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News Channel 9:

A black bear attacked a family of three in Polk County, Tennessee, killing a 6-year-old girl, and seriously injuring a 2-year-old boy and the children’s mother. They have been airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center and are listed in critical condition.

This is why I’ve never understood why parks and campgrounds and such ban firearms. Going toe to toe with a bear is not good for you. Waving arms didn’t help in this case. But a few rounds of 230 grain jacketed hollow points may have convinced the bear to leave.

19 Responses to “Tragic”

  1. Bruce Says:

    I’d think you’d increased penetration when shooting at a bear? Or are you just looking to make it alter its dinner plans and move on?

    When in doubt, bring a 12-ga. slug gun camping.

  2. JustinB Says:

    I havent read what instigated the attack…I would assume that the bear just didnt up and decide to eat someone unless provoked.

  3. Sebastian Says:

    I do a lot of hiking in bear country, and always carry a .44 magnum (S&W 629 Classic) when I do so. Predation by black bears on people is rare, but not unheard of. If I were a bear, and I were hungry, a 2 year old might look like something I could easily prey on. More often than bears are attracted to people because they smell our food, and are looking for a meal. Bring bears and people close together and there’s potential for trouble. I’ve never understood people who frown upon carrying arms in the wilderness for protection; what I call the hippy hiker crowd. The only reason we’re at the top fo the food chain is because we have brains that can make weapons. We’re pretty easy prey otherwise.

  4. ben Says:

    Of course it’s debateable, but I think .45 acp is sufficient as a black bear deterrent. Certainly better than nothing. On the other hand, if you can’t carry a firearm, at least carry bear repelant. I’ve heard it’s actually quite effective, but this is third hand, so take if FWIW.

  5. Kirk Parker Says:

    Uhh, since this occured in a National Forest, the only reason firearms would be banned would be if Tennesee had its own ban on such. Firearms are certainly permitted on National Forest land out West (though of course you’re not supposed to discharge your gun in a campground.)

  6. Steve Ramsey Says:

    In WA state, we are overdue.
    The peta wonks managed to convince the public to ban bear and cougar hunting with dogs in this state.
    So it’s just a matter of time now.

  7. tgirsch Says:

    C’mon, Uncle, exploiting some family’s tragedy to harp on a pro-gun rant is beneath you. How is it any different in principle than those on the left who trumpet American casualties in Iraq as if they in and of themselves prove the war is wrong?

  8. SayUncle Says:

    i did no such thing. i said i found it odd that such rules are in place. When you go to be close with nature, nature can get close to you. It only makes sense to prepare for that and some places actively prohibit it.

  9. Captain Holly Says:

    Bear Thread!

    I’d say the minimum caliber for black bears would be a .357 Mag.

    I have a personal theory that when bears have a nice, big area where they are protected from hunting (in this case, Great Smoky Mountains NP) they can grow fat and sassy and begin to start thinking of themselves as Top Predator. There’s a real problem with this in the Yellowstone area, where grizzlies are getting numerous and very assertive.

    You need regular bear hunts to keep ’em in line. Bears are quick learners, and you don’t even have to kill them to get the point across. If they encounter a steaming pile of bear guts and blood and the whole area around it reeks of humans, they’ll get the picture.

  10. Captain Holly Says:

    Edit above comment to read: you don’t even have to kill alot of them…

  11. SayUncle Says:

    How is it any different in principle than those on the left who trumpet American casualties in Iraq as if they in and of themselves prove the war is wrong?

    Only in the way that, you know, what I advocate could have made a difference in this case. Casualties, however, are a result of any war no matter how righteous or (as seems to be becoming the case) not and don’t prove nor disprove a case for war.

  12. Justin Buist Says:

    I havent read what instigated the attack…I would assume that the bear just didnt up and decide to eat someone unless provoked.

    Odd.. replying to a guy who’s name is almost like mine.


    Black bears will attack a human if the conditions are right. I posted a story some time ago back on my blog about a guy that went toe-to-toe with a black bear and won, using his 3″ pocket knife. It turned out after the fact that the bear had a broken jaw, which means it was probably unable to stalk it’s regular prey. It was also starving, which is why that 60-something year old man looked like a good meal.

