Jul 26, 2013 at 11:19 pm #1305864
more at link …
Parks Canada says a hiker who was travelling with the Sierra Club was mauled by a polar bear this week during an excursion through the Torngat Mountains National Park in Labrador.
A spokesman with Parks Canada says the man in his 40s was bitten by the bear when it attacked his tent at about 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
“The bears hunt to live and in this case the polar bear attacked the gentleman and dragged him out of the tent,” he said.
He said Parks Canada officials followed usual procedure by advising the group to hire an armed polar bear guard, but the eight-person group decided against taking the safety measure.
“The Torngat Mountains National Park is … a fascinating landscape, but we strongly advise all visitors employ the services of an armed Inuit polar bear guard. We can’t stress that enough,” Mr. Deering saidJul 27, 2013 at 6:12 am #2009937
@bufaLocale: Cape Cod and Northern Newfoundland
I was with a friend who just retired as Chief Scientist for the eastern National Parks in Canada. He told us about all the polar bears up there in the Torngats, how the bears can stalk humans, and how park employees and researchers never ever camped without a solar-powered electric fence and without at least two people carrying powerful guns.Jul 27, 2013 at 6:50 am #2009940
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
So, hikers can't carry a firearm in a Parks Canada unit? I assume not, having read the website for this park- it says that the Inuit guiides specifically are allowed to carry a firearm in the park, which sort of implies that others are not.
For some of those far-northern Canadian parks you'd think they would allow it.
Is there any info on how well bear spray works versus polar bears…?Jul 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm #2010008
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I hope those park guides that are guarding tourists are carrying something larger than a 30-30. I've seen videos of Eskimos using rifles far too under-powered for the job.
The least expensive gun would be a 12 ga. pump gun with solid copper slugs. Lead slugs msy not penetrate enough.
Does Parks Canada set standards for the guides' guns? I doubt it.Jul 27, 2013 at 1:47 pm #2010027
@anarkhosLocale: Colorado, Wyoming
I would assume that the people native to the area are well aware of the dangers and arm themselves appropriately. Of course, we all know what assuming does…Jul 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm #2010029
I'm surprised the discussion is whether they have big enough guns rather than gun control in the U.S.Jul 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm #2010092
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I don't hang with polar bears and I'm usually promoting spray and noise for grizzlies and just 'tude for black bears, but when I've carried as back-up for grizzlies, a 12-guage auto loaded with slug rounds felt like a good balance – accurate enough at range (50-100 yards) although at distance I'd only be trying to finish a bear off, open sights for close situations, and rapid fire.
Grizzlies eat fish, moose and berries, none of which are very smart.
Polar bears stalk seals, which themselves are predators. Their intelligence and strategy is on a different level.
National Parks in Zimbabwe require a minimal of .375 for walking guides although .458s are common.Jul 27, 2013 at 7:09 pm #2010097
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
I believe I recall an Outside article about travelling in the arctic and the guide did carry a 30-30 so who knows.
I also remember a story of an Inuit hunter in the old days who sold a polar bear skull to a scientist. After that he saved all his polar bear skulls just in case the scientist came back. Story was that he had 12 polar bear skulls in his house each with a perfect .22 caliber hole through the brain. Glad I've never been that desperate.
Edit – If guns aren't your thing the 30-30 is a short ranged deer rifle. Cheap and common but not what you want to stop a polar bear or griz with.Jul 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm #2010098
Too bad you're not that good a shot?Jul 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm #2010099
Is there any info on how well bear spray works versus polar bears…?
a study was done where a bear spray encounters was analyzed … with exactly TWO incidents with polar bears where people in pickup trucks sprayed bears eating whales, ie. not attacking you, the bear went away both times …
personally i think bear spray just means the cute white bear gets some seasoning for his meat …
theres a saying … generalized of course
if the bear is black,
if hes brown,
drop and play dead on the ground!
if hes white,
if hes black and white,
its gonna be alright!
;)Jul 27, 2013 at 7:39 pm #2010109
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"I believe I recall an Outside article about travelling in the arctic and the guide did carry a 30-30 so who knows."
A friend of mine who has worked with First Peoples up in northern British Columbia
says they mostly carry .45-70's of one make or another. Good brush gun and major stopping power. Assuming you can put the round where it'll do some good, as always.Jul 27, 2013 at 7:46 pm #2010112
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
"Too bad you're not that good a shot?"
Actually Jerry when I'm in practice I'm a pretty decent shot but no amount of money could tempt me to take on a grizzly or polar bear with a .22 or a 30-30. I've got enough scars already.Jul 27, 2013 at 7:48 pm #2010113
I'm, of course, just giving you a hard time.
It's amazing, though, that that guy has shot 12 polar bears with .22
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