Discussion in 'Survival and Wilderness Skills' started by Strigidae, Feb 12, 2019.
No, because that actually works.
Seems like even just fighting back works for big cats. Read it on the internet so it must be true.
Not necessarily. I think cats are probably the least predictable behavior of large predators. And yeah, they do sometimes stalk people. But for the most part they're pretty reclusive. Who knows how many I've walked by and never even knew they were there...
What is your strategy for bears and cats? Glad you are here. Was wanting your opinion too.
We just suffocate them here in Colorado !!!!
First and foremost - awareness of my surroundings. And I don't mean just looking around now and then, I mean really being continually aware, which includes not just scanning visually but also paying attention to sounds (or lack thereof sometimes) and smells. All of these things can tip you off to a predator nearby.
Surprise encounters are the most statistically likely, and particularly with bears, the most likely to be bad, so whenever I'm in situations in the mountains with limited visibility, I make sure I'm making noise.
I firmly believe that regularly practicing those two things above have gone a long way toward me never having a bad encounter with a large predator so far, and I've spent a lot of my adult life in large predator country.
If it comes down to an attack, I operate under the assumption it's going to happen very fast, with maybe a second or two to react, because that's what the vast majority of bad encounters, both with bears and cats, tend to reflect. The situation where you see the animal coming from a distance and have plenty of time to draw your 6" barreled .454 Casull and take aim are the exception, not the rule.
Depending on where I am and what I'm doing, I generally always carry bear spray, sometimes carry a firearm of an effective caliber for large animals as well. Both can work. Both can also not work.
If it's a black bear or a cat attack and it's already on you - fight back.
If it's a grizz and it's already attacking you - don't fight back. Curl up, protect your vitals and just pray to whatever you believe in that it's going to lose interest before it kills you. I'm not saying that to be dramatic - the power of a grizz is hard to comprehend. There is nothing you're going to be able to do physically to change its mind, period.
I'd recommend watching Todd Orr's video about his recent experience. Here's a quick summary, but if you look around, you can find more detailed accounts that he's shared. It has many of the classic elements of a typical grizz attack:
Wow. He is very lucky to be alive. Thats very open country and she was on him fast.
Whats your noise? Singing? Bear bells?
Nah, I find the sound of bear bells annoying as hell.
More importantly, the sound of those bells generally doesn't carry very far at all. I've come upon people hiking who have them dangling off their packs or whatever, and I could't hear a thing until I was close - close enough that if I was a bear I would have been on them in a second. Around these parts, the only people I know who carry bells are tourists.
When I'm moving through thick cover I usually just talk in a loud voice and yell out things like "Hey, bear!" etc. It seems silly, but if it tips a bear off from a distance before it goes into 'fight and defend' mode, I'm happy to swallow my pride.
Pride tastes way better than being eaten or mauled.
Here's a link to a recent interview with Todd Orr - if you want to skip the banter, the interview starts at 5:50:
This gives a lot more of the full story than the vid above. It's pretty incredible. Worth a listen.
I think the take away is that nothing is a get out of jail free card here. That sow ran through a cloud of bear spray. I know of instances where humans ran theough mace to attack. Sprays fail. Bullets fail. I think Hanmer and Bushy have it by situational awareness and trying to make noise. Hey bear/cat/moose.
Stay at home. Don't go outside. Sit on your couch. Eat pizza. Die of a heart attack.
Id rather be eaten by the bear/cat/moose.
"When I write "paradise" I mean not only apple trees and golden women but also scorpions and tarantulas and flies, rattlesnakes and Gila monsters, sandstorms, volcanoes and earthquakes, bacteria and bear, cactus, yucca, bladderweed, ocotillo and mesquite, flash floods and quicksand, and yes — disease and death and the rotting of flesh."
- Ed Abbey, "Down the River"
That might be crazy enough to work.
full attack details
My wife and I do a lot of hiking and mountain biking in NM. I pack nothing less than a Smith 686 plus .357 Mag loaded hot with hardcast. We’ve had a few folks get mauled by black bears recently and we’ve got the kitties (mountain lions) also. In my opinion, you’re more liable to have issues with the two-legged predators than dangerous animals.
The black bears I’ve encountered, they took off in the opposite direction. I gave them plenty of space and let em go. If forced to use lethal means against a black bear, a subject of great debate, I wouldn’t go with anything less than .357 with 180gn hard cast. Black bears are pretty robust.
The kitties, you’ll never see them unless you’re very lucky—super sneaky. Most of the times they’ll see you long in advance and steer clear. But there have instance where folks have been stalked because they had dogs, small children or were solo. I’ve heard bear spray is effective or the above pack gun. Stand your ground and don’t run.
My wife and I haven’t had any issues, we don’t go looking for it either. I do on occasion pack a Ruger Super Redhawk .44 Mag with 240 hardcast handloads. It’s more than enough for anything in NM. But on the flip side, it’s a big piece of hardware. A possible big turn off for some. I’d find a caliber suitable for what you have and what you’re willing to carry.
I prefer the big revolvers, they go bang every time. Others like semi-autos such as a Glock 10mm. In a realistic setting, if you’re about to get charged, bears ears are pinned back and you’re forced to use a firearm, you’ll only get 1-2 shots before its on you. I read about a recent mauling, a gentleman couldn’t get his Glock 10mm slide to go back into battery, it was caked with bear fur. If I remember correctly, he cleared it and got a shot off as the bear wrecked havoc on his legs.
I’ve encountered black bear in the swamps here twice in the last few years while working. Both instances the took off running as soon as they saw me. I work in the densest black bear population in Louisiana, but their number pale in comparison to what most of y’all have out west and up north. I tend to carry a 40sw ir 10mm Glock loaded with 180gr bonded jhp since those two encounters. The main wild animal that poses a threat we encounter here and where I hunt in Mississippi are feral hogs. When I’m hiking or hunting in Mississippi I always carry the G20 and/or a rifle. The main thing I’m most concerned with there though are meth cookers running clandestine labs in the national forest.
Pretty much the same in Missouri. We technically have bear and mountain lion, but they are extremely rare and I have never heard of anyone even seeing them around here, except at a distance. The biggest we have, that are common, are coyotes, but they tend to stay clear of people. I carry an m&p 2.0 primarily for the two legged predators.