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"Backpacker shoots, kills grizzly in Alaska park"
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Steve O
(HechoEnDetroit) - F

Locale: South Kak
"Backpacker shoots, kills grizzly in Alaska park" on 05/31/2010 11:27:42 MDT Print View

Sad story but interesting that a .45 was used, although bear size is not mentioned.

Edited by HechoEnDetroit on 05/31/2010 11:33:38 MDT.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: "Backpacker shoots, kills grizzly in Alaska park" on 05/31/2010 11:36:22 MDT Print View

"Park officials are determining the justification for the shooting. It's legal to carry firearms in that area of the park, but illegal to discharge them."

So now it's legal to carry in the NP's, but not legal to shoot? How does that one work?

If in fact the grizzly was charging, bluff or not, I would say that is cause for action.

"The two reported the shooting to rangers"

The fact that they reported the incident is likely indicative that they were being responsible, I would think. Would bear spray really stop a charging grizzly?

Juston Taul

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Good shoot. on 05/31/2010 13:47:00 MDT Print View

I hate to see anything be killed unless it's for the purpose of food... that said, it looks like they had honorable intentions. If I were in the same situation, I might have done the same thing. Of course it wouldn't have been from a 45. That's a horrible choice of firearm in grizzly country.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: good shoot on 05/31/2010 21:14:18 MDT Print View

"...a 45. That's a horrible choice of firearm in grizzly country."

Yet it seems to have worked.

Juston Taul

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Lucky on 05/31/2010 21:33:39 MDT Print View

True, but sometimes there isn't enough time for 9 shots.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Backpacker shoots, kills grizzly in Alaska Park on 05/31/2010 22:34:45 MDT Print View

From John McPhee's "Coming into the Country" (1977):
"[T]here are a few people who feel that it is wrong to carry a gun, in part because the risk is low and well worth taking, but most emphatically because they see the gun as an affront to the wild country of which the bear is sign and symbol. This, while strongly felt, is a somewhat novel attitude. When Robert Marshall explored the Brooks range a century ago, he and his companions fired at almost every bear they saw, without pausing for philosophical reflection. The reaction was automatic. They were expressing mankind's immemorial fear of the beast--man and rattlesnake, man and bear. Among modern environmentalists, to whom a figure like Marshall is otherwise a hero, fear of the bear has been exceeded by reverence."

How things have changed in just a few years! Better safe than sorry, and glad they survived.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Gun vs. bear spray on 06/01/2010 03:13:02 MDT Print View

Does anyone know when it comes to grizzly encounters, what is more effective, a gun or bear spray? Speaking strictly out of emotion, the gun might me feel safer, although like most people, I'd hate to shoot a bear. But what would be more likely to prevent/stop an attack? What percentage of charges are bluffs?


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Gun vs. bear spray on 06/01/2010 04:19:31 MDT Print View

Some factors for the decision are ephemeral.

Wind! If the wind is moderate and blowing in your face, then expending a canister of bear spray will likely have no effect except to get it in your own face. At a minimum, it won't reach the charging bear at a safe distance like 25 feet.

For the situation of wind, I prefer to ignite a bear flare.


Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: Gun vs. bear spray on 06/01/2010 13:20:45 MDT Print View

"what is more effective, a gun or bear spray?"

Do you want to kill or just discourage the bear? The answer to that question determines which instrument you must use. Spray does not kill; a bullet does not discourage a Grizzly - quite the contrary.

Whichever you use, you first have to know WHEN to use it and when not to. You also must be able to HIT the bear, and in the right spot, with it.

Assuming you can do both of the above while maintaining your cool as 600 pounds of furred fury with 4 inch claws and teeth is closing the distance between you two at 30 mph, it boils down to how close do you want to let the bear get before you take action.

Bear spray is limited to about 20 feet - assuming the wind direction and speed is optimal.

The gun reaches a lot further. This is a good thing because once you shoot a Grizzly, he'll keep coming until one of you is dead, so assume a comfortable firing position and just keep shooting until one of you goes down. You really do NOT want to shoot at a Grizzly unless you absolutely have to do so, because you WILL get his undivided attention. Note that if shooting a Black Bear, the odds are about 50:50 that he'll charge vs. run away.

After 2 years of ranching in Grizzly country, I would respectfully submit that a gun of proper caliber is far more effective than any bear spray.

Even more effective is knowing bear habits, signs, and their way of life. Then you can arrange your schedule to limit your potential exposure. Knowledge weighs nothing; bear spray is 17 ounces; a gun of sufficient caliber can easily weigh ten pounds. Which would you rather carry for several days or weeks?

Steve O
(HechoEnDetroit) - F

Locale: South Kak
Re: Gun vs. bear spray on 06/01/2010 15:10:19 MDT Print View

This thread has some good links to some scientific research into just that.

Edited by HechoEnDetroit on 06/01/2010 15:12:07 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Gun vs. Spray on 06/01/2010 19:37:52 MDT Print View

It seems the bear ran away after being shot. I've heard plenty of stories of hunters having to trail wounded bears so I don't know if an injured grizzly is gurenteed to charge to the death although I'm well aware it does happen. I'd still rather use pepper spray than an 45, I'm just question the assumption that shooting a bear in any way other than an instant kill is year death warrent.