Side Arm for Grizzly Country

Tdeyo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2020
Messages
157
Location
Montana
@Tdeyo I thi k you guys might be having more problems with bears than here in Alaska.

I wonder how much of it is because we've learned to live with them as a way of life up here vs people in the lower 48 where a bear is more of an abstract threat that they don't really think about much.
I think, and this is just my opinion there are several reasons. One being the fact is that these bears have not been hunted since 1975, having said that they have no fear of humans, We are looking at 2 or 3 generations of bears that have been raised without the awareness that conflict with humans can be lethal. I personally think that most people do not give them enough credit as far as how intelligent they are. Take the wolf reintroduction in the lower 48 for example. When they were finally delisted after 7 yrs. of litigation the bunny huggers were saying O MY GOD ! they are gonna get wiped out. The reality of it is The wolves sorted it out after getting shot at and right now each hunter in the state can buy 5 wolf tags and they're numbers are still growing. They are smart and not an easy animal to hunt, I believe the bears are just as smart if not smarter. Secondly, we are dealing with a large portion of the bear population that have moved out of Yellowstone and Glacier Park due to the expanding population within the parks and these bears have developed bad habits due to the fact that they were exposed to stupid human behavior such as feeding them etc.. Another reason is these bears in addition to having no fear of humans, they are moving into areas where conflict is inevitable - just too **** many people - and yes we certainly have our fair share of idiots moving into the state that just don't get it! I think they need to be taken off the Endangered Species List and and have controlled limited hunting in the areas that need it the most. Good luck with that one though- a few years back they tried to get the bears off the list and the bunny huggers said "WE CANT DO THAT BECAUSE THE CUTTHROAT TROUT POPULATION IS DECLINING" then it was "WE CANT DO IT NOW BECAUSE THE WHITEBARK PINE NUT TREES ARE DYING" their claim was these fish and nuts were their primary food source. The bear population is doing extremely well so we all know the bunny huggers don't have a clue as to what the hell they are talking about. The fish and nuts theory was a line of horse#%@. Next it will be O MY GOD THE GOPHERS AND FIELD MICE ARE IN DECLINE! that's my 2 cents worth. Thanks for the reply XSVIPD
 

Moose47

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Anchorage Alaska
I live and hunt here in Alaska. Our bear problems come in a few different ways. In the spring we have the anxious hikers and bikers who insist on using the well marked trails around Anchorage with the bear activity clearly marked with no fire arms, bear spray or what ever. Then we have those that leave trash out and complain about the bears. For the most part there is no help for these groups of people.
As for myself our bear activity comes around our meat pole during our Moose and Caribou hunting season, I have hunted for 40 years here in AK and we have lost 2 pieces of meat from bears in that time. The first was from our meat pole being to far away, 100 Yards and second was from a brave bear that for sure heard our snoring but came within 15 yards to take his prize. We were kind of slow learners until one of younger hunters said I can fix this. We now have a flashing lights system along with a blue tooth music system and no bears.
For protection we always have a 12 gauge pump along with our 300s,338s and 375s. I also have a 10mm that keep near by, that would truly be a last resort.
The best advice I can give if you live in bear country is common sense which for many just isn't there.
 

phorwath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
6,821
Location
Alaska
Brown bear season was closed on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska for around 23 years, because the Feds thought the population was in decline. It became abundantly clear to folks living here that we had too many bear. Lots of Defense of Life & Property killing incidents year after year after year. Finally they used collected bear hair samples and DNA analyses to confirm there were plenty of brown bear. Way more than the Fed's target level.
So they opened the bear season and more than 70 were killed in the first year of hunting. The hunting season was even opened year round, as there were plenty of bears. A number of record book boars were killed in the first 5 years after the long closure.
The last year of the 20+ year closure I had 3 big cubs inside my chain link fenced back yard. And a mad sow on the outside of the 7 1/2 foot tall fence huffing and puffing at me.

Where I live and hunt, brown bears that have been reared in closed hunting areas are a bigger threat than when they're hunted regularly, IMO. They get comfortable around us, and then their cubs get trained to learn we're no big threat. Because of this they spend more time in closer proximity to people. Eventually, at some time in their life, conflict and attack are more likely.

Grizzly bears that never, or rarely encounter people can be just as bad. They don't really know what to make of us when they have those rare encounters. If they're hungry, maybe we taste good? They can be testy. Heard a number of spooky stories from remote mountainous areas during dall sheep season. And had a standoff of my own. If you're not armed, it can turn bad, because some of them don't run.

