Contributors to this thread:
Bear attack - decision time
You are in the bush hunting elk. (“bush” implies Canada, so you might have a beer in hand , but no sidearm). Suddenly, from 20 yards away, a grizzly appears and begins walking toward you. Here is the question - do you nock an arrow, or go for the pepper spray? One frontal arrow, or some spices from a can??
I think a guy should have this decision made BEFORE the situation presents itself. Different answer depending on lone bear vs sow with cubs? Curious what y’all think.
What frontal shot will drop a bear in less time than the bear can cover in 20 seconds. Especially one that you just pissed off?
Clearly you finish the beer while considering your next move.
twist off or pull open? Time is of the essence.
ask Pat about frontal shots at grizzly approaching you fast and close
Offer the beer to the bear.
Do an Ed Wiseman. Frontal arrow shot and restick as necessary and have your story straight for when the game wardens come to analyze what happened.
Why carry bear spray, if you don’t intend to use it? Making a lethal frontal bow shot on a charging griz doesn’t seem to likely. I’d probably drop my bow, go for the spray, then my knife, and say a quick prayer.
That said, I’d rather have my 44 mag on me.
Shake the beer can and spray it in his face... I mean it's only Canadian beer, sheesh.
I think the grizzly will cover that 20 yards before you're even able to draw your bow!
Spray for sure. No way to shoot your bow before you are a chew toy.
the real question is do you mace the bear and pray or mace yourself to avoid seeing your bowels hanging outside your body as your last vision in this world.
I don't think I would bowhunt without a sidearm
I’d do a Matt. Then scream at myself in my mind that I should have brought my 44, as the bear hit me full charge.
Never hunt alone in grizzly country, and make sure your hunting partner is a slower runner than you.
Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I don’t know what I would do, probably the bear spray since I am not the best shot.
No hesitation pepper spray. An arrow is about as useful as your little toe in a life or death close griz scenario.
If you’re thinking of slipping an arrow in early I don’t hate the idea. But I have had grizzly’s walk in and around me without any aggression. Pepper spray isn’t a bad option but I’ll keep my firearm.
Spray. And wouldn’t use it until he was within 10 yards.
If you have a heavy arrow and cut on contact broadheads shoot him in the brain but wait till his nose tips down or you might get a glancer off the skull. If you have an expandable broadhead use the bear spray.
I would never be in grizz country without a sidearm, and never was on 5 hunts,,, either way 20 yards is too late, unless you can stick it in its mouth,,,,,, Bear spray is an irritant, a big dose of Barnes 200 is a better answer................ I never was tested, but never trusted them,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I am not there to save the planet,,,,, to me even a wiff is too much,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I was lucky to be with a guide, who was tolerant and knowledgeable about them,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, But my guide carried a Big rifle
Hold out as long as ya can on the Spray as it may end up being a False Charge and the bear will veer off the closer, it gets.
Plus, ya want the thickest fog from your spray and that is very close to you.
Good luck, Robb
Pepper spray and hope for the best, I bought a benelli superNova tactical shotgun to accompany me on my moose hunt this year, our new area will have grizzly and the potential for polar bears, Fuk pepper spray!
whether it is a lone bear or sow with cubs, i'm choosing the spray in that scenario and hoping for the best. at 20 yards, i'm giving it a short burst in the direction of the bear hoping it doesn't get any closer.
if there are cubs and the sow is at 20 yards, i suspect a charge is imminent.
This is why I will probably never hunt Canada again(unless they change their gun laws)
I have just gotten too accustomed to carrying a pistol when I am out in the woods hunting/fishing/backpacking/camping/hiking.
1) Shoot him in the eye with a fixed broadhead & then start spraying.
2) If still alive, clean out your drawers.
Let me get this straight - a Grizzly has surprised you at 20 yards, then started towards you and so now he's at like 18 and coming closer and you are wondering if you should lift your bow and draw and aim and settle in for a surprise release cause you're thinking of plinking an eye ball, brain or just taking a frontal when said grizzly is now at....oh I dunno, 15 yards because after you release you'd gave what 0.3 seconds to do anything? You gotta be kidding me.
No offence but the fact that this is even a question with the way the scenario is laid out is whacked. You think you're Rambo or something?
does anyone think your odds of preventing or surviving an attic are better if you were wearing kuiu?
.....fyi to those that are easily triggered, i am just kidding. :)
I lived an experience very similar in an area that was'nt suppose to have grizzly bears.
Not sure why but I threw my bow at the charging sow and her 3 cubs. It bounced and hit her nose. Thankfully that turned them all around as I was starting to put pressure on the bear spray trigger. Wish I had a beer or 6 close after that one.
If you're hunting elk in Canuckistan griz country and forbidden to carry a sidearm you should have a backup. Either you carry a big bore rifle or shotgun or your buddy does. IMO hunting alone in that kind of country isn't an option.
I'm a dry red wine guy myself
I want to know how many know what Badbull's reference was about. I do.
After reading your question I would not advise you to go out anywhere a griz may be alone.
Stay the foc out of any state, or province that won’t allow sidearms !
Bandicooter……I know who Ed Wiseman is/was, and a little bit about his ordeal with a grizzly in Colorado.
I'd suggest the OP doesn't hunt anywhere there are large predators...
