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  • Visiting Alaska

    Hey folks, My family and I are going to be visiting Alaska in about a week. We will stay in Anchorage for about 3 days, head down to Seward for a week and then do another 3 days in Wasilla.

    If we want to do a little light hiking should we be good to go with just a bear extinguisher and some trail bells? I did a lot of hiking in Yellowstone and that was good enough there.

    There is a lady here on Base who is calling my wife telling her not to leave the hotel without a shotgun (She is also terrified of my Black Lab) My inlaws are coming as well, and I'm pretty sure we can outrun them.

    Advice?

    M-11
    “All men dream...... But not equally..
    Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
    but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
    for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

    TE Lawrence

  • #2
    I'd leave the bear spray. It likely won't help you. Is there a reason why you can't bring an appropriate firearm? I don't go into the woods without one.....but certainly lots of people do.

    Mostly, keeping your head on straight, having a little situational awareness, and not making poor decisions with your food and fish will be enough to keep you out of trouble.

    When you say hiking....what kind of hiking are you talking about? If you are going to hike along prominent trails, like the ones that are in the state parks around the glaciers and such...you'll probably be fine without a firearm. Traveling in groups is a good idea also.

    Unless you get in between a bear and her cubs.....you'll likely be left alone if traveling in groups of 3 or more.

    The big thing is....if you see a bear, keep your head on straight, back away slowly, and DON"T FREAK OUT! Don't see how close you can get....for that perfect photo opportunity. Avoid being on the trails early in the morning or late at night when other people aren't around.

    I'm sure others will chime in here with practical advice as well.

    Don't forget about moose.....they can be even more dangerous than bears.

    Comment


    • #3
      +1 to everything mentioned above.

      If you're hiking with bells and 3 or more people, I wouldn't worry about it. So long as the bears have enough warning that you're coming, they'll usually get out of dodge before you know they were there. Bear spray is an iffy subject...if you get close enough for it to work, you're already too close, so I don't know what to tell you about that. Some people swear by it, but I just don't trust the stuff personally. If you can, I'd recommend carrying a gun for the "just in case" scenarios, but if you can't you'll probably be alright if you make noise and stay alert to what's going on around you.

      I've worked and played in remote spots, on salmon spawning rivers, with lots of bears around and never had a problem, but I make sure they know I'm there. The biggest thing that gets people into trouble is stupidity and surprising a bear, and it sounds like you're ok in both departments there.

      As far as carrying a firearm goes, I often do...but it's a security blanket. If you get attacked, chances are you won't have time to get a pistol out of a holster or a shotgun to your shoulder anyway. Bears are hella-fast when they want to be. However, I carry one in case someone I'm with gets attacked, then you have a viable option for bear removal from the victim which increases their chances greatly.

      Enjoy Alaska! Don't be paranoid about bears, just aware they are there...I think walking out of a hotel with a shotgun is a little much...lol.
      "All that is, ever
      Ever was, will be, ever
      Twisting, turning, through the never."--Metallica

      Comment


      • #4
        In Anchorage walking out of the hotel with the shotgun will get you some looks....but outside of Anchorage, no one would care.

        Honestly, if you can't bring a firearm that's up to the challenge, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Without getting into a huge debate about calibers and stuff....even my 44mag is a last ditch gun, like a BUG. I've shot a bear from 2' away with it...and it didn't kill the bear (was supposed to be a kill shot to the spine after downing with a .300 winmag). Those buggers are tough. 12 gauge, or nothing. 44 mag would be ok, like I said...a BUG for when you're getting mauled.

        Honestly....I wouldn't mess with it. I'm more worried about carrying in Anchorage than when I'm fishing. More people get into situations calling for a gun in city limits than outside of them.

        Even there, stay in tourist areas, during regular hours....and you'll be fine. No reason to be scared here. Just aware.

        Comment


        • #5
          we will be on prominent trails and travelling in at least a group of five. My father in law will be there and he sounds like a cross between Gilbert Godfried and a fog horn so the bears, moose, trees rocks and possibly the Russians will hear us coming...

          The only reason I'm unarmed is I am coming from Okinawa where I have no gun, and going straight there. My Inlaws are free range hippies who do not have firearms.

          I would love to use this as an excuse to but a new 870 when I get there, but I don't know the place.

          1. Is there a waiting period if I roll into a Sporting Goods Store and but a 12 guage? I'll have my badge and creds on me.

          2. Would I be able to buy with a rental cabin as my address?

          3. Anyone in Anchorage want to rent me a shotgun for a couple weeks?

          Didn't some guy design a suit for fighting bears or somthing...

          M-11
          Last edited by M-11; 08-05-2008, 07:53 PM.
          “All men dream...... But not equally..
          Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
          but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
          for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

          TE Lawrence

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm not sure you can buy a firearm and walk away with it if you are not a resident of the state you are purchasing it in. Private party deals may be excluded from this rule.

            Comment


            • #7
              I've got an old, bush-whacked 870 you can "rent." I'll even throw in some sabot slugs and 00 buck in case you need them. PM me if you want.
              "All that is, ever
              Ever was, will be, ever
              Twisting, turning, through the never."--Metallica

              Comment


              • #8
                PM Inbound
                “All men dream...... But not equally..
                Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
                but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
                for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

                TE Lawrence

                Comment


                • #9
                  OMG he's serious.

                  Originally posted by M-11 View Post
                  My Inlaws are free range hippies who do not have firearms.
                  that's why they are called outlaws.

                  Alaska is beautiful...enjoy. We saw a bear at Mendenhall...it just went about it's business. Just remember you are stomping on their territory....and no I'm not a free range hippie.
                  Last edited by deputy x 2; 08-05-2008, 09:37 PM.
                  This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Trivia: You can buy a long gun in AK and be from out of state. Can't buy a handgun though.
                    Proud father of a US Marine and USAF SERE Specialist!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fishAK View Post
                      I've got an old, bush-whacked 870 you can "rent." I'll even throw in some sabot slugs and 00 buck in case you need them. PM me if you want.
                      That Fish is a heckuva guy. Next time I'm in Anchorage I'll trade you a cup of coffee for a few of those sockeye's I know you got in your freezer!
                      Proud father of a US Marine and USAF SERE Specialist!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey Kodiak...still no word. You know what I'm talking about.

                        Sockeye are few and far between this year, unfortunately. I only got about ten total. I'm hoping to make up for that with the silvers, which I like better anyway. I did smoke some sockeye and man did it turn out good...mmmmmm.....cup o' joe for a slab of smoked salmon? Of course, you have to get to Anchortown first....

                        Any openings over there?
                        "All that is, ever
                        Ever was, will be, ever
                        Twisting, turning, through the never."--Metallica

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kodiak PA View Post
                          Trivia: You can buy a long gun in AK and be from out of state. Can't buy a handgun though.
                          Been so long since I've bought a rifle...do you have to get a NICS check?
                          "All that is, ever
                          Ever was, will be, ever
                          Twisting, turning, through the never."--Metallica

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey, Fish, I hear Little Su is hoppin, down on the Pt Mckenzie side!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by anchsec1 View Post
                              Hey, Fish, I hear Little Su is hoppin, down on the Pt Mckenzie side!
                              ...scribble, scribble...

                              That's the sound of me making mental notes

                              I'm hitting Eklutna in the AM...my father-in-law has some secret out there and he ALWAYS comes home with fish. It's really annoying. But, he's finally gonna take me and show me how it's done, so hopefully I'll come home with something.
                              "All that is, ever
                              Ever was, will be, ever
                              Twisting, turning, through the never."--Metallica

                              Comment

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