I've always said the last bear I want to bump into is an itty bitty cub. Because momma's not too far away. Bump into sows with yearling cubs, all bets are off, no matter where the bear lives. But this could be an exception to my above rules of thumb. Might be better off to bump into small cubs where the sow has become very comfortable around people, and hope she doesn't view you as a cub killers.

The most certain rule of all? Don't trust any of them. View them all as opportunistic predators. Don't voluntarily give them any advantage or upper hand. View each interaction as potentially life threatening. Until they leave. Or they're dead. Some of them play for keeps. All it takes is one bad encounter to change your life, or end it, forever. The 10,000 to 1 odds mean nothing, if you end up being the 1.

Predators can behave differently in different areas for a variety of reasons. So don't count on lessons learned in your area to be reliable in mine, or vice versa.
 

Tdeyo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2020
Messages
157
Location
Montana
I live and hunt here in Alaska. Our bear problems come in a few different ways. In the spring we have the anxious hikers and bikers who insist on using the well marked trails around Anchorage with the bear activity clearly marked with no fire arms, bear spray or what ever. Then we have those that leave trash out and complain about the bears. For the most part there is no help for these groups of people.
As for myself our bear activity comes around our meat pole during our Moose and Caribou hunting season, I have hunted for 40 years here in AK and we have lost 2 pieces of meat from bears in that time. The first was from our meat pole being to far away, 100 Yards and second was from a brave bear that for sure heard our snoring but came within 15 yards to take his prize. We were kind of slow learners until one of younger hunters said I can fix this. We now have a flashing lights system along with a blue tooth music system and no bears.
For protection we always have a 12 gauge pump along with our 300s,338s and 375s. I also have a 10mm that keep near by, that would truly be a last resort.
The best advice I can give if you live in bear country is common sense which for many just isn't there.
Well said Moose 47. My tent gun is a Rem 870 3 1/2 in with 00 steel shot then slug then shot again. A friend of mine who has since passed away was a bear damage control officer in AK. That was his go to gun for the up close and personal encounters. 338 was when he had the option of having a little distance to deal with the problem. Common sense prevails you are right.
 

Tdeyo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2020
Messages
157
Location
Montana
Brown bear season was closed on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska for around 23 years, because the Feds thought the population was in decline. It became abundantly clear to folks living here that we had too many bear. Lots of Defense of Life & Property killing incidents year after year after year. Finally they used collected bear hair samples and DNA analyses to confirm there were plenty of brown bear. Way more than the Fed's target level.
So they opened the bear season and more than 70 were killed in the first year of hunting. The hunting season was even opened year round, as there were plenty of bears. A number of record book boars were killed in the first 5 years after the long closure.
The last year of the 20+ year closure I had 3 big cubs inside my chain link fenced back yard. And a mad sow on the outside of the 7 1/2 foot tall fence huffing and puffing at me.

Where I live and hunt, brown bears that have been reared in closed hunting areas are a bigger threat than when they're hunted regularly, IMO. They get comfortable around us, and then their cubs get trained to learn we're no big threat. Because of this they spend more time in closer proximity to people. Eventually, at some time in their life, conflict and attack are more likely.

Grizzly bears that never, or rarely encounter people can be just as bad. They don't really know what to make of us when they have those rare encounters. If they're hungry, maybe we taste good? They can be testy. Heard a number of spooky stories from remote mountainous areas during dall sheep season. And had a standoff of my own. If you're not armed, it can turn bad, because some of them don't run.

I've always said the last bear I want to bump into is an itty bitty cub. Because momma's not too far away. Bump into sows with yearling cubs, all bets are off, no matter where the bear lives. But this could be an exception to my above rules of thumb. Might be better off to bump into small cubs where the sow has become very comfortable around people, and hope she doesn't view you as a cub killers.

The most certain rule of all? Don't trust any of them. View them all as opportunistic predators. Don't voluntarily give them any advantage or upper hand. View each interaction as potentially life threatening. Until they leave. Or they're dead. Some of them play for keeps. All it takes is one bad encounter to change your life, or end it, forever. The 10,000 to 1 odds mean nothing, if you end up being the 1.

Predators can behave differently in different areas for a variety of reasons. So don't count on lessons learned in your area to be reliable in mine, or vice versa.
They didn't get the name URSUS HORRIBILUS for being warm and fuzzy did they.
 

DNADave

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
295
Location
Seattle
They didn't get the name URSUS HORRIBILUS for being warm and fuzzy did they.

Have you ever read the journals of Lewis and Clark? At Fort Mandan in North Dakota, the Mandan told them about these big bears that you don't want to meet. Lewis and Clark thought "We've seen black bears and we know how to deal with them.". Lewis' first encounter was fortunately a sickly sow by herself, yet she still got too close for comfort and took more effort than they expected to dispatch. The second was a healthy young boar and after that encounter, Lewis and Clark didn't want to see another grizzly bear again.

