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Where I live in remote Alaska, the bears are so big they can kill you just by looking at you.

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I understand everyone's view and did not mean to start anything against bears.  Really, I was only attempting to add a little humor.  In truth, I am not a hunter and LOVE animals.  I don't even like seeing coyotes shot.  But not everyone agrees because we all have our own situations and locations.  In the "True Story" I spoke of, me and my buddy were hitchhiking across Alaska and in very remote areas.  I would never shoot my partner.  But we still get a good laugh about that conversation to this day.  But I still do not underestimate what a bear can do.  

For instance, I was in the forest service, and when they drop you off in Alaska to fight fires, they give the Squad Boss a 12 gauge shotgun for the bear, JUST IN CASE.  Not that anyone is going to go after them but if you know grizzlies, and you come upon a mother and her cubs by mistake, it'll likely be the last time.  Sometimes a shot in the air may stop a bear. Plenty of situations when it hasn't.

Secondly, in Wyoming's yellowstone national park, a bicyclist was attacked and killed a week after my family arrived there for vacation.  It shocked us.  But unfortunately it happens every year.  It does not take much research to find all of the people mauled by bear who were not looking for trouble.  Plenty of stories like this here in the states, in bear country.

BUT... do not  get me wrong.  I DO NOT advocate shooting any bear, grizzly or otherwise.  We are here to live with them.  I carry a gun not just in Alaska but in my home areas of Arizona as well.  Unfortunately, we have a lot of rabid animals  and sometimes the mountain lion that are hard on their luck will stalk you.  The gun is good to just scare them off.  And then we have the crazy drug runners and such.   I could go on and on with stories.  Guns here in America are just for those JUST IN CASE situations.  

And honestly, I would much rather be talking about gold over guns :biggrin:

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16 minutes ago, Kodiak said:

Where I live in remote Alaska, the bears are so big they can kill you just by looking at you.

Yes Kodiak, I know. That is the main reason I never went there. God put those bears on that island for a reason and I have no reason to visit. My friends always tried to get me to go there to hunt deer. To me it is not worth having to fight bears to keep your deer.

I'm probably guilty of keeping this thread off the topic of detecting and instead dwelling on side issues. For that I apologize and will quit.   :ph34r:

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NICE....!!!!!   Let me guess....????  Not Florida....sooooo maaaybeeee…. Idaho?????  Better than my spot, I got skunked again today on gold.....but I killed it in the lead, shell casing, square nail, and a couple modern pull tab dept.!!!!!

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On 6/15/2018 at 10:03 PM, Andyy said:

You notice there are two people and one of them has the gun.  When I went backpacking Alaska with my buddy, he started razzing me saying ... "what are you doing with that gun?  That .40 cal isn't going to stop a bear."  I told him that he was correct, it likely would only anger the bear.  But it doesn't have to stop a bear.  It just had to slow *him* down.  He gave me a blank white stare. True story.

My friend was packing too

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On 6/16/2018 at 9:34 PM, osbod007 said:

Nice bird,   'Champion?'  What's under the cowling?   Gravel bars do create opportunities.  Thanks for sharing.

That there my friend is an Maule m4 with 210 hp engine alot of horse power needed to get to those hard to reach places. That's my friends plane.he can bring 800 pounds of gear with 2 people

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  • 1 month later...
On 6/15/2018 at 6:24 AM, Ridge Runner said:

I do know that if a Bear came out of the brush you wouldn’t have time to kiss your butt goodbye.

That is exactly right.

Per the discussion above, I must chime in. In addition to prospecting/ mining I'm an avid angler, hunter, hiker and mountaineer -- not as much as I use to, these days mining is #1 -- but nonetheless where I prospect and have access to claims is prime bear habitat and just in fact the other day came across fresh sign of grizzly activity (yes, took pics). It was rather unnerving because on the way in those signs were not present. 10 hours later on the hike down the mountain, unmistakable sign of bear activity.

For bears -- and dare I say it, assholes -- plenty of whom are in Alaska -- I am always armed in outdoor settings. Pics I may post of me will show me packing a .44 magnum revolver in a chest holster; and at times I also have with me a 12 gauge shotgun brush gun with a short barrel; and also carry concealed and open carry both, a 9mm pistol. The 9mm is for personal safety with people and is a very effective detterant. The other 2 are strictly for bear safety purposes but both also serve as a deterrant for assholes be it those whose paths are crossed in wildernesses or at trailhead parking lots, etc.

I'm trained and proficient in firearms, but what's more important than that is being knowledgeable about bears and wolves too for that matter, same for moose. All are unpredictable. All have killed people in Alaska. More deaths actually occur due to moose than bears and wolves combined. That is fact. And as a life long adventurer, especially here in Alaska, I have had literally countless encounters as well as close range sightings of bears -- a majority of which were way too close range, a few that were distant sightings but quickly led to a closer sighting or encounter due to the fact an adult bear covers 10 or more feet every other step! A bear can run 38 to 40+ mph and that means even if see a bear at 100 yards, that gap will be closed in about 8 seconds....

I've experienced coastal brown bears emerging from brush and charging me. And I have experienced the bluff charge that occurs due to having, despite making noise and taking other precautions, surprised a bear -- the scariest such encounter was a brown bear sow at a salmon stream with two first year cubs, and the sow immediately -- I mean immediately -- charging me as soon as she saw me. And in all those cases there's not a damn thing I could have done to save my ass with those bears. It was the bears that opted to break off their charge and veer into the brush instead. The latter encounter happened so bloody quick that I couldn't even react in time,. I was armed yet there wasn't enough time to even twitch a muscle fiber toward reaching for my gun.

