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  1. #1
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    What do you carry for defense on WA trails?

    Hi all -- I've been thinking now that the season is upon us that I might try to do a few morning rides at nearby places like Soaring Eagle here on the Eastside.

    I've been down on the lower sections closer to 202 in the late afternoon with nobody around and I've gotten the creeps once or twice. It's not unreal that there could be bear/cougar wandering out there (or killer deer? ...if there was such a thing).

    Has anyone had any encounters while out riding solo? Do you carry anything to defend yourself? If yes, what do you carry?

    (And, FYI, if you're planning to ambush me on a morning ride out on Soaring Eagle...you'll win a beat up bike...don't steal my wallet unless you're willing to pay the CC bill because I sure as hell don't got any cash)

  2. #2
    What could go wrong ...
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    something like this might work
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  3. #3
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    Borneo.
    But wait, I'm always behind him... crap. This idea isn't working right.

    And may the search feature be with you: Need for a gun in the woods?
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  4. #4
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    ^^Ugh, not again. That was an exhausting thread. If you have any questions about guns just refer to the above link. Please!!

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    Thanks guys. Stamp a big S on my head for "SEARCH".


  6. #6
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    Yeah, that thread was pretty awful. A simple answer is:

    If you're concerned about bears, carry bear spray. It's cheap and easy to buy, and should be effective (not said from personal experience yet, though). I've actually encountered bears up close twice on my bike, once was a near face-to-face and I was solo. Both encounters were in Soaring Eagle, actually - not deep in the hills near Kachess, or Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, or Hansen Ridge, or ... YMMV.

    For wildlife other than bears (including predatory humans), or defense other than bear spray, reading the whole thread is probably your better bet.

    Edit: LOL, MTBR considers the scientific name for human beings to be too foul for print
    Last edited by r1de; 04-25-2012 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Silly MTBR language filter
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1de View Post
    For wildlife other than bears (including predatory **** sapiens), or defense other than bear spray, reading the whole thread is probably your better bet.
    I dunno...bear spray would probably work pretty well for defense against EMBA group ride leaders.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    I dunno...bear spray would probably work pretty well for defense against EMBA group ride leaders.
    No no, that depends on the ride leader.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1de View Post
    If you're concerned about bears, carry bear spray. It's cheap and easy to buy, and should be effective (not said from personal experience yet, though). I've actually encountered bears up close twice on my bike, once was a near face-to-face and I was solo. Both encounters were in Soaring Eagle, actually - not deep in the hills near Kachess, or Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, or Hansen Ridge, or ... YMMV.
    I was playing golf at the Plateau Club a few years ago (many of the fairways parallel Soaring Eagle). Four of us were on the green putting when a Black Bear came out of the woods, not 20 yards from us, ambled across the fairway and into the woods on the other side. Just like we were not there.

    To the OP, I don't ride with any kind of protection, but I do have a bear bell on my bike. Warns joggers and hikers that I am coming as well as wildlife.

  10. #10
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    I carry a Glock 20 10mm.If that wont do it nothing will.

  11. #11
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    Never "packed" myself. Thought about it though... have had some encounter's with bears- they always ran from me- so far. Much scarier encounters with strange, questionable folk (some that were packin') out in the woods, and even on the commute through a certain part of town. Don't really want to manage a fire arm while riding... but I sure have thought about it a time or two! Nothing wrong w/ carrying bear spray, though I haven't sprung for that yet either. I just sing the "Flintstones" or the "Jetsons" theme when I'm feelin' creeped... sounds better than "hey bear, hey bear".

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Never "packed" myself. Thought about it though... have had some encounter's with bears- they always ran from me- so far. Much scarier encounters with strange, questionable folk (some that were packin') out in the woods, and even on the commute through a certain part of town. Don't really want to manage a fire arm while riding... but I sure have thought about it a time or two! Nothing wrong w/ carrying bear spray, though I haven't sprung for that yet either. I just sing the "Flintstones" or the "Jetsons" theme when I'm feelin' creeped... sounds better than "hey bear, hey bear".
    Honestly has anyone here NOT had a bear run from you in the woods? Black bears are pretty docile and non-aggressive. When they hear you they head the other way. And unless you have some super duper silent drivetrain they're going to hear you. The ones at whistler you ride 10 feet from them and they just look up like "meh".
    Cougars on the other hand, not sure bear spray or even a glock will stop them if they really want to get you. My solution: ride with someone slower than you.

