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Survival weapon  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Anne Miller wrote:Denisa, our daughter and son in law say they are good eating. I have not tasted one.

I might have tried to kill one of those I saw if I had had something to kill them with.  I didn't even have a nail file.



Wild hog is the best meat i have ever eaten!

My father inlaw hunted one and brought it back. The wild thing (and im not into sport hunting at all, only to fill the freezer) was while hunting them they are trying to kill the hunter.... repeatedly.

 
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Ever hear of Timothy Treadwell?  Look him up.  I was living in Anchorage when the dumbass got himself and his girlfriend eaten by a bear.  Idiot figured he had bears all scoped out and that they weren't dangerous.  He used to pet them, etc.  Since the bears were fat on salmon, they put up with his shit, for a while.  The rangers begged him to quit his stupid grandstanding before they had to haul his dead ass back to civilization and shoot the bear that killed him.  He figured he was smarter than everyone else.  He got away with it for years.  One day he ran into the wrong bear.  He had his girlfriend filming him and his buddy, the bear, when buddy bear decided to eat him.  My only problem with his spectacularly painful and dramatic method of suicide is that he dragged his girlfriend into it and caused the needless death of her and a bear.  (When the bear started chewing on him, she evidently attacked the bear with a frying pan.  Sounds like a good gal, what a waste!)  They played part of the audio on the radio in Anchorage, you could hear him screaming.  

Animals have individual personalities, just like people.  Some are easy going and some aren't.   They have days their pissed off or hungry and days they are laid back.

Generally speaking the most dangerous animal you are likely to meet in the woods is walking on two legs.   95% of people are ok.  Then there's the rest. Be prepared for  them also.  

If you decided to be prepared for the (rare) problem, I view it the same as having a first aid kit.  You're not looking for trouble, you're just prepared.  

When I was getting my engineering degree you could recognize the guys who were weak in math, because they would get the most expensive calculator they could find, figuring it would compensate for their lack of ability.  The problem is, garbage in, garbage out.  The calculators didn't help them, because they still didn't know what to do and couldn't recognize when the answer was way out of the ball park.  

If you decide to get a gun, learn how to use it, get comfortable with it, otherwise it's like an expensive calculator with someone who doesn't know what to do with it.  Guns are inanimate objects.  They just lay there.  You need to learn how to use it intelligently.  People are the craziest, most dangerous animals there are.  People with guns have the potential to be even more dangerous!
 
gardener
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denise ra wrote:Anne, Even if i was comfortable with hiding from feral pigs, I would still feel obliged to kill them. The population is estimated at over 1 million in Oklahoma and they cost farmers lotsa moola in damages.
denise



In Arkansas feral hogs are legal to shoot in any other hunting season, you are encouraged to let them lay because of the danger of some of the diseases they can carry, but many people do process them.
Even if you are a competent shooter, waiting till a hog is at ten feet or closer is asking for trouble, the snub nose pistol is best left in a gun safe since it is designed only for very close encounters (7 yards max.)
For hogs you want all the power you can handle (.45, .44, .454Cassul, etc.) are the best rounds.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Even a warrior will tell you that fear is normal, controlling it keeps you alive.  

A person who traipses into the earth mother's domain who isn't prepared for just about anything, will have difficulty surviving if things don't go as planned.
That is why there are shows like Dual Survival on the air, every year people go out unprepared and some of them die.
If you go into the hills around Los Angeles and aren't aware of your surroundings, you just might see your first and last cougar, several folks have been attacked on the running/ biking trails there.

One doesn't need to be afraid as much as they need to know the risks involved then they need to make sure they know what to do IF something unexpected occurs.
That isn't fearul, my thought of being fearful is when you don't step out the front door because you don't know what is out there.

 
pollinator
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A weapon is just a tool. Tools are not toys, and must be both treated with respect and used as intended.

People who carry the right tools into the right situations are best equipped to handle those situations.

In the event that I find myself between a protective mother bear and her cub, sure I'd try to talk her down as I slowly backed away, but I think I'd want a 12-gauge to back me up in case she found me less than trustworthy.

I don't care if I wandered innocently into her space, or if she wandered innocently into mine, she's not likely to lie down and let something kill her, and neither would I.

