Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

I Don’t Think She Understands Bear Power

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

This video has apparently gone viral.  What isn’t apparent, and seems very clear to me with all the giggling going on, is that she doesn’t understand anything about bears.

This man and woman don’t seem to either, relying on the bear speaking English and their ability to reason with it.  And of course this woman seems clueless.

Here is a recent video the girl should watch before giggling any more when a bear is interested in her.

A Bit Of Sanity For Hunters In Idaho Concerning Defense Against Bears

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

News from Idaho:

When various far-left ecology and animal rights groups such as the Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States, the Center for Biological Diversity, submitted a petition, calling for the manditory carry of bear spray by hunters, it made national news. The petition was submitted to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and others. The petition claimed that “Studies show that bear spray is far more effective than firearms.”

That claim is not correct.

The petition was written about in several Idaho outlets, and nationally.

The Commission turned down the request that the carry of bear spray by hunters be mandatory.  From lmtribune.com:

The commission turned down a request from environmental groups that it create a rule that would require hunters in grizzly bear habitat near Yellowstone National Park to carry bear spray. Commissioners said the rule would be overbearing and difficult to enforce, and agreed with agency officials who said education about recreating in grizzly bear country would be more effective.[ … ]

Bear Spray Hoax: IFGD Betrays Hunters

I’m pleased the Commission recommends denying a petition that would require hunters in grizzly country to carry bear spray. But the petition is not being denied for the right reason: When a grizzly charges a hunter with a rifle after a classic surprise encounter at close range, bear spray will not keep a hunter safe. IDFG must prepare hunters to use an adequate rifle quickly and effectively.

In 1991, a Hunter/Grizzly Bear Interactions Task Team (that included U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service grizzly bear recovery coordinator Chris Servheen) told the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee that bear spray has “minimal usefulness in trail encounters with bears at close range due to the difficulty of effective use.”

Bob Wharff, executive director of Wyoming Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, told the Jackson Hole News & Guide that bear “spray isn’t the answer for every encounter, especially when it requires hunters to drop their guns when there’s little time to react. You’re talking milliseconds. It’s illogical that you’re going to set your gun down and get your pepper spray.”

Trina Jo Bradley, vice-president of the Marias River Livestock Association, said “Let’s just think about how we carry ourselves when we’re hunting. I carry a large caliber rifle in my hands, usually with a bullet in the chamber and the safety on. I can easily raise my rifle and fire if I see the game I am hunting, or if a bear attacks. Why in the world would I put down the firearm that I’ve used over and over to grab a can of bear spray?

It’s clear a hunter carrying a rifle cannot use bear spray in a safe or timely manner during a surprise encounter with a grizzly. IDFG and other agencies acknowledged this in 1991. But on September 1, 1999, these agencies did an about face on bear spray when U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service news release announced: “Outfitters And Guides Develop Safety Class To Prevent Bear Attacks.”

The news release said, “During the past year, over 200 outfitters and guides in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado have been trained to safely share the backcountry with bears.”

Were the outfitters and guides taught to use an adequate firearm effectively? No. “Course presenters discourage the use of firearms to mitigate bear attacks, because the practice has resulted in much greater frequency and severity of injuries to people involved [than bear spray]. The reliability and safety of pepper spray over other methods of deterrence has also been promoted by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.”

No data or references were provided to substantiate this claim. Nevertheless, these agencies adopted a de facto policy of discouraging firearm use, and promoting bear spray. The results have been disastrous. As the environmentalists’ bear spray petition notes, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team found that “54% of all injuries inflicted on humans by grizzly bears [in the Yellowstone region] involved hunters.”

In response to the environmentalists’ petition, Toby Broudreau said, “the Department already has a Bear Education Program within grizzly range in Idaho. That program helps inform hunters on bear spray use and benefits.”

That program does not teach hunters how to use bear spray with each of the six field carries for long guns. That program does not provide hunters with accurate, meaningful information about bear spray and firearms research. If you keep hyping bear spray—and use that as an excuse for not teaching hunters how to use an adequate rifle quickly for self-defense—you guarantee the carnage inflicted on hunters since 1999 will continue.

A 2008 study on the Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska said, “In 96% (69 of 72) of bear spray incidents, the person’s activity at the time of was use reported. The largest category involved hikers (35%), followed by persons engaged in bear management activities (30%), people at their home or cabin (15%), campers in their tents (9%), people working on various jobs outdoors (4%), sport fishers (4%), a hunter stalking a wounded bear (1%), and a photographer (1%).”

Given that the purpose of stalking a wounded bear is to kill it, non-lethal bear spray was the wrong tool for the job. The study did not provide additional information about this mysterious incident. A 1998 bear spray study did not provide any information about the activity of people who used bear spray. So research tells us hunters carrying a rifle don’t use bear spray, and common sense tells us why: Hunters can’t use bear spray because they’re already carrying a rifle.

Bear spray advocates focus on the overall success rate from Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska: 3 people were injured during 75 incidents. Of 175 people present during 72 incidents, just 3 were injured. Bear spray advocates never inform hunters that 3 of 9 people who sprayed charging grizzly bears were injured.

Bear spray advocates have repeatedly made the indefensible claim that research proves bear spray is more effective than a firearm. One, they’re claiming that research on bear spray use by non-hunters (who are not carrying a firearm) proves hunters (who are carrying a firearm) should use bear spray. That does not make sense.

Two, there have been two interrelated studies on bear spray, and two studies on guns vs. bears. Bear spray advocates are really saying, if you compare the results of one bear spray study to the results of one dissimilar study on guns, bear spray wins. But Field Use of Capsicum Spray As a Bear Deterrent/Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska used different methodologies than Efficacy of Firearms For Bear Deterrence in Alaska. It is unethical to compare the two studies, because of the different dynamics involved.