Maybe because I use a 100# recurve , I would shoot it in the brain. I would be the shot of a lifetime. Either because your life is over in the next 5 seconds , or , it would really be the shot of a lifetime. In that situation , a recurve is way faster than a compound , and shooting instinctive is way better , if I have to choose. The bear spray would be just some seasoning the bear would use to eat you. Before the chinadian leftist government changed the firearms law, a 50 BMG was consider equal to a .22lr , or a 16 inch naval gun for that matter. We had no destructive device law of any kind before Fidel's son took a power trip. Long live the second . Hats off to my free friends from the south
Ok thanks for the input. I should never leave my house until I can do so with a Coors Light and a 9mm. Got it :)
APauls - I am confused as to why this scenario/question has triggered you so … are you usually this sensitive? I never said I was Rambo, just thinking of whether to carry spray or not. I figure I could get to full draw almost as fast as I could get the pepper spray out. If I have to wrestle a bear, I’d rather wrestle one with an arrow fletch deep in front of his shoulder. But you bring up a good point … what would Sly do? ??
“Suddenly, from 20 yards away, a grizzly appears and begins walking toward you. ”
I’d think a griz at that close distance would NOT be “walking” toward you.
I’d go Spray at as close range as my sphincter control would allow. Unless I had one already nocked, the spray is probably faster and certainly allows more room for error in aiming. Unless the bear is up-wind.
If you have spray and a location on the bear, you’re really crazy to not work your way to an up-wind position; not only will the bear get a whiff of Human. If that doesn’t send it packing, at least it will associate humans with getting blasted… and you won’t get hit yourself.
For the record, I had a similar scenario happen once. Didn’t have a bow or pepper spray or a sidearm. Not even a beer. It all worked out ok, but I play it in my head over and over. ??
Any of the ‘experts’ here ever used pepper spray?
PS surfbow - every time I step out of the house, large predators are a possibility. I’ll be ok.
Pepper spray does work, or has for me anyway. That said I’m mostly carrying a Glock 20 these days.
Serious question for those advocating having a rifle or shotgun along, are you going to carry it or your bow? If you’re carrying a bow, Unless you’re handy as hell getting a long gun off your shoulder or from your pack, you are very possibly carrying that weight for no reason. It can happen fast.
A guy just south of here yesterday got mauled and didn’t have time to even use his spray. Lifeflighted to Billings Montana. I haven’t seen an update on his condition.
I guess my point is it’s easy to say what you want to carry, but doing it day in and out when 99 percent of the time you won’t even see a bear, takes a massive amount of discipline.
Crack the beer and throw in front of bear. If the noise doesn't spook him he might enjoy it. As he is licking up the suds sneak an arrow in him, done deal.
You better walk around with the pepper spray in your hand all the time, the safety off the pepper spray, and you Might get lucky! I emphasize MIGHT!! Griz at 20 yards coming at you…..you are in deep shit!!
lol triggered? Just thought it was a very weird scenario to somehow randomly bring up to the internet that you are debating shooting a charging grizzly with a bow when you have pepper spray on your belt.
I was once carrying a longbow when I got charged by a black bear in the dark after getting down from the tree. It's last foot step was 2-3" from my own foot. I got drawn about 3" before I screamed. I think the scream actually saved me. I didn't wanna kill it because it wasn't an overly gigantic bear just average. Same damn bear followed me all the way back to the truck. Bow would have been useless.
I too remember the Ed Wiseman story. I was not present so I don't know what really happened. I do know leftist did everything in there power to destroy him.
Sorry if I appear to be overthinking this bear defence thing …. A few years ago I was on a sheep hunt in BC, sleeping in my little one man with the fly open on one end. I heard the last couple steps in the grass as the bear approached. He stood over me and sniffed my head - his muzzle maybe 6 inches away. I didn’t dare move - didn’t open my eyes- held my breath. The bear stood there for what seemed like an hour - probably 10 seconds - then turned and walked away. Saw him in the moonlight as he left, and again the next morning up on the slide. Didn’t sleep much that week. ??
So it’s official - I am NOT Rambo. John would have killed that bear with a Bowie knife, all I could come up with was to piss in my sleeping bag.
I’m headed back to BC for an elk hunt in September. I want to upgrade my bear defence - even tho peeing myself seems to have worked on this previous encounter.
In northern Alberta I had a griz jump up from under a pine at less than 30 yards and angled toward me at a full out run. I count myself lucky, but can tell you that I would never have had time to get a gun up let alone a bow....or a spray for that matter. Had he wanted to attack, it would have all been on his terms.
“You better walk around with the pepper spray in your hand all the time…”
That’s the biggest challenge, isn’t it? Spray seems great for teaching some manners to the curious/semi-habituated types that are just investigating. But a predatory or defensive charge…
That’s like Ron said - takes a LOT of discipline to burden yourself with that can and even more to practice, practice, practice, practice getting it from wherever you carry it into “on target”….
Probably takes nearly as much time as learning to draw a sidearm; you just don’t have to aim as good.
Ha ha, holy cow that's a wicked story man. It all makes sense now. An experience like that will leave a mental mark!!!
Hah - ya I’m damaged goods. I just bought a Marsupial bino harness c/w the spray can holster. So as long as I am committed to my binos, the spray will be along.
I still might go full Rambo on a griz if he shows me any attitude. :)
They investigated the heck out of Ed Wiseman. They didn’t find anything and I believed his story when I heard it years later.