Fishing alone

FlyGuyOutdoors

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I will soon be retiring and will be spending some time out on the river(s) and back country alone.
I am thinking of self protection and am seeking recommendation on a shoulder holster and caliber. 10mm
Thanks in advance.
FGO
 

jjcm

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Not a bad idea. I'm contemplating the same thing tonight. I just had my second bear sighting on the river. The last one was a week ago.
 

Ard

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Hi, and welcome to the forum.

I live north of you and although years ago there were a good many brown bears around here I only ever carried when hosting remote tent camps. That piece has only a 2" barrel and was intended to be used if ever my tent were collapsed on me when I was already in a sleeping bag ........... I'm sure you can imagine how awkward that could be. The idea was to deliver contact wounds to whatever was about to maul me by poking the thing around until I found something solid.

Not everyone has the presence of mind to keep themselves together under pressure and very few are actually able to draw a handgun - acquire target and fire accurately in a very short amount of time. If a person has time to take careful aim in an encounter with a wild animal that person would have ample time to dislodge the safety cap from a Large can of Counterassault Bear Spray which is the proven leader in protective repellent.

Like a firearm you should become acquainted with how a cannister of Bear Spray works, this will cost you a can of it so you can get to know effective range and the pattern that it produces when discharged. When I fish in bear country I carry one but own 7 cans. Unlike many persons who may offer advice on some type of hand canon to carry around I have had up close encounters with brown bears that can boggle the mind just with their size and I have used bear spray on one individual. There's a post here in the Blog forum about that day called 'The Bear Encounter' it took months for me to relax after that incident but I'm good now.

I have been a guide up here for a long time and have fished and camped where the bears wander right through your camp and I rely on bear spray. Some insist on a firearm but I don't allow clients or guests to carry around me. Incidentally, no bear ever Tacoed my tent and I had my German Shepherd with me for 10 years of guiding so he was the failsafe warning system. Now he's gone and I just have the spray when fishing. If you intend to tent camp I do recommend a snub nose large cal for inside the tent. If you are out of the tent then bank on the spray.

BTW, The stuff will put a man down for a while too. If you're worried about the man shooting at you than you gotta find a different place to fish ;)
 

Ross_S

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Ard makes some very great points. A 10mm is definitely more than enough. For true practically and if it is specifically for protection I would lean towards the judge. That way you can shoot 410 and 45. I would say the key is knowing when and how to use it. The best advice Ard gave you is a dog. To each their own, I like a terrier or cur bred dog. Both theses breeds if picked right are extremely smart. They will hang out with you while you fish and have a strong hunting instinct, yet will not run out of the country after an animal. If it's bears you are worried about, you can't beat a good dog
 

WorknPlay

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In my many trips out west, Canada and Alaska, I have had two times that I had to pull out my bear spray. Thank god, I did not have to pull the trigger on either bear, because they backed off and then so did I very slowly. I can tell you this, it does not get anymore serious, then having an encounter like that in the outdoors. Just like was mentioned, I also buy two or three cans each time and then I practice with one of the cans. I would not want to get hit in the face or any part of me with the stuff. I think it not only would take care of blinding you but also the stuff I use looks like it would melt your skin. I feel very comfortable with the bear spray on my side in a quick style holster. I normally do carry a legal firearm, but it is usually my s&w 38 special for general piece of mind from two legged creatures. I would never carry a 10mm or some other kind of auto as my main defense because what happens if it jams on you, well then you have to have the the mind set to work the action to clear it and by this time Mr. or Mrs. bear is rearranging your zip code if you get my drift. A double action revolver is the way to go since if their is a misfire, you just have to keep pulling the trigger. With that said, it is bear spray for me all the way. Take Care
 

LePetomane

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None of us are getting any younger. Something that can make you just as dead as being mauled by a bear is falling and fracturing a femur or tibia. This makes you unable to ambulate. If you're in an area without cell service you're screwed. In addition to a large caliber firearm I carry the Spot GPS locator. I send an "I'm okay" signal to my wife every hour. I hope the day never comes that I send an "SOS" signal.
 
