spray works best on nuisance bears. However there's not much data on spray and predatory bears, and a 12 guage at close range does a lot of damage.
BTW close range is 5 to 10 feet.


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