And as Redhawk suggested, fear is a tool as well. It is a finely-honed product of our evolution. Fear is smart in cases where being fearless will get you killed.

-CK
 
pollinator
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So ... if one is stuck between a mamma bear & her cub but gradually backing out & being nice doesn't go as planned ... what should plan B involve? Certain death?



 
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I live in country with black bears (Ursus americanus), girzzly bears (Ursus horribilis), and cougars.  Cougars are shy, seldom seen, and virtually never reported to have made an attack on a human in this area.  Black bears are generally not too hard to handle, and I've dealt with many (with shouting, rocks, or slingshot & marbles).  Grizzlies typically confine themselves to elevations above where humans live or tend to go — but they are indeed dangerous and can be aggressive.  In their territory I tend to walk with other hikers, and always carry bear bells and bear spray.

Sarah Koster wrote:Well I'd have to say an air horn or bear mace. Noise is a lot better protection against anything that can take on a human, than any hand-to-hand weapon is. Just practically speaking.


I can understand how loud noise will sometimes be the only factor needed.  I do wonder about an air horn with grizzlies.  Sarah or anybody, got good info on this?  (There are probably some credible people collecting this sort of anecdotal or even experimental evidence in relation to grizzlies.)
 
pollinator
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People have questioned my sanity, but I have never carried a weapon on me until recently, and never felt afraid. Fixing sheep fence in the middle of the night...nope, not scared. Seeing coyotes in the middle of the day...nope, not scared. Seeing bear in the woods...again not scared, all without a gun.

When some questionable people moved in to the area that might physically harm my (4) young daughters, my wife and I started carrying firearms. (Keep in mind, Maine has the least restrictive Right to Carry Law in the country, so we can easily, and legally do so).

I respectfully understand that some people state that it is good to be fearful, but I disagree with that. Yes ANYTHING is possible, but not everything is probable. When you read professional survival guides, like the one the State of Maine used to put out for hunters, the first line in it stated, "do not to be fearful of wildlife when lost alone in the Maine woods". The reason was simple, they wanted people to remain calm. Fear is good, but not in survival situations. It leads people to make irrational decisions.
 
master steward
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My son's current reaction to dogs, or any animal he finds scary, is to run around frantically screaming and even lie down on the ground in panic. Basically, everything that one SHOULD NOT do when encountering a scary animal. We've been working really hard to

(1) Train him to see when an animal is aggressive and when it is nice
(2) Teach him to be calm and walk away slowly without glaring at the animal or turning his back
(3) If #2 fails, teach him to wave his arms to make himself look big and yell at the dog in an authorative voice, not a scared one.

Animals sense fear. I was taught this at a young age. So I always try to act unafraid and calm my emotions to ones that aren't frightened, even if I am terrified that a dog is going to bite my kids. It works. We have some aggressive heel-biters nearby that sometimes come out and bark viciously and follow us for a block. Lots of our neighbors have been bit by these dogs. We have not. We stay calm, we keep our eyes forward, we keep walking, and we talk in non-fearful tones. Now the dogs don't even follow us and often don't even come out to bark at us.

I also never carry a weapon, not even pepper spray. THis isn't for any "I'm not scared of animals" reason, it's because I'm more afraid of accidently firing it or having my kids get a hold of it when we're out and about. It's the same reason I would never want a gun when I was a school teacher. The risk of an attacker is much less than the risk of it misfiring in my untrained hands.

That being said, if someone is trained with a firearm and knows that their kids won't get a hold of it, then I see no reason to not carry it "just in case." It doesn't hurt anything for that trained person to carry it, and there's a chance (albeit small) that they might need it to protect themselves.
 
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This is the sound the approximately 120 lb wolf (based on the size of the paw prints, and the voice) makes while running toward you.  He is as big as me and needs no weapon, he was well provided for by the creator.  He is saying, "Get out of my way, get out of my territory, or I'll make you."  Make no mistake that this is purposeful intimidation, a threat he could carry out if he wished.  He is stating his intention clearly.

The sound we make in response is, BANG!.......... and then because the first one didn't seem to get the point home, BANG! again.  We are saying, "We can't move right now, sorry, you need to go around.  I'm not food, either."  And thankfully this time he listens.