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planettrout

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These are HG's in 10mm. I have the S&W 1006 and would never consider schlepping it around on the water - way too heavy and one better practice with it, a lot. Even the FBI gave that one up...


When I was in very remote place here in the Sierra, If I carried at all. it was a Browning HP with 2 extra mags and Black Talon. The only bears one would encounter were black bears and they always took off with a lot of noise...When I camped in remote areas, I always had my FN-FAL Para 50.63 and a Benelli M1 Super 90, stuffed with slugs and sabots. I have seen my share of big cats...


PT/TB
 

thom

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Here is my theory. Do not surprise a bear. Make some noise when you walk in bear country. Know the advantage of walking with the wind to your back as it carries your odor ahead thus announcing your presence.

Conversely walking into the wind neglates this advantage so be aware of this factor. Most importantly learn bear behavior and how to read bear body language. Be more alert if vegetation or background noise is present as these factors lessen your ability to be detected.

Smells can also work against you as bears really like easy food. A clean camp is your friend. Food and cooking is best done well away from sleeping.

I am going airplane camping on the beach for silvers soon. A portable electric fence will be thrown into the camp kit. Like Ard mentioned in his post many Alaskans have seen bears wandering through camp at night doing no harm but the portable electric fence sure changes the sleep equation and prevents my ride home being trashed.

If you shoot a bear in Alaska the state requires you skin it out. Some years ago in order to see that country I took a pilot job on the North Slope. We dropped hunters and science types into the boondocks. On occasion a bear guard was supplied to construction types. The fellow who introduced me to this work always told the clients “Avoid bear encounters today as I am not about to skin any bears that you could have avoided”. Avoidance is much better than trying to tap the central nervous system of the worlds largest meat eaters. A snap shot like that is not easy.

Give me bears any day over rattlesnakes.
 

jjcm

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We never had bears, or at least not many, in Northern Lower Michigan. I went twenty five years here before seeing one. Over the past couple of years, I've seen a few. Last night, it was just after dark. I think the hex are near done here, but I found a spot a couple nights ago night with an okay hatch. Then, it rained a lot. Figured I'd give it another try. Was getting ready to tie on a mouse and make a few presentations with it before calling it a night. My headlamp then caught a large black bear accross the river from me. After a minute or so of glaring at each other, he ran the other way grunting and growling.

I did notice some bones around the river side, look like old deer carcasses. There is also scat around the area. Could be there from anything (I'm no bear expert), but I'm starting to think there may be a bear who has claimed one of the fishing spots on the Upper Man as its territory.

One thing that has me a little creeped out is that I took my ten year old out to fish the night hatch. We got there early, hung out, and played. Picked a nice bank that we could relax on and it is also right on good water. Basically spent the day there. He didn't want to wade anymore so read a book with a headlamp as I waded down a little ways to cast at a fish, yelling up a few times to make sure he's alright. The next day, I returned and there was scat right on our spot. I understand scat can be used to mark territory. Which has me thinking that the bear isn't so happy with us being around. This is one of my beloved fishing spots...

Thanks for the suggestion about bear spray. I think I'll look into that. I can use them well, but I'm not really a gun guy and I fish water that is shared with others. It's pretty hard to predict were a bear would be considering other people, dwellings, cars, etc.
 
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FlyGuyOutdoors

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Thank you for all the quick replies.
Bear spray, I agree, is a must, and the chances of having an unfortunate encounter with a griz is exceptionally low. But it does happen as in the case of 2 deaths this year, one in YNP and the other somewhere in Montana. I know some of the details of the first, the 2nd no.
Additionally, the other hazards in the wild and on the river are real and possible. Thanks again.
 
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Ard

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I'm fully aware that this may very well sound harsh but ..... Whatever the activity, be it a trip to a big city or going fishing in the mountains, if I actually feel so threatened that I am considering what gun to carry for protection I just will not go there. That practice has seen me safely through the years between 23 and almost 67 so I'm thinking it's working for me.
 

