I started to carry a sidearm this year during bow season. I know two people this year with encounters. One black bear and one lion. The black bear was coming to a elk kill site and the guys wife shouted, waved her arms , and used pepper spry without any effect. She was quartering the elk and left to go to the truck and tell her husband who had just carried out a quarter. He had a tag and went back and shot the bear right on top of his elk. The lion stalked a bow hunter who was trailing his elk he just shot. Shot the elk at 10yrds and it fled into the brush but came back at him a few yards down the trail and this time with a killing shot. This individual hunts lions regularly but still impressive to get a shot on a lion. I wish I knew how to download a pic from my phone because it is impressive!
I hunted the Thorofare this year and we got charged by a bear. We walked out into a meadow from some trees and the bear was right there. He lifted his head and we both yelled. The bear was out about 40 yards when he charged. I started to grab my spray. My buddy already had his pistol out and fired at about 25 yards. The bear turned and ran towards some trees. He made some roars, started growling and then left. It happened so fast I didn't get scared. However I was rattled afterwards. Obviously they need to create a bear season. Given the wolf litigation, I doubt that'll happen in my lifetime unless litigation starts pushing things towards the US Supreme Court or they amend the ESA. I know a guy who shot a grizzly in self defense 15 years ago. He thought he was going to prison, but the Fed's eventually dropped the case. For years the WY G & F has advocated bear spray and asked people not to shoot the bears. Now the bear population has become so bad, I saw a piece on the local news recently where they were advocating carrying either spray or a gun or both.
I had a simular situation in Wyoming a few years ago, saw a sow and twins at the bottom of a shale slide,before I could even move she had seen me and charged up at me immediately! When she got to about 50 yards I shouldered my rifle...she saw me do that and went sideways into the trees and then back to her cubs(which were as big as she was). Bluff? I guess so! The griz are getting a strong presence in the entire ecosystem...... Hope you get over it in time for your next hunt!
I've got a nephew and his buddy out at Jackson Hole now trying to fill a couple bull tag's that's taken them ten years to draw. He said they were up to their butt's in snow and grizzlies,bad year for em.
I was out there with them a week and a half ago and talked to quite a few people who had come close to em, one hunter was bluff charged to within 10 feet, he broke and ran, bad idea but he got away. His friend asked why he didn't use his bear spray, he replied"I wanted to but my feet wouldn't let me!" Lol
Yep! The elk hunting in that portion of Montana and southeastern Idaho is getting a large concentration of Grizz!! Especially in Island Park Idaho. I own a piece of ground in that area, I've found new bear tracks every time I get out there! Just got to be careful, and maybe invest in the Taurus Judge!
A .410 may not slow 'em down but you can always have the extra confidence that the .45 cal will!! Just in case the bear spray isn't effective!
Saw an interesting demonstration of pepper spray vs. hand gun for bears on "Grizzly Encounters" on Nat. Geo Wild. (by the guy???Anderson who founded Montana Grizzly Encounter near Bozeman. The spray won hands down. For the handgun alternative they gave the hunter a paint ball gun and had another guy charge him holding a grizzly sillouett. No shots hit the vital area (brain). As I understand it, if you dont hit the brain, you jus p him off.
I bow hunt in grizz country, friend w/spray and I PACK 44 w/300 grn pills. Local warden a few years back, on a grizz relocate, breaking protocol , standing on cage.They open door,let her go, she turns and sees him, goes for him.Warden did crash landing on bear while unloading his 357. Dead bear, end of story