We say the same thing when bear comes to smell our stew.  Now bear knows we aren't there to feed him.  I would rather give them enough respect to warn them in the same way they warn us.  We have no intention of getting close and comfortable with them or providing a meal, whether it's us, or our own food.

Now none of us is hurt, and now wolf knows that when he smells our food and the smoke from our fire, he should go around, not toward us acting like a tough guy.  Bear still likes to climb on our car though, when we're not around.

We were camped that time in a place we don't normally, which is close to a convenient water source at one of our bridges.  The wolves frequently used our bridge (until it recently washed out) to cross through their territory.  If we had camped at our normal site farther off the road, we would have been less likely to encounter one another, as they like to travel up the roads just like we do.  They come down the road behind us too see what we're up to, their tracks on top of ours.  They don't tend to come into our usual camp because it's out of their way.  The moose does, but only when we're tucked in bed, between 4 and 5 am.  And then it's more like "What was that?  Oh, just the moose.  Good morning, moose!"  And then you roll over and go back to sleep.

I don't think the purpose of this thread is to glorify weapons or violence, and I appreciate that people have differing opinions on the matter.  I guess we will all do what experience and common sense tell us is right.  If you don't make enough noise while you walk, you risk an encounter that the animal would rather avoid, too.  Letting a predator purposely get close to you shows it disrespect, because it lets the animal see you as potential food, which creates only problems for you and them down the line.  We clearly state our intention to continue to exist there and to not be food.  If I had bear bangers I could have used those.  But I do feel better knowing that if the BANG wasn't enough, I could follow up that warning by actually defending myself.
 
pollinator
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So I am in general in agreement with the folks who worry very little about animals in nature. For me it is people and "wild" dogs that I have found the most dangerous and unpredictable. Wild aniamls tend to behave in reasonably predictable behaviors that can be planned for.

I just recently had a yearly bear walk up to me and get within 5 ft before I told it to stop and give me my space. I was not afraid, and walk my property regularly with no fear of animals. However whenever I do walk/hike into areas I am unfamiliar I do pack my 1911 with me.

I often have wild animal approach me in the woods. And I have to admit that having a large deer walk up to you can be a little unnerving even though it is an herbivore.

So if having some sort of weapon makes you feel a bit safer OP, then here are some recommendations.

#1 bear spray. This is by far the best option for safety in the woods. It will stop most anything from attacking and is nonlethal.
#2 a good high cal pistol. A pistol is a good moral booster as well as effective protection.
#3 stout walking stick. Aids in walking/hiking and can be used defensively
#4 machete. One problem with these is it is a close combat weapon. But better something than nothing. The way to use one with a bear or other wild animal is to just block with the blade. A bear cutting it's palm every time it swings at you will quickly decide to stop attacking. There are actually medieval manuscripts discussing the proper way to defend against a bear with a sword, it is all blocking with the blade until the bear gives up attacking.
#5 slingshot, being able to hit things at a distance is not to be under rated. A good slingshot and some metal shot can pack a wallop and deter an attacking animal.

But as I have said and others, nature is not as frightening as you might think. Can it be aggressive? sure it can. However most animals have learned to fear humans, and do not attack humans regularly. Getting out and realizing there is less to fear in the woods might help put you at ease. Learning from an experienced outdoors man what is really going on with the animals and how to predict their behavior.
 
pollinator
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If we are talking straight up survival and not self-defense I'd choose a good bushcraft knife.  You can make just about anything, spears, shelter, cooking set up, etc.

If I'm walking around where there are Polar or Grizzly Bears I'd want a Magnum Rifle   As a concealed carry weapon I'd choose a hammerless revolver.

My Permies weapon of choice because I could probably grow it in the forest

The Irish Shillelagh made from Black Thorn





 
Mike Barkley
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Nicole, I completely disagree with your

I also never carry a weapon

comment. The brain is the absolute BEST weapon & yours seem perfectly suitable.

Good judgement, common sense, understanding the situation, & basic preparation for the task at hand goes a long ways towards continued survival. Or, in hardcore military terms, always use the OODA loop. Observe, orient, decide, act. Repeat continuously.    


 
pollinator
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I wonder if bear spray would work on wild pigs? My sense is that it would not because they seem more intense and focused than bears.

