Skip to comments.Outdoor Writer Re-Thinks Pistols as a Defense Against Bears
Posted on 03/12/2019 8:30:01 AM PDT by Perseverando
U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- Many people have a difficult time changing their minds once they have formulated an opinion, especially once they have committed to the opinion on the record. I am happy to say fellow writer Wes Siler is of better material than that.
In a June 2017 article, Wes was of the opinion that firearms, all firearms, were worthless as a defense against bears. He opined that statistically speaking, a person, when attacked by a bear, was as well off without a firearm as with one. He depended on research which had some problems with selection bias. Wes, quite generously, quoted me correctly. From outsideonline.com:
Like most tragedies, this one has become a canvas onto which various crackpots and special interests are painting their opinions. My favorite hot take has to be this one on the Truth About Guns, arguing that teenagers should pack heat while going on fun runs. The runner was able and willing to carry a cellphone, writes Dean Weingarten. He could easily have carried a Ruger LCP II, which weighs about as much. Whether or not that would have been enough gun for a black bear is not entirely germane. It would have given him a chance.
Would carrying a small .380-caliber pistol have made a difference? A study of 269 bear encounters conducted in 2012 found that relying on a firearm (any firearm) as your primary line of defense gives you the same odds as carrying no defense whatsoever. Statistically speaking, Cooper was just as safe from bears running without a pistol as he would have been with one.
With a year and a half more experience available to Wes, as well as the salubrious effect of moving into grizzly bear territory in Bozeman, Montana, Wes has considered the evidence and changed
(Excerpt) Read more at ammoland.com ...
Drop him into a cage with a bear and put a pistol on a table next to him. Bet he’ll grab it!
I was talking with an Outfitter just last Saturday who regularly travels into Bear Countty. Unarmed.
He says he uses a common sense approach to never cross a mother and her cubs. And that most bears run way from you when possible.
Still. I don’t think I’d go off in the woods without firepower. Not me.
Well, the up side of successfully defending yourself from a bear attack with a pistol is that you get a cool rug. :)
I have 32 acres in south central Kentucky, 27 of which is wooded with two streams. People have seen black bears around here quite a bit. I’ve read up on them quite a bit and I’m not all that concerned.
For starters, unlike Grizzlies, momma bears are not all that much perturbed by someone coming between them and their cubs. The challenge tends to be the males. However, their average size is actually smaller than me. Of course, the same can be said about a badger, but still. However, I’ve also learned they are rarely aggressive unless they are really in a feeding or rutting frenzy.
The article has got me thinking about carrying my .380 with the lethal load I have in it when it’s in my car.
"Hello, my name is Wes...and I'm an idiot."
Here in Florida, you could put that ‘cool rug’ on the floor of your prison cell........................
I remember reading about a black bear attack in the Great Smokey Mountains in TN about 12 or 15 years ago. A woman was killed by a 150 lb black bear, if I remember correctly.
As opposed to being "in" the rug.
Yeah. That’s one of the things I read about. A couple of things:
1. Black bear attacks are extremely rare, even though people come across them a lot.
2. I’m not a woman. It matters. :)
When hiking always bring along a buddy that YOU CAN OUTRUN IN A SPRINT.
This does speak to why my wife really won’t go into the woods without me or our dogs.
Black bears hate dogs, especially big dogs. And dogs don’t like them back.
Personally, I’m more concerned about meth cookers and other miscreants than bears when out in the woods.
We used to go on camping vacations to Idaho and Montana.
We were fishing a river somewhere in Idaho in ‘79 or so, and my wife asked if those were bear tracks in the sand. I said no, that looks like a barefoot boy walking his dog.
Not far from where we had pupped our tent.
Years later I saw that in a magazine as a decription of bear tracks.
As I understand it, in most cases it’s not the adult bears alone that provoke an attack. It’s curious young cubs relatively separated from a mother that find their proximity to humans that provokes an attack.
Even more importantly...the bear will completely ignore it.
I like articles about bears, even though I don’t hike or hunt in the Rockies.
I have a friend who does. He carries a 10mm Glock. Makes him feel invincible. I tell him it only increases his chances of survival in a full-on bear attack.
Very well played indeed. :)
Question for everybody. If you are carrying small caliber pistol for defense against bears, do you still load defense ammunition or go with jacketed ball ammo for more penetration? I'd think .380 hollow point would splat on a grizzly skull. No?
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