JoJer

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I think it's possible that, if the drought continues in the west, we're going to see an increase in encounters. Low spring growth from a dry spring and summer, the potential for a big fire season is going to affect bear behavior. Another winter like the the one just passed will really be bad.
 

adrian81

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Bear spray, a 454 Casull or shotgun loaded with slugs for a last ditch effort to maybe walk away from a surprised or aggressive bear is what we carried if expecting to run into them while out West. None of these are a guarantee, but better to know how to use these tools and have them if needed.

Having said that, I never had any negative encounters with them and for the most part saw them from afar with the exception of them cruising through our camp at night on occasion and the dogs turning them off.

Maybe just as important is being aware of your surroundings, making noise when going through brush, occasionally blowing on a whistle, not eating and cooking close to your tent if camping and keeping your campsite clean.
 

Hayden Creek

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Bear spray, a 454 Casull or shotgun loaded with slugs for a last ditch effort to maybe walk away from a surprised or aggressive bear is what we carried if expecting to run into them while out West. None of these are a guarantee, but better to know how to use these tools and have them if needed.
Agreed but here's the rub with that.
Target practice will not prepare you for a charging bear. Won't really prepare most people for a casual bear. How you react in oh shit situations at high speed are most important. 90+% of individuals fail this, gun or no gun.
I've been bluff charged by grizzly. Nothing prepares you for that.
Battle would, but nothing in daily life.
 

Unknownflyman

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I hunt and enjoy shooting sports, Ive fired handguns and rifles since I got my firearms safety at age 12.

I`m a decent shot, and even better when I was young and my eyes were good. I couldn't hit a charging, moving bear at 20 feet and stop it, I admit this out loud and in public, and after years of hanging out and practicing at ranges and watching people shoot handguns, they cant either.

The best I have seen shoot were law enforcement officers and you know those top tier league guys, who many times were law enforcement or conservation officers and their buddies.

I opt for nothing or bear spray if I was out west, the only bears ive seen fishing here at home were running away from me, more scared of me. My wife won't let me have a German Shepard but that would be nice.

Welcome to the forum
 
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adrian81

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Agreed but here's the rub with that.
Target practice will not prepare you for a charging bear. Won't really prepare most people for a casual bear. How you react in oh shit situations at high speed are most important. 90+% of individuals fail this, gun or no gun.
I've been bluff charged by grizzly. Nothing prepares you for that.
Battle would, but nothing in daily life.
I never assumed or said target practice could ever prepare you for a dangerous encounter having never been put into that scenario. Thank god it never happened. I would never ASSUME to ever know how I would react to that situation. Most likely still get chewed on and shat my pants!
 

Hayden Creek

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I wasn't implying you did. I just think guns carried for this purpose can lead to a false sense of security and possibly make someone reliant on it for protection. Awareness is protection first. Of course a gun as a last resort. But you gotta be able to use it.
I have spent alot of time over the last 4 decades in bear country. 100% of all of my bear encounters have ended with me scaring them off just by making alot of noise. Never carry, never worry.
If it makes an individual feel better I say go for it. But be honest with yourself about your ability to be effective with it.
 

adrian81

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I wasn't implying you did. I just think guns carried for this purpose can lead to a false sense of security and possibly make someone reliant on it for protection. Awareness is protection first. Of course a gun as a last resort. But you gotta be able to use it.
I have spent alot of time over the last 4 decades in bear country. 100% of all of my bear encounters have ended with me scaring them off just by making alot of noise. Never carry, never worry.
If it makes an individual feel better I say go for it. But be honest with yourself about your ability to be effective with it.
Gotcha. I agree, guns should never make anyone feel that they are invincible. That's plain stupid and maybe even more dangerous than anything else.

Cheers!
 

plecain

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I've never understood the idea that a .44 magnum pistol is in any way suitable for saving yourself from a big bear.
I have two, but know that they are grossly underpowered for that use.
A 240 gr bullet from a 6-inch barrel will have around 11-1200 ft-lbs of energy.
Even a .30-30 has about 1900 ft-lbs. I don't see many people advocating using a .30-30 on grizzlies.
 
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