About dogs, i once had an odd thing happen. I was about 25 and living in Sydney.. I left the house early,  still dusk, and perhaps I was not entirely awake. As i stepped out of the gate, a dog came up behind me and I was startled and surprised. Next thing I and without conscious volition, I am on all fours face-to-face with the dog and growling at it. It went away and I picked myself up and went away too.
 
Travis Johnson
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I still respectfully propose that an axe is the better survival weapon as how can a person really survive without fire?

On a short term survival situation, I would much rather have an axe where I can build a fire and shelter until searchers can arrive then I would a gun that would do little for either of those necessary things. I mean I can build a fire starting bow from an axe, lob wood off to make a fire, cut saplings to make a shelter, and have a sense of security that my shelter and fire would ward off predators in the first place, not to mention using it for defense if they did get in too close. Have you ever been out in the woods alone? Nothing is more comforting (and distracting to the mind) then having a fire.

Long term, what other tool can do so much? Cut, pound, split, defend...the tasks are almost endless. Conceivably, a person could make a fire and take scrounged steel and build their own knife from an axe, and from there the tools would only multiple.
 
Scott Foster
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Travis, I was on the fence about this one. I like the ax.

For pure survival purposes a good knife, a small bush ax, and a flint would be the top three on the wish list.  I'd add a tarp and a metal pot.    Fire and shelter.  

I looked at this question of survival from the standpoint where you get caught out on a day hike or something like that.  

When I day-hike the AT around here I usually have just enough water and I carry a small daypack.  A few power bars and that's about it.  I hiked seven miles this last weekend and only brought three bottles of water.  I was nursing the last bottle at the end of the hike.  I wasn't prepared if something went wrong because I didn't want to carry the weight.  I'm reevaluating this mindset.

If' I'm going out into the bush, say a canoeing trip into the BWCA or something like that I'm going to have everything. A full pack-out of gear and backup food (hopefully the mice don't chew through the

bottom of the tent and eat 1/2 your food.)  I had this happen.  In this situation, I have a canoe so the gear just gets portaged, I will take more than the necessities because I'm probably only hiking a mile or so at a time.  It's worth the pain to carry extra gear so camp is super cool.

   
The other side of the coin. I did the Vermont section of the AT, the year before last.  I never even considered how heavy a 40 lbs pack can get hiking up and down mountains.  We had water bags with us and because there was a drought, water was scarcer than usual.  One gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs.  I could not drink enough and I couldn't carry enough.    I one of the most important things we carried was electrolyte tabs to put in the water.  We were losing so many bodily fluids our electrolytes were gone.

We had a 10-mile stretch with about 1/2 a gallon each.  We ended up taking water out of a nasty beaver pond.  We didn't know when we would hit the water again.   It was a little scary.  I carried: a tent, food, water, one set of spare clothing, a small cook stove, a cook-cup, and bags of bars

rice, and dried beans.

Almost everything I had that

wasn't absolutely necessary went into the trash bin the first town we hit.  I'm not in great shape but I'm in better shape than many.   I had a Spyderco knife and considered getting rid of it.  I seriously considered getting rid of my tent.  I threw about 10lbs of food in the garbage.

At night we were so tired  I didn't care what I ate.  We had to put up our one-man tents, get our stoves out, and boil whatever the meal was for the night.  After eating we went straight to the tent there was no hanging out.  We were too tired.

What's my point.  An ax is super heavy.



 
 
Chris Kott
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To clarify my point, I think the one key survival weapon (tool works better in almost all cases) is preparedness.

I love how people sometimes jump to conclusions about the real, nuanced meanings behind postings when it's really, uncomplicatedly, un-nuanced.

If some of my comments seemed to advocate "certain death" as an immediate backup, it's because I had assumed a modicum of common sense in a person's approach to outings that might require survival gear, and in one's use of a potentially lethal tool.

So if I was trying to talk down a mama bear and it wasn't going so well, yes, I'd love to have an air horn to try, and I'd love to shoot my 12-gauge in the air above her head, but if she's close and not backing down, is it unreasonable to defend one's own life?

And yes, if you know what you're walking into, and if you're observant and careful, you should be able to avoid situations where killing something is your only way out.