And hell, it was over before my nervous system even sent the message to my brain that what was happening was happening. It was a real wake up call as to how fast these incidents occur and is why I started carrying a 12 guage brush gun with slugs, rather than just my .44 magnum. It's "easier" to aim and fire a lethal dose of 12 gauge birdshot or slug from the hip, than to draw/ unholster, bring the handgun up to face level, aim, and fire a handgun under immense pressure and stress especially, in fractions of a second.  

Worse are the black bears. Grizzlies and coastal brown bears will get pissy and charge you, and will maul you out of anger and defense of their space, cubs and food. But a black bear will do this too and track you like prey to eat you alive. Three times I've had a bear act in a predatory way -- following me on trails, stalking me, flanking me, repeatedly making themselves known. Other bears don't do that. If a black bear takes interest in you, you're being hunted. I have killed only one bear and that was an intentional hunt for a black bear.  The stalkings by black bears were dealt with via a shotgun blast over their body and it sent them running. It's doing something stupid that triggers their attack like turning your back on a bear or worse, turning and running. Every summer at least one person gets killed.  

Brown bears and grizzlies are thought of in other regions as the same but here in Alaska the bear biologists consider them different and so do I -- these have the same DNA but different habitats and way different temperaments and tolerances. I encountered a grizzly sow and cub near the arctic coast in 2015 that resulted in some incredible footage of their natural behavior at literally point blank range. Had we not been in our large 4WD SUV that would have been exponentially more terrifying than anything I have ever encountered in wilderness or urban areas. 

Due to my work in risk/ safety and security management in the past, years ago I started amassing and keeping track of every bear-human encounter that caused injuries or a fatality, same for moose, same for wolves, and same for every type/ cause of outdoor death in Alaska, statewide, including bush plane accidents, boating fatalities, you name it. I have those data. I researched cases back to the 1940's and to understand what happened so that I could avoid the same fate and help others do the same. There are a lot of ways to die in wildernesses and mining/ prospecting and other adventures demand knowing what the hazards are. Bears by and large, though dangerous and deadly if they reach out and touch you, aren't the apex danger in wilderness that many people assume. Yes, they are problematic. But people -- the assholes -- are far worse than any bear and just as unpredictable.

Bears are just doing what bears do. It's their home we're in. Assholes in Alaska are what I am armed for. Odds are good the same goes for these two folks. Bush pilots are a savvy bunch. They know that the 2-legged kind encountered in a remote area is more risk that a bear, because normal bear behavior is to fear human presence and take off running when they pick up our scent or sound. Humans on the other hand come into our space regardless and not too often for honorable purposes. So, am armed for that reason. It's not really the bears that concern me.  In close, we (wife/ I) are rather like JW (kiwijw) in regards to the attitude about bears and have countless photos of the bears we have encountered at close range including some videos, some are incredible images and were not captured with telephoto zoom lens ... the bear fills the frame because it was 20 feet from us. Some really cool experiences occur here...

My apologies for the long note. 

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Mac, never having seen a bear, moose or wolf, and never likley to, I found that a very informative post. Thanks

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3 hours ago, phrunt said:

bump into a person out in the wilderness here and it's a friendly, "hello how's it going" or they want a full on chat, which I try to avoid

That's generally how it is here too among fellow miners and prospectors and most resident adventurers. Most are friendly -- visitors tend to be a bit too chatty. Like you, I do my best to avoid those encounters. Alaska use to be a place where a guy could set down his gear on a rock/ trail, walk 100 feet into the brush to take a leak among the trees, come back and find his gear undisturbed. Same for leaving a truck at a trailhead and returning to find it as left it. Not anymore. Thefts are extremely commonplace.

Set your gear down and if someone is in the area, it will be taken. Vehicles get stolen and broken into and vandalized. I have sophisticated alarm system and 1080p HD surveillance camera system inside my truck for this purpose. Detects motion and records 24-7; front, side, rear cameras. A few weeks ago I ventured about 30 miles off the road, on a rugged remote 4WD only "path" through creeks, etc. Perhaps 150 miles from the nearest "town" more like a spot on the map. A few others but not many encountered back in there, all of whom were mining/ sluicing and camping out along the creek. Well, I park my truck in this area and walk a short ways down the hill to the creek to look around, before pulling everything out of the truck. My key FOB alerted that my truck vibration sensor was activated.

So I come up the hill from the creek and find these two guys are within a foot of my truck, their truck parked so as to obscure their presence if some other vehicle happened by, one had been looking in the rear windows, his hand prints on the glass and camera footage (viewed when got home) shows him staring right into the lens, trying to see what was in my truck to break in and steal no doubt. My gun strapped to my chest led to an outcome of them runnin to their truck and taking off. Not an exaggeration, I was away from my truck for 20 minutes at most. Parked next to the middle of nowhere where I ought to be able to trust my gear being okay without babysitting it. 

Another true story: a pal got to his claim, set up his dredge, had to go #2, locks his dredge to a tree, goes to his outhouse. Hears a chainsaw. By the time he comes out his dredge is gone. Some asshole cut the birch and stole the dredge. Where there's a road here, there's access for the thieves to get to your stuff. That's why I am armed and so are most other miners

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