    Generally there’s something out of the ordinary when a black bear attacks a human, but it isn’t the human provoking the attack. Something’s wrong with the bear or ecosystem.

  13. Josh Says:

    Could have been some kind of food remnants on the children. They warn you in the campgrounds and hiking trails of Yosemite not to have any kind of food out in the open, particularly things like nuts, berries and jerky. Even on trails, hikers have encountered bears who smelled their jerky and wanted some. Most people choose to invest in bear lockers to minimize the threat. 8+1 .45ACP +P’s would probably be good bear medicine, though.

    Of course, within Yosemite it is illegal to carry a firearm. However, many believe that a bears life is not worth forfeiting their own, so they do discretely carry. In Natl. Forrest lands, even in CA, open carry is permitted but shooting and hunting are disallowed, strictly providing a means of protection against black bear and cougars, of which we have many.

    Hopefully the boy and the mother pull through, and hopefully they don’t use this as an excuse to cull the bear population aside from the culprit bear.

  14. Sebastian Says:

    I think .45ACP would be marginal on a black bear. I think it would just piss a grizzly off. You might be able to have some satisfaction that after Mr. Grizzly kills you, he’ll go off and bleed to death, but I don’t think it’ll stop him. I’d be worried going up against a grizzly with any pistol. In grizzly country, it’s best to carry a rifle of an appropriate caliber.

  15. BearHunter Says:

    Ha! Using a family’s tragedy to bolster guns in National Parks. Absolutely off the mark. First, I have shot 11 bears in my life and every single one was on private land in Southern Virginia. Second, you can always tell a person who has never bear hunted. They are the first one’s to think a sidearm can stop one of these animals in their tracks. Wrong. I hunt with a Mauser 98 in a .404 Jeff. I still shit myself if the bear is within 50 yards and I hit him and it still doesn’t fall right off. A family with a handgun let alone a varmint rifle stands more chance of pissing the bear off more. Don’t comment on kiling bears. This isn’t plinking.

  16. SayUncle Says:

    Yes, bearhunter, you’re much better off using your fists than say a 45. Obviously, a rifle caliber would be better but in many cases just aren’t practical. I tend to think a decent pistol caliber would do more than just piss a black bear off. Grizzly bear, I’d concur with.

  17. Captain Holly Says:

    Yeah, if I were actually hunting bears I’d make sure I had an ’06, at the very least.

    But if I’m just out hiking or camping (as I have done for years in bear country, including real bear — grizzly — country), I’m not going to drag a rifle around with me, so it’s much better to have a good handgun than nothing. Because even a 9mm would probably do some serious damage to an average-sized bear’s skull at 5 feet.

    Considering that the NPS says pepper spray is perfectly adequate for self-defense, I doubt you’d be at any bigger disadvantage with a .357 Mag.

  18. Nylarthotep Says:

    “Ha! Using a family’s tragedy to bolster guns in National Parks.”

    Um, no. Advocating the allowance for people to carry firearms on public property for self protection is the point. The vast majority of National Parks have federal restrictions against carrying any firearms. There are some special allowances, but in general 36CFR19 don’t allow the everyday citizen to carry. Hunting is discussed in 36CFR18, and is only applicable to people who are actually hunting in areas designated for hunting. If you are just hiking or camping, you can’t have a firearm. Of course, state laws vary in those local parks, but that doesn’t help in the majority of cases.

    I can carry a weapon for self-defense in the middle of a busy city, but if I go out into the park I can’t carry. That is ludicrous. And a rifle isn’t allowed either, so the contention that it is better is not even logical.

  19. Doris Tremblay Says:

    I live in bear country in the northeast. I do not advocate the carrying of firearms in all instances but bears can be unpredictable. We have had a problem with a mother and cubs in our yard. What we use is a “cracker” instead of live ammo for scaring off the bears. So far that has workded well for us. The bear has not returned for sometime. We also have other guns in the house in case we need them. When in bear country a person must be extremely cautious. I heard that a bear had been taken. Does anyone know if it was the one that attacked the family? We haven’t heard anything on our news in sometime.

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