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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Has anyone come into any encounters with bears while hunting grouse/partridge?

I'd be a liar if I said it doesn't cross my mind once or twice before heading down a trail in the bush.

We only hunt grouse using .410's, which I don't think would do much damage against a big bear.

What are your experiences with bears while hunting/walking in the bush and how can I better prepare myself should I ever encounter a bear?

Worrying about whether or not I'm going to be mauled by a bear sure takes the fun out of hunting!
 

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the chances of a black bear attack are so close to zero its not worth a thought. Bears will run away as soon as they smell you ( which in most cases is long before you see them) and if you do happen to run across a curious bear a shot in the air with a 4 10 will send him on his way at full speed.
 
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Never encountered a bear but had a situation where wolves were following me! Went in for a quick hunt in the Libau area, Mars sand hills, and on my way back out I had to back track a section of trail which was fairly muddy. Sure enough right on my tracks following me. Was only a 2 hour return loop on the trail I was hunting! Have had this situation late season moose hunting in area 26 more then once but surprised me in the area I was in!
For the rest of that season my pocket held a few slugs for ease of mind!
 

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Should wear bear bells..............LOL

That would be a sight, a hunter wearing bear bells.
Unless its a sow with cubs I wouldn't worry, I find the cubs go up a tree the sow stays on the ground.
 

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Rare to charge, but I feel that if you are using a 410 it probably is a single shot. If say the female is close and set on charging, and if the shot in the air does not work. Now you will be left terrified with an empty gun trying to reload, I see the bear getting to you first. The shot in the air better work. I would give the bear a warning yell if the bear charges, wait as long as you can then 410 to the face. If you are right handed always carry one or two shells in a handy right front pocket handy for reloading opposite for left. Nothing else in that pockey to fumble with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ldb pikester said:
Rare to charge, but I feel that if you are using a 410 it probably is a single shot. If say the female is close and set on charging, and if the shot in the air does not work. Now you will be left terrified with an empty gun trying to reload, I see the bear getting to you first. The shot in the air better work. I would give the bear a warning yell if the bear charges, wait as long as you can then 410 to the face. If you are right handed always carry one or two shells in a handy right front pocket handy for reloading opposite for left. Nothing else in that pockey to fumble with.
I've got a pump .410 so I'd have three shots! :D
 

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I forget the number, but it is say one bear out off a hundred that will see you as nothing more than a peice of meat. It will if possible systematically follow you, kill you, then eat you. You do the odds then determine whether or not to follow what others say happened to them, when it is you with the bear.
 

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No sorry I knew after writing that, that I should have been specific the numbers are for black bears. The polar bear is by far more dangerous.
 

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Well mabye I'm just lucky then. The 2 encounters I mentioned above are the only 2 I've had while hunting grouse. But between fighting foresty fires, backwoods camping and my other outdoor activities I have probley had easliy over 200 encounters.
Of all these only once have I ever trully felt like I was really in danger.
That happenned when I was walking a trail during a orientering course and heard a noise off to 1 side of me. I t was 2 cubs scrambling up a tree. Then I heard a woffing on the other side. It was mamma.
Solution. I very calmly walked backwards down the trail the same way I had come. I kept my eye on the mamma the whole time. Talking to her calm and quiet.
She folowed me onto the trail and once I had backed far enough up she went to her cubs the got out of the tree and the three of them took off.

I can honestly say I have never ever felt a need to carry slugs with me for black bears while hunting, camping or doing anything in the woods.

Your best defence when you encounter a Black Bear in the woods is to use common sence.
 

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fishinfirefighter said:
Well mabye I'm just lucky then. The 2 encounters I mentioned above are the only 2 I've had while hunting grouse. But between fighting foresty fires, backwoods camping and my other outdoor activities I have probley had easliy over 200 encounters.
Of all these only once have I ever trully felt like I was really in danger.
That happenned when I was walking a trail during a orientering course and heard a noise off to 1 side of me. I t was 2 cubs scrambling up a tree. Then I heard a woffing on the other side. It was mamma.
Solution. I very calmly walked backwards down the trail the same way I had come. I kept my eye on the mamma the whole time. Talking to her calm and quiet.
She folowed me onto the trail and once I had backed far enough up she went to her cubs the got out of the tree and the three of them took off.

I can honestly say I have never ever felt a need to carry slugs with me for black bears while hunting, camping or doing anything in the woods.

Your best defence when you encounter a Black Bear in the woods is to use common sence.
Couldn't agree more. I've spent lots of time in bear country both grizzly and black bear, never had any trouble. Common sense and respect for the bear and you'll be fine.
 

