OT: Shotguns for Bears?

Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by OneShotBandit, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. J.Bennett

    J.Bennett Elite Refuge Member

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    Back when I was much younger than I am now, I spent some time as a fishing guide in AK. I fished the rivers and creeks from Talkeetna to Denali. I had a short barreled 870 loaded with slugs that I kept slung over my shoulder. I am much better with a shotgun than I am with a handgun, and a rifle at the ranges that you would likely be using at in a kill the bear before it kills me scenario is impractical. I also carried a 454 casull in a shoulder holster (just in case). I had the 870 loaded with slugs and always kept a handful of 7 1/2s in my pocket to use as warning shots when bears got a little too curious or in case I ran across some grouse or ptarmigan. Never had to shoot a bear, but I did have to fire plenty of warning shots.

    It was not unusual to see bear tracks over the top of your tracks when you were walking out. The scariest places to fish were the small creeks 20-40 feet wide see where you couldn’t see more than 4 or 5 feet past the bank because the trees and ferns were so thick. Had more than one close encounter in places like that. Once watched a grizzly chase a black bear across the Susitna river about 50 yards downstream of me and heard the grizzly catch and kill it less than 75 yards away.
     
  2. theduckguru

    theduckguru Elite Refuge Member

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    Heavy 70 cal bullet
     
  3. Bear

    Bear Elite Refuge Member

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    God Bless Texas!!!
  4. boodog

    boodog Senior Refuge Member

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    ^^^^^This guy knows what he is talking about re bear medicine. Had same experiences as fish guide on Tikchik Lake, Ak in my youth.
     
  5. J.Bennett

    J.Bennett Elite Refuge Member

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    I didn't worry too much about he bears that I could see, and I generally knew which spots were likely to have bears. Filleting fish was when I always felt vulnerable because I had to look down at the fish. I always had the clients keep an eye out while I was doing it, but they usually weren't the most alert of folks. There were some places that I'd get 3 or 4 fish done, then have to fire a warning shot to chase a off "curious" bear, then I'd get 2 or 3 done, have to fire another warning shot, then 1 or 2 done, warning shot, etc. I hated those spots.

    Like I said, the worst were the little creeks that you had to walk right down the middle of and couldn't see for more than about 20 feet either way because there was a solid wall of green starting just a couple feet from either bank. When you hear one take a step or two and huff and/or pop his jaws at you and it's so close that you can't tell for sure which side of the creek its on, it stands the hair on the back of your neck up. I've been scared before, but there is something different about knowing that there something that close to you that could kill you and eat you before you even know which way to look. It is a completely different level/type of fear than I had ever experienced before.
     
  6. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

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    It would have to be some awful good fishing for me to have stayed at that spot... I am guessing that the client heard "Well, looks like the fishing is done for today..." Or, "Perhaps we should move to a better spot about a mile or two upstream..."
     
  7. J.Bennett

    J.Bennett Elite Refuge Member

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    Yeah, we made a move after that.

    I used to wear tennis shoes when we had to walk into spots (and put my hip boots on after arriving at the spot), and the clients would almost always wear their hip boots or waders for the walk in. Sometimes they'd give me a hard time about "hiking boots" and some would ask me why I didn't just wear my hip boots. I'd tell them "I wear these shoes in case I have to run from a bear." To which the usual response was, "You can't outrun a bear." My reply was, "I don't have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you..."
     
  8. huntineveryday

    huntineveryday Senior Refuge Member

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    He was more or less just kicking the tires that day, hadn't handled a Judge before and just wanted get his hands on one.
     
  9. bufflehead1

    bufflehead1 Senior Refuge Member

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    Usually one shot with a slug at less than 50 yards will stop a bear in his tracks. Bear hunting with dogs, most guides will be carrying a pump shotgun with slugs. I don't know about others but I can pump a shotgun a lot faster than I can work the bolt on a rifle and you never have to take your finger off the trigger.

    I use a rifled barrel pump gun with 1-1/4 ounce Lightfield slugs, it gets the job done.
     
  10. Northhunter

    Northhunter Refuge Member

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    This was in heavy black bear country, but I had this relayed to me by a friend who had a few of us up for a fall hunt. Himself and a buddy had been rushed one night doing a bait drop, then at the same site some time later while walking out in the dark after a hunt he had (presumably) the same bear start popping its jaw from a short distance away in the bush. The bluff charge didn't seem to phase him too much, but in regards to the jaw popping and the circumstances (he also just had a bow at the time) he told me "It's the most visceral, disgusting sound you'll ever hear."
     
    J.Bennett likes this.

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