Government View Of Bear Spray Versus Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Dean Weingarten.

Thirty-three percent is very far from that 98 percent efficacy rate so widely cited. And it’s an especially problematic number if we accept that firearms can be demonstrated to have a success rate of between a 76 percent (in a worst-case scenario, as presented in “Efficacy of Firearms”) and 96 percent (as is the case in Alaska’s DLP data or that compiled by firearms writer Dean Weingarten).

The Government of Svalbard, Norway,  has strict requirements for protection against bears. People are not allowed to leave the town without adequate protection, because of the large number of polar bears in the vicinity, and the constant potential for attack. The governor of Svalbard does not recommend bear spray. The governor of Svalbard prohibits the use of bear spray as a protection against polar bears. The Governor requires people to have appropriate firearms in their group.

And as Dean points out, this is different from the advice and counsel of the government of Montana.  Wonder why?

You make your decision, I’ll make mine.  When in the bush, I’ll carry a large bore handgun at a minimum.


Comments

  1. On November 1, 2019 at 8:24 am, JoeFour said:

    “When in the bush, I’ll carry a large bore handgun at a minimum.”

    This sounds like a good idea to me versus bear spray but I wonder about the advisability and viability of wearing electronic hearing protection of some sort while in the bush…especially when large caliber handguns and rifles are being carried.

    One of my neighbors has real bad tinnitus in both ears that he got from just one shot he took at an at an elk (don’t know what caliber rifle he was using). Then there was the time I was at the rifle range when a fellow over on the handgun range shot a 500 Linebaugh just as I was pulling off my muffs — instant pain … but no tinnitus thankfully. I’m not a hunter so I have no personal experience trying out hearing protection in the bush so I offer this more as an inquiry of what those that do hunt think of the question.

  2. On November 1, 2019 at 4:14 pm, TheAlaskan said:

    Our government would prefer us all to be only armed with bear spray.

    @ JoeFour

    “This sounds like a good idea to me versus bear spray but I wonder about the advisability and viability of wearing electronic hearing protection of some sort while in the bush…”

    Definitely not a good idea. When in the bush, especially the Alaskan bush, you’ll need all your senses unencumbered…eyes, ears, nose, gut. Bears can be quite stealthy.

    Non-ported firearms discharged out in the open, send most of the decibel damage downrange. Reflectors such as boulders, large trees, banks etc, can reflect back ear-splitting noise however.

    This teacher was wearing ‘ear buds’ while jogging. The article doesn’t state that. Common to see people ‘plugged in’ while outside. Not smart IMO.

    https://www.adn.com/outdoors/article/wolves-killed-alaska-teacher-2010-state-says/2011/12/07/

    I only wear hearing at the range.

  3. On November 1, 2019 at 5:47 pm, Fred said:

    I heard somewhere that when a sharp sound causes your ears to ring you will never hear at that precise tone again. It’s better to lose a small range of hearing than the side of your head from a bear bite. But make sure to ask your local “officials” and “experts” because they care about you and know what’s best for you and know better than anybody what you should do, in fact, you should probably go ahead and just let a bear kill and eat you, it’s for the best really, you’ll see.

  4. On November 2, 2019 at 7:53 am, JoeFour said:

    TheAlaskan — Thanks for your input! I would only offer as a consideration that electronic protection gives one enhanced hearing vs non-electronic protection which does muffle everything (my experience again being only on the square range)… BTW, I lived in Kodiak when I was a little boy–have always told folks it was like living in a postcard.

    Fred said, “…you should probably go ahead and just let a bear kill and eat you, it’s for the best really, you’ll see.” LOL! No thanks! I’ve never understood those folks that think teddy and bear go together.

  5. On November 2, 2019 at 5:04 pm, TheAlaskan said:

    @ JoeFour

    Wow! I lived and worked in Kodiak for 23 years…1980-2003. Commercial fished most of those years. Wow, you lived on the rock! I Rock, you Rock! We’re brothers!

    In terms of the electronic protection consideration, it’s probably a consideration for some and maybe a valid one for those who manage recoil with the porting of their barrels.

    I’m old school. I’ve lived through a sort of transitional time of marine navigation systems, where we would find position with shore based systems called Loran-c fixed land based radio beacons. All vessels I worked had receivers. Skippers would find position and navigate by radio and shoreline, charted, landmarks (mountains, glaciers etc)

    Then came the GPS systems with allowed accurate navigation anywhere. Chart tables gave way to electronic screens showing your exact position on the surface of the earth. Now you could plot harbor to destination electronically and set auto-pilot, clear harbor navigation buoys, and literally sleep, and believe me, many do. First mates gave way to mostly green, wheel watch positions. Auto pilots have become a bane to Alaska fishermen IMO. Nobody steers their boats anymore. Many fine vessels lie on the bottom because those at the helm just couldn’t do. Nobody can steer by compass, dead reckon, or celestial. I still can and it requires no batteries or charging systems. Old school. Sure Matt Bracken would understand.

    What does all this have to do with the subject? Everything. Electronic calculating systems have totally replaced learned skills that used to be necessary, like celestial navigation; the sextant and chronometer. Like land navigation; topographical map and compass. So, enhanced hearing headphones? What if it breaks or you forgot your spare battery. Do your naked ears have the learned skills that your enhanced ears have? I’m not convinced. Bush skills are learned, like cupping your hands behind your ears to enhance your hearing toward a targeted location. Watch deer ears. Your natural hearing is wired to the natural world.

    Just my opinion, however, I can see the uses for electronic hearing protection in combat. But I’m still old school.

  6. On November 3, 2019 at 9:48 am, JoeFour said:

    @TheAlaskan

    My Mom always said I had a long-lost brother somewhere!

    My Dad was Navy and got assigned as Comptroller for the U.S, Naval base on Kodiak back in 1961. I was seven years old and we lived there for two years missing the Good Friday earthquake by a year or so. When my Dad came home with his orders I was so excited I couldn’t stand it! ALASKA! We’re going to get to live in an IGLOO! LOL! When we flew in to Kodiak from Seattle in August it was like 75 degrees and we moved into a small house on Lake Louise …big disappointment…but then it snowed October 1st and didn’t melt until May. I really liked that (not so sure about my folks)! Anyway, a very beautiful place and great memories!

    Your observations about our modern over-reliance on high tech are right on the button and I can really appreciate your specific observations concerning marine and land navigation. I read a Navy-specific blog every day that has repeatedly pointed out how the U.S. Navy has fallen in love with GPS and unproven, futuristic high tech and lost basic seamanship skills and knowledge … I also have an older friend in his 70s who is ex-Army Ranger/Green Beret who has made similar observations to yours about basic skill loss in the Army.

    “Watch deer ears.” I really like that! Thanks!

    https://navy-matters.blogspot.com

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This article is filed under the category(s) Animals and was published October 31st, 2019 by Herschel Smith.

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