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Old 02-16-2017, 12:28 PM
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I used to camp in and around the cedar swamps of northern Michigan and there's no shortage of black bears in that area.

Bears have an incredible sense of smell, even an empty cooler that recently had food in it can attract a bear.

We made it a point to have our camp kitchen at least 20 yards away from where we slept. We hung all food and coolers up in the trees, as well as our gas stove because of the food smells. We used paper plates which we burned in our cooking fire pit.

As long as you're careful and mindful of what you're doing, you shouldn't have any issues with bears, raccoons, etc. as added precaution we always had at least one 12 gauge on hand.
Old 02-16-2017, 04:46 PM
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman 16 View Post
This one was not in a trap. It was walking around in town growling and bluff charging people. It had already swatted at a guy inside his car. The officer pulled up in his truck, got out and shot it right in it's forehead.
Still doesn't mean its effective for self defence. If bear is like most four footed game when it runs at you its head will bob around a lot, even rotating in a sort of circular motion, and trying for a headshot is going to be very difficult.

Just like self defence from humans you don't choose something that only works with headshots, you choose something that puts them DOWN to the centre of mass. If you want to stay alive that is.
 
Old 02-16-2017, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sixtus View Post
Big difference difference between killing with a controlled head shot, and stopping a charging animal. We use 22LR to dispatch hogs in traps and 223 to cull wild cattle with head shots. I would not use either on incoming game in the wild though, unless I was using a lot of shots.
You don't need to shoot a bear in the head with a 223 to kill it. A black bear is as easy to kill as a deer. It's just a little "fluffier". And shorter.

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Old 02-16-2017, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin View Post
You never know if the guy that had your campground site the day before poured the last of his sugary drink or bacon grease into the ground before he left.
Well, yes, but the OP mentioned the bear was going through his cooler.

Around here, you probably wouldn't get a bear in camp. We have bears, but they get hunted regularly, so they're pretty suspicious of people. On the other hand, and jokes about mutant ninja mice aside, a more practical concern is raccoons. The raccoons are dang near as big as the bears and they're more than capable of lifting a cooler lid.
Old 02-16-2017, 08:08 PM
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You don't need to shoot a bear in the head with a 223 to kill it. A black bear is as easy to kill as a deer. It's just a little "fluffier". And shorter.

.
Bigger caliber means more damage, which means the animal drops faster. If a bear's charging you, you want it to go down FAST.

if you shoot it with a .22, sure, you may make a kill shot. It might even be dead in a minute or two. It could kill YOU in that minute or two.

Bigger caliber and a bigger hole means it stops coming at you that much faster. It also means that if you, say, hit the bear's forearm or a dense spot of skull you're more likely to do critical damage rather than just wounding it.

Note: I'm playing devil's advocate here, but it's an argument worth considering if you are in an area -- like a public campground -- where bears might be a risk.

The gun I carry in the back country is a .22lr. This is mostly because I'm just not that worried about bears. I'm not. What I am worried about is rabies, and that .22 will work just fine on a rabid coyote or bobcat or skunk. I suppose I'm screwed if I ever run into a rabid bear, or sasquatch, but meh, there's a lot more urgent things to worry about than that.

However, if I were camped at a public campground in a national forest where they have a bear problem, and assuming the campground rules allowed it, I'd probably have my 12 gauge in the tent with me as my weapon of choice. THAT will stop anything it needs to stop .. LOL.

I try to avoid public campgrounds, though.
Old 02-16-2017, 09:27 PM
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Bigger caliber means more damage, which means the animal drops faster. If a bear's charging you, you want it to go down FAST. ..
Sorry, but that is just the normal mantra repeated by folks who have never shot a black bear or seen one shot.

A black bear can be killed quite easily with a .223 FMJBT M193, which makes a LOT of damage in whatever body it hits. Hit a bear with that round in in the upper torso and it will change it's mind and crawl off to die. It's pretty sad to see actually, and you get a whole new perspective after seeing it and you won't forget it. A heavier, soft point 223 would be even more effective.

I'm talking about black bears, I've never shot a grizzly bear so I can't say. They are around me but I've never seen one at my place. Don't really want to either.

I would not shoot a bear with a 22lr. That might do more harm than good.

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Old 02-17-2017, 04:18 AM
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Years back out of Grants Pass Oregon, far down a rugged 4 WDL road near the Rogue river doing a preliminary retracement of an old patented mining claim boundary. I parked my Jeep Cherokee. Which had a bucket of Kentucky fried chicken & side dishes (I bought that morning for my lunch & dinner) in it I intended to eat later in the day.

