Alaskan Predators I How to Defend Yourself
Alaska is one of the last frontiers on the planet. Aside from the oceans of the world and Antarctica, there are few places on earth that remain vastly unexplored and uninhabited such as the Alaskan bush. Alaska is often referred to as a sportsmen’s paradise, as it is teaming with wildlife. From caribou and Moose to world class salmon fishing, Alaska has it all. It doesn’t take long to realize why the Alaskan bush is so appealing to those who love to spend time outdoors, however, if you are a “first timer”, taking on wilderness of Alaska by yourself without any proper survival training or a guide is a big mistake. Alaska is full of wildlife, and some of the wildlife found in Alaska such as Grizzly Bears and Wolves have the ability to seriously harm and kill you. Before you take on the wild frontier known as Alaska, it is critical you know some simple, self-defense tips to defend yourself against these Alaskan predators.
In the bush country of Alaska, there are many different critters that can pose a threat to humans, but in the hierarchy of Alaskan predators there are really just two that can truly cause you to have a bad day, and those are the Grizzly Bear (sometimes referred to as the Alaskan Brown Bear) and the Wolf. These two animals are at the top of the mountain in terms of Alaskan predators and can quickly turn a good day into a bad day for the unprepared.
Best Defense is a Good Offense
Grizzly Bears are beautiful creatures, and are truly amazing to watch and observe in the wild. Some may think that these once abundant animals are bloody thirsty meat eaters that are actively seeking out unsuspecting humans for their next meal. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Grizzly Bears are actually considered to be omnivorous, which simply means their diet can vary depending upon what is available to them at the time. Grizzly bears will predominantly forage on roots, berries, buds and fish. That being said, they will take advantage of meal high in protein if the opportunity presents itself.
The fact is, most bear attacks are a case of the “wrong place, wrong time” scenario where the person encounters a bear with cubs, or they round a bend in a river only to come face to face with a Grizzly Bear at 50 yards. So in other words, most bear attacks are cases of the bear feeling threatened and attempting to protect itself.
Grizzly Bear Encounter I Dropped S5. Ep3. “Grizzly Breakout”
On Dropped, in Season 5 Episode 3, Chris and Casey Keefer are prepared to defend themselves against the dangers of a grizzly. They carry Glock 20s,10mm handguns with Winchester hollow points. This is a last resort as Grizzly bears provide the biggest threat to the Keefer Brothers survival. For more information on Dropped or the Keefer Brothers visit the following:
Keefer Brothers: http://keeferbros.wpengine.com/
When it comes to protecting yourself from both Grizzly Bears and Gray Wolves, the best defense is often a good offense. Noise can be your friend when trying to prevent a bear or wolf attack. This holds true whether you are simply out for a hike or biking a mountain trail. Bears and wolves try to avoid humans most of the time, so noise can really help to prevent an encounter with either of these Alaskan predators. Noise can also be very helpful if you happen to find yourself in the crosshairs of a Grizzly Bear or Gray Wolf. If you encounter one of these predators, and find yourself in a “charge” situation, often holding your ground, raising your hands in the air (to give the appearance you are bigger) and shouting “Hey Bear!” or “Hey Wolf!” can often change their aggression to confusion. Much like a whitetail doe when she stomps her foot, hoping to elicit a response, these predators will often charge hoping to cause you to react and run. When this doesn’t occur, it can confuse them and often can make them loose interest.
The Dangers of a Grizzly I Dropped S5.EP3. “Grizzly”
(video) “On Dropped, in Season 5 Episode 3, Chris and Casey Keefer are prepared to defend themselves against the dangers of a grizzly. They carry Glock 20s,10mm handguns with Winchester hollow points. This is a last resort as Grizzly bears provide the biggest threat to the Keefer Brothers survival.”
Wolf Encounters in Alaska I Dropped S5. Ep3. “Wolf Breakout”
“On Dropped, in Season 5 Episode 3, Chris and Casey Keefer encounter a wolf. The wolves that roam Alaska are very successful predators. These predators, normally traveling in a pack with numbers hovering around 6-7 pose a serious threat to the Keefers’ survival in Alaska.”
While noise can be a great way to defend yourself and avoid an encounter all together, it is fairly counterproductive when you are hitting the bush in search of wild game. With today’s outdoor technology, brands like ScentLok can completely control a hunter’s scent profile which can allow them to get close to a wide range of game species, including the unintentional run in with a Grizzly Bear or a Gray Wolf. So, what do you do when you find yourself 50 yards from one of these Alaskan predators?
The number one rule when coming face to face with one of these Alaskan predators is to keep your cool. This can be much easier said than done, however, panicking can often lead to unfavorable outcome. You need to stop and assess the situation, and determine if there is a safe and effective way to remove yourself from the situation. If it is clear that you cannot remove yourself from the situation, then you must take measures to protect yourself. If there is no sign of aggression by the bear or wolf, simply hold your ground and do your best to make yourself seem as big as possible. If the animal begins to move closer, attempt to make noise as mentioned previously. If that doesn’t work then it may be time for more drastic measures.
Everyone has the right to protect themselves and their property, so if making noise and taking a large stance doesn’t work the last resort is to take lethal measures. When it comes to protecting yourself in the Alaskan bush, you need to ensure that you have two things and that is a good dependable knife and a good dependable weapon. Buck Brand hunting knives come in many different sizes and weights. They are durable and can take a licking and will hold up to the harsh climate of the Alaskan bush. At a minimum, it is recommended that if you decide to take out for the Alaskan backcountry that you ensure that a dependable knife is by your side. The conditions that persist in the Alaskan wilderness are extremely harsh most of the year. As a result, the conditions can be very hard on equipment, such as your firearm. Winchester brand ammunition and firearms have proven to be reliable and withstand the harshest conditions that Alaska has to offer.
There is some debate amongst outdoor enthusiast in regards to the caliber of weapon needed to adequately defend you from the attack of a Grizzly Bear or Alaskan Gray Wolf. In most cases, the bigger is often better. If you find yourself face to face with either of these Alaskan predators while hunting big game in Alaska, chances are you are already packing a large caliber rifle, such as a .300 or 45/70. Calibers in this neighbor can hold their own against the charge of either one of these predators. The debate really comes into play when discussing hand guns. Most natives would advise goers to not leave the safety of the camp without a large caliber rifle, however, should you decide to head out with only a side arm in tow, it would be advisable to consider a larger caliber such as .44 magnum or larger. In the Keefer Brothers case they carry 10mm Glock 20s.
No one hopes to every find themselves in a survival situation where they are staring into the eyes of one of these Alaskan predators, however, if you spend enough time in the bush country of Alaska your chances of an encounter are higher than you might think.