    Unless I'm misreading this and we're talking about the "bears" that hang out in the grand ridge parking lot, or the "cougars" at the bars after the ride. In that case, definitely bring protection.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhsavery View Post
    My solution: ride with someone slower than you.

    Unless I'm misreading this and we're talking about the "bears" that hang out in the grand ridge parking lot, or the "cougars" at the bars after the ride. In that case, definitely bring protection.
    haha

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    On most rides the most danger you'll face is the drive to the trail head...

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    just ride with some one that is a little slower than you.
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  16. #16
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    i usually carry a hefty pair of tire levers...

  17. #17
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    Hmm dont fret about bears in this state, they always run the other way when a human invades their space. cougars however may be another matter and warrant some awareness (I've hunted them). I would do as I do and ride with dogs, they are great companions and probably give a coug pause. I would also say that your bike may be the best weapon for fending off a cat. It is more readily available than digging in a pack for HG while getting chewed on. Other than that don't worry so much, life is too short!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishmann View Post
    Hmm dont fret about bears in this state, they always run the other way when a human invades their space.
    Not always.

    Bear Attack Victim Says He's ‘Very Lucky to Be Alive' » Kitsap Sun

  19. #19
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    True, it does happen. Interesting, this guy was out with his dog's too... Bear mauls Bellevue councilman at Lake Wenatchee home | KING5.com Seattle

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    Machete!

  21. #21
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    common with Alaska mt bikers is carry bear spray
    in water bottle holder , you can custom fit the
    can of spray in cut out plastic bottle.

  22. #22
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    If you're carrying for protection against big wildlife, I would think something like a S&W 329 or 629 Mountain with 240 grain hollow points -- see Model 29 Mountain - Topic
    Last edited by BeginnerCycling; 05-04-2012 at 03:00 PM.
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  23. #23
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    I have a CCP and usually carry.
    So why not when riding..... I do.

    FWIW,
    Stu

  24. #24
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    Kel-tec PF-9 9MM with hollow points....It's a cheaper pistol that can easily fit in your pocket. I don't ever recommend keeping it loaded though as there is no way to de-cock it.

  25. #25
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    ZombieEater,
    same here: Kel-Tec PF9
    Great little concealed carry weapon.
    However not my choice for Running-n-Gunning if your tracking me.

    Later,
    Stu

  26. #26
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    According to the US forest service tests on guns versus PNW bear types, it's a pretty bad idea to fire a handgun at a PNW brown/black bear unless its a .44 mag and even then, still not a great idea.

    Prob more likely to fall on your own gun than ever need it.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahi View Post
    According to the US forest service tests on guns versus PNW bear types, it's a pretty bad idea to fire a handgun at a PNW brown/black bear unless its a .44 mag and even then, still not a great idea.

    Prob more likely to fall on your own gun than ever need it.
    Agreed. Bears... and cougars don't generally wait around for you to get your gun ready! add to that the ratio of people going into the back country versus the # of people attacked... by anything... probably going to be okay w/o a fire arm. we're prolly in more danger riding home at night through town from a pub! Fact is, several people have fended off animal attack's with knife's (sharp ones of course) that were very handy on they're "belt". A sharp, substantial, handy blade can be deadly! I certainly don't want to face one!

    Not sure if I want to fall on airframer's "machete"... but a handy, substantial blade I might consider.