Not realizing the back seat passenger window was down about a 1/4 or 1/2 inch. Hit the auto lock switch on the drivers door, took my GPS & went to work.

Before noon headed back to the Jeep to eat lunch, about 100 yards from the Jeep saw something BIG moving around INSIDE the Jeep. Stepped behind a tree, drew my sidearm & watched, at 1st thinking it was human.

Well, it wasn't human, it was a black bear. I just stood there patiently, waiting for it to exit the Jeep. After about 10 minutes getting impatient, I finally yelled loudly to make my presence known to the bear & it quickly exited out the back seat passenger side window & hightailed it into the brush.

End result, the bear had eaten the fried chicken, biscuits, gravy, coleslaw & tore up the back seat trying to get at the MRE's, dry crackers & canned goods I had stored underneath the seat. Once home, had to have the rear side window replaced & I replaced the back seat bought used from U-Pull-It.

It was my fault, not the bears. I must have inadvertently left the rear passenger side window down slightly, as that was where the bear found the opening, then got his claws in enough to pull/claw/bust the window out & gain entry.

If that window had been closed tight, I don't think the bear would have managed to get in.
Oh well, lesson learned at my expense.
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:28 AM
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If the bear is gong to endanger my family you damn right I'm going to shoot it! I had secured all of my food, the only thing in that cooler was beer and milk. I would love to see the idiot that goes near a bear with a pot and a spoon and gets mauled because the bear is used to people. I was in a designated camp site so I'm sure that bear sees people on a daily basis..
I'm not trying to be rude here. I completely understand that you'd protect your family. But, as someone who has been backpacking in bear country since I was 5 years old, I know it is really damn hard to kill a bear! And, you probably wouldn't need to!

First off, you need to know whether it is black bears, brown bears, or both that are in the area.

Second, always hang a bear bag! Even if it isn't bear country, raccoons can easily get into a cooler.

Or, use a bear canister.

Thirdly, bears generally aren't going to charge unless they feel threatened. They will bluff though with fake charges. If a brown bear really does charge, your best bet is bear spray NOT a gun!

Here's a really good article on the topic. http://momgoescamping.com/if-you-see-bear/

And here is how to hang a bear bag (with pictures): http://momgoescamping.com/how-to-hang-a-bear-bag/
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sarco2000 View Post
You don't need to shoot a bear in the head with a 223 to kill it. A black bear is as easy to kill as a deer. It's just a little "fluffier". And shorter.

.
Deer doesn't drop from 223 at all angles either, neither do hogs. We cull a lot of pest game here with .223 certainly, but you are picking your shots and good angles, and not getting in the way of anything incoming. If it does you are keeping an eye out for available trees.

A killing shot may not be a stopping shot. Aka it can still leave an animal on its feet long enough to make a mess of you before it runs out of blood or oxygen. More hunters get killed by 'dead' animals than live ones.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by sarco2000 View Post
Sorry, but that is just the normal mantra repeated by folks who have never shot a black bear or seen one shot.

A black bear can be killed quite easily with a .223 FMJBT M193, which makes a LOT of damage in whatever body it hits. Hit a bear with that round in in the upper torso and it will change it's mind and crawl off to die. It's pretty sad to see actually, and you get a whole new perspective after seeing it and you won't forget it. A heavier, soft point 223 would be even more effective.

I'm talking about black bears, I've never shot a grizzly bear so I can't say. They are around me but I've never seen one at my place. Don't really want to either.

I would not shoot a bear with a 22lr. That might do more harm than good.

.
Yep. A .223 with some good soft point ammo will work on a black bear. GRIZZLIES are a totally different matter, but black bears are not that hard to kill. People don't need a .50 BMG to stop one.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:31 PM
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The only time I have read of someone getting killed by a black bear was several years ago in Colorado a guy shot a bear with a shotgun. The guy was standing in the doorway of his Trailer and all he had to do was go back inside and close the door. Even yell or shoot at the ground to scare the bear off. But no, the guy shot the bear, wounded it and then the black bear killed the
guy....

Really? I live in Colorado and I'm not finding anything like you've indicated???
Yes, really. I don't make things up and if I can back up and prove what I write then I do. Good that you question though since I also don't believe even half what I read on the net.
And why real life experience is much better than anything one might read in a book or on the net.