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fishinfirefighter said:
I've run into bears twice while hunting for grouse. Both times up in the Nopiming Park area. Both times the bears ran off as soon as they saw me.
Same here but in the Whiteshell. Wolves have also followed me and the dogs. I always carry slugs and pepper spray when grouse hunting just in case. I'm more worried about them getting the dogs than me.
 

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It does not matter if the odds are one in a hundred or one in a thousand. The threat is very real and only a true fool would dismiss the risk. Why do people go inside during a lightning storm if the threat is so small. The risk of being attacked by a bear has never stopped me from doing anything. But I would never go by what some one else has to say on this one. A friend of mine has his leg ripped open going up a tree by a bear. On his way to his stand the bear came after him, he stopped the bear with a baseball swing to the head using his bow. He then went up the tree and the bear still followed, ripping up his leg. This is not Walt Disney, Bambi or Gentle Ben but the real world, the world is not as Tree Huggers claim.
 

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I'd like to see where you got the one in 100 stat from! Don't get me wrong bears can be unpredictable but I'd be more worried about wolves these days than bears. Pretty sure I've had a few circling and growling at me on a power line a few years back...I got the hell out of there fast!
 

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I agree with pikester. Being careful and being prepared in the woods is a small but important part of any hunting adventure. I use a 20 ga for grouse but I also have bear spray on my belt in case a predatory bear knocks me down from behind and my gun goes flying. Black bear attacks are not common but DO occurr. So does gtting lost or hurt in the woods. I also let people know my exact location I'll be hunting and when to expect me home as well as I always pack a small survival kit: knife, lighter and tinder, compass, emergency blanket, chain-saw in a can, twine, and a chocolate bar. It all fits in a fanny pack or the pockets of my bird vest. I am aware of my surroundings and look behind me from time to time. Nothing wrong with being prepared, especially if you are out alone.
 

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As I said I did not remember the exact number but that does not matter. The fact is that it is very small but very real. Wolf attacks are far more rare. That is not to say that I am not afraid of them though. While working last winter on the river near Nopiming in the middle of the night I turned my machine off to hear the wolves howling only a few hundred yards away. This gave me the shivers. This happened many times. An uncle of mine told use of the story, of how he went one morning to the pasture to get the cows for milking. When he got their a pack of dogs circled him and wanted at him. He picked up a large stick and the dogs eventually lost interest. He said that he was never so afraid in his life. Point here is who should be afraid of tame dogs yet this happened. Me and two others (women) went to Caddy lake and went through the lakes and portaged. In coming back to the portage we noticed a bear along the shore to our left, north I beleive. The women were very afraid, watching the north. I told them that we have to all stay together no matter what, and not to watch the north but the south. Sure enough the bear quickly ran around coming to us from the opposite direction south. The bear was thus stalking us. We heard him but did never see it. Maybe three people made the bear nervous. Had we separated who knows.
 

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I used to hear the wolves howling at night. One evening me and Maggie (my lab) were going to hunt a short trail about an hour before dark. As soon as we stepped on the trail we heard the wolves howling close. We turned around and hit the car. We see lots of wolf prints on our trails and one time a guy on his atv came up behind us on the trail and said a wolf was following us. I don't mind 1 wolf but there is never just 1.
 

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If you are field cleaning grouse as you hunt be aware of what kind of trail you are leaving behind. As mentioned I think the bigger risk is from wolves. Friday morning past up in Nopiming we are enjoying a morning coffee on the deck and listening to anywhere from 4-6 wolves howling to communicate. Moved back and forth along the other side, likely cornering a deer. Three on the other side of the lake (less than a quarter mile) and one on our side. But this thread has reminded me I need to get a pack of slugs for the new 20.
 

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snomad said:
If you are field cleaning grouse as you hunt be aware of what kind of trail you are leaving behind. As mentioned I think the bigger risk is from wolves. Friday morning past up in Nopiming we are enjoying a morning coffee on the deck and listening to anywhere from 4-6 wolves howling to communicate. Moved back and forth along the other side, likely cornering a deer. Three on the other side of the lake (less than a quarter mile) and one on our side. But this thread has reminded me I need to get a pack of slugs for the new 20.

Dealt with a couple "bad" bears, two I had to shoot and one I should have!!! But that is out of thousands of encounters with them, hell they walk right up to the drills when were workin and don't bother me at all!!! Of the two I shot, both of them was I truly worried that I wasn't walking away from them, one was big skinny and hungry the other had me cornered and wasn't leaving!!! both these got warning shots that did not phase them...

That said, I agree snomad, I worry more about wolves now than bears!!! And however illegal it may have been, I always carried slugs with my 12ga in case!!!

If you are really worried about bears there are some things you can do, One is don't hunt where there are lots of bears, or hunt with a buddy (I can run faster scared than my buddy can slippin on my $h!t) and carry a can of bear spray as a precaution...
 
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