In addition, you’ve got to be totally unprincipled to pretend a 1999 study on the Characteristics of Nonsport Mortalities to Brown and Black Bears and Human Injuries from Bears in Alaska does not exist. After reviewing 1,036 incidents from 1986 to 1996 when people killed bears in defense of life or property (DLP), the authors of the 1999 study wrote, “Most of the persons shooting brown bears or black bears in DLP circumstances indicated that no human injury occurred (98.5% for brown bears and 99.2% for black bears).”

Bear spray advocates deny the existence of the 1999 study because it does not advance their cause. “Research proves bear spray is more effective than a firearm” is not a factual statement based on research; it’s a baseless propaganda slogan. To provide for the safety of big-game hunters in grizzly country, IDFG must teach hunters how to use an adequate firearm quickly and effectively.

This report dovetails nicely with the analysis conducted by Dean Weingarten.  It’s nice to see some sanity from Idaho.  It’s also nice to see the human-hating, creation-worshipping environmentalists put in their place.

Wyoming Bear Attack Glock Had No Round In The Chamber

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 4 weeks ago

Dean Weingarten:

With no round in the chamber and no magazine in the pistol, the Glock was rendered useless, if Mark Uptain ever got to it.

Uptain had bear spray holstered on his hip. Chubon did not recall Uptain using the bear spray to the point where Chubon fled to get help. Uptain emptied the bear spray at some point during the fight. The 250-pound grizzly sow had evidence of bear spray on her. Mark Uptain was killed in spite of the bear spray.

Carrying a semi-automatic pistol with an empty chamber is known as carrying in condition three, terminology used by the renowned gun writer, instructor, and competitor Col. Jeff Cooper.   It is also known as “Israeli Carry”, because it is how Israeli soldiers are trained to carry semi-automatic pistols.

It can work well if the user trains to always load a round from the magazine when the pistol is drawn from the holster.  As a safety feature, if an untrained person accesses the pistol and tries to fire it, they may not know how to load a round into the chamber and can be stymied in their effort to fire the pistol.

First, use guns, don’t rely on bear spray.  Second, a gun is of no use to you if it isn’t on your person and ready to use.  Finally, whatever you may think about having a round chambered, this is one reason I carry 1911s and use the safety.  In one motion I can sweep the safety down as I’m gaining purchase on the gun.

Man Punches Black Bear In The Nose

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 1 week ago

In Western North Carolina:

A Haywood County man says he battled a bear outside his home and he has the scrapes and bruises to prove it, WLOS reported.

Sonny Pumphrey was in his driveway Tuesday afternoon when he says a mother bear and her two cubs showed up. He says the cubs ran off but the mother bear reared up and attacked him.

“She made a charging dead run at me. That sucker was eyeball to eyeball to me,” he said.

Pumphrey says he punched the bear in the nose, but then she dropped down and bit his hip.

She kind of shook me a little bit, and I’m still … I’m hitting her steady on the top of the head just as hard as I could swing, man, for dear life,” he said. “I just continue pounding and pounding and pounding and she’s continuing trying to bite me. And like I said … she got a hold of me and then shook me a little bit, then she let go and she took a swat at me. And when she took a swat at me she knocked me about 8 feet over on the concrete.”

Sonny’s wife Betty heard the screams and rushed to his aid along with their little Yorkie, stunned at the sight of a large black bear in their driveway.

“I saw her stand up and rear her paw back and all I seen (sic) was a mouthful of teeth,” she said. “And I just knew he was going to be gone.”

This happened near Waynesville.

WAYNESVILLE – A Haywood County man says he punched a mother black bear in the nose after she came toward him at his home off Liberty Church Road.

Sonny Pumphrey, 78, was working in his driveway Tuesday afternoon when he said he looked up and found himself eye to eye with a black bear, according to a post on his Facebook page.

I’ve hiked and backpacked near this area many times.  Honestly, I don’t think I’d be working anywhere around there, even in my own driveway, without carrying a legitimate self defense weapon.

I’m glad he survived, but punching a bear in the nose is not a viable strategy.

Bear In The House, But A Dog’s Love Knows No Bounds

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

Via correspondent Fred Tippens, NY Post:

GROTON, N.H. — New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department says a 71-year-old woman suffered serious head injuries from an encounter with a bear in her home.

The department says the bear somehow got inside the woman’s home about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday in Groton, a rural community in the central part of the state. The woman, who uses a wheelchair, was hospitalized. Authorities haven’t been able to talk to her yet.

WMUR-TV reports evidence suggest the bear was trapped in the kitchen area before its encounter with the woman. The bear managed to get out of the home afterward.

Fish and Game officers said they are searching for the bear. They are concerned the bear may have rabies.

The moral of the story is that you’re not safe anywhere, and not just from two-legged threats.  How close do you have a gun in the house?

More:

This golden retriever has a heart of gold.

 

The loyal pup risked his snout to protect his owner from being bitten by a rattlesnake.

Paula Godwin, from Anthem, Arizona, was on a hike Friday morning when she almost stepped on the dangerous viper, she wrote in a Facebook post.

But Todd swooped in and saved her, she said.

“He jumped right in front of my leg where I surely would have been bit,” she wrote.

Todd, who is less than a year old, tackled the rattlesnake but ended up getting bitten on the nose.

I’m shocked that this dog is alive, but since my Heidi has been bitten by a Copperhead I know that dogs do better with snake bites than humans.  Still, this is a rattlesnake.

Got dogs?


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