Here is what I could find after searching for quite a few minutes. Maybe there is the newspaper article somewhere on the net that I read back in 1993 but here is what I found ( with not too many details though ) which should help prove what I wrote in my previous post >

post 33: "Colorado - 24 year old logger Collin McClelland was attacked and killed in his camper in Fremont County, Colorado on August 10, 1993. Shots were fired at the bear but apparently only slightly wounded the animal."

from this site > http://www.southeasternoutdoors.com/...cks-fatal.html

I like this quote from that link also >

"The fact is attacks on humans by Black Bears is extremely rare, in fact only 52 known fatal Black Bear attacks have happened in North America in the last 100 years, but they do happen. Your best defense is a little understanding of bears and their habits and being aware of your surroundings when visiting or living in bear country."
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:41 PM
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Hey, these threads are fun! Everyone gets the opportunity to pontificate.
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:52 PM
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Or falls. Falls are the number one cause of backcountry death. Often we don't pay attention to where our feet are or try to scramble up dicey terrain. I once went on a weekend backpack trip and when I came back there had been a landslide on the trail which was carved into a cliff. Avery the dog scrambles across it with ease. No way to anchor a safety line. I figured there was a 99% chance of my crossing it okay but if I didn't, it was 50 feet of screaming death onto the rocks below. I returned by a different route. THAT is how to survive in the wilderness.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/7...gees-life.html
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:00 PM
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I doubt that closing the windows would have made a difference. Bears bust thru windows or even rip off car doors if they think there MIGHT be a snack inside. Even cars where there was no food at all, they'll go after an empty cooler. Seen it happen in parks a lot of times. Some rangers recommend leaving the windows open so the bear doesn't destroy the car to get in. All you have to do then is replace the seats.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TMcArthur View Post
I doubt that closing the windows would have made a difference. Bears bust thru windows or even rip off car doors if they think there MIGHT be a snack inside. Even cars where there was no food at all, they'll go after an empty cooler. Seen it happen in parks a lot of times. Some rangers recommend leaving the windows open so the bear doesn't destroy the car to get in. All you have to do then is replace the seats.
Saw a picture once where a black bear got into a closed and locked car. He simply stuck his claws in the crack at the top of the door and peeled it open like a banana.

Someone earlier mentioned that the bear got in his car because he left the window cracked, and it reminded me of that picture. Cracked window makes no difference if they want in.

Bears are unbelievably strong. I still need to repair a steel tube gate that a bear bent all to hell last fall because he wanted to get in and get the livestock feed. Seeing the gate all mangled up like that, you realize the power of those animals. It's enough to send a shiver up your spine. They are that strong and yet can sneak up behind you without making the slightest sound.

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Old 02-17-2017, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by wildcampinggirl View Post
I'm not trying to be rude here. I completely understand that you'd protect your family. But, as someone who has been backpacking in bear country since I was 5 years old, I know it is really damn hard to kill a bear! And, you probably wouldn't need to!

First off, you need to know whether it is black bears, brown bears, or both that are in the area.

Second, always hang a bear bag! Even if it isn't bear country, raccoons can easily get into a cooler.

Or, use a bear canister.

Thirdly, bears generally aren't going to charge unless they feel threatened. They will bluff though with fake charges. If a brown bear really does charge, your best bet is bear spray NOT a gun!

Here's a really good article on the topic. http://momgoescamping.com/if-you-see-bear/

And here is how to hang a bear bag (with pictures): http://momgoescamping.com/how-to-hang-a-bear-bag/
Not being rude at all darling, that is why I posted this thread, to get other peoples opinions, both good and bad. I understand that a bear is not at fault here and I would not want to shoot a bear (especially with a 9mm as that woud just **** him off). I was just telling a story of my life and was asking for advice. I would handle the same situation much different now but I still wanted input. This is a fantastic forum probably combined with tens of thousands of years of experience and I would be a fool not inquire from the experts.

Thank you everybody for your comments, my father and I have enjoys each and every one of them (both good and bad).
Old 02-18-2017, 05:41 AM
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Black bears are one thing, Grizzlies are a differing story..
If you ever have a "Griz" charge you.
You better have your ducks in a row, otherwise you are DEAD.
We weren't hunting it, IT WAS TRAILING US. (or the horses we were on)

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Old 02-18-2017, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Arctodus View Post
I would handle the same situation much different now but I still wanted input.
It sounds to me like you handled it just fine, other than possibly firing into the air. Putting one in the dirt would have been safer. What would you do differently now?
Old 02-18-2017, 04:27 PM
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Wow! When in griz country I keep my antennae up as high as they go.
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