The journals are an interesting read and insightful about just how much game was on the Great Plains and how much less game was on the other side of the Rockies.
 

Tdeyo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2020
Messages
157
Location
Montana
Have you ever read the journals of Lewis and Clark? At Fort Mandan in North Dakota, the Mandan told them about these big bears that you don't want to meet. Lewis and Clark thought "We've seen black bears and we know how to deal with them.". Lewis' first encounter was fortunately a sickly sow by herself, yet she still got too close for comfort and took more effort than they expected to dispatch. The second was a healthy young boar and after that encounter, Lewis and Clark didn't want to see another grizzly bear again.

The journals are an interesting read and insightful about just how much game was on the Great Plains and how much less game was on the other side of the Rockies.
Yes, I have. It has been awhile. I remember reading about their encounters with the White Bears at the falls of the Missouri. These were very light blonde colored grizzlies. I grew up a little north of there. They spoke of the falls that were so loud you could hear them from miles away. I believe they arrived in the spring and what they found at the base of the falls were dozens of buffalo carcasses that had fell through the ice over the course of the winter and washed downstream, over the falls and collected in the pool below. There were grizzlies in great numbers feeding on the dead buffalo. I believe this is where they encountered the largest bears. I don't recall the guys name but he shot one with a muzzleloader, wounded it and if I remember correctly the bear made a mess of him and died later of his wounds. The falls are gone now, damned up at the black eagle dam. This is now Great Falls, Montana. At that time they encountered tens of thousands of buffalo, vast elk herds, antelope, mule deer and herds of big horn sheep on the plains as well as wolves and bears. I grew up in that country about 20 miles east of camp disappointment. Montana History was my favorite class in high school. This is the same country where Charlie Russell painted his famous wildlife paintings.
 

Tdeyo

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Joined
Aug 31, 2020
Messages
157
Location
Montana
If you are interested, one of my favorites of Russel's that I feel depicts what it might have been to be alive in that country at the time is titled " When the land belonged to God ". The country depicted in that painting is about 15 - 20 miles SW of what is now the town of Gt. Falls. You can see in the background what I believe is Square Butte. If only there were such a thing as a time machine and I could bring my 300!!
 

flyguy1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Messages
287
Location
Montana
If you are interested, one of my favorites of Russel's that I feel depicts what it might have been to be alive in that country at the time is titled " When the land belonged to God ". The country depicted in that painting is about 15 - 20 miles SW of what is now the town of Gt. Falls. You can see in the background what I believe is Square Butte. If only there were such a thing as a time machine and I could bring my 300!!
Better bring your suppressed AR too; .300 might bring more than a grizzly.
 

Tdeyo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2020
Messages
157
Location
Montana
Better bring your suppressed AR too; .300 might bring more than a grizzly.
Yeah, you are probably right, but considering the early explorers were shooting muzzle loaders I thought maybe that would be cheating too much. HAHA !
 

Laguna Freak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
435
Location
South Central Texas, just north of the Wall
With all of the other expenditures associated with this trip, and the feedback provided above,, I'm leaning toward using the 357 Mag that I own. Its a 7 shot. Which brand and grain weight of hard cast ammo would y'all recommend for the 357?
GT Bullets has some good offerings on cast bullets. They are 3 months behind on delivery.
 

Laguna Freak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
435
Location
South Central Texas, just north of the Wall
I have zero experience with Griz. However, I think the best you can do is be aware, alert, and practiced in quick draw and hitting a 12” target near center at 20 yards. You cannot prepare for every conceivable bear charge. As others said, they wait for their opportunity and your horse may well pitch you to the bear before it charges.

That said, never field dress your prey alone if you can avoid it. Best to have a few horses loosely tied and triangulated around your downed animal 20 yards or so away and have at least 1 ALERT / on Guard buddy with adequate gun in hand GUARDING and not watching you field dress.
Horses will definitely give you a heads up if you are about to be ambushed and the guard will have opportunity to defend against attack.

Otherwise have fun and try not to worry too much about the Griz.
 

FEENIX

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
15,219
Location
Great Falls, MT
If you are interested, one of my favorites of Russel's that I feel depicts what it might have been to be alive in that country at the time is titled " When the land belonged to God ". The country depicted in that painting is about 15 - 20 miles SW of what is now the town of Gt. Falls. You can see in the background what I believe is Square Butte. If only there were such a thing as a time machine and I could bring my 300!!

I believe you are correct Sir!

Ed
 

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