But in a situation where it's bear or me, well I love the taste of bear. I would be comforted by the knowledge that not much of the beast would go to waste, after I figured out how to purchase a posthumous tag.

-CK
 
Travis Johnson
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Scott Foster wrote:An ax is super heavy.



I agree, I am a minimalist by nature on just about everything, so for me, the axe is well worth carrying. In my cars I carry full blown axes, but for backpacking it is actually a shingling hammer which is about the same thing as a hatchet, but has a better formed hammer head for pounding. But even then, you are right, they are heavy.

Myself, I have not done the AT in a long time (100 mile woods), but mostly navigate my own woodlot. Every once and awhile my wife and I will go out with the kids to look for geostones, explore the property or just have some cocoa to getout of the house. I think it is good for kids to learn this stuff, and have some appreciation for what is around them.










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I was attacked by dogs twice this week while running. The first I saw coming from far away, so I simply out-ran it. The second was upon me before I even knew it was there. It gladly chomped down on the staff I offered it.
 
Chris Kott
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So I suppose we'll add cardio and track to our list of survival tools? It fits. We evolved to run down prey on the savannah, long-distance and in the heat of the day, too.

-CK
 
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Since my last posting here, I have used a sort of weapon twice. I have a cordless Milwaukee flood light that throws 1500 lumens. People come to the houses that I move, at night, mostly to steal copper. On my two most recent occasions, I heard the noise under the house, so I quietly got into position, and then I pushed the button on the light. This is instantly blinding to anyone who is monkeying around at night with either no light or a little pen light.

Then I issue a threat, that I am quite serious about. I tell them that I am holding my heavy bar, which I can swing hard enough to break any part of them that it touches. "If you approach, I will bludgeon you with this bar and you may die. Do you understand?"

Some respond and say that they are leaving, and others just run. Nobody has tried to turn it into a boxing match. That's lucky for them, because I have never punched a person since I was a preteen. Always a weapon, even in high school. Once it was a block wall. A kid foolish enough to hit me, thought he got away with it because there was no retaliation immediately. But later that day, I grabbed him by his jacket, which I used to swing him by, and I slammed that moron into a concrete block wall. Another dummy thought he could charge a toll to let kids leave the building. I walked up to the door that he was guarding, and then when he went to hold it shut, I lunged at it very hard with a sort of rapid bench press motion, and slammed the aluminum frame into his face. In both cases, that was it. There wasn't anything like a fight following it. Just a dummy in very poor shape, nursing his wounds.

A few years later I was accosted by a group of druggies while I was in my car. I think they wanted me to get out for a boxing match. I used the car.
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Joel Bercardin
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But nobody has any idea (or information) about whether an air horn will scare off a grizzly, eh?  An idea Sarah proposed way up above, and something I echoed in a question about it.

I think an air horn might be a good tool for many situations.  (But I do have rather strong doubts about whether it could work when a person is between cub and mother.)
 
Mike Barkley
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https://uriupina.com/funny-cute/warning-bear-bells-pepper-spray

http://www.hikinginglacier.com/glacier-national-park-bears.htm

https://www.gohunt.com/read/skills/hunting-in-grizzly-bear-country-sidearm-vs-bear-spray

The time to make noise is BEFORE the bear encounter. An air horn seems like it MIGHT be effective during a surprise encounter but it probably depends on how hungry it is. Almost certainly won't help if you're between mamma & her cub. That's one of the top cardinal rules of nature .... if mamma ain't happy nobody is happy.
 
Chris Kott
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The worst survival tool is the one so highly specialized that it only applies in a very narrow range of circumstances. What good is a noisemaker past the point where loud noises work? A rifle or shotgun, even a large caliber handgun can kill at need, and also make a loud noise.

The worst survival mentality is the optimistic one. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.

-CK
 
Dale Hodgins
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I'm just wondering if any of the people on here have been attacked by a wild animal. I was bitten by a field mouse when I was a kid, but I was monkeying with it.

Have any of you been attacked by an animal that could kill you. I have, but it was a domestic dog. People get attacked by bulls and by stallions.

