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Axe as self defense

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by David Martin, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Charlie_K

    Charlie_K

    Jul 16, 2012
    Considering just some of what's been said around here, I don't think even a good quality sword would be of much use against a grizzly bear.
     
  2. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Thunder, Your post's make sense. Still, just now thinking on that move--- I know his bite would break both bones in my forearm. Just so I could get in one jab and hope I don't hit one of his large ribs. DM
     
  3. Chignecto Woodsman

    Chignecto Woodsman

    746
    Aug 2, 2014
    Mors Kochanski recommends making a bear bat if you're in an area where you cannot carry firearms. Enough force to break a person's arm between the shoulder and elbow is around what it takes to kill a bear by hitting them on the nose. A road flare will also scare them, acting something like bearspray and fire.

    Given a chance, and some distance, an axe is a far better weapon. The force is incomparable and being able to keep your distance is really important. A strike may be enough to scare the bear away, and problem bears may be more likely to stalk. That is where you'd want distance.

    Axes are more dangerous to carry though, especially a double-bit. In a surprise encounter you could end up falling or being forced down, really dangerous with axe in hand. On your back a knife is definitely better. You should probably have both in bear country, but before that you should have a gun, bearspray, and knowledge about bears and encounter avoidance.
     
  4. sideways

    sideways

    Feb 19, 2013
    Befriend the bear.
    [​IMG]
    Ride it into battle.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Chignecto Woodsman

    Chignecto Woodsman

    746
    Aug 2, 2014
    [​IMG]
     
  6. michaedma

    michaedma

    108
    Dec 29, 2014
    Like a couple other posts said, go with what you're most comfortable with. For me, it'd be one of the XL cold steels. I really like the Recon 1 XL.
     
  7. Chignecto Woodsman

    Chignecto Woodsman

    746
    Aug 2, 2014
    Grizzly charges mountainbikers:
    http://youtu.be/SLMa5-n2OVc

    This video shows how quickly a charge happens. You're not going to be able to draw a knife, gun, or bearspray in time to defend yourself if surprised, so whatever is in your hands would have to be used (or you would have to be trained to draw while falling, rolling, and fighting for your life). This would suggest an axe or bear bat would be best in a surprise situation since it is unlikely you will hike in the woods with your knife or pistol drawn.

    Of course, you could be more prepared to draw when stumbling upon bear signs (tree scratches, scat, rotten/kill smells, uprooting, ant mounds, berry patches, etc.).
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  8. Windwhistler

    Windwhistler

    281
    Aug 18, 2013
    At Thanksgiving my son and I walked our property lines. The terrain is horrible. Just black bear here but still, they never really hibernate because it just isn't cold enough here and in the winter, as food gets more scarce they hang around the cabin. We have a bunch of dens about 1/2 mile away from the house on a tall ridge. Because of the season, most of the acorns were gone. Black walnuts and buckeyes were all over the ground. We saw tons of purple scat containing large masses of fox grape seeds. As we came down the mountain, we found bunches of fox grapes everywhere that had fallen attached to their stems (unusual). These were just dried out enough to look like plump raisins. He and I started snacking on them and they were super sweet like the sweetest raisins I had ever eaten. We always watch to make sure we don't just run up on a bear or (heaven help us) get between a sow and her cub. Never saw any that day, just lots and lots of very fresh grape loaded scat. We finally got tired of the grapes and laid the bunches down along the line in a spot we knew. The following day, I took the grandboys up the mountain the other way. They wanted to see and try the semi dried fox grapes. The pile we had left were gone and we could find no additional bunches on going up. So sometime between noon the day before and about 10AM that morning the bears had been there and gotten all that we left or that were obvious. I think, particularly in the South where bears never truly hibernate, they can be anywhere almost anytime. Watching and being prepared to give them wide berth or a dose of "lead therapy" if necessary is a good idea. We enjoy having them around. They rarely damage anything and we try to get our neighbors to leave them alone at least on our mountain. No one around here has any decent recipes for the meat and I have discussed it with most of the long time bear hunters nearby. But black bears are omnivores. They can be incredibly sneaky and quiet. I have one neighbor they will climb up a 20 foot 6"x6" post to his deck, cautiously walk between over 100 potted plants, flowers and ferns, often making use of his rail around the deck to get across them and steal all the birdseed. Then he retraces his steps along the deck, goes back down the post, takes a bath in the pool formed by their artesian well, and leaves cool and satisfied. We have video and pictures from game cameras of all this. Be wary! They are!
     