  28. #28
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    Whether you can carry a 44. magnum (or larger, like .454) it in such a way that allows you to draw it quickly depends on clothing and preparation, but I wouldn't recommend a 9mm for big animals (most police units actually consider it too light to be a "man-stopper").
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  29. #29
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    I like to bring 40lbs of pure unbridled border collie fury. I've already been saved from hundreds of potential bird, chipmunk, and lizard attacks.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeginnerCycling View Post
    Whether you can carry a 44. magnum (or larger, like .454) it in such a way that allows you to draw it quickly depends on clothing and preparation, but I wouldn't recommend a 9mm for big animals (most police units actually consider it too light to be a "man-stopper").
    That's the beauty of hollow points!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeginnerCycling View Post
    (most police units actually consider it [9mm] too light to be a "man-stopper").
    [Citation needed.]

  32. #32
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    There were a multitude of articles on this in the early to mid 1990's, when there were many incidents of multiple 9mm shots by police failing to stop drug-fueled criminals. The .40 became the standard issue for federal law enforcement and many other police units, and is the most popular caliber for law enforcement today.

    Lest this turn into a thread-jacking, let me circle back to the original post and clarify I wouldn't suggest a .40 as a bear-stopper. I'd view a .44 magnum as a light round for black bears, with .454 Casull, 460 S&W and 500 S&W being progressively more powerful (though also mostly heavier to carry/conceal than the .44 "mountain" gun by S&W).
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  33. #33
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    There's some horrible advice on this thread. From what to use to what to do.

    A bear will most likely run from loud noises and gunshots. Unless it is protecting cubs or a kill. So that advice from the forest service is useless. The same nut jobs that kept telling hunters for years there were no grizzlies in the N Cascades. The same hunters who are used to seeing black bears all the time and are more likely actually capable of determining that said bear was different than the norm. I have found the Forest Service advice to pften be useless unless it was with respect to road, trail or camping conditions.

    Bear spray is known to be useful but in February I was able to ask three brown bear guides with over 25 years experience each and none of them would pack anything less than a .375 rifle for protection against brown bears. That was 100 % consensus from guys who guided in Alaska, Kamchatka and British Columbia. On black bears I have harvested several from 150lbs to over 300lbers. It is the angle of the shot and where the bullet hits which will make success or failure to drop the bear. You could certainly be lucky with a .380 but you'd be fool to think that it is recommended for anything other than noise. Probably the best things to do is make yourself appear large by picking up your bike and then make ****load of noise and back away. If you want to spray lead with intention to do harm then at least use a 10mm. If you're going grocery hunting then the handgun the general recommendation is to start with a .41 mag on black bears or at least a .270 rifle. Most of my bear hunting is done with a wooden longbow and douglas fir arrows.

    All that said, I have several rifles and handguns and do not put them in my pack while mountain biking. A quick encounter with a bear is likely to be inconsequential if you act like the bigger bear or move away from the encounter properly. A big knife would be as good as a gun for most black bears when considering most mountain bikers are fairly fit and capable of thwarting attack.
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  34. #34
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    I've never taken anything while biking, but that was also in Montana. We been do some desolate spots and never ran across bears or mountain lions. Seen some tracks that bout it.

    But for Washington, i haven't been out much yet but i have been hiking with the family and some freinds and i'm pretty sure you should be worrying about the weird people that are hiking than a bear or cougar. Ive seen just on the few times i've been out some really sketchy people out on the trails not talking about weird hippies or anything i'm talking about dudes that think there Rambo or they have there own malitia type of dudes
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  35. #35
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    Yes, the two legged type are the most dangerous. Drug farmers and meth maggots. The cougar is going to get you without warning in most cases. So a knife in it's neck would be more practical since getting into your pack with a cougar on your neck, head or back is not going to be very likely. Whereas a knife in your pocket is more realistic.
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  36. #36
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    Bear Safety guide from BC Parks:
    Things to Do and See - BC Parks - Province of British Columbia

    Cougar Safety guide from BC Parks:
    Safety Guide to Cougars

    We spend all our vacations riding remote areas of BC and have run into both black/brown bears & grizzleys.

    As others have mentioned you aren't likely to have a problem with bears unless they have young. In dense areas make noise so they hear you coming.

    I'm more worried about cougars as you won't hear or see them.

    Both my wife and I carry bear spray in the side pocket of our pack so they are easy to access.

    I also carry bear bangers. No one in this thread have mentioned them but they are often carried by those that work in the bush up here.


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