For me, defensive weapons have always been meant to defend against other humans. I live in a place that has several wild animals that could theoretically kill me, but it's the two-legged variety that I'm always wary of. All of my really dangerous encounters, have been with people. And I think they were all people who were compromised with drugs or alcohol. Certainly as an adult, I haven't had an altercation with a sober person. So, I guess staying away from drunks and druggies should be top of my list.
 
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Mike Barkley wrote:So ... if one is stuck between a mamma bear & her cub but gradually backing out & being nice doesn't go as planned ... what should plan B involve? Certain death?





Mamma bear would never be so clumsy to cross your path with her cubs, she always knows ecactly where you are and realizes that you are only a potential danger since you are far enough away.  It is only your lack of awareness that causes you to walk into that situation.  Gradually backing out only works in churches and dive bars.
 
pollinator
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Do you really think if I had a weapon I could have determined if it was warranted to use on a mother bear and cub before it was too late? No, I could not. So maybe a gun would have helped me preemptively poach that bear, but it would have been a ridiculously irresponsible thing to do and having a gun would have only helped me do that, not actually protect myself in a necessary situation.

Weapons do not make you safer, this is proven statistically (I have studied outdoor risk management), they simply make every living thing around you less safe. So the best survival weapon is a brain that can effectively weigh and manage risk.
 
Joel Bercardin
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Chris Kott wrote:The worst survival tool is the one so highly specialized that it only applies in a very narrow range of circumstances. What good is a noisemaker past the point where loud noises work? A rifle or shotgun, even a large caliber handgun can kill at need, and also make a loud noise.

The worst survival mentality is the optimistic one. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.


If circumstances are extreme, Chris, then your stated opinion makes sense.  I think most people who have lived in a city, a town, a rural area or a region for a while acquire a pretty accurate sense of what the risks there are.  For instance, I live in a community and a region where violent crime is very low — even reports of fist fights are very infrequent — hence very few people gear up for defense of the sort you're implying (e.g., extremely few people here own hand guns).

I've known a number of field biologists, three of whom study grizzly bears specifically.  One of the three says when hiking into grizzly territory he always takes with him a shotgun loaded with solid-slug ammunition.  Makes sense to me, if you were frequenting griz territory — but in decades of field work he's never had to use the shotgun.

I think that what Sarah Koster had to say may be valid in her situation and environment, though she hasn't rejoined the conversation to specify what that is.
 
Mike Barkley
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The most important aspect of any weapon is knowing the difference between when it appropriate to use & when it is not.
 
Ben Zumeta
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Not one thru-hiker I met carried a gun on the PCT. The last gun toter I saw was before mile 300, and despite being a paratrooper vet he was hurting beyond his ability to bear from his heavy pack (not just his gun but the mentality of "better to have it and not need it" in general) and didn't make it much farther from what I heard. I carried a full first aid kit and had Wilderness First Responder training, for emergencies, which came in handy and made my life feel more worthwhile and valid. On the other hand to contribute a different point of view from many of those expressed, I would not want to live with having used a firearm in the vast majority of scenarios they are used, so I do not carry one. I am not a pacifist, I have brawled with people bragging about or who I knew to be abusing children or women. I am willing to play the math and accept the risk of having to protect myself and those I care about with words or fisticuffs in exchange for knowing I will never accidentally or intentionally shoot myself or anyone else.

That aside, I would recommend a WFR to anyone homesteading for the healthcare savings and risk management training alone, but the biggest value is meeting amazing people at every training.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I'm just wondering if any of the people on here have been attacked by a wild animal.



I remember injuries caused to me by wild species of wasps/bees, and by sea-urchins.

I remember injuries caused to me by domestic animals: Dog, Cow, Horse, Rabbit, Chicken, Cat, Goose, Honeybee.

For years, I carried a handgun at all times on my farm in case Bull escaped his pen.

The wild animal that has most commonly issued a warning to me is Rattlesnake. They often live in packs, so if one is issuing a warning, others are likely to be nearby.  Defense is paying attention to where I'm going. Shoes and leather pants  or high-topped boots would help. The demographic most at risk from Rattlesnake bite is teenage boys engaged in horseplay with Snake.
 
Ben Zumeta
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Rattlesnakes in areas they are hunted and killed for sport or "safety" are less likely to rattle and warn of their presence to humans according to a Washington State study.
 