  9. Windwhistler

    Windwhistler

    281
    Aug 18, 2013
    One more thing occurred to me that might be of interest. Some of the local folks started shooting 12 gauge blanks at bears that got in their garbage. At first it worked. But no bears felt any effects and after a few months of this, the local bears started moving quickly to spots where they heard blanks being fired. It was like a dinner bell. A ranger in Gatlinburg mentioned the same thing to me a couple of years ago. And then the care-taker of a bunch of rental cabins in Sevierville, Tenn also mentioned the same as he was picking up our garbage one morning. He suggested the rubber 12 gauge slugs which he says have been a game changer there. Shooting a bear on your own property out of season for any reason may result in fines, firearms confiscation or worse. It would be really hard to prove that you were saving your own life. The less-than-lethal option may be what most of us have to rely on except for personal defense. I tend to carry a short barreled 12 gauge pump when I walk near of over the ridge where the dens are located. I have it loaded with rifled magnum slugs. I also carry bear spray on horseback.
     
  10. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Thanks for this info. whistler. Those Fox grapes make good jelly as well. DM
     
  11. zzyzzogeton

    zzyzzogeton

    Feb 17, 2013
    Try to get a copy of the video to post. I would love to see a bear "tiptoeing through the tulips." :D
     
  12. Windwhistler

    Windwhistler

    281
    Aug 18, 2013
    I texted a request for the video or photos he may still have.
     
  13. Charlie_K

    Charlie_K

    Jul 16, 2012
    With some of these posts, I'm wondering about the legality of what's being suggested.

    I'm also wondering what the legality is of a bear trap that involves putting the trash cans below a second story window, and dropping bricks on top of the bear when it comes around looking for food.
     
  14. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I've spend time in bear country. I've had black bear try to climb into my 4x4 on one occasion. That bear followed us for about a mile! Trying to roll up a manual window fast while a small bear is trying to get into the car with you is invigorating!

    I've had black bear chase me on a motorcycle.

    I've seen grizzly in the wild. Been close to groups of them. By close, I mean within 10 feet or less, and not in a car.
    The Grizzlies were not really interested in me. Thank goodness. They did break into a few cabins, and cars.

    If you think you are safe from a Grizzly in your car or in a sturdy cabin, you are mistaken!




    When I am camping in bear country, bring guns, and a big knife. Usually a Khukri with a 12 inch blade. Better than nothing.

    Car camping, there is usually a short shotgun. with 8 rounds of either 000 buck, or slugs and buck shot. The Khukri, and a few other knives/axes.

    Hiking, I may have a Glock, or .357, or a .44 mag (depending on how far I have to hike, what type of bear are in the area).

    If I am hiking,
    I've been up close and personal with black bears on more than one occasion that showed no fear of people. One, followed me out on to a dock, and I had to dive into the water, and swim underwater, coming up under the next dock. The bear had a pretty comical reaction to that. He could smell me, but not find me. That particular bear was killed later that night by the neighbor with a compound bow. He asked for some one to come move it (it was on an Indian reservation). They told him to just kill it, and they would come pick it up. He finished it of with a .22 pistol.



    People have killed bear with all kinds of weird weapons. One, in Florida was killed with a log from the fire. The dad threw the log at the black bears head and it was killed by the blow. That guy was charged, because he ignored the rules for food storage at that location, and the bear paid the price.

    Scout leader some years ago, fought off a black bear with sticks. People got hurt, including the scout who's head was being chewed on when the bear dragged him from the tent.

    If a bear or cougar is snacking on one of my kids, wife, or scout I'm camping with, I guess I'm in a fight with a bear! Hopefully I have something better than language to use.
    No one wants to have a knife fight with a bear. But if the bear is chewing on you, you can keep your harsh words! I'm hopefully going to have a gun or big knife, and harsh words.
     
  15. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Thanks Big for contributing these first hand accounts from bear country. DM
     

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