Ed Belote
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Ben Zumeta wrote:Do you really think if I had a weapon I could have determined if it was warranted to use on a mother bear and cub before it was too late? No, I could not. So maybe a gun would have helped me preemptively poach that bear, but it would have been a ridiculously irresponsible thing to do and having a gun would have only helped me do that, not actually protect myself in a necessary situation.

Weapons do not make you safer, this is proven statistically (I have studied outdoor risk mamagemnt), they simply make every living thing around you less safe. So the best survival weapon is a brain that can effectively weigh and manage risk.



Yes.  Native Americans knew that awareness was their most powerful tool.  A stick strapped to a sharp stone is a losing proposition to a 600 lb mamna grizzly.  A gun will only make it a lose-lose situation.
 
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We have a .22 and a shotgun and we've had to take them and a flashlight out to the barn more times than I can count. We've also had cougars come down from the mountains due to fire and start killing horses. I'll stick with the guns but if I'm being honest, while I know how to operate the guns it is not my preference. I have really big dogs. I send at least one with every child that goes out to play and take them with me when I go do chores. Anything wanting to attack me may think twice when I'm surrounded by giant white canines.
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Our fiercest guard! Has repelled burglars twice so far. Thanks oil drilling!
 
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Ed Belote wrote:

Mike Barkley wrote:So ... if one is stuck between a mamma bear & her cub but gradually backing out & being nice doesn't go as planned ... what should plan B involve? Certain death?





Mamma bear would never be so clumsy to cross your path with her cubs, she always knows ecactly where you are and realizes that you are only a potential danger since you are far enough away.  It is only your lack of awareness that causes you to walk into that situation.  Gradually backing out only works in churches and dive bars.



Here is a video of a guy who was about 200 yards from momma black edit: grizzly bear and her cubs when she saw him, she charged him at full speed, attacked him twice, and then wandered off. He survived (adrenaline is a heckova drug!) and then filmed this video before driving to the hospital, perhaps as video evidence in case he didn't make it (graphic, there is blood):


So while we would prefer an ideal world where we can feel safe and assume certain animals will leave us be, it would be very wise to be prepared as your life or the life of those with you, may depend on it.

When I was little, say 6-7, we'd visit my dad's family in Kentucky, back in the "holler" (funny enough, Google maps actually lists the location as the family hollow), and we would carry a 20 guage shotgun in case of dogs or venomous snakes as we walked from one property to the next. It was a tool, and we didn't even think of it as odd. These days my dad and relatives up on that property are always carrying a sidearm due to the meth heads, that are always looking to rob people.

One of my hopes of growing the osage orange hedge around my 20 acres is to remove the need to carry a sidearm while walking around the property, as the chance of encountering a bear, feral dog, or large cat is a lot lower with a tall thorny hedge surrounding you.
 
Mike Barkley
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Unfortunately selfies with bears has become popular. Not smart. Please don't do that.

Other than stray dogs, mosquitoes & ticks are probably the most likely animal threat to most people in North America. Not directly, but due to Lyme disease & encephalitis they can carry. Bees, if the person is allergic.

I keep a machete in my car & sometimes carry a smaller one while hiking. Neither as weapons. One is used to clear overgrowth near remote beehives. The other is used to clear obstructed trails for some of the seldom used trails I hike.

I've hiked, camped, hunted, & explored for many years in deep woods & also a few jungles. Often with no one else present or even knowing my whereabouts. Not especially smart but I'm still alive. I've seen many rattlers, water moccasins, & coral snakes up close & personal. I've seen mountain lions a few times although none of those cats were very close. I'm certain many more have seen me & probably from much closer. Seen a few black bears too, one was way too close for comfort. I've almost always been armed & never once felt the need to actually shoot anything.

There have been a few close calls. Almost stepped on a bobcat once. By all rights I should have been neutered & then bled to death. It would have been entirely my fault because I was wandering around some very deep backwoods in Georgia during a pitch black night. That was stupid & seriously got my attention.

There was a crossbow hunting incident where I had just shot a wild pig. He was highly p/o'd & charged me. Then he dropped. Whew. Too close for comfort. Another second or two & I would have double tapped his tastiness.

Then there was a pack of wolves in upper Minnesota. Was field dressing a deer that I had just harvested when 6 or 8 wolves suddenly appeared about 50 yards away. Don't believe they knew I was there but they were way too close for comfort. They had been killing nearby cattle & I wasn't going to take a chance. So I fired a few rounds to scare them away. Then jumped in the 4 wheeler & got out of there fast. Highly unlikely that I could have shot them all even if I was so inclined. They were just too many & too close. I hope they enjoyed their deer.

Many years before all that on a military "picnic" we had stopped to take a short break. Within a minute one of the guys was coming at me with & machete & said "don't move". Whack. I had sat down right next to a BIG snake. Then we found another a few feet away. It too met the machete. Made me sad.

I guess the moral is humans are not always at the top of the food chain. Be prepared but don't be stupid.
 
elle sagenev
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We've had rabid skunk epidemics and we have badger holes on our property. We've watched a stoat killing ground squirrels literally feet from us. When it noticed we were there it just came on over and gave us a good hard stare.  Also coons and coyotes braving the house and the light. I swear the yotes are super brave this year. Other than that I do worry more about neighbor dogs than anything else. I've had one come at me before. So we send the dogs out with us to at least take the brunt of whatever may want to attack us. If my dog comes back and not my kid.....dead dog.

Though these are every day, real concerns, particularly with the little people. None of them have really been a problem. The dogs chase the coyotes away and I taught my kids NEVER to stick their hand or anything else in a hole. So far so good. Hurray for my furry survival weapons!!!

I will say the dogs are absolutely terrified of our pigs. I'm not sure they'd stand strong against a wild pig. I think they'd run like hell! Thank goodness Wyoming doesn't have any. :P

Mike Barkley wrote:Unfortunately selfies with bears has become popular. Not smart. Please don't do that.

Other than stray dogs, mosquitoes & ticks are probably the most likely animal threat to most people in North America. Not directly, but due to Lyme disease & encephalitis they can carry. Bees, if the person is allergic.

I keep a machete in my car & sometimes carry a smaller one while hiking. Neither as weapons. One is used to clear overgrowth near remote beehives. The other is used to clear obstructed trails for some of the seldom used trails I hike.

I've hiked, camped, hunted, & explored for many years in deep woods & also a few jungles. Often with no one else present or even knowing my whereabouts. Not especially smart but I'm still alive. I've seen many rattlers, water moccasins, & coral snakes up close & personal. I've seen mountain lions a few times although none of those cats were very close. I'm certain many more have seen me & probably from much closer. Seen a few black bears too, one was way too close for comfort. I've almost always been armed & never once felt the need to actually shoot anything.

There have been a few close calls. Almost stepped on a bobcat once. By all rights I should have been neutered & then bled to death. It would have been entirely my fault because I was wandering around some very deep backwoods in Georgia during a pitch black night. That was stupid & seriously got my attention.

There was a crossbow hunting incident where I had just shot a wild pig. He was highly p/o'd & charged me. Then he dropped. Whew. Too close for comfort. Another second or two & I would have double tapped his tastiness.

Then there was a pack of wolves in upper Minnesota. Was field dressing a deer that I had just harvested when 6 or 8 wolves suddenly appeared about 50 yards away. Don't believe they knew I was there but they were way too close for comfort. They had been killing nearby cattle & I wasn't going to take a chance. So I fired a few rounds to scare them away. Then jumped in the 4 wheeler & got out of there fast. Highly unlikely that I could have shot them all even if I was so inclined. They were just too many & too close. I hope they enjoyed their deer.

Many years before all that on a military "picnic" we had stopped to take a short break. Within a minute one of the guys was coming at me with & machete & said "don't move". Whack. I had sat down right next to a BIG snake. Then we found another a few feet away. It too met the machete. Made me sad.

I guess the moral is humans are not always at the top of the food chain. Be prepared but don't be stupid.

 
I suggest huckleberry pie. But the only thing on the gluten free menu is this tiny ad:
Self-Sufficiency in MO -- 10 acres of Eden, looking for a renter who can utilize and appreciate it.
https://permies.com/t/95939/Sufficiency-MO-acres-Eden-renter
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